When talking about body hair, there are many different sources and types to choose from. You can find hair anywhere from the top of your toes, up to the back of your neck. Within these different regions on the body, offer numerous different types of hair. The source of the hair determines how it varies in certain characteristics. Some characteristics can include: curly hair, fine hair, short hair, long hair, straight hair, and coarse hair. With this wide variety, it is clear how they differ from hair on your head.
There are two main categories when talking about body hair; beard hair and all other hair on the body. The reason beard hair has its own category is because it is almost exclusively never in the resting phase, or telogen phase. When hair is in the resting phase, this means that it is not growing. All other parts of your body can have up to 60% of the hair in the resting phase. Typically, beard hairs will grow as single hair units. There are some rare occasions where the hair grows in clusters of three. If you have thick beard hair, you are likely to have multiples of two or more hair groups. Beard hair grows in a longer duration and more rapidly than other body hair. This is how you will see people with very long beards. If you get a beard hair transplant, it is very consistent and will typically produce a yield between 60% and 100%.
Most all other body hair grows at a very slow rate and is usually shorter than scalp hair. This means that the max growth of this hair is about 3-6cm long. These hairs are most often curly but will never be as curly as beard hairs. Certain body hairs grow even shorter, this includes eyebrows, toe hair, and the hair on your arms. All these body hairs are typically finer looking in appearance but they can sometimes be as coarse as the hair on your head. Do not fret, if you harvest these hairs from the body and they are coarse, they will not grow to be as coarse when placed on the top of a head. It is possible that the hair can produce insignificant cosmetical results when compared to using beard and head hair.
Generally, individuals who go with a non-beard body hair transplant have a 1 out of 4 chance of cosmetically improved results. Failure in a transplant includes sparse growth, a yield of 0%, and very fine hair. With beard hair producing good coverage cosmetically, people still do not like to use it due to the curly, coarse nature of the hair. This is understandable when people have fine, straight natural hair on their head and transplanting coarse, curly beard hair contrasts and is very striking.
In this case, a test procedure is highly recommended. A hair restoration surgeon will perform this procedure before making the decision to undergo a larger body hair procedure. Doing this test procedure allows for the evaluation of what the appearance will be and the yield of the body hair. If the result of the test is less than satisfactory, it will be recommended to avoid any other procedures with the hair.
In order for body hair transplants to be the most successful, candidates’ body hair needs to resemble the surrounding hair where the transplant is taking place. For instance, if a patient has coarse, curly hair on their head, beard hair would be perfect for filling in the thinning area.
There are other candidacy characteristics that improve the use of body hair when there is a lack of usable hair on the scalp. It is preferred to use scalp hair for a transplant since it will grow with the same consistency of the surrounding hair and it will look the same as the rest of the hair, since it was part of the rest of the scalp hair in the first place. When there is enough scalp hair to be used for a transplant, this will be the first option. Even so, there are some patients that don’t want to use scalp hair, and opt to use body hair. For these instances, there is a trial transplant of body hair so that it can be evaluated if the appearance and growth of the graft will be satisfactory.
When doing specialty transplants like temple points or eyebrows, it is important to find body hair sources that appear like the area that needs the transplant. There are better body hair areas for this than others. For instance, arm hair would be useful for filling in temple points because arm hair tends to be finer than other body hairs. In the case of eyebrows, you will need body hair that doesn’t grow very long and is shorter than scalp hair, this is where leg or arm hair would be best. When given the opportunity, it is always best to use scalp hair for a scalp transplant. This is going to make sure that the results are more consistent with the surrounding hair.
In terms of yield, if the most important goal is for consistent results, beard hair is the best choice when choosing between various types of body hair. If you are trying to match hair to specific types of body hair, you might need to sacrifice yield in order to improve the odds of a better cosmetic match.
Two factors tend to improve or decrease yield. For body hair, if you can get hairs in their anagen phase, this will produce more consistent results. It is also known that if you have a density beyond 36 grafts per square centimeter, this can have a near zero yield when dealing with body hair. It is recommended that people looking to get transplants use anagen hairs. Body hairs should only be transplanted in densities below 30 grafts per square centimeter.
In order to locate anagen hairs, you will need to first wet shave the recipient area. It will need to be shaved against the grain to ensure that the donor area is smooth, just like hairless skin. The reason for this is to aid in identifying actively growing hairs. These will then grow longer in the following days. Since beard hair grows so fast, the anagen hairs can be spotted as early as the next morning and can be harvested that morning. For any other body donor hairs, you will have to wait two to three days to evaluate the hair after shaving since the rest of the body hair takes longer to grow.
If you do not shave, you can spot pigment anagen hairs from shadow pigments found below the skin’s surface that go along the course of the hair follicle growth.
To significantly improve the yield of body hair growth, it has been found that injecting the regions with Acell is very effective.
Body hair transplants are done as often as scalp hair transplants. Patients will know in three months if the desired results are attainable. However, there have been rare instances where there has been poor yield up to 12 months and then something changed that triggered an excellent result from 12 – 24 months after the transplant.
There are some body hair transplants that are not as successful as beard or scalp hair transplants. If you are looking for optimal coverage, it is easier to obtain this with scalp hair, making it so that it should be your first option for treatment when dealing with hair loss.
HAIR TRANSPLANTS FROM THE HAIR LOSS RECOVERY PROGRAM
Every patient should always know their option when it comes to a Thornhill Hair Transplant. Harvesting scalp hair should be the first option looked at. If there aren’t sufficient amounts to transplant, then other options should be presented. This is where body hair transplants come in. Again, it is recommended that when dealing with body hair, to do a test procedure to see if the results are satisfactory. If not, perhaps there are other options to consider. The Hair Loss Recovery Program respects your choice since you are ultimately the only one that has to like the results. Our clinic offers a wide range of hair loss treatments for both women and men. Consultations are always confidential and we will be able to recommend the best course of action for your specific hair loss needs. Give us a call at (647) 919-4247 today to find out more about how we can help.