If hair transplant is advanced, especially in male pattern baldness, there may be hair loss in the donor area and it may be difficult to transplant with your own hair. In this case, it may be tempting to have a hair transplant using the hair of an acquaintance with the same hair color and texture. However, the immune system perceives the hair follicles as a foreign body and the transplanted hair falls out before the roots have a chance to grow.
The immune system is one of the body’s innate and learned protective mechanisms. Thanks to the fact that every cell in the body carries a certain mark, the immune system can recognize foreign bodies. Hair follicles used for hair transplantation activate the immune system and are attacked by white blood cells. In addition, the body begins to produce antibodies against new cells and causes foreign hair follicles to shed faster.
As a result, only your own hair can be used for hair transplantation. When someone else’s hair is used, the hair follicles are rejected by the immune system and the transplant fails.
Why Does The Body Accept Others Organs But Not Hair?
When hair loss progresses, it may not be possible to use your own hair to cover the area with hair loss in donor areas, especially in case of male pattern baldness. In this case, it may seem tempting to have a hair transplant with someone else’s hair with the same hair color and texture. However, the immune system immediately recognizes foreign stem cells and attacks them, so the transplanted hair falls out before it has a chance to grow.
The immune system distinguishes what belongs to the body from foreign, thanks to certain signs in each cell. When hair follicles are transplanted, they are perceived as a foreign body that activates the immune system. Even if the genetic markers in the cells of the follicles are similar, they are still different enough and activate the immune system. Therefore, even someone from the family or with a similar hair structure is not suitable.
During an organ transplant, the immune system is suppressed to prevent the body from rejecting the new organ. However, the same tactic cannot be applied in hair transplantation, because the immune system will only attack the transplanted hair follicles instead of suppressing all defense mechanisms.
As a result, it is not possible to use someone else’s hair for a hair transplant. The immune system immediately rejects the foreign hair follicles and the hair cannot grow. Compared to organ transplantation, hair transplantation is not worth compromising the entire immune system of the body and therefore immunosuppressive drugs cannot be used.
What are the Alternatives to Hair Transplantation with Someone else’s Hair?
There are different methods for hair transplantation. Synthetic hair transplantation is performed by implanting bio-fibers. Bio-fibers are a type of fiber with a structure and color similar to your own hair. However, they cannot grow and the body perceives them as a foreign body and is fought by the immune system. Although some patients may accept this material, reputable hair transplant clinics generally do not recommend this method.
Hair pigmentation, on the other hand, can be used to mimic a shaved head or to make fine hair fuller. This method can also be used to cover bald spots between long hair.
Transplanting with your own hair is another option for patients who want to have a hair transplant. It is possible to reactivate intact follicles from the donor site in combination with PRP therapy and growth agents. In addition, larger bald areas can be covered by taking grafts from beard, chest and back hair. Using the FUE method, each follicle can be strategically transplanted in a different location and bald areas can be transformed into full hair. These methods are among the most popular options for hair transplantation.
Where is the Donor Area Selected for Hair Transplantation Usually?
The donor area chosen for hair transplantation is the area with hair follicles, which are usually located at the back of the neck and can produce hair permanently. This area is often called the “donor area” and is the preferred area for hair transplantation because the hair follicles located here are not genetically affected by the hormones that cause hair loss. For this reason, grafts taken from here are generally more permanent and better adapted to other transplanted areas. However, the best donor site may be different for each patient and it is important to consult an expert on this matter.
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