Body Hair Transfer
Body hair transfer (BHT) to balding areas on the head is one of the areas in which we specialize. Typically, body hair is used for hair transplants and hair restoration when there is a lack of substantial donor hair in the back of the head. Most frequently, we see this in men who have had multiple strip procedures in the past. When there is no longer an adequate reservoir of hair on the scalp itself, various areas of the body such as the chest and the back may be used for donor hair instead.
In the past, body hair transfer (BHT) was quite difficult to do. The strip procedure is not an acceptable option on the body as no one really finds the idea of removing skin from the body and leaving behind an unattractive scar a good trade off. Instead, in most clinics who do body hair transfer, follicles are typically harvested using manuel follicular unit extraction. In other words, technicians harvest individual hair follicles from the body by hand! Although this may not sound like a bad idea, in practice it does not work very well. First, it is an extremely slow procedure. It is rare when more than 500 grafts can be harvested in a full day. This is simply not enough hair for most people desiring improvement. Furthermore, harvesting hair follicles by hand results in a high incidence of damaged hair follicles. In other words, although 500 follicles might be harvested and placed, only 250 may remain viable because of damage that occurred during the manuel harvest.
The technique that we use is automated FUE, also known as neograft in the United States. Our technicians are specially trained to use an automated system that allows for up to 3000 grafts per day which is more than adequate for the majority of hair restoration procedures. Body hair transfer with automated FUE (neograft) not only results in a more rapid harvest, but typically 97-99 percent of the harvested hair will survive because of the grafts are harvested with a "no touch" technique and are in excellent condition before they are transferred to the scalp. This has revolutionized body hair transfer. In our office, we have had patients who have had entire frontal and crown areas covered with nothing but chest and back hair with amazing results!
There are, however, a few limitations to body hair transfer. As is the case for all hair transfer procedures, hair takes on the quality of where it comes from. What that means is that curly hair will typically stay curly and body hair that is transferred to the scalp will not grow to any length greater than the length it had on the body. For example, if a man has 1 inch long straight chest hair transferred to the scalp, that hair will not grow longer than 1 inch in length.
These limitations of body hair transfer are minor compared to the rewarding results people have gotten because of the technological breakthrough of automated FUE. If you would like to learn more about body hair transfer, make an appointment for a free consulation with one of our expert hair transplant and restoration surgeons. Call 847-995-9000.