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Body Hair Transplantation (BHT)

Hair Transplantation is a surgical hair restoration technique in which hair follicles from the sides or back of the scalp are taken to be transplanted onto the bald patches on the head or those showing thinning signs. While most of the times donor hairs are taken from the baldness resistant areas of the scalp, some patients just do not have enough hair on their scalps to collect the required number of grafts. In such cases, the surgeons take hairs from the rest of the body and transplant them onto the scalp. This process, in which donor hairs are collected from other than the scalp is called Body Hair Transplantation (BHT).

Body Hair Transplant Candidates?

Generally the donor hairs are collected from the tonsure – the back and sides of the scalp – but if the patient has insufficient hairs on the scalp, normal hair transplant may not be possible. There can be several reasons for not having enough head hair, but the two most common reasons are excessive hair loss and an unsuccessful hair transplant. If you have already undergone a hair transplant surgery, then extracting any further hair from the donor areas of the scalp may not be possible. Sometimes, the patients just don’t have good quality hairs on the tonsure and the surgeon just has to extract hair from other parts of the body like chest, back or thighs.

Body hair transplant Hair Density:

If you have severe hair loss (5 or above on a Norwood scale) then a hair transplant using head hair only may not give satisfactory results, as your tonsure only offers a limited supply of donor hair that can only cover up hair loss to a minor extent. Furthermore, even the pinhole scars caused by FUE hair transplant may also be visible, leave aside hiding the linear scar resulting from strip method transplantation.

Since your body can donate up to several thousand grafts, body hairs from the chest, back and thighs can be effectively used for filling large bald patches and achieving greater hair density – results that are almost impossible to achieve with the limited number of donor hairs collected from the head.

Criteria for Assessing BHT Suitability:

The hair transplant surgeons practicing BHT use a special technique called Torso Donor Index (TDI) to determine the feasibility of a Body Hair Transplant. This technique uses five criteria to assess the BHT donor area:

  • The length of the body hair
  • The size of the donor hair area
  • The number of follicular units with 2 to 3 hair follicles
  • Color and texture of body hair – must be similar to head hair
  • Hair density of the patient – must be greater than 40 Follicular Units per sq cm

If the Torso Donor Index has a value 8 or greater, he has more body hair than those on the scalp and is thus deemed as an ideal candidate for the body hair transplant. Those with a TDI score between 7 and 5 may be deemed suitable for the procedure under certain circumstances, whereas those with a TDI score less than 4 are considered as unsuitable for BHT.

How Body Hairs are Removed?

Body hairs are removed using Follicular Unit Extraction technique. If you are a candidate for body hair transplantation, then the traditional strip method hair transplant is not an option for you. The surgeon will extract the follicles one by one and collect them in a saline solution to keep them alive outside the body. Once enough number of grafts has been collected, the site preparation and transplantation phase is exactly similar to the one used for follicles collected from the head.

Preparing for Body Hair Transplantation:

Follow the instructions below as you gear up to undergo the surgery:

  • Avoid all blood thinning medicines and supplements during the last two weeks before surgery. These include Aspirin, ibuprofen, vitamin E supplements and garlic etc.
  • Quit smoking 2-3 weeks prior to the procedure. Nicotine in the smoke of cigarettes hinders healing and hair growth by constricting vessels that take blood to the scalp.
  • Say no to alcoholic beverages and caffeinated drinks as your get closer to the surgery (the last 3-5 days before surgery). They can also affect the outcome of the surgery big time.

Post-Op Care for Speedy Recovery:

Taking good care of the scalp is crucial if you wish to get the most out of your surgery. Here are some key tips:

  • Take prescription medicines as recommended by the surgeon. Don’t dare to miss even a single dose.
  • Don’t wash your scalp for a day or two after the surgery. This is to let the follicles attach themselves firmly at the recipient site.
  • Avoid rubbing and massaging the scalp harshly while you shampoo your head.
  • Scratching the scalp or picking at the scars and resulting crust is strictly prohibited.

Difference between a BHT FUE and a Conventional FUE?

As stated above, the technique used for extracting donor hair from the body has been derived from conventional FUE, so there is no difference as such between BHT FUE and conventional FUE. However, the patients for body hair transplant must meet certain criteria and physical requirements before the follicles are extracted from the different areas of the body. These requirements have also been stated above in the Torso Donor Index (TDI). The body hair texture must be similar to those on the head. Also the body hairs are anatomically different from those on the head. Follicular Units from the head generally consist of two or three hairs, whereas the Follicular Units from the body mostly have one hair only.

Other differences between body hair and head hair that are considered before Body Hair Transplant FUE are:

  • The growth direction of the hair follicles
  • Thickness and structure as well as color of the hairs
  • The type and texture of the skin in which hairs grow
  • The depth of the hair follicles under the skin

Successful Factors of Body Hair Transplant:

The three key factors that play a vital role in determining the outcome of body hair transplantation are:

  • The extraction of the hair follicles
  • The growth cycle of the body hairs
  • The compatibility of head and body hairs

The limitation of BHT

While Body Hair Transplantation is a quite successful alternative for those who do not have sufficient donor hair on their scalps, the only limitation is that it is not a commonly practiced technique so finding an experienced and skilled BHT surgeon is a tough task. It is absolutely necessary that your hair transplant surgeon has adequate knowledge and experience of extracting donor hairs from the body. He must also be capable of preparing the follicular units and storing them properly outside the body.

Free Consultation

At Hair Transplant Dubai Clinic, we are committed to offering the best Body Hair Transplantation services in the town. If you don’t have enough donor hair left on the scalp or have excessive hair loss and need over 2000 grafts for a fuller and thicker head of hair, come to us and let our highly skilled and experienced surgeon help you with Body Hair Transplantation. We also offer free online consultations. To book an appointment now, click here.

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