Previously, skin thickness type was completely overlooked in the practice of FUE hairline restoration, as well as in the hair transplant industry as a whole. It has been assumed that hair curvature presents a challenge when attempting to use a straight cylindrical punch to follow the hair shaft down to the follicle. In theory, this may seem to be a logical basis for transected grafts. But direct observations on actual patients do support the concept of skin thickness (either extreme thickness or extreme softness) as a much more significant factor to consider.
Skin Type and Hair Type – Which matters more in FUE hair transplant?
While hair type can also contribute to hair transplant graft transection across patient cases, it plays a much smaller role towards the overall final percentage. Here is the rationale.
Current and older generations of FUE technology fail to serve patients of color. It was simply assumed that the underlying problem was the unpredictable angulation that Afro-textured hair grows in. This makes it difficult for a straight punch to follow the curvature in order to excise around the follicle without transecting it.
Through careful observation in his own clinic in Redondo Beach, Los Angeles, Dr. U noticed comparatively higher transection rates patterns in other ethnic groups, such as those of Asian and Arabic descent, specifically. Although their hair was far from curly and kinky, their skin thickness apparently was the contributor to their graft damage.
Skin Thickness – How does my skin thickness type affect the outcome of my FUE hairline restoration?
All human skin can be categorized within the same spectrum. Those with exceptionally hard and thick skin will find themselves at one extreme end, while those with soft and thin skin will be at the other. However; there are many shades of variance in between, accounting for the wide variety of human phenotypes we see around us in.
Skin thickness will determine a few very important things in FUE hairline restoration. It is the source of tissue resistance the FUE punch will need to cut through in order to retrieve the follicle graft from its origins in the skin. With unusually thick skin, it is more difficult to cleanly and completely excise the follicular unit graft using FUE instrumentation of generic strength and design. Patients with thick skin will need much more powerful tools to see success in their hairline restoration.
Conversely, thin skin can sometimes be too delicate for even the most gentle FUE technology. Using tools that are too fast, rough, or powerful runs the risk of the hair transplant specialist tearing through the skin surrounding the follicle instead of excising it. This leaves the hair graft naked, with no tissue sheath protecting it in the recipient area which will adversely affect their ability to survive in their new location.
Dr.UGraft ™ is engineered to accommodate any type of skin. This all-in-one technology is the first of its kind. Capable not only of FUE hairline restoration in patients of every skin type and thickness, it is also able to extract grafts from the body (where the surrounding tissue is always going to be much softer than the scalp). This unique technology is able to make BHT body hair transplant an option for just about any patient.
Frequently-Asked Questions About Skin Thickness and Hair Restoration for Men
Why has the importance of skin type never been emphasized before in hairline restoration?
As discussed above, most doctors rationalized that the curliness of the hair was the primary cause of transected grafts. Since basic FUE tools, have a cylindrical shape, the practitioner can only rely on the visible hair shaft above the skin as a cue for aligning their punch correctly in order to accurately surround the hair follicle. Trying to trace the curvature of the hair with this configuration would be a futile attempt.
Will skin thickness disqualify me from FUE hairline restoration?
If your hair transplant specialist uses the Dr.UGraft ™ FUE system in his or her practice, the thickness of your skin will be accounted for due to the intuitive and customizable features of this technology.
This technology is built to alert the operator when faced with extreme skin resistance (due to very thick skin) or resistance which is very weak. He or she can then adjust the speed and torque settings, allowing the punch to safely extract your grafts without harming the outer tissue sheath.
An especially comprehensive study on BHT body hair transplant in a large sample of Dr. U’s own patients