Body To Hair Transplants
Do you ever look at your body hair and wish your scalp hair had the same density? Well, here’s good news: there is a possibility doctors can make it happen with the body to head or body to hair transplant (BHT).
It is an excellent method for those with retrograde thinning or hair loss from the back of the scalp and the nape but hairy bodies. First, as their scalp does not have sufficient donor capability, body hair needs to contribute to a complete hair transplant. Secondly, those with a botched hair transplant with depleted scalp can also rely on body hair for scalp covering.
What is a body to hair transplant (BHT)?
Body to hair transplantation (BHT) is a procedure in which hair is transplanted from various body areas to the head. These body parts include beard, chest, legs, pubic, underarms, and back. The beard is usually the top priority donor hair because they are thick and robust, followed by the chest hair.
You must be wondering: does body hair transplant work? It’s a valid question because scalp and body hair are different. But it is possible with some adjustments.
For using body hair for transplant, a person must meet specific criteria. It includes the suitability of the donor’s hair, the type of skin, the depth of the hair follicle under the skin, the thickness, and the hair structure.
Each factor influences the result of the transplant. For instance, the structure is important because the hair can be wavy, curly, and coarse, and the recipient site determines which type should be used. As beard hair is coarse and straight, transplanting them on the hairline does not give aesthetic results. For hairline, chest hair is better because it is thin, wavy, and has a more natural look.
Similarly, other factors also determine the selection of donor sites considering the goal or end results. Therefore, the doctor must have the skill and extensive experience to achieve an aesthetically and surgically successful outcome.
Procedure and Timeline
As the body hair transplant involves transplanting hair from parts of the body to a thinning or balding section of the scalp, a person’s body becomes the donor region. The surgeon extracts hair follicles using the FUE procedure, which means that individual follicles are plucked instead of a complete skin graft containing follicles.
The following are the stages of body hair transplant:
Pre-surgery: 2-3 weeks
Initially, the surgeon set three to four consultations to grasp your hair type and final goals better. It takes more time than a conventional hair transplant because it is challenging to handle body hair harvest.
Not all body hair types are suitable for harvesting because they are thinner, and their roots lie in superficial skin. Others are in the telogen phase of the hair cycle, and these factors increase the possibility of transection during harvest. It is why pre-operative assessment is sensitive and needs mindfulness and skill.
Once the roadmap is set, take a whole night’s sleep before the day of surgery, wash your hair, enjoy breakfast, and check-in for the procedure. Do not use any leave-in products, including hair spray.
Surgery day: 8-10 hours
The hair transplant procedure may take all day (8-10 hours in most cases). You are awake during the procedure, so facilities take pride in keeping you as comfortable as possible. The harvest process leaves multiple pinpoint punch wounds at the donor site, but they heal without any pain or complications. Usually, the surgeon anesthetizes the donor and recipient areas with a local anesthetic agent, making the procedure pain-free.
Recovery and post-surgery instructions: several hours to days
Hair restoration might take few hours to several days. You may experience discomfort or soreness at the recipient and donor sites, and many surgeons recommend skin ointment to reduce it. However, the wound on the donor site is smaller than the wound after the FUT process, where a skin strip is taken.
Do not wash your hair for a few days following the procedure. For the first several weeks, only use gentle shampoos and don’t exercise for a week.
Cost and Pricing
Depending on how much hair is being transplanted and how competent your surgeon is, the cost might vary significantly. However, as most FUE variations need time, the body hair transplant cost is often considerably than FUT.
Since body to hair transplant turkey cost is significantly lower compared to the UK, many choose to get this procedure abroad.
You can expect a cost per graft in the UK for a body hair transplant to be in the range of £ 2,5 – £ 5 per graft. Due to the complexity of the procedure it is most probably closer to 5 than 2,5 £ per graft in cost. The same reasoning will be true in the cheaper hair transplant market of Turkey: the cost will be somewhere in the range of £0,9 – £2 per graft, but probably closer to the latter number.
For Which Hair Loss Types Can Body Hair Be Used?
The body hair transplant can cover several hair loss types, including crown, hairline, full head, and other body parts such as eyebrows. However, body hair tends to get curlier with growth and has a longer ingrown length before sprouting from the skin. Therefore, it is advisable to mix body hair transplant with scalp hair transplant for a full head to get a blended look.
It is also suitable for:
- Hair loss in androgenic alopecia with inadequate donor scalp hair and patchy baldness with damaged hair follicles
- Hair loss with insufficient scalp donor hair due to repeated restoration surgeries
- Improving hair density and providing a fuller look by combining it with scalp hair donation
- Camouflaging a donor scar due to FUT or FUE harvest due to conventional hair transplant
- Softening of hairline by using softer, wavier, and natural-looking hair from the body parts such as chest and eyebrows
Can All Hair loss Treatments Utilize Body Hair?
The FUE method is best for vast regions, but the DHI approach provides greater density. Both these can be used for the body to head hair transplant. However, using FUT in the body hair to head transplant has an aesthetic disadvantage because a strip from the donor site on the body looks unappealing.
Similarly, unshaven hair transplant for the body to head hair is challenging because body hair has different characteristics. Transplanting them on the head needs more space and consideration of depth, which is difficult to anticipate in an unshaven area.
In Afro hair transplants, the consideration of depth and space becomes even more prominent because afro hair tends to be curlier. However, it is possible to use the FUE technique to harvest afro body hair and transplant it on the head.
PRP is an excellent method often used in combination with a body hair transplant to increase the density and thickness of hair. The ideal way to perform body hair transplants is to mix them with scalp donor hair and use PRP to gain a natural look.
Body to Hair Transplants In UK Vs. Turkey
The body hair transplant UK cost can go up to £30,000, which is one of the most expensive body hair transplants in Europe. H
Turkey presents an excellent alternative in the form of cheaper rates. The ticket price and accommodation are reasonable because of higher exchange rates and the whole body hair transplant in Turkey adds up to less than half of what you spend in the UK.
However, many patients end up spending the extra money to fix botched transplants after returning because recovery takes time, and traveling back in case of any problem is often not practical.
Risks and Considerations
When it comes to body hair transplants, there are a few things to keep in mind that are different from regular ones.
- Although the body hair transplant success rate is high, the process is slower than the conventional process and takes more time.
- Since body hair is thinner, it only has one follicle per hair. So, harvesting is time-consuming, and the surgeon needs to harvest a larger amount of follicles for the required density. Moreover, the transaction rate is also higher, making the procedure time-consuming, tiring, and expensive.
- Body hair is different in characteristics so, aesthetics can be a concern. For instance, hairline hair transplant risks include a coarse look, primarily if beard hair is used.
However, the advantage over conventional hair transplant is minimal body hair transplant scarring and quick recovery of the donor site.
Recovery and Results
Hair transplant recovery involves the growth pattern of newly planted grafts, which is summarized as follows:
- Week 1-5
The regeneration of new hair starts gradually. To enhance hair regeneration, PRP is often used along with some other drugs that aid this process.
- Week 6-12
The new roots emerge and start developing.
- Week 13-30
The hair shaft breaches through the skin and begins growing. It remains weak, light in color, and fine for some time, with incremental improvements as time goes on. After 12 months, some people achieve their intended outcomes, while late growers find their optimum results after 15-18 months.