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Body Hair Transplantation to Head? (photo)

I am a victim of androgenic Alopecia. Its been 3 years since i have seen myself with hair. Planning for a HT in a year. I have heard that body hair transplantation to head is being done in a few cases. So, how successful is that? And can i go for it rather than going for FUE or FUT?

Doctor Answers (3)

Transplants involve a limited amount of donor hair. A non-surgical treatment can help with thickening and saving existing hair

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Male pattern hair loss is one of the most common issues for men. The rule of decades for men in their 30s is that 30% have male pattern hair loss while for men in their 50s, it’s 50%. When you were younger, even if you’re in the minority of the 20%, you were affected, which can have a tremendous effect on your perception about yourself.

Male pattern hair loss has two FDA approved options: Rogaine (minoxidil), a topical treatment; and finasteride. Minoxidil appears to improve the scalp in patients who have diffuse hair loss in the crown which happens in the later ages as opposed to younger men who lose hair from the front (frontal recession). Minoxidil will not reverse male pattern hair loss as it only prolongs the growth cycle of the hair follicle so more hair is on your scalp at any given time.

Finasteride, on the other hand, is a remarkable drug that inhibits an enzyme called 5-alpha reductase. This is the enzyme that converts testosterone to dihydrotestosterone (DHT). There are hair follicles that are susceptible to the effects of dihydrotestosterone and they eventually become thin. If you take finasteride, you will reduce the dihydrotestosterone and allow those thinning hairs to become thicker. Unfortunately, finasteride has long-term sexual side-effects. Interestingly, in our practice we’ve been prescribing finasteride for men for many years and we’ve had men in their 50s and 60s who are continuously taking finasteride who are all fine. However, younger men are coming to us in their 20s and 30s and are scared to death about taking finasteride so we won’t prescribe it.

The hair follicle is very complex. It’s been described as the mini organ or as a zoo of stem cells. This has unfortunately frustrated so many basic science researchers. Many patients have come to us who have had progressive hair loss even after a transplant. They’ve said that 20 to 30 years ago, they were told the hair cloning is just around the corner. So I sympathize so much with the researchers who have done remarkable work. I have synthesized a rationale that I believe serves a basis for why clinically, I’ve been successful in doing more in a wound healing material than any biotech company.

If you look at Wall Street and New York Times, there are new reports of little steps that have big impacts on the research related to hair follicles and the ability to grow hair follicles in the laboratory. The human body is so complex that there are so many signs and signals that have yet to be revealed. The complexity of restoring thinning hair from a stem cell perspective is something that the body can do itself. And when a research defines a particular growth factor, different investors would buy the right to that particular factor. Then they’ll do phase 1, phase 2 and phase 3 trials and get some improvement on the growth factor. Unfortunately, Wall Street creates a lot of valuation of stock prices but it does not create critical results in things that can help people .

In my practice, we’ve had a lot of work in the clinical application of a wound healing material called extracellular matrix. When injected under the skin with the method I’ve developed over the past 2 years, it is able to regenerate and restore thinning hair to thicker hair with or without taking finasteride. In fact, we have so many patients who are not taking finasteride and many patients who are taking finasteride and still lose hair, but all of them responded dramatically to Hair Regeneration.

Through accidental discovery, I discovered this technique to reverse hair thinning in male and female pattern hair loss using extracellular matrix through a very specific method. Extracellular matrix is derived from the urinary bladder of pigs. Although it’s derived from pigs, it has nothing pig about it when it is applied. Even with patients who have religious issues have been able to take this treatment because the material is so devoid of any pig protein. It has xenogenic transferability where it can go to any mammalian species. So it has been used by veterinarians and even human medicine. Extracellular matrix heals by duplication by restoring tissue. It restores the critical stem cells and signals between the dermal papilla and the progenitor cells in the hair follicle which will then restore hair to go from thin back to thick. In fact, our patients not only get back their hair, but it gets darker as if they were younger.

As far as body hair transplantation is concerned, in my practice, I would probably treat you with the injection and would see how much of your natural hair comes back. It’s not a perfect solution. The hair will come back thicker but it will not be as thick as the hairs before.

I recommend that you consider this procedure first before you consider any transplantation. I would also advise against body transplantation because you need a lot of grafts to cover any area. In a given transplantation, you’re going to move no more than a thousand hairs so you have to be strategic of where you place those hairs. I would like you to know more about Hair Regeneration, extracellular matrix, ACell, stem cell technology and learn more about this as an option. And then have a consultation with doctors experienced in this area before you move on with your transplantation. A transplant will benefit most people for several years, but you don’t have an endless supply of the donor area. So keep these in mind. I hope that was helpful, and thank you for your question.


New York Oculoplastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 27 reviews

Body hair transplants

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Body hair has been used for scalp hair transplants when the supply of available scalp donor has been exhausted. I have seen some exceptional results in such situations in cases done by Dr. Sanusi Umar.

See how your scalp hair transplant turns out before even thinking about body hair as donor material. 

Sheldon S. Kabaker, MD
Oakland Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 8 reviews

Body hair transplants

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The most important thing to be aware of is that scalp hair is best and most predictable type of hair for growing in the scalp. So, because you have enough good donor hair in the back of your scalp, your best option is to remove this donor hair by FUE or FUT and transfer it to the areas of thinning. 

You are correct that we can take hair from the chest, beard, arms and legs and move it to the scalp. The growth of these hairs, however, is much less predictable than scalp hair.  Chest hair and beard hair is better than arm and leg hair in terms of predictable growth.  However, the best option by far is to obtain first from the scalp. Scalp hairs are the ideal thickness and they grow long. Body hair is much finer and does not grow long. I often use body hair to improve a hairline or fill in the crown a bit. However, it's not usually the starting point for hair transplantation in most men.  

 

 

Jeff Donovan, MD, PhD
Toronto Dermatologist

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These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.