Can You Use Someone Else's Hair for Hair Transplant?

The advanced and modern medical tools and technologies have given us the miraculous ability to transplant kidneys, lungs, hearts, livers, pancreas, intestines and other organs from one person to another. What about the hair? Can a person with no hair on his scalp use someone else's hair for transplantation?

It is a great question that comes in the mind of many people while considering a hair transplant. The hair transplant doctors are asked this question for a number of times by different patients. In theory, the answer may be yes, but in reality, the answer is definitely no. We cannot transplant hair from one person to another person.

In the traditional as well as latest hair transplant techniques, a patient's own hair follicles are moved from the back and sides of the scalp to the areas of hair thinning. The amount of coverage is limited if the patients do not have sufficient donor hair.

Whose hair will be implanted into your head?

You are your own donor in the hair transplant procedure. That means the donor and the recipient must be the same person. If you receive hair follicles and tissue from someone else, then your body would discard them without immune-suppressant drugs. You donate your hair from what are called your donor regions and you implant the hair in your recipient or bald sites.

About Donor Sites:

The terms male pattern baldness and female pattern baldness include the word pattern because there is a defined pattern of the baldness in which the people lose their hair. Especially in the case of men, no matter how much hair they have lost in the hairline, front, top or crown areas of their scalp; the sides and back of their heads retain hair, as they are the hair loss resistant areas. The back and sides are far less affected by the action of DHT on the hair follicles. These areas are also known as the donor hair sites, which come along with the follicles and some surrounding tissue.

Why hair transplant procedure cannot use someone else's hair?

Hair transplant or for that matter any form of transplant cannot be performed by using someone else's hair follicles. The reason behind is that the cells from other donor are identified by one's body as 'foreign' to it and hence there is an intense immune reaction to these foreign cells which are eventually destroyed, thus leading to hair transplant failure.

Hair transplant surgery is not like the organ transplant procedures, where the donor is different from you. Unlike hair transplant, the patient does not reject or decline the organs like heart, lungs, kidneys, etc when they are transplanted from another donor. It is because of the use of 'anti-rejection' drugs that have some potential side effects and long term risks as well. These organ transplant procedures and anti-rejection drugs are only prescribed in the cases, where there is a significant medical reason for which a person requires immune-suppression. This is the major reason that a hair transplant is not performed by implanting hair from one individual to another.

Dr. Rohit Garg