Why You Can’t Use Donated Hair For Transplantation

hair transplantation

Hair Transplantation has evolved a lot over the last couple of decades. With newer techniques, such as Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE), Stem Cell FUE and Follicular Unit Micro Grafting, surgical hair restoration has become virtually undetectable. If done right by expert hands, even your hairstylist may fail to differentiate between transplanted and existing hairs on your head. Despite these advancements in surgical hair restoration, transplanting donated hairs still remains a limitation.

Here we will explain why you can’t use donated hair for transplantation.

Limited Donor Hair Supply:

Presently, a hair transplant surgery is performed using Dihydrotestosterone (DHT) resistant follicles from the back or sides of your own scalp. DHT is responsible for androgenic hair loss in both men and women. Hairs at the back and sides of the scalp are balding resistant and do not get effect of Dihydrotestosterone. These hairs are genetically programmed to continue their growth even in the worst cases of male pattern baldness. However, in case of severe baldness – Norwood scale 6 and 7 – patients usually don’t have enough donor hairs to cover their bald scalps. In another case, the quality of donor hairs is not satisfactory. These patients often show up asking if they can use donated hair for transplantation.

Transplanting Donated Hair Follicles:

While it is theoretically possible to transplant hairs from one individual to another, the patient will have to take anti-rejection medications for the rest of the life. Transplanting donated hair follicles is just like transplantation of an organ such as a kidney transplant. Risks associated with these anti-rejection medications are so perilous that doctors don’t recommend them for non-life threatening conditions, and hair transplant is one of them. Nevertheless, scientists are working on it and are hopeful to find a safe way soon to transplant hairs from one person to another. At the moment, hair transplantation between genetically identical twins is possible and being performed successfully.

Body Hair Transplantation:

If you also have limited donor hair supply due to any reason, you can always benefit from Body Hair Transplantation. The technique extracts hair follicles from different parts of the body other than scalp, such as face, chest, back or between thighs, and transplants them into the scalp. Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) technique is used for harvesting donor grafts for body transplantation.

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Written By: Dr. Cagatay Sezgin

Dr. Cagatay Sezgin is a celebrity hair transplant surgeon with over 20 years of experience in hair transplantation and restoration. He is the First Turkish Board Surgeon to become a member of the International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery (ISHRS) and the Asian Association of Hair Transplant Surgeons (AAHRS). Moreover, he has the honor of becoming the first hair transplant surgeon in the world to perform hair, eyebrow, and beard transplantation all in one case and that too in a single session.

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