Is Most of the Donor Hair Area Located Under the Area of the Occipital Bump?

Hello, I was wondering, is most of the donor hair located under occipital bump area at the back of the head? I have seen most donor strips taken from under the area of the occipital bump, as opposed to the areas above the occipital bump area. And why does FUE tend to take hair above the occipital bump area, is this hair permanent?

Doctor Answers 9

Donor area

This area is define by a 3 inch high area starting at the occipital notch (above it not below it) and running around the head to the temple peaks on the side.

Los Angeles Hair Restoration Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 27 reviews

FUE is sometimes harvested ABOVE and BELOW the permanent zones

FUE is sometimes harvested ABOVE and BELOW the permanent zones. This is a big issue with large number FUE surgery.  So the harvested hairs may not be "permanent".  The "sweet spot" is around the occipital notch.

Jae Pak, MD
Los Angeles Hair Restoration Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 90 reviews

Hair Transplant Surgery

Typically donor hair is used from the mid-rear scalp since this hair is the thickest in texture. FUSS, sometimes referred to as follicular unit transplant (FUT), is the most practiced method at the moment. It takes less time, is generally cheaper and more surgeons know how to do it. Surgeons remove an elliptical strip from the donor area on the side and back of the head, typically along a line 1 centimeter above the ears or above the occipital bump. With FUE, surgeons excise follicular units one at a time rather than removing a strip of scalp. Harvesting is done using with about 1 millimeter or less punches. FUE is a refined hair transplant so it takes longer and is usually more expensive. FUSS limits the donor source compared to FUE, which can use donor hair from other parts of the body in more advanced methods like the uGraft technique that I developed.

Sanusi Umar, MD
Redondo Beach Dermatologic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 32 reviews

Hair transplant donor area location

Yes.  The reason is this is usually permanent hair in most people.  The longevity of the hair is where it comes from not where you put it.

Jack Fisher, MD
Nashville Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 4 reviews

Location of Hair Transplant Donor Area

The donor area for hair replacement surgery is genetically determined in each individual patient. That is, hair must be transferred from an area that will never fall out in that patient's life, above or below the occipital bump. If you observe the difference in baldness among men that have never had hair replacement , you will understand the concept.

Richard W. Fleming, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 38 reviews

Strip versus FUE

Yes, most strips are taken at the area of the occipital hump.  This is considered a "safe" area (much less susceptable to hair loss) and closes more easily with less scarring.  With the FUE technique, although we still want to harvest in the safe zone some hairs can come outside the area from where the strip would be taken.  In some patients who need more extensive transplants both techniques are used.  Find a transplant surgeon that you trust for a more in-depth consultation.

Hannah Vargas, MD
Kansas City Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 45 reviews

Hair Transplant Donor Area

The Donor Area of the scalp includes the area both above and below the External Occipital Protuberance (EOP) or what you may be calling the "occipital bump".  Donor strips may be taken above, below or directly on top of this area.  Your question about why FUE Grafts tend to be above the EOP is because the hair tends to exit the scalp more perpendicular and may be technically easier to harvest.  And you are corrrect, that removing grafts from too high in the back is not a good idea as those hairs may be subject to Miniaturization and fall out. Every scalp is different and it's impossible to forecast how the hair loss may occur in the back, but as FUE becomes more prevalent, those boundaries will become better defined.  In the right surgeon's hands, the sides and Temporal areas of the scalp may also be very fertile areas for harvesting grafts for transplanting.

John E. Frank, MD
New York Hair Restoration Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 53 reviews

Donor sites for hair transplantation

Most strips are taken at or above the occipital bump.  These scars tend to close easily and heal quite well.  Since the FUE does not require closure of a donor site, these grafts are taken throughout the occipital area.  Of course, we don't want to take hairs that are susceptible to the hormone DHT. This is the hormone responsible for male pattern hair loss. If you go too far above the occipital bump, you will come in contact with these hairs and that is not a good thing. 

Allan J. Parungao, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 40 reviews

Hair transplant donor sites.

Hair transplant donor sites are taken from the area of the scalp where the hair is programmed not to fall out. Some men will have balding extending to the occipital bump and others won't.

Toby Mayer, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 34 reviews

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.