This interesting question comes from a member of our Hair Restoration Social Community and Discussion Forums:
I understand that during a hair transplant procedure, donor hair is taken from the back of my own scalp and transplanted to the balding areas in the front. However, I was wondering if it would be possible to take donor hair from another individual (a relative perhaps) and transplant it to the front of my scalp? If my donor region was depleted, would this be an option? Would it work?
Definitely an interesting concept, and one I’ve pondered myself from time to time. I think the most unique aspect of this type of true hair “transplant” would be the ability to select a donor with different donor characteristics and blend the new hairs into the native, implanted patient to create different, potentially “fuller” results.
For example, if you have a patient with fine, straight hairs and found a suitable donor with coarse, wavy hairs, the hair restoration surgeon could focus the majority of the patients own donor hair on the hairline (to create a natural, dense appearance) and integrate the “other” donor hair in the scalp to create additional texture and fullness without creating a big distinction between the native and transplanted hairs. I think other surgeons have tried something similar with body hair transplants (BHT).
However, I fear that the overall appearance would not be as natural and undetectable as current methods of follicular unit grafting, and the obvious cons associated with the necessary immune system suppression (the body would essentially recognize the hairs from the other individual as foreign and utilize the immune system’s response to destroy the “invaders,” meaning immunosuppression drugs would be necessary to suppress this response and ensure the hair isn’t rejected) greatly outweigh any hypothetical pros.
Additionally, I think future treatments that utilize the concept behind ACell/Matristem (for example) may make these type of discussions moot. However, figuring out ways to manipulate the donor characteristics is still intriguing, and I have heard musings that this type of hair transplantation could work in the case of identical twins.
Blake Bloxham – formerly “Future_HT_Doc”
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