New Hair Loss Treatment:Transplanting Leg Hair
In a new report in the The Archives of Dermatology it discusses a new procedure to restore receding hairlines: transplanting leg hair. Yes, in what may be the first documented case study, it disclosed that hair follicles had been taken from the legs of male patients and grafted to the back of their heads to restore their hairlines, according to The New York Times.
The treatment is for androngenic alopecia (male-pattern hair loss) and it could help millions of men who struggle with this self-conscious ailment. This hair loss usually starts at the hairline and subsequently makes a horseshoe-shaped pattern around men’s ears.
It is seen largely as a genetic condition.
So how did the idea to use leg hair begin? According to Dr. Sanusi Umar, associate instructor of dermatology at the University of California, Los Angeles Medical School and author of the new report, he saw a few problems with the usual methods to combat hair loss, including his own experience.
He explained, “If you look at a natural hairline, it’s very soft, like baby hair. The back of the head is where you find the thickest hair on the head. If you take that hair and use it in the hairline, it can end up looking harsh and pluggy, because the hair is too thick.”
Dr. Umar should know; he has suffered from his own hair loss. In 1996, while working as an internist, he underwent a “traditional” hair transplant but wasn’t happy with how things turned out. Umar commented, “That inspired me to go into dermatology.”
He began seeking a solution and looked at “advanced body hair transplantation” or the “U-graft method.” This included searching for hair on the body but not all patients have the same amount.
Umar also read a 2008 report that showed transplanted leg hair can survive and then naturally grow on the back of a man’s head, according to The New York Times. He also discovered the hair could make a softer, more realistic hairlines. Umar said, “If you transplant leg hair on the head, it’s not going to start acting like head hair. It will still grow shorter and slower than scalp hair.”
Dr. Umar tried the technique on two patients in his California-based office who had been unhappy with traditional transplants. One patient, a 35-year-old man, “was self-conscious about the problem and resorted to styling his hair forward to obscure the hairline.”
The second patient, a 29-year-old man, thought his hairline after the transplant appeared “harsh and straight” which led him to cut his hair to hide the problem.
By placing patients under local anesthesia, Dr. Umar utilized an instrument that made microscopic wounds around the hair follicles in the back of the leg; they were removed and subsequently transplanted to one’s hairline. He took about 1,000 leg hair follicles and implanted them individually onto the patient’s head.
The removed hairs didn’t leave spots on the legs from the removal and there was minimal scarring.
According to Dr. Umar, approximately 75 to 80 percent of the transplanted leg hair successfully grew on the heads. He said both patients were happy with the results and in his report, he wrote about the 35-year-old patient, “The hairline was fully grown and soft-looking by nine months at which time the patient started combing his hair backward and sporting a ponytail, exposing his hairline comfortably.”
Dr. Umar has conducted eight additional procedures, including one on a female patient. The procedure includes 1,500 to 1,800 follicles and takes place over two visits (three to five days each) through a year’s time. But it comes at a high cost: $7 to $10 per hair follicle graft. The bill could cost thousands of dollars.
Would you be willing to try it?
Tags: hair loss
This entry was posted on Monday, February 27th, 2012 at 10:53 pm and is filed under Hair Loss. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.
Leave a Reply
You must be logged in to post a comment.