For a long time, African-American men and women suffered hair loss problems silently. They watched people from other ethnicities with straight hair get hair transplant treatments, which they thought was impossible with their hair texture. Could they have been misinformed?
African American hair transplant has been a challenge for most surgeons, but it’s now doable with the advanced hair transplant available today. However, you have to find a knowledgeable practitioner experienced in this hair restoration.
What Causes Hair and Who Is Prone To It?
Anyone can have hair loss issues, and one of the common causes of this problem is hereditary. So, in men, this is known as male pattern baldness, and in women, it’s the female pattern baldness. But the medical term used to refer to this hair loss is androgenic alopecia.
Male-pattern baldness, which affects 50 percent of males over 50 years, is more prone to Caucasian ethnic groups than Africans and Asians. The primary structure is the same for all ethnicities. However, hair fibers’ unique morphologies and inherent characteristics make all the difference in hair type.
Ethnicity and Hair Structure
There are three types of ethnic-hair profiles, Asian, Caucasian, and African-American. What sets them apart is their structure, texture, and color. Some of these groups will grow hair slowly, while others will grow too fast. And, Implantation in the scalp is also different. For example, African American hair transplants can be tricky compared to other ethnicities.
A typical characteristic of African-American hair is tight curls and kinks. The hair grows almost parallel to the scalp. Due to its spiral structure, the hair grows in circles and has the slowest growth rate, at 0.9 centimeters per month. Their hair has a much higher density than Asian hair.
African-American hair has the smallest average hair diameter of 55µm, among the other subgroups. But it has the most significant variance of diameter in individual strands.
Asian hair grows perpendicularly to the scalp, and it’s usually straight. Its color range from dark brown to black. Unlike other ethnicities, Asian hair has the fastest growth rate. It can grow at approximately 1.4 centimeters per month. Asians have the lowest hair density compared to the rest.
Caucasian hair appears in various forms, straight, curly, or wavy. The color can be blond or dark brown, with the color strand appearing in an oval shape. It grows diagonally at a rate of 1.2 centimeters per month. This hair density is the highest and fullest among other ethnicities.
African-American Hair Transplant
Apart from the prevalent hair loss issue (androgenic alopecia), another common problem among African-Americans is Traction Alopecia. It occurs as a result of forceful pulling hair over a long period. People of color are notorious for this action as they braid their hair and put hair weaves and other extensions that may lead to hair pulling.
Follicular unit extraction (FUE) is one of the African American hair transplants that surgeons prefer, while others may opt for the strip technique, also known as FUT.
FUE involves extracting 1-4 grafts using incisions or a punch device-specific for this work. While in FUT, a surgeon has to remove a strip of scalp with hair follicles required. Both procedures use the same process of implanting hair into the recipient area, though there are differences in harvesting.
Since hair restoration for African-American hair can be challenging, it’s critical to have an experienced and skilled surgeon perform this procedure.
What Are The Challenges?
Due to the curly nature of African-American hair, this has become a significant challenge for African American hair transplants. So, the curls start from the scalp to the root of each hair. That’s why it’s tough for surgeons to harvest it from the scalp without causing some root damage.
The surrounding hair follicles have thicker and tighter skin layers than other ethnic groups.
Special considerations for FUE hair transplant
During the FUE method, the surgeon has to be extremely careful to remove all the hair roots to avoid rupture or damage to the follicle. If a technician lacks the skill required, the results can be a disaster and might result in a high transaction rate.
Thanks to advanced hair restoration, african american hair transplant can yield satisfactory results with a skilled surgeon. While some keloid cases run in dark-skinned people, this is also a freaking concern from this community. Keloid scarring is possible after an FUE hair transplant as the punch device leaves extraction marks after healing. So, do your due diligence to avoid such problems. And now, you know better.