I am an African American male, 52 years of age. I am interested in a hair transplant and wondering what in particular I need to look for in the doctor. Is it necessary to find someone who has special experience with African American hair transplants?
Each ethnic group presents with unique challenges in not only obtaining grafts from the donor region but also angles of the placement of the grafts as well as the designing of the hairline. In an African American, we have to be very careful that we design a hairline that is flatter and straighter with much less temple recession than in the Caucasian male.
We also need to be extremely careful when we excise the donor strip as most African Americans have very curly or wiry hair requiring precise visualization of the follicles to prevent transection. More than ever, the hair technicians who are cutting the grafts need to use stereoscopic microscopes to get the best visualization.
In placing the grafts, it is incumbent on the physician or surgeon to place the grafts in a way that is going to give the African American-type hair the most density and the most optical density. This is going to require a surgeon who has extensive experience in working with African Americans. It is not just the fact that if you know how to do hair transplants, you know how to do African American hair or Asian hair or Hispanic hair.
As stated earlier, each ethnic group presents with different challenges and you need to have a surgeon who is experienced with all of these ethnic groups so that you do not have a “cookie-cutter” operation.
It should be something where there is a unique, custom-made type of hair transplant, just for that person rather than everybody has the same hairline, everybody gets the same angles, everybody gets the same density per square inch.
— Dr. Shelly Friedman, DO
Board Certified Hair Restoration Surgeon
Arizona’s Most Trusted Hair Loss Doctor
Named Phoenix Magazine’s Top Doc – Hair Transplant Surgeon