Hair Restoration Using Body Hair Provides Remarkable Thickness [VIDEO]

MakenzieR on 16 May 2012 at 7:00am

uGraft body hair transplant

Today the preferred method of hair restoration is Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) -- a process in which thousands of grafts --  each containing a follicular unit -- are individually transplanted from the back or sides of the head to the balding area.

But what if someone is balding in front, and only has thin and sparse hair on the rest of their head? A large amount of grafting may be too noticeable on the donor site, and/or not provide substantial coverage in the bald areas.

Enter Dr. Sanusi Umar, a Los Angeles dermatologic surgeon. Dr. Umar says he has perfected a technique to graft previously undesirable body hair (leg, chest, arm, stomach, beard) to the scalp for improved thickness and a more natural appearance. He even created his own machine to help him do it, which he calls the uGraft.

We’re skeptical of most big claims, but after watching this video there’s no denying Dr. Umar’s use of body hair is quite impressive. You only need to watch to about 1:30 to get the picture.

Most of the doctor-submitted photos on RealSelf say the patients had 2,500 - 5,000 grafts, but many of Dr. Umar’s patients use 10,000 - 20,000 from all over the body.

You can see in our hair transplant photo gallery that FUE grafts using only scalp hairs can provide significant improvements, but the dramatic restoration in the video above would probably not have been possible using that alone.

Still, there are a few things you should know before considering body hair transplant:

  • Hair color may not be consistent. If you’re using body hair that is a different color than your head hair, it will not grow out in the color of the new location. Though it “may become more even over time,” says Dr. Umar. (You can also dye everything after it grows in)
  • Hair length will grow as it did in the donor site. If you are using body hair on the scalp it means committing to short hair (better than no hair, perhaps?)
  • Texture will not change. Beard hair on your head will still feel like beard hair
  • Grafting enough hair to see results like the video and photos may take multiple treatments

Despite these considerations, Dr. Umar shares the biggest reason he's so passionate about perfecting body hair transplants: “We seek to use a perceived disadvantage of body hair (namely thin caliber) to our advantage … to feather out what was hitherto considered a good hair transplant derived hairline … in order to give the hairline the subtlety that is expected in natural form.”

Check out some more impressive bare-to-hair photos:

uGraft hair transplant

hair transplant before and after

Questions? Comments? Differing professional opinions? Let us know in the comments below.

Photo credits: Sanusi Umar, MD