Considerations for Beard & Body Hair Transplant
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I think everyone knows now that scalp here is not only the viable source of usable hair to recreate hair loss. It’s also not only the destination of where to place hair. For example, people may want chest hair. They may want beard hair. We may borrow body hair from the chest to the scalp, or we may take scalp hair, put it onto the beard. So, there are a lot of variations. And if you don’t know the history of modern hair restoration, the first modern hair transplant was performed in 1939 by Tamora, and then a Cuda and 42 in Japan. And they did it using scalp hair and to be placed into the pubic area. Because Japan, there’s public bathing, and there’s a condition in young women with an absence of pubic hair. That was shameful. Of course, modern standards in America are different, and a lot of people don’t want to have pubic hair, but it’s just to show you how variable. Traditionally, when we think about hair transplantation, we think about taking scalp hair and moving it into the scalp. And that is the most common. Of course, there are scalp hair moved into the eyebrows, which I do quite often as well. And there are many places that we put here. One of my colleagues actually found very interesting placing hair from the scalp into diabetic ulcers and a leg led to the hairs dying. But the side that had the hair grafts led to a faster regeneration of the tissues.
And he found that and won an award for some of his research. And so that hair is have a very powerful stimulatory effect on the skin as well. So, there’s so many places from, you know, sort of donor to recipient. So, I can’t describe everything that I do here. But I do want to focus a little bit about understanding beard and body hair, and how it plays a role in my practice. So, for me, I’m not a big fan of body hair. The reason is that body hair leads to hypopigmentation or lighter color on the chest, which typically is very hard to camouflage unless you have a lot of hair those hairs that are transplanted, even though they start to grow longer, like your scalp after about a year, have about a 60 percent success rate. So that, and also the caliber in curl is very different is typically much weaker so I can use beard hair. So, excuse me, body hair in very select cases of patients, understand that there is no donor hair usable. And I have to use that. But it’s not a first, second, or third line of what I want to choose. I use beard hair all the time, because beard hair has a lot of good qualities. It has some bad qualities. The good quality of beard hair is that it typically rarely creates pigmented loss, even in darker skinned people, when harvested unlike FUE in the scalp, which can cause more commonly hypopigmentation or loss of skin color in the back of the scalp, and also, when it transplanted it grows robustly and quickly like regular scalp hair. Also, I use what’s called beard to beard hair transplants that, in other words, taking beard from one area and placing it into deficient beard areas. Now, that is not good. If someone’s got need wants a whole strap reconstruction, there’s typically not enough beard hair or to reconstruct an entire face, but it’s great for traumatic injuries, limited loss of areas, or to help supplement limited scalp hair transplantation. So that’s basically the qualities are elements of beard hair. Now there’s other things to consider is a contour color contrast match. So, for example, if someone has really fine hairs and you, but really coarse beard hairs out there, that beard hair may not look natural, in fact, they won’t look natural. And if you put beard hair is a standalone on the scalp, they can look very bizarre. So, I typically like to prefer to use beard hair scattered inside transplanted hairs like either between transplanted hairs, or in a zone that’s in that you cannot see it very well Like I recently did a gentleman last week that had plugs, old plugs for millimeter plugs. It looked weird, transplanted most of it with scalp strip or FUT because he had very advanced baldness and FUE we would have depleted his entire donor hair and use non-safe hair. And then I use beard hair to supplement the back portion of it. And the reason I did that was that beard hair to also one hair. So, they have this sort of unique thing, which are two courses for one hair be placed in the hairline, but they may not give as much visual density as standalone, and the areas of high priorities, such as the central forelock. So, I used it to bridge the posterior portion of his scalp. And then I blended further scalp hairs behind it so that it wouldn’t look graft if I try to place that right of the very posterior limit of it of the posterior hairline and excuse me into another was a transition from the back of the transplant going down toward the crown, which was not transplanted for him because he did not have enough hair to do that. But so, the other thing, too, is that you can think of it in reverse, which is then taking scalp hair and placing into the beard. So, the scalp hair is super fine, which is very typical in some patients. And you have very, very coarse hair in the beard, scalp hair may not look right. So, you must look very carefully in that area to see if that’s okay. Now, you could potentially use scalp hair If the caliber difference was an extreme, and you can place it between the beard hairs that are already existing. But if you have a sort of a whole naked area to transplant in the scalp, hairs are super fine, it may not look entirely right when you place it into the beard. So, these are some of the criteria. Some of the ideas It’s really creativity. It allows you a lot more creativity that now with FUE there’s a much wider palette like a paintbrush paint that I can choose from to do the painting, but it doesn’t always work. So, sometimes you must look at the right anatomy and degree of hair loss, type of problem, age, scope of the scalp loss, or what we’re trying to do with beard reconstructions, body areas. All these factors are so complex that I’m just sort of giving you a flavor for what goes into the thinking process when you’re looking at beard and body hair usage, whether it’s as a donor or recipient.