Body hair transplant (BHT), especially beard hair can be an extra source for donor hair in patients with limited donor availability at the scalp.
It has been shown that beard hair is the best source for BHT due to its biological characteristics of regrowing better, growing much longer and being of much higher caliber compared to other body hairs such as chest, back and leg hair. Chest hair appears to be the second best. Other hairs like back and leg hair could be considered experimental and therefore we don’t recommend using body hairs other than beard and chest hairs in men.
One advantage of using body hairs is that it can be a great source for patient who are rich with body hair that are normally unwanted hairs.
It is possible to transfer about 1000 to 2000 grafts during a BHT session that takes about 8 hours and in theory multiple sessions could be performed in a single visit.
Body hair, no matter where it is taken from, has a very different character compared to scalp hair; it usually consists of single hairs which means its coverage is less, it is usually finer except for beard hair, it grows much slower, it is curly and its growth after transplanting is less predictable. There are also technical difficulties in harvesting body hairs like too thick/thin skin, too mobile skin or difficulty in surgical positioning. For all these reasons, body hair transplant should be considered only when donor scalp hair is not sufficient. Typical situations when body hair transplant may be useful are, patients with severe hair loss and multiple previous hair surgeries. Body hairs may be used to increase density at the scalp or to camouflage existing scars.
The most frequent practice at our clinic is to combine scalp FUE with BHT from the beard and/or chest which can be done in two or three consecutive sessions. The beard donor zone heals very well without leaving visually significant scars. For patients who ask for a more conservative approach, we draw a line over the chin bone and harvest from underneath providing us with about 1000 grafts. For patients who seek a more aggressive approach, we can harvest up to 2000 grafts from the whole face in patients with a dense beard.