I’m undergoing a Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) procedure and I’m wondering if I should ask the surgeon to use body hair grafts (body hair transplant (BHT)) as well? When should body hair grafts be used in hair transplant surgery?
In my opinion, beard and/or chest hair should be the last resort in looking for donor hair. The only time beard hair might be a first choice would be in the instance of transplanting a mustache in someone missing an area from burns or heredity.
Scalp hair, however you can get it, is always the first choice for transplanting the scalp, simply because its texture, diameter, curl, etc are all exactly the same as what was there before. We have done over 30 cases of harvesting beard or chest hair (in 6 cases we harvested both). Beard hair has the advantage of growing fairly long with a longer anagen (growth) phase. Chest hair only grows to around 1 1/2-2 inches at most in length. Neither one can be used at the hairline or at the rear border, as they are likely to “stick out” like a “pig in the poke.” They should only be placed centrally for “fill.”
The beard is the best non-scalp place to obtain donor hair, but in the typical man who shaves every day, there is a limited area for harvesting confined to the underside of his chin and upper neck. I find that the scars are fairly undetectable. There was one case in which there was a slight depression to the sites and I performed a small dermabrasion procedure which made this difference disappear. One of the advantages of having FUE available as a tool is that we can harvest some grafts down low and high in the donor area which a strip couldn’t reach before without a visible scar being seen.
Mike Beehner, M.D.
Blake – aka Future_HT_Doc
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