The phrase “hair transplant” may create a good amount of confusion for some people, since when people think of transplants, they tend to think of transferring an organ from one person’s body to the body of another. Usually, the hair transplanted during hair restorationsurgery comes from your own body. The exact location the hair comes from depends on how much of it you have and how closely it resembles the hair in the treated area.
Common Donor Area
Typically, a surgeon will take hair from the back and sides of the scalp when performing a hair transplant. The surgery is performed to treat cases of male and female pattern baldness, which is caused by a sensitivity to dihydrotestosterone (DHT). If the hair on the top of your scalp is sensitive to DHT, the follicle will shrink and the hair will fall out.
The hair on the sides and back of your head are usually not sensitive to DHT, which is why they are often used as the donor hairs during the procedure. The technique your surgeon uses determines whether or not there is a long scar in the area after the hair is removed. It also places a part in how you style the hair on the back or sides of the scalp after your hair transplant.
Can You Use Hair From Other Parts of the Body?
Technically, you can have the surgeon transplant the hair from one part of your body to your scalp. Since body hair isn’t sensitive to DHT, if your surgeon uses it during your surgery, it will be a permanent transplant. In some cases, using body hair for the surgery makes more sense than using hair from the scalp.
For example, some patients may prefer that their surgeon use the hair from their legs during the surgery. Leg hair is often finer than other types of hair and there is usually an ample supply of it. The finer hair makes it ideal for restoring hairlines, as the hair at the edge of the scalp tends to be wispier and thinner than hair in the middle of the scalp.
Since many people wear long pants the majority of the time, the scar can be less noticeable on the legs than on the scalp. Leg hair can be a suitable substitute for hair from the back of sides of the scalp if a patient doesn’t have a lot of hair in that area or if he or she has diffuse hair loss, meaning the back and sides are also affected.
Another area that can be used as a donor site if the back or sides of the scalp aren’t viable options is the chest. In some cases, chest hair very closely resembles scalp hair, so the results look natural.
Although the thought may make some people feel squeamish, it’s also possible for a surgeon to use the hair from the pubic area when performing a transplant. Since that hair usually has a distinct texture, it’s not commonly used all over the scalp, but instead to fill in areas. Pubic hair follicles are also more likely to be connected to sweat glands, which can pose an interesting challenge to both the patient and the surgeon. While using pubic hair for a hair transplant on the scalp can be done, it’s not very common.
Can You Use Another Person’s Hair?
If you can transplant a kidney from one person to another or donate a heart from a person stranger to another person, some people may wonder why more hair transplants aren’t performed using hair from another person. While doing so would provide hair restoration patients with more options in terms of the amount of hair available, person-to-person hair transplants aren’t performed for one big reason.It’s very likely that your body would reject the transplanted hair if it wasn’t an exact genetic match. While people who’ve received organ transplants take anti-rejection medications to keep their body from reacting to the foreign organ, that’s just not feasible for people who want a hair transplant. For one thing, anti-rejection medicine needs to be taken for the rest of person’s life, which can become costly. Another reason is the medication works by suppressing a person’s immune system, increasing his or her risk for getting an infection that the immune system can’t fight off.
Choosing the right donor hair is just one part of the hair transplant process. A hair restoration specialist in Virginia Beach, Dr. Kyle Choe can help you decide if the surgery is the best treatment for you. To schedule a consultation with Dr. Choe, call (757) 389-5850 today.