When people think of hair and the pubic area, they tend to think of hair removal and Brazilian waxes, particularly in women. For many, getting that area as hair-free as possible is ideal. But, not everyone wants to remove all the hair from the pubic area. In some cases, people might want to restore hair to that area.
There are plenty of reasons why a person might want to transplant hair to the pubic region instead of remove it. Some patients might have had laser hair removal in the past, which permanently took away the hair, and now regret that decision.
Pubic hair transplants can also be performed to help conceal scarring in the area caused by surgery on the genitals, such as procedure to lengthen the penis. It is often chosen by transgender people to cover up surgical scars or to provide more hair in the area.
Options for Pubic Hair Transplants
The procedure of transplanting hair to the pubic area is very similar to the procedure of transplanting hair on the scalp. Usually, the surgeon will perform either follicular unit grafting or follicular unit extraction. Follicular unit grafting involves removing a strip of skin from the sides or back of the scalp. The strip contains all of the hair follicles to be transplanted to the area.
The benefit of follicular unit grafting (FUG) is that it allows the surgeon to transplant a greater number of hair follicles without needing to shave the head. A surgeon can obtain thousands of grafts from a single strip.
There is a drawback to FUG, and that is that the surgery tends to leave a long, fine line scar on the scalp where the incision for the strip was made. The scar doesn’t bother every patient, but it can be an issue if someone’s preferred hairstyle is very short.
The other way of transplanting hair to the pubic region is to use follicular unit extraction (FUE). The big difference between FUG and FUE is how the hair is removed from the donor area. During FUE, each follicle is "punched" out of the scalp individually, using a device that measures less than 1 mm in diameter. Instead of leaving a long scar at the back and sides of the scalp, FUE creates a series of tiny dots that are barely visible.
FUE is often recommended for patients who prefer short hair cuts, since the scars aren’t noticeable. It can also be ideal for patients who don’t need to have as many hairs transplanted. Since the procedure involves harvesting the follicles one-by-one, it can take somewhat longer than FUG.
Before a FUE procedure, it might be necessary to shave the patient’s head, which can be a turnoff for some people. There are cases when it’s not necessary to shave the head, though. For example, if the patient only needs a few hundred hairs transplanted, the surgeon may be able to shave small sections, leaving longer areas of hair to cover up the shaved parts.
Whether a patient decides to have FUG or FUE, the surgery itself is usually painless. It’s often performed with a mild sedative, not general anesthesia. Usually the procedure takes several hours. Patients generally go home the next day.
After the Surgery
As with any hair restoration procedure, the results from a transplant to the pubic region won’t be instant. The transplanted hair will fall out after a few weeks. But, that shouldn’t be a cause for alarm. It will begin to grow again within a few months and will continue to grow permanently. Because these hairs come from the scalp, they will need to be trimmed on a regular basis. The surgeon will provide more specific advice on how to wash the area in the days immediately following the surgery and on what activities a patient should avoid, and how long those activities should be avoided.
Reversing the Procedure
Although it might not seem like a desirable option, it is possible for a surgeon to perform the procedure in reverse, taking hair from the pubic area and transplanting it to the scalp or other part of the body. Pubic hair might not be the best option for donor hair, though, as it is considerably different from other hair types. It tends to be curly or rough in texture, which might not match the hair on a person’s scalp.
While possible, using pubic hair in other parts of the body or the scalp is generally a last resort, when hair from other areas is sparse or depleted. It’s much more common to transplant hair to the pubic area, rather than to take hair from the area. In addition, the beard and the chest are usually better areas from which to harvest grafts for transplanting in the scalp.
If you are considering a pubic hair transplant for whatever reason, Dr. Jeffrey Epstein is one of the top hair restoration specialists in the country. Dr. Epstein has offices in New York City and in Miami, Florida. To learn more about the hair restoration procedure and what your options are, contact Dr. Epstein today to schedule an appointment. Call (212) 759-3484 to reach the New York office or (305) 666-1774 to reach the practice in Miami.