Can Hair Be Transplanted from Body to Head?

Elisa Chistyukhina

Elisa Chistyukhina

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More and more men and women are getting rid of their bald spots through hair transplants. This is because a hair transplant is the only remedy that provides permanent relief for hereditary hair loss.  But what happens when there is not enough donor hair left on the head? Can hair be transplanted from body to head?

Body hair can be used in addition to head hair as a donor for a hair transplant. Since the development of the FUE method, it has been possible to transplant beard and chest hair onto the head.

What are the different types of hair on our body?

On our body, besides the hair on the head, eyelashes, hair on the arms and legs, terminal hair grows on the genitals, and under the armpits. And in men, there is also beard hair. Even in the nose and ears, more hair grows the older you get.

While the hair on the head, the eyelashes and the hair on the arms and legs grow from birth, the terminal and beard hairs only start to grow with the onset of puberty.

What distinguishes body hair from the hair on the head?

Not all hair is the same. For example, the hair on the legs and arms is more like a light downy fluff, in contrast to beard hair. This is due to the structure, but also their growth cycles.

Body hair, for example, grows 4x faster than the hair on the head. Beard hairs are shorter in the growth phase and have a much longer resting phase. Terminal hairs also have a longer resting phase. In addition, many more body hairs are in the telogen phase. In contrast, 85% of the hairs on the head are in the growth phase. In some cases, only 50% of the body hairs are in the telogen phase.

Hair type
Hairs in anagen phase
Cycle length
2-3 years
3-5 months
23-35 months
Chest & back
4-10 months
22-33 months
3-6 months

Hair transplantation with body hair

The FUE technique is one of the greatest innovations in hair transplantation in recent decades. Only through its development has it become possible to also transplant body hair.

With the FUE technique, the hair or follicles (grafts) are usually removed from the donor area at the back of the head and reinserted into the recipient area. However, if there is not enough donor hair left, it can sometimes be supplemented by transplanting body hair.

Beard hair as donor hair for hair transplants

Beard hair is very suitable for body hair transplants because of its thickness. Up to 1000 grafts can be harvested. However, if more is taken, gaps may appear in the beard.

Because beard hairs are very firm and rigid, they are not good for the hairline. They would look very unnatural. For the middle or upper region, on the other hand, they are excellent for supplementing head hair transplants. Furthermore, beard hairs are very suitable for eyebrow transplants.

Chest hair as donor hair for hair transplants

If the chest hair is to be used as a donor area, usually about 300 to 1000 grafts can be taken, depending on how pronounced the body hair is in the patient.

However, since the skin tissue is very different from the tissue of the scalp, a larger hollow needle is used for the removal. This means that there is a greater risk that micro-scars may be left behind. However, only enough grafts are taken out so that the micro-scars are covered by the remaining chest hair.

Can a hair transplant only be performed with body hair?

A hair transplant exclusively with body hair is not possible due to the different growth phases. With chest hair, 50% of the hair is in the resting phase after which it falls out. If 50% of the transplanted body hair were to fall out all at once, bald patches would be seen again.

Chest and back hair are best suited to achieve a natural result. Beard hair, on the other hand, covers a larger area with less mass, as it is thicker in structure, but can therefore also look unnatural.

Arm and leg hair, pubic hair, underarm and abdominal hair are not suitable for hair transplantation. They are too soft and curly and would not fit into the overall picture.

Procedure of body hair transplantation

In principle, hair transplantation with body hair proceeds almost exactly the same as a “normal” FUE own hair transplantation. In the first step, the patient discusses the desired result with the attending physician.

Then, the area from which the grafts are to be taken is first shaved and then locally anaesthetised.

Next, the follicles are removed with the help of a hollow needle and reinserted into the recipient area.

Hair transplantations with body hair are also carried out by Dr. Levent Acar at the Cosmedica Clinic. Please contact us for a free consultation about your hair transplant in Turkey.

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