This question comes from a member of our Hair Restoration Social Community and Discussion Forums:
I’ve heard that because of issues with donor density and hair characteristics, African American hair loss sufferers can’t undergo hair transplant surgery. Is this true?
I’m not sure where this rumor came from, but it is untrue: African American hair loss sufferers can definitely undergo both follicular unit extraction (FUE) and follicular unit transplantation (FUT) procedures. However, as you pointed out, there are a few factors that make African American hair transplant cases a bit more unique and interesting.
First, it’s my understanding that the usual characteristics of African American hair makes dissecting follicular unit grafts or cleanly extracting units slightly more difficult. It seems like the hair characteristics can be a bit curly, thick, and “wirey,” which makes working with these follicular units more difficult. However, these same characteristics, in my opinion, often create excellent density and coverage when transplanted into thinning scalp.
Additionally, as you stated before, African American patients tend to have lower density in the universal extraction region when compared to Caucasian patients, for example. However, “lower density,” does not imply that hair transplantation is not possible; it simply means that session sizes may be a bit more conservative (which could again be countered by the excellent characteristics of the donor grafts).
Finally, it’s my understanding that African American patients tend to scar a bit easier than individuals from different racial backgrounds.
Having said that, you should keep in mind that this information is based on generalizations, averages, and anecdotal information. Additionally, almost all hair transplant procedures involve some sort of variable, and unique cases are definitely not confined to the African American patient population. Frankly, in the hands of a talented hair transplant surgeon, state-of-the-art hair transplantation is just as feasible for African American patients as it is for hair loss sufferers of any other race. To prove this, I wanted to share a few recent African American hair transplant cases from our recommended hair restoration physicians:
These are simply a few examples of the numerous African American hair transplant cases performed each year. As you can probably tell, African American patients can successfully undergo hair transplant surgery.
Blake – aka Future_HT_Doc
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