What is BHT hair transplant? Cost, steps and care
If you are currently dealing with hair loss or baldness, you may have asked yourself the question: Can body hair be used to cover bald areas? If you asked yourself this question a few years ago, the answer would definitely be negative; but fortunately, now there is a method that can help you have more attractive and beautiful hair.
BHT (Body hair transplantation) hair transplant is an attractive solution that gives your hair attractiveness and beauty; Stay with us to learn more about this method.
What is the meaning of hair transplant with body hair?
If you pay attention to your body hair, you will notice that their structure is very different from head hair; growth pattern, thickness, and even color of these hairs are very different from hair on head, and for this reason, you may be faced with question of how to transplant them to people’s heads?
In hair transplantation with body hair, one of the most important tasks of specialist doctor is to carefully examine the structure of hair in different parts of body, such as ears sides, under beard, back of neck, chest, arms, or in some cases back hair. This work is done in order to find the area that has most similar hair to head hair and must be done with great precision. The important point is that not all body hair is suitable for harvesting and not paying attention to the factors affecting harvesting will eventually cause the hair on a person’s head to have an unnatural and sloppy state.
The BHT implantation technique is one of the new methods of hair transplantation that is used in world’s top skin and hair clinics, and many people have already benefited from it.
This technique cannot be used for women and their body hair cannot be used for implantation. Because women’s head hair is much longer and softer, and its structure is generally different from the structure of body hair. So, if you are a woman, from the very beginning, go to other methods that will bring you to the desired results.
If you are looking for a suitable method for transplanting your husband’s hair or if you are one of the men who suffer from hair loss, we suggest that you do not miss reading this article.
How is BHT hair transplant done?
The basis of BHT implantation is same as FIT or FUE hair transplantation, in which hair grafts are harvested manually or using automatic devices in granular form. These grafts are usually harvested from the areas such as under beard, chest and abdomen, and then placed individually in the desired area. Doctors usually consider harvest of body hair as the last option and use this method mostly for people who have a weak hair bank and the hair in this area cannot be answer to their bald area.
Due to the differences between head and body hair, there are some points in BHT hair transplant that if you don’t pay attention to them, it can have a negative impact on transplant results. The procedures for transplanting body hair to head hair are no different from hair transplantation by SUT and FUE methods; but considering the following points at time of planting will make you achieve all your desired results.
The hair must be in the right phase
In general, our body hair has different growth phases that must be paid special attention to when harvesting hair. If you have noticed, body hair never grows longer than a certain limit; this is because their resting or telogen phase is much longer than that of scalp hair. The important thing is that harvesting hairs during resting phase is very wrong and causes an increase in the number of damaged grafts, and eventually person does not achieve the results he intended.
Usually, after a relatively long period of rest, body hair enters anagen phase; at this stage, hair growth hormones are active, and for this reason, hair follicles gradually emerge from skin. The best time to harvest hair in body hair transplantation is when the hair is in anagen phase. In fact, in this phase, hair follicles are active and their growth rate is very high.
When your hair is long, it can be difficult to tell which phase the grafts are in now. For this reason, doctors recommend that you shave your hair three to four days before implantation so that the grafts that are in anagen phase can be recognized.
The selected hair should have the same blood circulation as scalp
The conditions of blood supply to different parts of body such as abdomen, chest, arms and legs are different from head; for this reason, when doctor determines that you are suitable for hair transplantation by BHT method, he should pay special attention to this issue.
If the grafts are located in an area that has a higher blood supply than scalp, when they are placed in recipient area, they will not receive enough nutrients and therefore will not enter growth phase. Due to this issue, it is always tried to harvest hair from areas closer to head such as beards, around ears or behind neck, so that they are very similar to head hair both in terms of blood circulation and in terms of appearance.
Which parts of the body are suitable for BHT implantation?
Different areas of our body are covered with hair and usually BHT applicants think that all these follicles can be used for implantation. According to points we mentioned in previous section, when choosing the donation area in body, you should be very careful and you cannot use any area where hair has grown. According to research conducted over many years, only hairs that grow in the following areas are best candidates for transplantation.
Area under chin (beards)
Research has shown that beard hair is most similar to head hair and therefore is one of the first choices for harvesting. Of course, beards have two major differences from head hair; the first difference is their growth rate. Usually, men’s hair and beard are same size; but the growth rate of beards is much lower. In addition, beard hair is much thicker than head hair and often grows singly. In fact, each graft harvested from beard contains one hair, and there are no multi-hair grafts in this area.
Doctors usually harvest hair beards from under chin; because this area is not visible at all, and if there is a scar left on it, it will not be clear. In addition, harvesting from other areas such as cheeks causes loss of uniformity of beards structure and spoils their appearance. As a result, doctors perform harvesting from under chin so that people who are sensitive to their beards do not have to worry.
Another candidate for BHT hair transplant is chest area; in this part, the follicles are usually a single strand of hair, and of course, their thickness is less than beard.
The important thing is that the growth of chest hair is much slower than hair of beards and head, and they usually stay in resting phase for a long time.
In addition, chest hair is often curly and does not grow more than 5 or 6 cm. Due to this issue, these hairs can be used in front of head or in middle area.
How to take care of grafts implanted in BHT method?
Always remember that your role in hair transplant results is more important than your doctor’s and you should not underestimate it. It is very important to follow care tips given to you after operation and you must follow them seriously. It may be difficult for you in first days after operation; but when you get the results, you will realize that it was worth it.
Since the donor area is on your body in this procedure, it is very important to take care of it while sleeping. In fact, you should sleep in such a way neither no pressure on donor site and nor damage to harvest area. The best way to sleep in first days after implantation is to place two pillows under your head so that your head is at an angle of 30 to 45 degrees.
Avoid alcohol and tobacco after hair transplant. The compounds in these materials have a great effect on blood circulation and increase the possibility of bleeding after implantation. In addition, alcohol and tobacco can also affect skin quality and cause it to become stiff and reduce elasticity. This issue has a negative effect on implanted grafts and disrupts their growth process.
Complications of BHT hair transplant
The BHT method is one of the least risky methods of hair transplantation, and due to advances made in graft harvesting techniques, it has very few complications. Of course, this does not mean that you will not experience any complications after implantation with this method; but these complications will disappear very soon and you don’t need to worry about this issue. In rest of this section, we will describe some of common complications after BHT implantation.
- A few days after implantation, very small scars are formed in donor and recipient areas, which indicate improvement. We recommend that you do not manipulate these wounds in any way or remove their top layer. By doing this, you have damaged the hair grafts and eventually scar remains on your skin.
- In most cases, after 2 to 4 weeks of implantation, the implanted hairs fall out little by little; this is completely normal and you do not need to worry about it. In general, the sudden loss of hair after implantation and their regrowth in first year after implantation is normal and indicates that the grafts are going through healing process and reaching final result.
- In first 2 weeks after implantation, you feel burning, itching and numbness in donor and recipient area. In addition, your skin is inflamed and red; these side effects will disappear after two weeks, and no traces of them will remain.
In BHT method, the hair used is chosen on what basis?
Usually, doctors do not recommend BHT hair transplant to anyone; In fact, people whose hair is not suitable for implantation are chosen for this method. Due to this issue, the following groups are best options for BHT hair transplantation.
- Those who have lost their hair due to chemotherapy or side effects of some drugs and these hairs are no longer strong enough to grow again.
- People whose donor area (hair bank) is too weak to provide enough grafts to fill bald area.
- People who have lost a large part of their hair due to an accident or burn.
- People who have a lot of body hair and can provide the right number of grafts for harvesting.
It is true that these people are good candidates for BHT; but this does not mean that all their body hair can be used for harvesting. Doctors consider various factors when choosing donor area in body to make sure that these hairs can be implanted. Based on these parameters, the doctor gives points to candidate grafts for growth and then chooses the right area for harvest according to final result; but what are these factors?
Hair density is determined depending on how many active grafts there are per square centimeter of person’s body. Some people may have less than 20 grafts in one square centimeter of their body, which is given a score of 0. Score 1 corresponds to those who have between 20 and 40 hair grafts per square centimeter, and if the number of follicles exceeds 40, score 2 is given to person.
Similarity of body hair and head hair
Body hair is usually very different from head hair in terms of color, thickness and softness; for this reason, it is necessary for doctor to choose an area that is most similar to head hair so that their uniformity is not lost. Based on amount of difference between the hair of donor area and recipient area, a score of 0 to 2 is given to this parameter.
The number of multifollicular grafts
body hair usually grows as a single follicle; in sense that there is only one hair in each graft; this makes it necessary to take more grafts compared to other hair transplant methods. In some parts, active grafts with more than one hair may be found, which if their number is less than 20% of total required grafts, score 0, if it is between 20 and 30%, score 1, and for more than 30%, score 2 are allocated.
The area of harvesting area
the larger area of harvesting area, the more grafts can be harvested; for this reason, this factor also has a great impact on choosing body hair. Doctors give a score of 0 to an area of less than 50 square centimeters. Areas with an area between 50 and 200 square centimeters get a score of 1 and more than 200 are given a score of 2.
Body hair length
Depending on how long body hair is and how well it matches length of head hair, different points are given to this parameter. Usually, hair less than 2 cm gets 0 points. If their length is between 2 and 5 cm, the score is 1, and if hair length is more than 5 cm, the score is 2.
The set of points given to these parameters determines whether the selected area is a suitable area for harvesting or not. Usually, areas with a score of less than 4 are removed from list. A score between 4 and 8 increases the success rate of implantation relatively, and a score higher than 8 means that this area is the best area for harvesting grafts.
What are the results of BHT hair transplant?
Considering that the growth rate of body hair is very different from head hair, the steps to get results from this method are a little longer than other methods. For this reason, we advise you to be patient and do not worry if you feel that your hair has lost its uniformity. In rest of this section, we explain what results you should expect at each stage after planting.
One month after transplanting
The first month after transplanting hair is mostly spent on removing complications and removing scabs and inflammations. At this time, the hairs are usually in resting phase and almost no growth is seen in them, or the hairs fall out immediately after growth. This issue makes applicants think that hair transplant procedure was not successful for them and they can no longer draw conclusions from it; but you should know that this is completely normal and at this time you should focus all your attention on hygiene and taking care of new grafts.
Three months after implantation
Usually, initial hair growth takes place about 3 months after implantation by BHT method. The hairs that grow at this time are very thin and pale and give a razor-like appearance to scalp; but this is just first step for implanted grafts and you have to give them time to adapt to environment they have just entered and show themselves little by little.
9 months after implantation
after third month when the hair starts to grow, the difference in color and thickness of implanted hair and person real hair is very noticeable; But after 9 months, this problem will be almost solved and hairs that are now a little thicker and very similar to hairs in surrounding areas will be seen.
12 to 18 months after implantation
in most people, 1 year after BHT implantation, they show their results; However, depending on speed of body hair growth and the area from which it was harvested, hair growth and changes may continue for about 1 and a half years after implantation. In any case, after this period of time, your hair will have a completely uniform and natural shape, and you can enjoy their real beauty and charm.
The difference between BHT-FUE and FUE hair transplantation
The technique required for body hair transplantation is derived from FUE hair transplant method, and basically involves extending donor area to entire body. BHT is primarily used in cases where the donor area in head is no longer suitable for extracting donor material or is not dense enough.
In such cases, follicular units can be directly extracted from different areas of body – chest, abdomen and under beard – and transplanted to scalp. The BHT-FUE method provides new opportunities, especially for people whose donor areas have been overused or even lost due to use of outdated methods.
BHT candidates must have certain physiological conditions, such that body hair must be suitable for use on head. Body hair goes through different growth cycles. Although these changes over time have not yet been scientifically proven, our own experience points to this.
Grafts taken from body are anatomically different from hair taken from head. While head grafts generally contain 1, 3, or 5 hairs, body grafts often contain only one hair.
The main difference between BHT and FUE hair transplantation
- The direction of follicular units growth.
- Skin type and its characteristics.
- The depth of hair follicle under skin.
- Hair thickness and structure (straight, curly, curly).
To perform such a transplant, the hair surgeon must have sufficient knowledge and experience of both transplant methods – FUT and FUE – and must consider certain basic principles for such a transplant to be successful. These include the following points:
- Correct extraction of donor hair.
- Proper preparation of follicular units.
- Error-free storage and hydration of extracted links.
- Optimal planting by considering the direction of growth and order of transplants.
- Getting a natural hairline.
- Accurate approach and use of appropriate technique to minimize damage to grafts.
There are three key success factors for any BHT:
- Extraction of hair follicles
- Body hair growth cycle
- Compatibility of head and body hair
Limitations of BHT
As a procedure, body hair transplantation has not yet been the subject of as much research as FIT and FUT methods. Due to the lack of experience and knowledge, BHT should be considered as a last resort to improve existing situation.
Our experience to date indicates a 70-80% survival rate. This may seem like a small amount, but for many patients it is the only option. Patients who wish to undergo BHT hair transplantation should be aware of fact that there is no guarantee that a high percentage of implants will root.
Body hair can change its structure after transplantation. In most cases, they become longer and straighter, which interestingly takes on the structure of head hair. Patients who wish to undergo BHT treatment should be aware of fact that this type of treatment is a last-stage effort and the probability of its success cannot be predicted. This means that patients undergoing body hair transplantation must meet certain criteria, including the TDI mentioned above. Under certain circumstances, this treatment may be appropriate for patients who have previously undergone transplantation and had abnormal results.
This means that any patient who wishes to undergo BHT hair transplantation should discuss this with their hair surgeon. Likewise, the procedure should be performed by a fully competent hair surgeon, as the success of body hair transplant depends on the surgeon’s experience, knowledge and ability.
Is it possible to combine BHT hair transplantation with other methods?
Depending on characteristics of body hair and donor area of individuals, doctors also add BHT implantation in combined or super-combined procedures. This helps to increase the density of implanted hair or people with larger bald areas to achieve their desired results.
How many grafts can be harvested in BHT method?
Usually, the number of grafts harvested in BHT method is less than in other hair transplant methods. In this method, the number of grafts will not exceed 1000; but same number can be very effective in reaching the expected density.
Is it possible to remove grafts from pubic area?
No Pubic hair has a very thick structure and usually there are very few of them. In addition, due to sensitivity of this area, less medicine accepts the risk of taking grafts from it.