I wanted to take a minute and talk about BHT or Body Hair Transplants. This is a discussion which comes up a fair bit and I get a lot of questions about it.
Firstly, due to the sake of time – I’ll briefly overview what BHT is. We can harvest hair from anywhere on the body using a tiny punch (known as FUE) to extract each hair follicle one at a time and transplant them to anywhere else on the body. For practical purposes this is typically done in patients who have scars, or have a gap of hair missing. In both of these instances BHT is a viable and often great option.
The main reason most people request BHT is due to one of two reasons.
1) They are balding and want to use BHT to fill in the balding areas on top of their head rather than using the traditional donor area at the back and sides of the bead to avoid a scar. Many people feel they would be more comfortable with tiny little scars on their chest and use chest hair.
This unfortunately is not a great idea and is not what BHT is best used for. This is due to the following:
1) Transection rates. In essence BHT does not grow well with a much lower survival rate than when extracting hair from the donor area at the back and sides of the head. This means that the client will have a higher chance at a poor result or poor growth while spending a lot of money.
2) The type of extraction method to remove body hair is very labor intensive and slow. Thus the cost is extremely high compared to the traditional methods.
3) The hair characteristics of body hair is very different from the hair on one’s head. From texture, shaft thickness and the length it grows – it often does not look natural and something looks off.
4) Hair Follicles on the body are much finer and thinner and don’t grow very long when compared to that of head hair. Thus it requires up to 4 timest the amount of body hair than a traditional hair transplant, the hair will not grow more than an inch or so and the cost is much greater.
I’m painting a picture here that is basically this: to avoid the scar on the back and sides of the bead – you will spend 4 times the cost for a high chance of poor growth, unnatural looking hair and limited in styling options as the hair must remain short. At the end of the day, BHT is not for someone who has never had a transplant and has donor hair.
The key in this is donor hair at the back and the sides of the head. This is the Second reason patients come to us for BHT.
2) Patients who have multiple bad transplants or depleted donor hair.
Some patients come to us out of options. They have no hair remaining on the back and sides which can be used and they have a poor result or they want more coverage into balding areas. In a situation like this – BHT is the ONLY option at which point it makes sense to use.
The bottom line is this – BHT is a last resort and should be considered only upon the above.