This is a common question among hair transplant patients: That body hair transplant is as good as scalp transplantation. Can body hair be exclusively used instead of scalp hair for transplant?
In this educational video, Dr John Watts – a noted dermatologist, trichologist and hair transplant surgeon in Hyderabad – explores this important topic and demystifies it. He has successfully performed over 1900+ hair transplant procedures including around 1300 body hair transplants.
In his introductory note, Dr John Watts first answers the basic question: What is a body hair transplant? “When we extract hair grafts from areas for hair transplant other than the scalp such as chest, abdomen, beard or public regions, it is called body hair transplant,” he answered.
But, how does body hair fare in comparison to scalp hair for hair transplant needs? Is it good or better or inferior in quality?
“The hair grafts harvested from the back of the scalp and transplanted on the front or sides yield a 95-97% success rate. The growth success rate is 70-78% if they are transplanted on the vertex region,” informed Dr John.
Beard Hair Success Rate:
The body hair grafts obtained from the beard show an equal success rate of 95-100% when transplanted on the scalp.
“However, there is a limitation. We can extract only about 600-800 hair grafts from the Indian beard, unlike Italians who have an average of 2000 - 4000 beard hair grafts,” informed Dr John Watts. The beard hair graft has another characteristic: they have a curly effect.
Chest Hair Success Rate:
In comparison, chest hair grafts are not considered good on par with beard or scalp hair. When chest hair grafts are implanted on the scalp, the growth yield is about 50-60% only. “Their growth life cycle is very low and lasts only about 3-8 months then grow afresh. In comparison, scalp hair has a growth life cycle of 2-8 years,” informs Dr John.
Upper Back/Abdomen Hair Success Rate:
The growth rate of upper back /abdomen hair grafts on the scalp is only about 30-40%. “These hair grafts may be considered as a last resort when the patient has a weak donor hair area,” said Dr John, adding they can be used as hair grafts as last resort.
Public Area Success Rate:
The hair grafts obtained from the pubic/private region have a success rate when transplanted on the scalp a 95-100% success rate. However, they have limitations.
“Not many people are interested in using them as hair grafts. Secondly, they yield only about 100-150 hair grafts on average,” explained Dr John Watts.
2-8 years,” informs Dr John.
While concluding this topic, Dr John raises a question: Can hair from the body be exclusively used for hair transplant? “The answer is NO as we can use body hair grafts as a secondary source of hair grafts but cannot mainstream them. Of course, they have their uses as they can add hair density to the scalp hair and make it dark,” added Dr John.
Disclaimer: While hair transplants are generally safe and effective, as with any medical procedure, there can be minimal and temporary side effects based on specific or underlying medical condition of the individual patient. Please consult in person with our qualified medical team at Trichos for a thorough assessment of your specific condition and individualized guidance on the potential risks and benefits associated with our hair restoration treatments.
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