In recent years, an increasing number of men suffering from hair loss have been turning to FUE (Follicular Unit Extraction) hair transplantation to reliably reverse the signs of male pattern baldness. This procedure works by individually extracting hair follicles from more abundant areas of the scalp and implanting each one into the regions where hair is missing. Perhaps the most valued advantage of FUE is that there is no remaining linear scar, unlike with it’s predecessor known as strip surgery (FUT). Therefore Follicular Unit Extraction has become a very high demand choice among males who prefer wearing their hair short.
The results from basic FUE hair transplantation have generally produced excellent coverage and amazingly natural looking results. However in the case of performing hair transplants for black men, specialized instruments and surgical protocols become necessary due to factors like the unique shape of their hair follicles and the toughness of the tissue surrounding these tiny structures.
The Limitations of Conventional FUE Hair Restoration For Black Men
Despite the enthusiasm for Follicular Unit Extraction, the challenges of performing successful hair transplant procedures for black males is a lesser known issue. Members of this demographic who are interested in hair loss surgery are encouraged to educate themselves about the limitations of conventional approaches.
The basic cylindrical design of classic FUE instrumentation is generally suitable for hair follicles that produce straight hair. haartransplantation köln At the same time, their capabilities become problematic when it comes to extracting curved shaped hair follicles, as is the case in patients with Afro-textured hair.
In black men and women, the curlier the hair, the more aggressive is the curvature of the hair follicle. Because of their shape, these tiny structures carry an enormous risk of being damaged by the cylindrical punch shape of regular FUE instruments. And since damaged grafts cannot produce new hair, this results in disappointing growth.
Besides the issue of curvature, another challenge in black patients has to do with the thickness of the scalp tissue surrounding the hair follicles. Because of this density, surgeons have to apply Follicular Unit Extraction punch tools with greater force in order to cut around each follicle. This impact, further contributes to the damage of the grafts.
Ultimately, ethnic FUE hair transplant procedures for black males require specially designed extraction tools designed to overcome the hurdles of follicular shape and tissue thickness in order to harvest viable grafts for desirable hair growth.
The Need for Preliminary FUE Testing
With Follicular Unit Extraction, the success rate for patients with Afro-textured hair has been estimated to be about 30-40%. Black patients who are able to achieve their desired outcomes through FUE usually have softer scalp tissue along with hair follicles that have a straighter shape. Therefore these individuals face less risk of graft damage.
Black patients who are interested in Follicular Unit Extraction performed with conventional FUE tools are advised to undergo preliminary testing. This will help determine transection (i.e. graft damage) rates and their eligibility for full surgery. These tests can be thought of as mini hair transplant surgeries. Small numbers of follicles are extracted and inserted to help determine whether or not the overall growth would be desirable after a full surgery.