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Coalition Surgeon Dr. David Josephitis Discusses the Use of Beard Hair for Scalp Hair Transplant Donor Supply

4/9/2017 6:27:46 PM

Follicular unit extraction (FUE) has come a long way over the years. It has enabled many patients who would otherwise not have had a hair transplant procedure the ability to get one. It allows patients who wish to shave their hair shorter the freedom to do that. FUE is not without limitations though. FUE in general may not yield as many total grafts in a patient’s lifetime. The average patient can yield somewhere between 4000 and 8000 usable grafts over a number of procedures.

Beard and body hair FUE, also known as body hair transplantation (BHT) has been available for a number of years. There is much debate as to how effective and useful this type of hair is. At Shapiro Medical Group, we have been doing FUE for a number of years and getting great success with our patients. Over the years, some have asked to try beard and body hair to add extra grafts. There is currently much debate amongst surgeons as to the usefulness of beard and body hair. Unfortunately, there are not any good studies comparing scalp and body hair FUE. We have been doing beard FUE on a regular basis for over a year with good results. We typically add beard for patients with a limited donor supply that still need to add extra density.

Beard has been commonly accepted as a useful addition to the scalp hair with FUE. The yield is relatively good. Chest and back hair are other areas of body hair that have been tried in the past. These areas of donor are less useful for a couple of reasons. First of all, most people don’t usually have a strong, robust amount of this type of hair. Also, because of the fine nature of the hair, the yield (how much hair actually survives) is usually very low. Some physicians think chest and back hair has a yield of less than 50%.Arm and leg hair is also used, but is usually finer still and also has a poor yield in general.

With beard and body hair, the area that the grafts are placed is also important. Because the characteristics of body hair is typically different than scalp hair, the body hair grafts have to be in a less obvious area of the recipient scalp. We typically mix the body hair with the scalp hair so that the hair is helpful with density, but not very noticeable.

To view photos of a recent hair transplant utilizing beard hair on the scalp and submit your questions and comments, see the following discussion: Chest Hair FUE as donor for the Scalp.

Dr. David Josephitis
Shapiro Medical Group
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Written and Published by David - Assistant Publisher of the Hair Transplant Network and the Hair Loss Learning Center