With the limited number of scalp donor hair available and the growing demand to cover the bald area, the quest for greater donor hair aroused. Thus began the concept of body hair transplant (BHT) in which hair follicles from other parts of the body including beard, chest, arms, axilla, pubic area and legs are used as additional source of grafts for covering the scalp or recosntruct any other body area.
BHT is practically exclusive for men. The characteristics of the body hair differ from the scalp hair with respect to its hair cycle, growth, number of hair and direction of growth.
Inspite of these differences, the body hair when transplanted to the scalp can grow up to 15cms length and can simulate the scalp hair character.
Being a newer modality, the long term effects of BHT are unknown.
- Men with good growth of thick hairs on the chest and beard areas.
- Poor donor area on scalp (Grade VII patients).
- Exhausted donor area following previous surgeries
- Unhealthy scalp donor area
- For hairline feathering
- Eyebrow transplant
- In cases like burns, scarring alopecias thereby reduced availability of donor grafts.
- To reconstruct small areas of baldness in beard.
How does it work?
The logic of BHT is based on the principle of ‘recipient influence’ wherein the hairs transplanted from body ( beard, trunk, axillae, and pubis) to the scalp will eventually take up the characteristics of the scalp hair and will grow and cover the scalp.
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Differences between a BHT-FUE and a conventional FUE
The technique of body hair transplant is basically Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) or one by one. The donor areas extend from just scalp hair to beard, chest, arms, legs etc. BHT is used primarily in cases where the donor area on the head is no longer suitable for the extraction of donor material or is not dense enough. Then we do the evolution of possibility of hair transplant from body. If the physiological requirements are met, follicular units can be extracted directly from different area of the body – chest, abdomen, arms or legs – and transplanted to the scalp. The grafts taken in BHT are known to have different growth cycle but a concrete study is yet to prove. Also these are different from scalp grafts as these contain only 1 hair compared to 1 to 4 hairs in scalp grafts.
Steps of Surgery
The harvesting of the grafts in BHT will be done using the follicular unit extraction technique. Know More
Tumescent anaesthesia ( a form of local anaesthesia ) is preferred for the extraction in BHT which is a safe and efficient way to achieve analgesia.
The extraction time is usually longer than the regular scalp transplant. The angle of follicular unit is mostly acute and the hair grow in variable direction. This makes body hair FUE a difficult and time consuming procedure as the surgeon has to keep changing direction of the punch repeatedly.
The body hair is generally mixed with scalp hair and implanted on the mid-scalp or crown region for better blending.
Methods of Body hair Extraction
Sharp punches of 0.7mm – 0.9mm are used manually for body hair extraction.
Powered motor is used for extracting hair which provides precise control over rotation, speed, rate and oscillation.
Post Procedure Care & Result
Donor area: The antibiotic covering shall be given for a period of 1 week, donor area dressing is done with antibiotic cream. No bandaging is required and donor area heals within 7 days.
Recipient area: Same as post-operative care in FUE. Oral and topical medications for maintaining the transplanted and pre-existing hair shall be administered.
- Coverage of scalp in patients with poor donor area of the scalp.
- Good growth rate when implanted on scalp.
- The hair mix well with the scalp hair, good number of hair can be extracted from the body.
- Body hair are resistant to DHT (Dihydrotestosterone) which is the main cause of hair fall and remain on scalp forever.
There are minimal side effects. However the most commonly encountered side effects include:
- Keloid formation can occur if overharvesting is done from sternal area
- Hypopigmentation of the donor area can occur if done in dark skin individuals.
- Asymmetric appearance of hair on body parts post surgery.
Body hair grafts cost more than the scalp hair grafts as it requires higher level of skill in comparison to conventional FUE techniques. Also, harvesting of these body grafts takes more time than usual. Thus, it is more costly as complared to the normal excision of grafts from the scalp. It can range anywhere between INR 80,000 - INR 1,15,000 depending on the number of grafts.
Following the surgery the transplanted hair tends to shed between 3-4 weeks. The regrowth of the transplanted hair is seen from 3rd month onwards. The complete results may take a longer duration in comparison to scalp hair transplant ranging between 12-18months.
I started facing hair loss at the age of 26 but it was not very noticeable. But at 29 the hair loss progressed very quickly and crown almost became empty. And further my hair line receded quickly. Now at the age of 31 I started looking very old. I tried many medicines like homeopathic etc etc but nothing seems to work. Then I started searching for my options and finally decided for a hair transplant.
I can see good results post-transplant. Overall good. As suggested, I may go for further transplant for crown area. I am currently taking 6 months cyclical therapy again to stop hair fall. Then will take the decision accordingly. I can say I would prefer someone for A K Clinic. As it is giving person the way to live more happily..?
"Had a hair transplant at AK Clinics under care of Dr KAPIL DUA. And after treatment it has been 3 month now and I have very much inproved growing hair. He is best surgeon ever seen and very experienced in this art. They also provided very good atmosphere while surgery. With his experience he gave very confident to his patients while surgery. (Hair Transplantation)
"After talking to Dr Kapil I have decided to go for a hair transplant surgery which turned out to be very good. Total of 6000 grafts were transplanted. The density was medium density. The procedure was FUE without any scar. The procedure was by done both Dr Kapil and Dr Aman. I strongly recommend anyone who is looking for a FUE surgery in India."