Yes, black people can can have a successful hair transplant but with a few caveats.
Doing a hair transplant on black people has a few unique challenges which we will explore now.
The difference with african-type hair transplants
1) Hair type
Black people usually have hair that is more curly than Caucasian or other races. This means the technique used for black hair will be slightly different.
Let me explain a bit more.
A popular technique is the FUE technique (follicular unit extraction) where hair is plucked or harvested from one area of the scalp and transplanted onto another area.
Given that black people’s hair is more curly at the base, this poses a Challenge for surgeons in harvesting the hair.
So some surgeons have developed special tools for this. And a few surgeons have built up specialised expertise in transplanting african-type hair.
Generally black skin is more prone to scarring than other skin types. So hair transplant techniques which can leave a scar are probably not recommended for people with black skin.
Techniques such as FUT strip an area of the scalp and transplant it onto another area, leaving a significant scar.
Most likely, this would not be recommended for people of African descent, unless the surgeon is convinced the risk of a scar is minimal.
3) Hair density
A piece of good news for people with African type hair, is that they usually get excellent coverage even for a small number of grafts.
This simply means their final result usually looks a lot denser and thicker than other hair types.
Because their hair is curly it gives better coverage compared to to Caucasian type hair. So they can have relatively small number of grafts and Achieve a much better density.
Which technique should black clients go for?
Fue technique of hair transplantation can yield excellent results for black clients.
FUE stands for “follicular unit extraction” which involves extracting each follicular unit by hand.
The curly nature of black hair types makes this technique fairly challenging. It can also be more expensive than other techniques.
FUT stands for “follicular unit transplantation”, or the “strip” method.
This technique involves cutting an entire section of scalp and transferring it to the bald area.
This technique can yield even better results than FUE for black clients, but it can lead to scarring in some patients.
FUT is also substantially cheaper than FUE.
Choosing a clinic
It is critical you choose a clinic that has experience with black hair types.
Black hair type is different than other hair types. It is curlier and coarser. So it does require specific skills from the clinic.
I have published a video on my recommended clinics for people with black hair types.
General tips for choosing a clinic
- Visit their website – does it seem professional?
- Do they have experience with black hair types?
- Who is the lead surgeon? what is their background?
- Are they pressuring you to book? does it seem a bit “salesy”
Are the costs higher for black hair types?
There are two opposing arguments in terms of the cost of hair transplants for black hair types.
Because clinics which specialise in black hair types are fewer in number, they may charge a higher price.
Also, black hair type tends to be trickier to work with, so surgeons may charge a higher premium.
On the positive side, if a black client goes for the FUT or “strip” method; the costs tend to be much lower.
Also, as most black hair types achieve excellent density with fewer grafts; their costs may be lower.
Hair transplants on Mixed-race hair
Hair transplants can be successfully done on mixed race people ( i.e. Caucasian & black mix). However, it is highly recommended those people get a face-to-face consultation to assess their suitability and hair type first.
Some mixed race people have a hair type closer to Caucasian hair, and others have a hair type closer to African-type hair.
Which one are you?
If the former, then they have a wide choice of excellent surgeons to choose from. But if the latter, then they have to choose clinics which specialise in african-type hair and do their research very carefully.
Pharmacist with special interest in hair loss and hair transplantation.
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