Does FUE work on African Americans?
Does FUE work on African Americans? As an African American, you may find yourself feeling abandoned by the hair transplant industry. Many clinics avoid doing the non linear scar forming follicular unit extraction (FUE) type of hair transplant surgery on patients of African descent. Often, patients with African hair types are offered the linear-scar causing hair transplant called strip surgery. Often times, no explanation is given as to why that is so. Ironically, men of African descent favor shorter hair styles (or the shaved look), making them the one demographic in which FUE rather FUSS. They are the one demographic in which FUSS should never be done as the shorter hair cuts would become impossible to carry as the strip scar would be exposed.
Within this reading we will discuss the differences in African hair/skin and the different tools available for an FUE treatment.
There are a few important aspects of African hair anatomy that differ from the structure of other ethnic backgrounds. This is primarily the thickness of the skin and the curvature of the hair follicle. Generally speaking, those of African descent have particularly thick skin, this adds to the difficulty of the extraction process because it takes a stronger force from the doctor and their tools. When it comes to the hair itself, most people of African descent have very tightly curled hair. This curl unfortunately continues below the scalp, in many cases having a very extreme curve in the hair follicle. When trying to extract the follicle it can be difficult for the basic FUE clinics to extract it following the curve without damaging or cutting the follicle in half.
Now that you know a bit about the differences in the hair type, let’s delve deeper into the tools available for hair transplants and a bit more about the FUE process. Currently there are two types of FUE tools available for African American hair transplants: The basic FUE Rotor (which is used in most FUE clinics), and the Dr. UPunch Curl FUE (Which I patented recently and use in all cases of difficult FUE in Afro-textured hair).
Round tipped rotary punches are a straight, mechanical tool that uses a spinning cutting motion to score the tissue around the follicle. This allows physicians to cut into the skin in a clean movement. The downside to this tool for curly hair is in the automatic motion and straight handle of the tool.
On the other hand, the Dr. UPunch Curl is a manual tool rather than an electric rotary and is designed at an angle in order to be more efficient at extracting from sharp angles. This FUE tool was created specifically for black African type curly hair and has shown great success. The Dr. UPunch Curl is revolutionary in that ANY amount of curliness can be extracted safely without breakage of the follicles.
The photos below showcase one patient in particular who received an FUE hair transplant using the Dr. UPunch Curl tool.
Does FUE work on African Americans? The results of the FUE hair transplant for this African American male are extremely successful.