hair restoration using chest hair micrografts
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Hair restoration using chest hair micrografts

The hair transplant technique is governed by the dictum of ‘donor dominance’ which suggests that hair from any part of the body can grow in any other part of the body when transplanted just as it grows at its site of origin. This theory put forth by Dr. Norman Orentriech in 1959 was the very basis of the hair transplant technique revolution until it was challenged by Dr. Hwang and his colleagues in 2002. They proved that the donor dominance theory was not totally correct and that the hair growth was greatly influenced by the recipient site anatomy and physiology.

There is a case study involving transplantation of hair from the chest of a 65 year old man who had scalp hair loss and scarring due to poor hair transplants he had undergone about 20 years previously. Drs. Ray Woods and Angelina Woods Campbell have successfully grafted about 1500 grafts harvested from his chest region and enlightened hair surgeons to an alternate donor region for hair follicles. They have formulated a technique called the micro single follicular unit extraction in which individual follicular grafts are harvested to minimize donor site scarring and can then be used to correct poor hair transplants. The donor site can be the conventional scalp area or from the temple, nape, chest, abdomen and/or back.

In this case study the donor hair was harvested from the temple, nape and the chest; and temple and nape hairs were used to create the hair line and the chest hair used to cover the crown region. Since the harvests were individual follicular units, no suturing or bandaging was necessary. The transplanted hairs showed a survival rate of more than 90% and the growth rate was also higher as compared to the donor site chest hairs original growth rate.

This method suggests a way to overcome non availability of donor hair when there is considerable hair loss and the conventional donor site, the scalp regions, do not have adequate hair density for cosmetic reconstruction and correction.

Hair restoration using chest hair micrografts references

  • Woods R, Campbell AW. Chest hair micrografts display extended growth in scalp tissue: a case report. Br J Plast Surg. 2004 Dec;57(8):789-91. PMID: 15544779
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