Posted 21/11/2022 in Hair Transplant

Body Hair Transplant

Body Hair Transplant

Table of Contents

    What is a body hair transplant?

    Body hair transplant or body-to-head transplant involves transplanting hair from the body, face, and neck into the scalp to treat baldness.

    Body hair transplantation is usually recommended to treat baldness when the donor area (at the back of the head) is very poor or exhausted from previous transplants. 

    The FUE technique is used and the beard and neck are the ideal areas for hair extraction. It is also possible to use hair implants from the torso, stomach, and legs.

    Example of a facial hair transplant at the level of the scalp in a patient with very advanced stage VII baldness on the Norwood scale with a very poor donor area at the level of the crown.

    Who is a good candidate for a body hair transplant?

    Body hair transplant is suitable in the following cases:

    • Treatment of alopecia when the donor area at the Hippocratic crown is very poor or exhausted following previous transplants. This insufficient donor area does not allow for hair transplantation and body hair proves to be a crucial source of graft.
    • In a patient with advanced baldness on the Norwood scale and therefore not having enough hair in the donor area to cover the entire bald area.
    • People who want thicker hair and more volume in the hair, and need body hair to enhance the density of their hair.
    • Patients who were previously advised against hair transplantation for any of the above reasons may now be eligible.

    How is a body hair transplant performed?

    A body hair transplant is not so different from a regular hair transplant. Follicles are extracted from the donor areas and implanted in to balding or thin areas. 

    Your medical team works with accuracy and precision to achieve the desired results.

    Each hair should be transplanted according to the natural growth direction of body hair. To achieve an even and full look of body hair, the hairs must also be placed very closely together.

    To ensure that there are no scars on the head and body of the recipient, smaller punches are used to remove the hair follicles from the donor areas.

    A body hair transplant does not require a long hospital stay and the treatment is performed under local anesthesia. 

    What are the characteristics of body hair?

    Head hair or body hair starts with a hair follicle. Through a process known as keratinization, the follicle creates hair.

    There are two types of hairs:

    Primary terminal hairs

    Such as the eyelashes, eyebrows, and scalp hair, these are hairs that everyone has (except for example in cases of universal alopecia areata, an autoimmune disease). 

    Secondary terminal hairs

    Secondary terminal hair includes the hair on the armpits, pubic, chest, and beard…they are hormonally dependent, and generally thicker and curlier. But again, this varies a lot from individual to individual.

    Hair remains hair, but the main difference is that head hair has a longer hair growth cycle than body hair.

    If beard or leg hair grows as fast as hair, its total cycle (anagen, catagen, telogen phase) is shorter.

    And that is the problem! 

    While hair taken from the head is re-implanted into the beard or eyebrows ends up “behaving” like hair after a few months (or even years), hair remains hair.

    Also, the follicle-to-hair ratio of body hair is often low, i.e. one hair per graft. For comparison, the average for head hair is 2.2.

    This means that it takes multiple follicles to recreate natural hair with enough density!

    These characteristics mean that body hair is not really – if at all – suitable to be grafted on the head in case of baldness, and even more so if it is advanced.

    When does hair grow after a body hair transplant?

    It takes between a week and 10 days for the tiny scabs of hair follicles collected from all parts of the body to heal completely.  

    If a second operation is desired in the areas where the hair follicles are collected, a recollection can be performed after 6 months as these areas repair completely. 

    The transplanted hair follicles approach the hair character in which they are planted 2 years later. 

    In other words, if the hair follicles taken from the neck region are planted in the eyebrow region, they may show longer growth over time. It shouldn't convert to the exact same character.

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