Body Hair Transplant

Patients with limited or depleted donor hair on their scalp are now able to take advantage of advanced technology that allows body hair to be harvested and used for scalp hair transplantation.

There are a variety of available sources for body hair and they range from the back and chest to the under arm, pubic area and legs. The fact that there are so many available body hair sources means the hair runs the gamut from straight hair to curly hair to fine hair to coarse hair. Most of the body hair follicles have a longer resting (telogen) phase which gives them a limited time that they can grow hair.  In other words, transplanted hair from the body doesn’t always have a growing hair.  They grow for a few months followed by a resting period in which the hair shafts fall.  These periods keep repeating over time.

When comparing the growth or anagen phase to resting or telogen phase in hair from different parts of the body, scalp hair has the highest number (over 95%).  That means that transplanted hair from the scalp has a very long time that the follicle grows hair before it goes to a short resting phase.  Beard hair is the closest to the body and it is followed by hair from different parts of the body. For your convenience, here are some numbers to give you a better idea of the hair growth cycle duration of anagen and telogen in various parts of the body.

Type of HairAnagen PeriodTelogen PeriodTotal CycleHair Value
Upper Lip2.01.53.557%

Table 1: Average length of anagen and telogen and total cycle length for hair from different parts of the body (months). Hair value is calculated as anagen length/total length of each cycle which shows the possibility of each hair follicle having a growing hair.

If you are considering body hair transplant, you need to have a good source of body hair.  Beard hair is the best second option after scalp hair for most men.  If beard hair transplant is not an option for you then you have to look for the areas of your body where the hair grows longer and thicker.

It is crucial that patients understand the difference between the cycling of scalp hair and body hair.  Scalp hair has a much longer growth cycle than body hair and it can last 1 to 6 years before being shed.  The shorter growth cycle for body hair means that each hair grows for just a few months before shedding. Once they shed, the hair follicles enter the resting phase. This is the biggest disadvantage of body hair transplantation and patients must realize that it may require more hair grafts to get a full look.

Not everyone is qualified for body hair transplant and your hair should be examined by a hair transplant surgeon. The finer hair from other parts of the body may be used for certain areas that require softer hair such as the hairline and temporal areas.

Body hair transplants are recommended for patients that have no alternative donor hair, little to no scalp laxity, unfavorable hair quality or significant scarring that may lead to complications during surgery.  Other ideal candidates include patients whose body hair closely resembles the hair that is located in the recipient area.

Finally, when deciding on which type of body hair to transplant, beard hair gives consistent results and is a good choice when aiming for a large yield. If the surgeon and patient are trying to match specific body hair types, the total yield might not be as vital as the actual cosmetic match that is visible to others.

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