The Research Behind Facial Head To Hair Transplant

Hair transplant procedures have traditionally used donor follicles extracted from the head.  Strip surgery involves the excision of a linear piece or scalp taken from the back of the head. Follicular Unit Extraction has also used grafts from the head. More recent advances in this area have come to include techniques in Facial Head To Hair Transplant.

The concept of using body hair for restoration started to first develop in the 1990s. And finally in 2001, the first case of using non head hair was documented. This procedure was performed by Dr. Hirai et al.

Also in the last decade, Dr. Umar has been working to refine techniques in body hair transplant. His involvement in this area not only includes procedures on actual patients, but also formal research studies as well.

In October 2011, The Annals of Plastic Surgery published his research work, “Hair Transplantation in Patients with Inadequate Head Donor Supply Using Non-Head Hair: Report of Three Cases.”

In these patient cases, follicles from the facial area along with other grafts from the head, abdomen, legs and shoulders were used to restore hair in transplant procedures.


 Facial Head to Hair Transplant

A facial hair to head transplant procedure was performed on this patient. This was one of the case studies documented in Dr. Umar’s research that was published in the Annals of Plastic Surgery


80-85% of the reinserted follicles survived, suggesting that body hair is a viable source of donor grafts.

Also the study revealed that facial hair is the closest match to head hair compared to other types of body hair.  These conclusions have far reaching implications for helping hair loss patients who have been labeled as non candidates by the standards of traditional methods.

It should be noted that even when body hair follicles are used for transplantation in the scalp, it will still behave the same way. Beard hair will be able to grow long. Arm hair and chest hair will be more limited in their length.

Facial hair to head transplant offers the best option for severely bald patients and those who want to correct poor cosmetic results from past procedures. Not only does the facial region offer a more copious supply of ideal follicles, the hair length allows patients to choose more hair style options.


Increasing Donor Supply With Facial Hair To Head Transplant

The beauty of Follicular Unit Extraction is that it allows room to create new and unique solutions for addressing challenging hair transplant issues. A couple of these include

  1. Severely bald patients (Norwood Scale 6 & 7)
  2. Patients who received cosmetically poor results from past procedures

Both cases require an expanded donor supply of hair follicles. Strip surgery, which excises a strip of scalp from the mid-back section of the scalp can contribute between 5000-6000 grafts. This is not a sufficient number for full coverage on a severely bald individual.

Patients who had undergone past hair repair transplant surgeries  usually require additional donor follicles to correct previous results.

Facial hair to head transplant  is able to offer ideal solutions for both types of patients who meet candidacy requirements.

What Is Facial Hair To Head Transplant?

This procedure is an advanced branch of Follicular Unit Extraction. When the existing donor supply is limited or has been exhausted, facial hair  (from the beard region) can be considered for reinsertion. Not only are the survival rates very high, facial hair is characteristically a close match for head hair.

In many individuals, facial hair is available in abundant supply. Because it can grow to unlimited lengths, it offers more choices for hair styles compared to other regions like arm or chest hair.

Patient Examples- Facial Hair To Head Transplant

This patient underwent strip surgery at another clinic and was left with two prominent scars. Head donor supply was very limited. Dr. Umar used 1200 beard grafts to cover these scars with successful cosmetic results.


Before and After of Facial Head to Hair Transplant

Facial hair to head transplant gave excellent coverage of two strip scars from a past procedure.

This patient also received poor results from a prior surgery which left him with continued crown hair loss, strip scars, sparse top and pluggy transplanted hairs that were reinserted at an incorrect angle. He wore a headpiece to conceal these issues.

Dr. Umar used 9,000 grafts derived from a combination of facial, chest and nape hair for the transplant procedure, to transfer follicles to the head. After 10 months, the patient was able to enjoy the full results of his hair yield.  Here are before and after images.


Donor Supply Facial Hair to Head Transplant

Before and after images of patient who underwent facial head to hair transplant using grafts from the beard, chest and nape areas.


This severely bald patient also underwent facial hair to head transplant. The procedure required the use of 8,000 grafts extracted from the beard area. Reinsertion of this non head hair gave successful results:

Donor Supply of Facial Hair to Head Transplant

The transfer of facial beard hair to the head of this severely bald patient




Myths About Follicular Unit Extraction

If you are thinking about getting a hair transplant, you are probably researching different types of procedures. Of course, there are pros and cons inherent with each one.

Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) is time intensive and costly. However, in the hands of a skilled surgeon, it is capable of giving the most ideal results and high patient satisfaction ratings.

Being a relatively new hair restoration technique, it is still gaining more awareness and recognition. As such, there is misinformation about FUE that deserves to be addressed.

This patient case study disproves a couple of the main myths about Follicular Unit Extraction

Follicular Unit Extraction Myth 1


According to many sources, the hair yield of Follicular Unit Extraction is poor compared to Strip Surgery.
The patient in the video had chosen strip surgery for his first hair transplant procedure. His dissatisfaction led him to undergo FUE at another clinic prior to seeing Dr. Umar.

Here is the hair yield of the strip and first FUE procedure.

FUE and Restoring Strip Scar Surgery

Both Strip surgery and FUE can produce poor yield, where hair growth is very minimal. After the patient’s second FUE procedure with Dr. Umar, the yield had improved considerably.

Myths about FUE

Follicular Unit Extraction can result in poor or excellent yield depending on the skill of the surgeon

Follicular Unit Extraction Myth 2

Before SUE Surgery

Follicular Unit Extraction leaves tiny round scars in the donor area in contrast to a large linear scar


The second most common myth about Follicular Unit Extraction is that the degree of scarring is the same in FUE and strip surgery.

Strip surgery requires the surgeon to cut a horizontal strip of the scalp in the lower back part of the head. This will result in a linear scar, making it difficult for patients to wear their hair short.

FUE results in tiny round scars that are cosmetically insignificant. Patients can choose to wear their hair short as there is no need to hide anything.

Follicular Unit Extraction Myth 3

Many sources claim that FUE cannot be done on large scale hair restoration. The number of hair grafts that can be harvested from strip surgery is limited to about 5000-6000. Some cases require more than this.

With Follicular Unit Extraction, donor hair can be harvested from other areas outside the region that is targeted in strip surgery. Extractions from the nape or even behind the ears not only expand the donor supply, but the finer quality of the hair shafts can be used to reconstruct natural looking hair lines.

Furthermore, it is now possible to use body hair in Follicular Unit Extraction. Body hair can supplement the donor supply from the head significantly to even restore hair of severely bald patients (Norwood scale 6 or 7). In body hair transplant, hair can be harvested from the chest, legs, arms, shoulders, nape, stomach and beard area.

This concept of transplanting body hair in a severely bald patient was executed for the first time here at Derm Hair Clinic. 8,000 grafts were used in this restoration procedure.


Follicular Unit Extraction using beard hair proved to be the best hair loss treatment option for this severely bald patient.

Here is the video of this case study:

FUE can give stunning results. However this depends on the skills and experience of the doctor. It is important to research wisely and choose the best hair transplant surgeon
for the best outcome.

Treatments for Hair Loss: Psychological Expectations After Surgical Hair Restoration

Hair Loss Treatments Surgery, be it hair restoration or otherwise, can take a toll on a person’s physical, mental, and emotional state; especially after a long struggle with a cosmetic ailment. Baldness impacts upwards of 40 million American men and climbing. Treatments for hair loss, including surgeries, medications, lasers, and wigs, face what often feels like an uphill battle toward regaining cosmetic approval over oneself. Sufferers of pattern baldness run a gauntlet, and are usually exhausted by the time a viable permanent solution comes along.

For most, this permanent solution is the best hair transplant surgery they can get. The best technique, the right surgeon, the well-trained medical staff, and all other factors align to create this long-awaited reprieve from baldness. But hair transplant is not a magic trick—there is no voilá moment to be had. The emotional and mental recovery from hair restoration surgery might be almost as rough as the road was getting there.

What Some May Experience After Hair Transplant

Hair transplant patients often have to “wear in” their new hair, even if the results are beyond their wildest dreams. Once the 18-month mark hits and the hair reaches full maturity, there has been so much nail-biting suspense that even one burgeoning new hair may seem surreal. If you’re undergoing surgical hair restoration, know that you may struggle with the following (and know that you’re not alone):

  • Panic: The new hair doesn’t grow immediately, and it doesn’t grow all at once. Also, there are frequently strange bodily reactions, like shedding and scalp acne.
  • Paranoia: Will people notice I got a hair transplant? Most likely not. Surgical methods for correcting hair loss are so good nowadays, they’re hard to differentiate. And if someone does notice (most likely from having known your older, balder self), who cares?
  • Disbelief: The hair loss struggle is largely over, and that’s hard to believe. Old feelings like depression, anxiety, social withdrawal, and mood swings may persist for a while, even after the new “external you” has blossomed. The inner you still needs to be dealt with.
  • Financial stress: Hair transplant is expensive. You might be making credit card payments long after your surgery is over. But don’t ever doubt that it was worth it. This is your happiness we’re talking about!

Things to Help With the Turmoil of Surgical Hair Restoration

Try relaxation exercises like meditation, yoga, a brisk walk, or a casual jog. Whatever positive, productive activity gets your mind off of your hair transplant. Joining discussion forums with other prior patients to find out first hand what they’re going through might also help. But beware of the horror story blogs and only stick to the encouraging and constructive. Most importantly, though, rally friends and family to support you. They will be vital throughout this experience.

Body Hair Transplant As a Treatment For Severe Baldness

Severe baldness is characterized by loss of hair in the hairline, crown and even the majority of hair on the scalp. Patients who are a Norwood type 6 or 7 are considered to be severely bald.

Body Hair Transplant fot Severe Baldness

Treatment options for severe baldness have been very limited due to lack of adequate donor hair supply

Up until now, these individuals have been denied eligibility for hair transplant procedures. Their remaining hair is not enough to serve as a donor supply and cover bald regions. At most, only about 5000-6000 grafts could be contributed by severely bald patients using hair from the sides and back of the head. However actual hair loss has been estimated to be about 25,000 to 50,000 follicles.

Body hair transplant (BHT), which is an advancement of Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE), offers new hope as a treatment for severe baldness. Donor hair is no longer restricted to head hair. Follicles can be harvested from other regions such as:

1. Legs
2. Arms
3. Chest
4. Stomach
5. Shoulders
6. Beard
7. Nape
Not only can these other areas contribute to an expanded donor supply, they can also offer the necessary texture and caliber of hair shafts needed to recreate a natural looking hair line.

This case study is considered to be a historic first in the use of body hair to successfully restore the hair of a severely bald patient. 8,000 grafts from the beard area were reinserted into the bald regions.

BHT as a Treatment for Severe Baldness

BHT produced amazing results as a treatment for severe baldness

As a treatment for severe baldness, body hair transplant can restore crowns and hairlines. Beard hair in particular grows in profuse supply without much restriction on length. This can give patients more options in cutting and styling their hair.
Not only can the procedure transform a person’s appearance, it can also make a positive difference in their self concept.
The patient is obviously very happy with his results. In the video below, he shares a story where airport security did not believe that he was the same person that was shown in his passport photo. Also his personal friend did not even recognize him.

Body hair transplant is probably the best hair loss treatment for severe baldness. Nonetheless, to be considered for candidacy, individuals must have ample body hair to meet the requirements of a BHT procedure.



Treatment Options For Traction Alopecia


Traction Alopecia is usually caused by tension on the scalp as hair is constantly pulled from styling processes and techniques. It can also result from the ongoing use chemical products (e.g. bleaches and straighteners) that weaken the attachment of the hair shaft from the hair follicle.

Treatment options for Traction Alopecia can be discussed with a dermatologist or a hair doctor who performs transplant repair.  Some of these include:

  1. Antibiotics

Folliculitis, or bacterial infection of the hair follicles, often accompanies the early phases of Traction Allopecia. Topical or oral antibiotics can help alleviate this.

  1. Minoxidil

Also known as Rogaine,  Minoxidil can be an effective form of intervention for Traction Alopecia. Some patients have experienced significant regrowth of their hair from ongoing applications administered twice a day. However, discontinuing this regimen can trigger the recurrence of hair loss.

  1. Hair transplant

The most ideal for of treatment for Traction Alopecia is getting a hair transplant since results are permanent. Advanced techniques in Follicular Unit Extraction can accommodate the specific requirements of different ethnicities and different hair types. For example in African Americans, the hair follicle is curved and also tightly attached to the surrounding tissue. Specialized techniques are needed for successful hair transplant results.

Aside from these treatment options for from Traction Allopecia, patients should work with their doctor to choose more appropriate hair styles and grooming techniques that would not contribute to further hair loss. This may include wearing looser styles that don’t pull the hair. Or this may involve the use of wigs to not only conceal the hair loss, but slow the progression of Traction Allopecia.

what Causes Traction Alopecia

Female patient with Traction Allopecia along frontal hairline and parietal region of the scalp



Traction Alopecia-Hair Loss From Hair Styling

Traction Alopecia is a type of hair loss that mainly occurs in women. It is caused by the constant tension and mechanical pulling of hair due from styling processes and techniques which gradually causes the separation of the shaft from the follicle.  In some cases loss of hair is temporary and sometimes it is permanent. Traction Alopecia is common in black females. However it can occur in any race, regardless of age. There are two basic types of Traction Alopecia:

  1. Marginal- Hair loss occurs in the frontal, parietal and temporal regions of the head
  2. Non-marginal- Loss of hair occurs indiscriminately across the scalp

Hair Styles That Increase Risk For Traction Alopecia

  1. Cornrows

Cornrows involve the weaving of hair tightly across the scalp using three strands.

  1. Weaves

Weaves are often artificial (or real) hair pieces that are sewn into hair that has already been styled into cornrows

  1. Extensions

Hair extensions also involve artificial or real hair that is attached to an individual’s own hair. Sometimes these are glued onto existing hair. And other times they are attached to the native hair with metal clamps.

  1. Tight ponytails

Traction Alopecia can also result from wearing tight ponytails on a regular basis.

  1. Microbraids

Microbraids are long braided strands of artificial hair that are woven into the natural hair .

  1. Dreadlocks

Dreadlocks are matted hair pieces. An individual can purposefully develop these naturally. Or they can come from an outside source (another person’s hair or artificial fibers) In addition to hairstyles that pull the hair from the follicles, Traction Alopecia can also develop from the ongoing use of harsh chemicals such as straighteners or hair lighteners. These styling methods should be used as minimally as possible to help prevent loss of hair.  In addition to considering treatments for hair loss, Patients who suffer from Traction Alopecia should discuss appropriate hair styling options with their dermatologist.

 Traction Allopecia

Traction Allopecia is often caused by hairstyles that tightly pull the hair


Hairstyles and Traction Allopecia

Traction Allopecia is often caused by hairstyles that tightly pull the hair

After the Hair Transplant: Three Unexpected Things to Expect

Even with all your research, perusing of Internet discussion forums, and multiple consultations with hair transplant surgeons, you are terrified of what awaits you on the other side of the hair transplant OR. Success? Failure? And what about everything in between? What are the small intricacies of recovery and healing that a patient of surgical hair restoration should expect? Every person is unique and each body may react differently to this type of trauma. There are, however, a few unexpected reactions that may raise concern. But don’t fret; the following bodily responses are typically normal.

Pimples on the Scalp After Hair Transplant

This is completely normal and usually a symptom of new hair growth trying to push it’s way through the scalp. It can also be caused by loose fragments of hair or skin that are caught beneath the scalp, which is to be expected. Either way, the body is healing and doing what it needs to do.

Pimples tend to start appearing on the scalp between 4 to 12 weeks and new ones may continue to erupt for up to several months. They may take a while to completely clear up due to the sporadic growth of the new hair. If they are painful, particularly large, or uncomfortable, try using a hot washcloth to draw them out and apply tea tree oil.

If the acne breakouts on your scalp are severe, consult your surgeon. Occasionally, folliculitis is the cause of acute acne after surgical hair restoration. Folliculitis requires treatment with antibiotics.

Shedding After Hair Transplant

You underwent hair restoration surgery for the transplanted hairs to grow, not for them to fall out! But between 2 to 4 weeks after the procedure, they will do just this. The hairs become detached from the follicle and shed or get pushed out to make way for new, healthy hair growing out of the transplanted follicle.

If you notice shedding of pre-existing hairs in the donor (or recipient) areas, this is likely caused by the temporary cut-off of blood supply during harvest. This hair loss is not permanent and hairs should grow back in approximately 4 months, right around the time when the transplanted hair is also showing up.

Strange Hair Texture After Hair Transplant

Your newly transplanted hair is showing up coarse, wiry, brittle, and even wavy. This is because it is only the first growth cycle, and the new hair needs a few growth cycles to adjust and appear normal. Over time, the hairs should smooth out and acquire a more natural texture.

Case Study: FUE Hair Transplant Procedure Performed on African American Patient

This African American patient had undergone a strip surgery procedure with 1000 grafts, prior to being treated by Dr. Umar. He also underwent an FUE hair transplant at another clinic.

With the results of both procedures, he was unhappy with the scar that was left on the back of his head. Also he was not satisfied with the coverage and pluggy quality of his anterior hairline.  And his crown area showed signs of hair thinning.

African American Patient with FUE Hair Transplant Procedure

Before and after results of FUE hair transplant performed on African American patient

In contrast to strip surgery, Follicular Unit Extraction offers ways to work with the unique characteristics of hair structures that are inherent within the African American population. After passing a preliminary FUE test to determine transaction rates, this patient was confirmed as an FUE hair transplant candidate.

Dr. Umar used a total of 1200 grafts to improve upon the previous hair replacement procedure. 800 grafts were used for the restoration of the patient’s hairline. 150 grafts were applied to cover the strip scar. And 250 grafts were enough to address the loss of hair in the crown area.

African American FUE hair transplant  procedures must aim to leave the majority of hair follicles in tact within the donor region. Within this ethnic group, transection rates are higher due to the curved follicle, which is more difficult to extract. Also the follicles are more tightly attached to the surrounding tissue.

However, the advantage of using curly hair is that it provides much more coverage compared to other hair types.


African American Hair Transplant

Curly hair in African American FUE hair transplant procedures give more coverage. Only 800 grafts were used for the restoration of this patient’s hairline


The patient was very happy with the results of his hair surgery. And by ten months, all of his initial concerns had been addressed.


Keyword phrase from homepage article: African American FUE hair transplant






F.U.E Hair Transplant Procedures For African American Patients

Techniques in Follicular Unit Extraction can be specialized for specific groups like African Americans. There are physiological distinctions that pertain not only to the hair shaft, but also the hair follicle  itself and its relationship with surrounding tissue. To create the best results, the hair doctor must be able to work effectively within the construct of these characteristics during the actual procedure.

Prior to performing an F.U.E. transplant on African American patients, the doctor must determine the transection rates in potential candidates. This is done through a preliminary F.U.E. test procedure to help decide whether or not the patient can undergo Follicular Unit Extraction.

Curved follicles tend to be more difficult to extract and risk higher rates of transaction, where the hair bulb becomes damaged during the removal process. They also face lower chances of survival when they are reinserted.

Another challenge of F.U.E. transplant performed on African American individuals is that the hair follicles are tightly attached to the surrounding tissue. Extricating these follicles can be difficult because of this.

The hair doctor must make sure to leave most of the donor hair follicles in tact during the surgery.

Despite these concerns, Follicular Unit Extraction offers the best surgical solution for hair replacement in African Americans. Scarring and the development of keloids is a risk factor for this population. While this is certainly a concern in strip surgery due to the use of a scalpel, it is practically a negligible issue   in the context of F.U.E.

One of the benefits of using curly hair in African American F.U.E. transplant is that it provides far greater coverage compared to other ethnicities. So a fewer number of grafts would be adequate for hair restoration.

African American Hair Transplant Procedures

Before and after pictures of FUE transplant performed on African American patient