In this episode, Dr. Daniel A. Danyo talks about hair transplants that use hair from parts of the body other than the head, including the chest, abs, and beard. Learn what to expect with these types of transplants, when and why they are used, and more.
First Up: The New Office Space!
So, how is North Atlanta Hair Restoration’s brand new space working out?
Dr. Danyo says it’s great. It’s modern, it’s nearly twice as big as the old office, and it’s filled with natural light.
Located in beautiful downtown Alpharetta, the new hair restoration clinic has glass doors, frosted windows, and other spa-like touches.
The doctor says his patients have responded very positively to it, and that it seems to have had a calming effect on his more anxious patients.
The light and relaxing vibe is key to a good experience, in Dr. Danyo’s opinion, and he is very pleased with how the new space feels.
So, let’s jump right in on the topic and ask the question:
Can Chest Hair Be Transplanted to Your Head?
Dr. Danyo tells us that chest hair can absolutely be used for head hair transplants. This type of transplant is usually used in special situations where a donor site on head the won’t be enough.
The beard is often the first choice for those with depleted donor sites on the head, but some candidates may not have thick beard hair or enough for a satisfactory result. In those cases, the chest or other body sites can be good alternatives.
Who Is a Chest-To-Head hair Transplant Procedure Best For?
This procedure is usually a good choice for people who have had transplants in the past, especially procedures performed in the late 80s or early 90s. These are ones where clients may have had plugs, where they had scalp reductions, or maybe they had multiple strip transplants on the head.
These are cases where the earlier procedure depleted the usual donor sites on the head, so it is necessary to look elsewhere on the body for new hair sites.
Another instance where you would use chest (or body) hair is where someone is completely bald or close to it, since again, there is no good donor site on the head to draw from, and lots of area will need to be covered.
When someone has this degree of hair loss, especially if they want to create a regular hairline, have full density and a get natural look, there is usually a need to look elsewhere for donor sites.
Even for patients with some hair left on the head, with advanced hair loss, a hair restoration procedure can sometimes take 8000 grafts or more to get complete coverage.
What is the percentage of your patients who get a hair transplant using chest hair?
Maybe 5% or a bit more. The head is the first choice for most hair transplants, but there are many instances where drawing from other sites like the chest may be necessary.
The Challenge of Chest and Body Hair Transplants
Getting the look right when you pull from other sites requires an extra level of skill and knowledge, since you will need to blend the different types of hair properly to achieve a natural look.
Dr. Danyo is an expert at these types of complex hair restoration procedures and has completed many, with fantastic results.
He even completed one that involved 10,000 grafts to create a full and thick head of hair, done over several appointments, without using any head donor sites at all.
Understanding Graft Count
For perspective, 200 transplanted grafts with regular density are about the size of a quarter, so you can imagine the scale of this procedure and the skill it requires. It would obviously take a lot of quarters to cover a full head!
You’ve probably seen ads touting hair restoration specials, where they say something like “Get 2000 grafts for X amount of dollars.”
These are a little misleading, not only because most people don’t understand what 2000 grafts actually looks like, but because every patient case is different.
The number of grafts needed varies widely from patient to patient, so it’s important to talk to an actual doctor – not an assistant or sales person – right off the bat to get a good evaluation.
You Need An Expert Assessment To Make An Informed Decision
It can be overwhelming trying to decide which hair restoration practice to work with and understand what you’re signing up for when you seek a hair transplant.
Dr. Danyo says it is hard to overemphasize how important it is to have the physician who will be doing the procedure do the consult when you get assessed for hair restoration treatment.
It is also important to make sure your physician is expert in these procedures.
For transplants that require chest and body hair particularly, they are technically very challenging, so you need to have special equipment, finely honed skills and ample experience to do them right.
These considerations are why the doctor does all his video and in-person consultations himself – you’ll never see a surgical assistant or other staffer for these initial assessment appointments.
This transparent consultation process allows patients to get an expert surgical opinion right off the bat and learn what will be needed to get the look they want.
The doctor also makes sure clients understand what to expect in terms of the procedure, the recovery and the final results, as well as how much they can expect to spend.
Making a good decision about hair restoration and achieving great results is largely about having a good treatment plan with the right provider.
Are There Any Downsides to Using Chest Hair For a Transplant?
Dr. Danyo says that chest hair is very resilient, and that even if you shaved it all off after harvesting grafts, it would likely grow back nearly as thick. This happens because of dormant chest hairs that then spring into action.
Moreover, many men feel they have too much chest hair, or report that they would be happier with no chest hair at all.
For them, taking hair from the chest isn’t really an issue, as long as they can expect the post-transplant donor site to look natural.
The good news is that your chest will look normal afterward, and the results you’ll see on your head with a chest hair transplant can be quite impressive.
If you extract it properly, store it properly and place it properly, chest hair can look terrific when transplanted to the head.
Now, chest hair does have a shorter growth phase and a longer rest phase, so your doctor needs to recognize and account for that. Since only 70% of it will be actively growing and therefore visible at a time – compared to 90% for head hair – more grafts will likely be needed for this type of transplant.
This is just one of many reasons to make sure you choose an experienced hair transplant surgeon for your procedure.
Speaking of wanting less hair on the chest – you often hear people talk about laser hair removal treatments – is laser hair removal permanent?
It can be permanent. The hair has to be dark for it to work, and it takes multiple sessions to get a permanent result, since you need to take out the stem cell process in the follicle to keep it from growing back.
What Other Parts of the Body Can Be Used for Hair Transplants?
In addition to the beard and the chest, the abdomen can also be used – you just need to be careful that the hair isn’t too coarse for a natural look on the head. The body hair also needs to be able to grow to about an inch long, at least.
It’s important to note that these types of body hair transplants are usually more expensive because they involve a more labor-intensive process. But they can be a good option for those who need it.
Proper Anesthesia Is Key
Anesthesia is necessary at both the donor site and the site receiving the grafts.
Numbing the chest can be a particularly arduous task, and it needs to be done correctly to avoid pain.
The challenge is that there are nerves running under the rib cage and delicate, vital organs in that area, so you need to use a local anesthetic that offers effective numbing in a very sensitive area.
Luckily, Dr. Danyo has carefully honed his chest anesthesia technique, so that there is minimal pain and minimal risk for his patients.
The doctor employs a specific procedure – what they call tumescent anesthesia – that adequately numbs the area without nerve blockers. He uses a special mixture of medications that are a lot safer for use in that area, since it’s close to the lungs and heart.
Next Steps If Think You Need a Hair Transplant Using Chest or Body Hair
Dr. Daniel recommends a convenient video consult so you can find out more about your options.
The sessions are secure, and the doctor can thoroughly assess your situation with a minimum of inconvenience to you.
The practice also has a secure, HIPAA-compliant texting app that you can use for ease and convenience.
And of course, you can come in for an in-person consultation if you prefer and it suits your schedule.
The doctor especially recommends that people who have had older hair restoration procedures schedule a consult.
A consultation is an excellent way to find out if newer chest and body hair transplant techniques might be used to get the results you want.
Chest and body hair transplants can be a great way to enhance what previously has been done, and in many cases, to reduce the appearance of the scarring that those earlier procedures were unfortunately known for.
Many people are pleasantly surprised to hear what can be done now with these new techniques.
Hair restoration is an intimate journey, and having someone to discuss these issues with can be a very empowering experience.
Talking to Dr. Danyo may be the first step that sets you on the road to a better appearance and a vibrant, younger-feeling you!
Ready to Move Forward With a Hair Restoration, or Still Trying to Decide?
If you want to learn more about chest and body hair transplants, listen to the full episode of this podcast to get all the details.
Plus, you can check out some of the other podcasts Dr. Danyo has made for his patients on hair restoration topics here.