Body hair transplant refers to harvesting hair grafts from the body rather than the back of the scalp. The donor area will be body parts, such as the beard and chest. In some cases, the donor area can be a combination of both the body and scalp.
You might have been searching for hair transplants and stumbled upon the term body hair transplant that has got you wondering. Well, you have come to the right place, this article will be your guide to FUE body hair transplant.
The key points that you will see in this article are:
- BODY HAIR TO SCALP TRANSPLANT IS AN EFFECTIVE WAY TO ACHIEVE THE DESIRED HAIR DENSITY BY THE PATIENT.
- BHT IS A VIABLE WAY FOR PEOPLE WHO DO NOT HAVE SUFFICIENT DONOR HAIR TO GO THROUGH HAIR TRANSPLANTATION.
- BODY HAIR CHARACTERISTICS ARE DIFFERENT FROM NATIVE SCALP HAIR.
- THE MORE SIMILAR THE BODY HAIR IN LENGTH AND COLOR IS TO THE SCALP HAIR THE BETTER THE RESULTS.
Let’s start with the basics of body hair transplant.
Understanding Body Hair Transplant (BHT)
Body hair transplant is the practice of using a body part with the most similar hair to the scalp as the donor area. Parts such as arms, legs, chest, beard, stomach, and back can be used to harvest hair follicles for hair transplantation.
⏱️The whole hair transplant from body to head process of harvesting and the procedure itself can take anywhere from 4 to 8 hours. This also depends on the number of grafts needed.
Whether it is the donor area not having enough hair for graft extraction or you are going in for the second time to recover from bad hair transplants, a body hair transplant could be the answer.
Compared to the other types of hair transplant, the body hair transplant procedure is considered the younger sibling of all others. The main difference is the donor source for hair.
How Is It Different from The Traditional Hair Transplantation?
A body hair transplant is basically an FUE procedure, but instead of scalp hair, the hair grafts are taken from body hair donor areas such as the beard, under the chin, chest, and abdomen.
The rest of the procedure would go as any other hair transplant would.
Are The Results of a Body Hair Transplant Permanent?
Yes, body hair transplant results are as permanent as any hair transplant technique.
However, the longevity of the transplanted hairs on the scalp from the body is a bit lower than the safe zone area of the scalp. This means that the hair from the body implanted on the scalp is more likely to fall out again.
Is Body Hair Transplantation Painful?
No, since harvesting body hairs will happen under local anesthesia the patients will not feel any pain. After your procedure and when the local anesthesia wears off you might experience some mild pain which is normal.
How Long Does It Take To See The Final Results?
The final results of a body hair transplant would take as long as a normal FUE hair procedure. You will start to see hair growth in about 12 to 15 months after the body hair transplant surgery.
What Is The Body Hair Transplant Success Rate?
Body hair transplant has been showing promising results, and the success rate can vary from 50% to 80%. So if a patient does not have enough scalp hair to use as the donor site, body hair can definitely be an option to consider.
How Is Body Hair Harvested for Transplantation?
Body hair is harvested the same way that hair would be harvested from the scalp’s donor area. The stages of body hair harvesting include:
- DONOR SITE SELECTION
- USING LOCAL ANESTHESIA TO NUMB THE AREA
- PUNCH OF 0.6 TO 1.0MM TO REMOVE THE HAIR GRAFTS
In this procedure, the less invasive follicular unit extraction (FUE) is used. FUT is not a preferred method in the extraction part of the body hair transplant.
After all these stages the hair follicle extraction will begin for hair follicles to be transplanted in the recipient area.
Which Areas of The Body Can Be Used As Donor Sites?
Sources of body hair can be any part of the body that has hair and can be used as donor sites, mostly the beard hair. Hair transplants from other parts of the body that can be donor sites are:
- UNDER THE CHIN
What is important in choosing the best donor hair sources is how similar the hair from that area is to scalp hair.
Beard and under-chin hair are closest in thickness and quality to scalp hair. The other parts might be used, but arm and leg hair is the least commonly used for transplant with body hair.
Here’s a video of our patient who has undergone a beard/mustache hair transplant:
Which Areas of The Body Does Dr. Serkan Aygin Clinic Use for Hair Transplant?
Dr. Serkan Aygin and his team only use the beard for hair transplantation. This is because the beard and under the chin area have the kind of hair that has the most similarity in characteristics with the scalp hair.
Who Is a Suitable Candidate for a Body Hair Transplant?
A suitable candidate for a body hair transplant would have the following criteria:
- LIMITED DONOR AREA HAIR ON THE SCALP
- ENOUGH BODY HAIR FOR HARVESTING
- SIMILARITY BETWEEN BODY HAIR AND SCALP HAIR
Not having adequate scalp donor hair is the main reason your doctor would consider a body-to-scalp hair transplant. If you have less than 80 grafts per square centimeter on the back of your scalp you are a poor candidate for a regular hair transplant, and a body hair transplant could be an option for you.
Is Body Hair Transplant Suitable for Extensive Hair Loss?
Yes, in case of severe baldness, donor hairs can be harvested from the body such as the beard, under the chin, and limbs. It could be a good idea to combine a body hair transplant with a normal FUE to help with the density of the transplanted hair. Combined hair transplants require candidate evaluation beforehand.
Can Body Hair Transplantation Be Performed on Women?
Technically yes, but since biologically speaking women have less body hair than men there could be limitations of body hair when it comes to harvesting hair follicles.
Benefits and Drawbacks of Body Hair Transplant
Even though a body hair transplant might not be the first option that people go for, there are still benefits to it that have made body hair transplant an essential part of the whole hair restoration surgery.
Here are the good and bad sides of body hair transplant:
Advantages of body hair transplant
Disadvantages of body hair transplant
Additional donor hair sources
Lower success rate
Linear scar concealment
No visible scars
Challenging extraction process
Benefits of Hair Transplant from Body To Head
We can say that a body hair transplant could be the way to help you regain your hair and confidence. If the patient has had a previous FUT hair transplant, body-to-head hair transplant can be used to conceal the linear scar left behind from that procedure if done correctly by an experienced team.
Drawbacks Of The Body Hair Transplants
What makes the harvesting of the body hair follicular units challenging is the depth of hair roots and the type of grafts. Unlike the scalp donor area, body hair grows in 1 to 2 groups and donor hair quality is different. This makes it harder to find suitable hair grafts from the body or increase the graft survival rate.
How Are The Body Hair Transplant To Head Results?
Even though body hair restoration is a fairly new surgical procedure, with enough expertise attempts at hair restoration using body hair can be done without leaving any scars behind, unlike FUT.
✔️ It still shows promising results.
But there is still debate on the effectiveness of this method and that is due to the differences that body hair has compared to head hair. The texture, color, length, and different growth rates are the main differences. Some studies show body hair can be a great way to restore hair loss.
✔️With the result of 95% survival for beard hair and 76% chest hair after a year of hair restoration on the scalp.
Body Hair Transplant Cost
The cost of body hair could be anywhere from $1.500 to $15.000. However, hair transplant costs in different regions vary based on the technique.
Other than the procedure itself, what affects the cost is the location of the clinic, the level of expertise of the doctor, and other extra services provided by the clinic.
1- Mysore V. Body hair transplantation: a case report of a successful outcome. J Cutan Aesthet Surg. 2013 Apr;6(2):113-6. doi: 10.4103/0974-2077.112676. PMID: 24023437; PMCID: PMC3764758.
2- Saxena K, Savant SS. Body to Scalp: Evolving Trends in Body Hair Transplantation. Indian Dermatol Online J. 2017 May-Jun;8(3):167-175. doi: 10.4103/idoj.IDOJ_283_16. PMID: 28584752; PMCID: PMC5447335.
4- True RH. Is Every Patient of Hair Loss a Candidate for Hair Transplant?-Deciding Surgical Candidacy in Pattern Hair Loss. Indian J Plast Surg. 2021 Dec 20;54(4):435-440. doi: 10.1055/s-0041-1739247. PMID: 34984081; PMCID: PMC8719975.
5- Umar S. Body Hair Transplant by Follicular Unit Extraction: My Experience With 122 Patients. Aesthet Surg J. 2016 Nov;36(10):1101-1110. doi: 10.1093/asj/sjw089. Epub 2016 May 30. PMID: 27241361; PMCID: PMC5070467.
6- Gupta J, Chouhan K, Kumar A, Chandrasegaran A. A Comparative Study on the Rate of Anagen Effluvium and Survival Rates of Scalp, Beard, and Chest Hair in Hair Restoration Procedure of Scalp. J Cutan Aesthet Surg. 2019 Apr-Jun;12(2):118-123. doi: 10.4103/JCAS.JCAS_49_18. PMID: 31413480; PMCID: PMC6676805.