Body Hair Transplantation
Body hair transplantation (BHT) has risen from the dust of the heavily flawed and antiquated hair transplant methods of the past. In the 1950’s, the first punch grafts were performed. They were 4mm round excisions that left behind several scars of the same size and shape in the donor area and created a “pluggy” look to the restored area. After that came mini- and micro-grafts, and then strip surgery. But hair restoration technology has continued to develop. We have taken leaps and bounds over the decades, and now look to body hair transplantation as today’s newest, best, and most widely beneficial technique so far.
The Development of Body Hair Transplantation
Body hair transplantation, also called body-hair-to-head transplant, first came about in the 1909’s. However, until less than ten years ago, it was still in its very primitive stages. The most rewarding aspect of this technology is that it renders the pool of donor hair virtually limitless by incorporating non-head hair. Older techniques, strip surgery, even FUE using head hair only, are restricted as to the amount of donor hair that can be used. For those individuals with advanced androgenic alopecia, scarring that has caused baldness, or disfigurement from previously botched surgeries, head hair only is not enough to provide total coverage across the scalp. Many of these sufferers have been turned away as “poor candidates” from clinics not adept at employing BHT.
BHT surgeons are hard to come by due to the fact that they must be extremely advanced in their practice, and because body hair transplantation is a long and laborious procedure.
How Does Body Hair Transplantation Work?
Body hair transplantation uses an advanced form of follicular unit extraction, or FUE. Just as with FUE, BHT harvests donor hairs one by one, in follicular units (natural groupings of one to four hairs). Donor hair can be derived from the beard, chest, stomach, arms, or legs. These hairs are carefully selected and excised, usually using a handheld device that can be manual or powered. The tiny.8 to 1.2mm incisions are small enough that they do not require stitching, and heal such that scarring is negligible. Once the follicles are extracted, they are retained in a holding solution until the time of implantation into the recipient area. Thousands of tiny slits are made in the bald area, where these follicles find their new home. Most patients will see full growth and thickness of the new hair at approximately 18 months.
Other Benefits to Body Hair Transplantation
Besides its unique ability to service the severely bald, body hair transplantation is beneficial for other reasons, too.
BHT means that there should always be a donor pool, should future surgeries be required.
BHT allows for a wider choice of follicle type. For example, the fineness of leg hair is great for a natural-looking hairline, while beard or chest hair have a nice coarseness for filling the vertex of the scalp.
BHT requires an advanced FUE surgeon, using only his expertise and steady hands rather than a robotic FUE device (which are becoming popular, but can be flawed). Thus, you’ll know you are in the best hands.
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