The body hair transplant is the procedure in which body hairs (beard, chest etc) are taken for transplant to the scalp. This is done by scarless FUE technique as day care procedure . Person having high grade of baldness such as class 7 may not have enough donor hairs at the back and side of the scalp (only 12500 hairs out of permanent 25000 may be transplanted). So the BHT is the only option for hair restoration for such cases. Now with the advancement in technique and better tools, the follicular unit extraction method can utilize the body hairs as a donor site for transplant to scalp area.
The best candidates for BHT procedure are the patients with abundant hair in such regions as chin, chest, back or legs
Donor sites in Body hair transplant
Beard Chest Legs Pubic areas Under arms (axilla) Back
The procedure is done under local anesthesia and some oral sedative tablets given to reduce the anxiety .The chosen donor area is given ring block anesthesia and tumescent solution is injected with very fine needles to facilitate extraction of the grafts .the punch used for extraction is specially customized for body hair extraction. The number of session and duration of the procedure depends on the grafts requirement.
The technique used is Automated FUE , in which with the help of punch the roots are taken out , wtihout any cuts or stitches. the beard hair is the most robust out of other body hairs in growth rate and shaft thickness.
The body hairs are usually single hair graft and there angle of exist is different from the scalp hair. The roots are fine, thin and there is lot of soft tissue beneath without any bony support as compared to scalp hairs. The procedure is of long duration and in a day limited grafts can be extracted. It require special attention and skill to extract the intact and well supported tissue graft from the body donor hairs
Shaving of the chest and abdomen hair 5 days before the procedure. Shaving of beard hairs 2 days before the procedure. During the procedure the anagen hairs would have grown to adequate length for extraction . The anagen follicles are identified in enlarged view by surgical loupe to see the hair shaft in the epidermis beyond the entry point of hair.
After Care in BHT
Local antibiotic ointment is applied over the extraction site. Dressing is done and which is removed next day, thereafter daily bath can be taken and prescribed ointment is applied. Antibiotics and analgesics are prescribed for 5 days. Prevent direct sun exposure and Sunscreen agent to be applied for 7 days. The donor site usually heal within a week.
The final full grown hair growth will take around 6 to 9 months.
Advantages of BHT
Grade 7 baldness when limited scalp donor are available.
When enough scalp donor hair are not available due to previous procedure.
DHT resistant of body hairs.
Coverage of crown region by adding density to the existing sparse hairs.
Large availability of donor area.
FUT scar repair.
Can be done for Eyebrow transplant.
Can be used in combination with FUE hair transplant to add density.
The most common use of body hair as a donor site is when traditional donor scalp hair supply is exhausted.The BHT can be used to feather out hair line making it more natural by cherry picking thin and soft body hairs esp. in the people with strong and coarse scalp hairs.For camouflage the widened strip scars of already depleted donor area where taking further the hairs from the scalp either by strip or FUE is not a viable option. Body hair is an excellent filler to increase the density for use in between the thin density of scalp hair. Body hair can be used for eyebrow transplant as they almost similar in terms of lighter color, thinner diameter and slow growth as compared to scalp hair.Donor recharging or Donor add on density of the scalp area by BHT especially in cases. When the scalp donor area is very thin.
Limitation of BHT Procedure
Slightly different nature of the hair than the ones growing on the scalp
The necessity to anesthetize the extensive donor area
Long and tedious procedure due to different exit angle of hair .
The body hairs are placed in bulky soft tissue without any bony support as compared to scalp hairs therefore take more time to extract
Body hairs are thin and mostly single hair grafts , also take more time to grow
Slow procedure and very tiring for surgeon not only due to awkward positioning but also this is due to acute angulation of more superficially placed follicles.
The follicles are often in the more bulky soft tissue with less bony support. Some of the Body Hairs are not strong shafted to facilitate easy extraction.
Hypopigmentation or hyperpigmentation at the donor site
Less yield in terms of number of hairs
Body hair often has a much lower diameter than the hair on your head. Body hairs often grow alone, so this generally means single hair grafts. Body hair takes longer to grow.
Although body hair tends to grow a little when implanted in the scalp, it will never achieve the length of a normal hair.