Body Hair Transplants (BHT)

One of the commonest limitations to hair transplant surgery is the amount of donor hair you have. Donor hair is the remaining hair at the back and sides of your head that is harvested to cover the balding areas on the scalp.

Men lose their hair in specific patterns, and years ago these were defined in a system called the Norwood Classification. A Norwood 1 is almost no hair loss, whereas a Norwood 7 is almost total hair loss. The higher up you are on the Norwood scale, the less donor hair you have that can be transplanted. You can still have a hair transplant if you’re a Norwood 6, but the amount of coverage you’ll get depends how much donor hair you have on your scalp. This means you cannot get a full head of hair by using just the donor hair on your head.

For years, people have wondered about the possibility of transplanting hair from other parts of the body, such as chest, back, neck or even beard onto the head. The problem was that the grafting and hair transplant techniques used in the past made it impossible because 5mm punch grafts would leave donor areas with massive scars.

FUD, Follicular Unit Extraction, is an advanced technique that changed everything. The idea of using ultra micro grafts, where one single hair could be transplanted at a time, made body hair transplants possible. Donor areas suddenly became available all around your body, meaning hair could be harvested from your chest, back, stomach, neck and even your legs!

It’s easy to be a bit skeptical about a how good could a Body Hair Transplant (BHT) could look, but the results people are seeing have been great. Some pioneering doctors in the field of BHT are Dr. Umar and Dr. Ray Woods, two physicians who began this kind of hair transplant.

Body hair can be used in two ways in a hair transplant: Placed onto your scalp to contribute to the amount of donor hair you have, or used in FUE hair transplants to cover up the tiny punch holes in your donor area (the back of your head) so that tiny scars are covered up. Either way, your body hair can provide backup and more coverage during the course of your transplant.

You may be wondering about the appearance of the body hair that gets transplanted, such as whether it’s curly or wavy like chest hair. Amazingly, chest hair only grows to a certain length while on the chest, yet it grows much longer when transplanted to the head. The texture of the hair tends to change, too – it becomes more like scalp hair than back hair or chest hair. Isn’t that amazing?

Not all hair transplant surgeons are fans of the body hair transplant idea for a few reasons:

  1. The texture of the hair isn’t identical to scalp hair – it’s similar but not exactly the same.
  2. The body hair grafts tend to grow at a different rate than normal scalp hair.
  3. It is VERY time consuming to do this as part of a hair transplant.

So if you’ve been thinking about a hair transplant, but didn’t think you had enough donor hair, then think again. If you have hair on your chest, back or legs the hair can now be used in a modern FUE body hair transplant.

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