Hair transplantation is an accepted technique of restoring hairs on bald scalp in pattern baldness, by different techniques such as follicular unit transplantation, follicular unit extraction (FUE), etc., however, one of the limiting factors in achieving successful outcome is the limited donor hair on occipital scalp, particularly in extensive baldness. Body hair has been proposed as an alternative source of hair in such cases. Body hair has been shown to grow longer when transplanted to scalp, as a result of the influence of scalp dermis on the transplanted hair, referred to as recipient influence. However, proper studies of successful body hair transplantation are yet to be documented and published but here at Glojas, we have been performing highly successful body hair transplantation for the last 21 years.
Body hair transplant can refer to one of two opposite procedures: either removing hair from the body and placing it into the scalp or vice versa removing hair from the scalp to place it into the body. In the first scenario, men who want more coverage on the top of their head but no longer have transplantable scalp hairs can have hairs harvested and transplanted from the beard or chest into the head.
In the second aforementioned scenario, a man who desires to have more chest hair could use his scalp hair to be transplanted onto his chest to achieve that goal. To remove beard and chest hair and to place it into the scalp requires performing the FUE Method of hair harvesting, i.e., removing individual hairs from the chest using a small punch device. When hair is transplanted onto the chest from the scalp, either FUE or FU-strip methods can be used but the latter strip method is more commonly employed. Some doctors commonly perform corrective procedure and successfully uses a combination of body hair and beard hair to help improve one’s appearance.
As mentioned above, the beard and chest hair can be used when the donor hair in the scalp has been depleted through numerous prior hair-transplant procedures. Typically, the beard hair is the preferred.
Beard hair typically has a more favourable calibre than chest hair when trying to restore hair density in the scalp. Second, beard hairs grow more consistently as well as longer and faster when transplanted to the scalp than chest hair. Third, hairs removed from the beard often heals very well and do not leave behind a visible area of hypopigmentation (loss of skin colour), which is more likely to happen when hair is harvested from the chest.
Nevertheless, chest hairs can still be a very important source to restore lost scalp hair when beard hair is depleted, unavailable, or non-existent. Additionally, chest hairs have a finer calibre that can be used to blend into beard hairs or used along the hairline for refinement of a previously transplanted result.
Potential candidates for BHT have a relative or absolute lack of traditional head donor hair to adequately address their baldness. The main reasons for the lack of traditional head donor hair for transplant are extensive baldness or donor area depletion by prior surgeries. In general, finer and shorter hairs from the leg are more appropriate for restoring or repairing the hairline and temple areas, while coarser beard hair is more appropriate for imparting density and for repair of surgical scars. The choice of body hair graft source is in part influenced by the observation that body hair generally retains its characteristics when transplanted to recipient head sites. For example, beard hair is much coarser and can grow longer than finer, shorter hair originating from the legs. The diameter of the follicle, colour, curliness, texture, growth rate, and shaft angle must also be taken into consideration to best match transplanted hair with the recipient hair site, bearing in mind that combinations of hair from different areas of the body can provide a more blended look and that some sources of body hair, such as the beard, will lose pigment faster over a long period of time. A robust supply of good quality hair in the beard or other body areas is essential.