Legitimacy of Body Hair Transplantation?
Hey Dr Rassman, I noticed that Dr. Umar was considered for recommendation on the Hair Transplant Network. The site also featured patient examples of his FUE procedures which combined body hair harvested from numerous locations and scalp hair. The results look pretty impressive.
Has your stance changed at all in regards to the legitimacy of body hair in transplantation?
There are obviously differences of opinion here, but to be endorsed by a website that is supported by and paid for by the physician (the doctors pay a monthly fee to be on that site) does not make it a new standard.
Plain and simple — today, body hair transplantation (BHT) is not a Gold Standard in treatment for hair loss. Other doctors still have a right (as licensed physicians) to offer this. I do not believe in using body hair transplants for most cases, because I have seen many cases where after it is transplanted, the body hair still looks like body hair sitting on the scalp. The shaft thickness of body hair is thinner than scalp hair in most people, so on a value comparison between scalp and body hair, you are miles ahead with scalp hair transplants. BHT is best used when you are out of donor hair and the body hair can be placed as a fill-in to traditional transplanted areas.
Remember, the body hair has long telogen cycles and depending on which body part, the telogen cycle is often longer than the anagen cycle. That means the hair will not grow in these telogen cycles. Also, body hair does not usually grow long like scalp hair.
My understanding from reading Dr. Umar’s publications is that he agrees that scalp donor hair is preferable to body hair for transplant, but that BHT can be viable when scalp donor hair is not present or has been severely depleted in â€œlast resortâ€ patients (often typically the result of poor transplants that need repair). He is the only physician I am aware of that has published BHT results in established, well-regarded, peer-reviewed mmedical journals:
As a recipient of 5000 beard grafts, I had a head full of hideous “mini grafts” that were completely transparent and I’ve resorted to wearing a hat for almost 20 years. After my 4th repair session (6500 total, including 1500 scalp) Dr. Umar did for me what nobody else could: He made it possible to be seen in public without a ball cap. As an aside, Dr. Umar knows better than anyone how to feather body hair with scalp hair, it’s not like body hair is used exclusively on ones scalp.
@odanny: Did your donor area (for beard hair) show any visible scarring?
Jay, this question gets asked alot. My beard donor shows ZERO sign of anything being extracted. However, it is worth noting I have a pale complexion, and white dot scarring would likely be invisible on me. But for every Caucasian that I’ve ever read about having this done, exactly no one has ever once complained about any visible scarring below the jawline. I believe Dr. Bisanga in Brussels (who does fine work, btw) has taken grafts above the jawline, usually around the chin, and there has been no visible scarring, but moderation would be the rule above the jawline. Personally, I am not about to have any removed there, because I keep a light beard to offset my still fairly thin hair.
I agree with everything that the good doctor(s) has written. In my opinion, BHT is not (yet) the gold standard of hair transplantation and should be implemented only in certain situations. Despite these concerns, Dr. Umar is doing all the right things to secure mainstream status for BHT: publications in respected scientific journals, talks at scientific conferences, showing consistent results on all the top hair loss/transplant websites and education through the media. The popularity (in terms of other tops HT docs implementing BHT on a regular basis) of BHT should increase or decrease based on the critical analysis of these studies and results.
I also visited Dr. Umar for a consultation this past summer. I decided to ask somewhat “extreme” questions to test the boundaries and capabilities of a this technique. Remember, the recollections of the conversations I had with Dr. Umar are my own, so my interpretation of his answers may be somewhat off. I first asked if he would use body hair in my HT. He declined since I was only a Norwood 3 and would have enough scalp hair to create a dense hairline. I then asked him if he would use beard or body hair if I started thinning in the crown later in life. He said that this could be done, but he must be very careful to mix it into the scalp hair since my beard hair is thicker (and a different color) than my scalp hair. He stated that placing the same type of non-scalp hair in the same area would not look right. Lastly, I queried if I could use my leg hair for later procedures just in case I had more severe balding later in life (I’m 33, so not likely). He said that he could not use it due to the small shaft diameter. It would not make a cosmetic difference.
So again, I agree with Drs. Rassman/Pak. A good amount of skepticism is currently warranted, but based on the studies and results coming out of top docs like Drs. Umar, Wesley, Dorin/True, Bisanga, Feriduni, etc., I believe the technique could become more mainstream (that is for the experts to decide!) in the future.
As Dr Umar’s publications, and numerous postings have shown, the technique is curently a viable alternative for those patients who have no other alternative (those who have no scalp donor supply left and poor yield from inadqeauatly done transplants, most often using old techniques). These are the types of patients Dr Umar reported on in his first series (publication cited in the first response above). Dr Umar has never claimed that BHT is an option when scalp hair is available. What I think is more of an issue is the need to define why BHT has been effective in the hands of some practitioners and not others, and what patients factors predict good outcome.
You actually make it seem so easy with your presentation but
I find this topic to be really something that I think I would never understand.
It seems too complex and extremely broad for me.
I’m looking forward for your next post, I will try
to get the hang of it!
Thanks for sharing this useful information, It is very useful and who are searching forBody Hair Transplant
Useful post regarding Body hair transplant.It really help me to grow some knowledge about BHT.