Body Hair Transplant
This term essentially means using the hairs from the parts of body other than the scalp and transplanting them on the scalp/head.
Generally for the purpose of hair transplant the donor is taken from the head or the scalp itself but in patients where the option of donor from scalp is very limited or there is not enough graft available from head/scalp, then donor from certain areas of body can be used for the purpose of transplantation on head.
Hairs most commonly are taken from beard followed by upper chest, upper back, abdomen, armpits, forearm, legs.
- Use of Body Hair Transplant:
- In combination with classic hair transplant for achieving greater density in patients having weak donor area on scalp
- For filling large areas of bald patch
- For correction/ repair hair transplant
It is very important to understand the characteristics of donor hair and recipient area. For the hair line we generally use scalp hair and as one goes back the scalp the scalp donor hair follicles are mixed with donor follicle from other parts of body to provide adequate density and coverage of the scalp.
Generally, beard is the preferred donor after the scalp as the thickness of hair is more favorable than the hair from other areas and the beard hair grows more consistently and longer when compared to hairs from other donor areas.
For the body hair transplant the number of graft required may be more as the body hair follicle generally provide one hair per follicle. The pattern of growth of hair in different parts of body are different. The growth phase is longest in case of scalp hair followed by beard. Body hair donor area should be identified depending on the recipient site, for example the finer hairs can be used in areas where soft fine hairs are required like temporal area or hairline.
We advise the patient to come on the day of the surgery and not to shave the beard for 3 days and if the chest is to be used then not to shave it for 5 days before the surgery. This helps to identify and extract anagen hair, which improves the overall yield. The chest and back being more sensitive areas so proper and long term local anesthetic should be infiltrated, one may use some sedation also to come the patient more comfortable. The finer diameter of punches is used for different areas of body to harvest the donor in case of body to scalp hair transplant. One should also know that the depth at which the hair follicle lies is also different in different parts of body, this also be helpful in proper extraction of follicles.
One of the important factor to know is that there is different angle and orientation of the hairs in different areas of body so it of importance that they are properly extracted keeping this in mind otherwise transection may happen leading to the wastage of the follicles. Healing of the donor area depends on the which area was utilized to extract the follicles. Beard area generally heals by the end of first week after the surgery, the chest area usually takes around 2 weeks to heal. Regarding the recipient area the transplanted hairs first undergo shedding starting at 3 weeks and then new hair growth starts around the end of third month and results starts becoming more visible by end of 5 months of hair transplant. One common problem which may be encountered after body hair transplant is wide spots at the region from where the donor grafts are harvested. This is due to the hypopigmentation at these sites. This is more commonly seen on the chest area rather than back.
Body hair transplant is an advance procedure and so it is comparatively a lengthy surgery. It requires highly experienced and skilled surgeon to perform these types of advanced hair transplant procedures. If the donor is not properly selected and it don’t blend with the recipient area then this may lead to a compromised result. Dr. Sangay with years of experience has been providing desired results with as she knows which donor graft to be used where and how to mix body hair with scalp hair to provide better density results.
- Key points to remember :
- Difference in growth cycle of body hairs from scalp hairs
- Body hair often has a lower diameter than the hair on scalp
- Follicular unit from scalp may consist of 1,2,3 or 4 hairs but follicular unit from other body parts may generally have single hair
- Extraction of hair follicles
Consult to Dr. Sangay Bhutia from Hair & Senses if you have any questions about hair transplant. Fix up your free consultation with experts to know more here