One of the most important developments in the hair loss world in the past decade has been the proliferation of surgeons offering body hair to head hair transplants (also known via the acronym BHT). At this point, there are probably at least 50 experienced surgeons around the world who offer this body hair transplant procedure. And 100s of others are experimenting with this on a small scale.
Until the year 2000, body hair to head hair transplants were almost unheard off. However, between 1998 and 2000, an Australian doctor by the name of Dr. Ray Woods started experimenting with moving body hair from various locations to the scalps of some of his patients.
For the most part, Dr. Woods took a conservative approach, moving relatively few grafts in each individual session in comparison to the mega-sessions of over 3,000 body hair grafts per session that one sometimes sees nowadays. Typically, Dr. Woods used body hair as an adjunct/enhancer to regular scalp hair to scalp hair transplants. Dr. Woods’ first BHT patient’s video is here:
Because body hairs have different texture, length, and anagen, catagen, and telogen phases in comparison to scalp hair, one has to be careful when transplanting the hair to the scalp. Some surgeons claim that once on the scalp, the body hair often takes on the characteristics of scalp hair. However, the opinion on this is mixed.
As of 2013, it seems like there is a consensus that of all types of body hair, beard and chest hair usually offer the best results when moved to the scalp. Nevertheless, some patients still choose to move arm hair, leg hair, back hair, and even armpit hair. Although beard hair is the strongest, many people are afraid to have a surgeon touch their face due to justified fear of permanent scarring.
In recent years, Dr. Arvind Poswal from India has become the world’s most experienced surgeon when it comes to moving body hair to the scalp. Living in a country with over one billion people, many of whom have ample supplies of body hair, clearly helps his practice grow rapidly. Moreover, Dr. Poswal has displayed great knowledge, innovation and enthusiasm in his internet postings on Hairsite. Here is a great link to his more recent patient totals and their updates:
In the US, Dr. John Cole and Dr. Sanusi Umar are especially experienced in BHT procedures.
Do Body Hair Transplants Work?
In spite of so many surgeons offering BHT procedures, I am not so sure about the long-term satisfaction with these procedures. Although scarring in the body area from which the hair is taken is generally not bad these days, I do not think that every surgeon has a good idea of what types of body hair will give the best long-term results.
Once you have a mega-session BHT, the anagen, catagen and telogen phases of your scalp hair will have a wide range. Some of the videos and pictures of what I have seen online are amazing, but overall, I would still hold off on getting a BHT unless you are absolutely lacking donor scalp hair and have reached an age and strong enough emotional state where you can risk possible permanent weird length and texture hair on your head.
Also, beard hair tends to grey sooner than scalp hair from what I have noticed. Consequently, after a beard hair transplant to just one part of your scalp at the age of 35, you may end up with a strange situation at age 45 when that one part of your scalp turns grey while the rest remains dark!