There have been some miraculous achievements in the field of plastic surgery lately – a successful face transplant procedure, to name one. Organ transplants are now commonplace. But is it possible to transplant hair follicles from one person to another to replace thinning hair?
Unless the donor is an identical genetic twin, the simple answer is no. That’s because donor hair follicles are foreign bodies unless they are your own. As with organ transplants, the body will reject the foreign transplanted follicles, unless the patient is willing to be subjected to a lifetime of anti-rejection medicine.
In 1999, a Scottish scientist reported the first successful hair transplant between people. It reportedly involved transplanting four hair follicles from a woman’s arm into a man’s scalp. Not much has been reported on the procedure since, and doctors strongly agree that cross-donor hair transplantation is not a realistic or viable option to restore thinning hair.
It remains that the best donor source is you. In fact, the term “transplant” is a bit of a misnomer. The hair follicles are merely being harvested from one area of your body and moved to another area where the hair is needed – the scalp. Hair transplant surgery today also boasts a high rate of success and minimal loss of donor follicles.
This is not to say that the technology will never exist that will enable cross-donor hair transplant surgery. In the meantime, however, hair transplant physicians have worked wonders with the problem of male pattern baldness and thinning hair using a patient’s own hair. Talk to a qualified professional to find out if hair transplant surgery is right for you.
Dr. Kyle S. Choe is a board certified facial plastic surgeon and hair restoration specialist in Virginia Beach, Virginia. Contact The Choe Center for Hair Restoration at (757) 389-5850 for a personal consultation.