In response to your question:
It is possible to rehabilitate with body hair depleted donors in patients that have had their donor areas decimated by old styled punch plug surgeries as well as patients that have had poorly executed strip HT:
In the intance of my patients (see examples above), BHT was done several years after the ill-fated harvestation process.
Adding body hair to FUE extraction holes has been proposed as:
- A farming process whereby body hair is placed in the rich milieu of scalp donor area on the premise that scalp donor areas would enhance the acquisition of scalp-like qualities. The transformed body hair are subsequently relocated to the balding areas.
- As you have proposed: over harvesting good quality head hair from the back and sides of the head and replacing them with arguably poorer quality body hair.
There are potential problems with both of these assumptions:
The first premise assumes that indeed body hair would assume scalp-hair characteristics once placed on the head. It also assumes that this transformation stands a better chance of occurring in the donor areas of the head when compared to the bald areas. Emerging data suggests that while body hair “may” gain in length when transferred to the head, the other important parameter “caliber” does not change. There is no evidence supporting that even that would happen in the donor areas to any different degree than they would in the bald areas.
Finally, when you plant a body hair grafts into fresh FUE extraction holes, chances are that the FUE holes are too large for a snug fit. This raises questions of graft death/take, pitting, encystation etc. To forestall these problems in a path less paved with errors, if body hair is to be used on donor areas, it should be done at a later time using deliberately created slits that are customized to the size of the body hair graft.
In summary it helps to:
Keep FUE extractions as small as possible to avoid the need for reparative measures like the implantation of body hair.
Harvest the donor area to the extent that scalp like appearance is retained. If it can be helped, you so not want the donor area too thin either.
Again, if body hair is to be implanted into FUE extraction sites, , it should be done at a later time using deliberately created slits that are customized to the body hair graft.
On the final question of shock loss in donor areas:
If you have globally diffused hair loss that affects the donor areas as well, you may want to have some basic check up before hair transplantation. If you have a lot of hair that was destined to miniaturize in the donor areas, shock loss may result in these areas from the FUE extraction process itself, for reasons that are along the lines of shock loss that results in the recipient areas from the trauma of recipient slit preparation. Remember that the FUE extraction tool/wound is larger than the recipient slits created by the stab wounds of blade/needle points. Shock loss is not a factor of graft implantation, but more a function of injury to adjacent hair from slit creation or in this case hair extraction…
I hope this helps. Let me know if you need anything clarified further.
S. Umar, M.D., FAAD
Redondo Beach, California
1-877-DERMHAIR (US residents)
NEW WEBSITE www.dermhairclinic.com
Single Follicule Extraction & Transfer (SFET)
Using Head and Body hair
For more SFET-FUE and BHT results go to www.dermhairclinic.com