Afro and ethnic hair have different characteristics from Caucasian straight or wavy hair, which make them more prone to hair loss. When hair loss becomes too noticeable and affects patients, hair implants can be the right answer. Indeed, this technique offers very good results that last over time.
What is a hair transplant?
A hair transplant consists of performing male (or female) hair implants. This hair is collected from the back of the head, the "back crown". The grafts are extracted from this part because this is an area where hair does not fall out. They are then re-implanted on the front of the head, in the damaged areas (forehead, tonsure). Several techniques are possible, depending on the severity of the alopecia and the characteristics of the remaining hair.
Why have hair transplants?
Hair transplant answers patients who are suffering from baldness. It helps to cope with hair loss, especially when it occurs at an early stage. It offers the opportunity to regain a more dense hair in a long-lasting way since the implanted hair is the patient's own hair. They, therefore, follow the natural hair cycle. This hair treatment has very good aesthetic results and leaves no visible scarring or marks.
What are the different types of hair transplants?
There are two main types of hair transplants: the strip technique (or FUL hair transplant) and the FUE hair transplant.
The strip technique, also known as FUL hair transplant, is the most commonly used method. It consists of taking a strip of scalp from the back of the skull (mid-occipital area) to extract the hair from it. This strip is usually between 1 and 2 cm wide and can be up to 20 cm long. After stitching the skin, the strip is then cut into small follicular units containing between 2 and 4 hairs, to re-implant them on the bald areas of the scalp. Scars are minimal and hidden by the hair on the back of the head.
The FUE hair transplant is based on the same technique as the FUL procedure. On the other hand, the extraction is done with a micro punch that leaves very few scars and is, therefore, less invasive. It is possible to extract more hair follicles from the crown, however, the technique does not allow the implantation of more than 2,000 hairs transplanted per session.
Difference between an Afro and Ethnic hair transplant and a Caucasian hair transplant
Afro and Ethnic hair can be distinguished from straight or wavy Caucasian hair in several ways:
- a slower growth rate;
- lower hair density (-20%);
- a dryness that makes them more weak and breakable;
- a more important telogen stage (resting phase of the hair).
Hair loss is therefore common in patients with Afro and Ethnic hair. When regrowth no longer occurs or when alopecia is too severe, hair implants for men can effectively and permanently cure this condition.
Which hair transplant technique should be considered for afro and ethnic hair?
For afro and ethnic hair, we do not perform the FUE technique, because this method of removal may section all or part of the follicle. The strip technique should therefore be considered. This is particularly the case when baldness is significant.
However, the recent evolution of the procedure, with new punches available, now allows men with moderate baldness (Gulfs, small vertex) to benefit from an FUE graft of 800 to 1,500 grafts with good aesthetic results.