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All African American related posts


I am an african american woman with traction alopecia. I have about an inch to inch and a half of traction above my forehead and temples. No traction any where else. I have ample donor supply. My hair is very thick and coily. I recently saw a hair transplant surgeon in San Francisco, that told me i have the donor supply but may not have a successful transplant because of the texture of my hair. The surgeon has showed me pictures of his past work but I was not impressed.

They were pics of african amer men but i saw little improvement. I see pictures and comments on the web that it is possibly for women of my hair texture to have successful transplants. I am not prone to keloids, however, I experience ingrown hairs in my pelvic region. Is there a specialist our Dr or technique that can help me?

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Success of a hair transplant surgery is highly variable with each medical group. It’s not like going to a mechanic, where you can have a tire changed or your oil changed and the end result is pretty much the same. Unfortunately, I don’t have any specialist referral to provide.

Surgery in African American men and women is technically challenging, because each hair (underneath) the skin is curly. In other words, the grafts are curly. That means it is difficult for the technicians to cut and place the grafts. If threading a needle is hard enough, imagine threading a tightly coiled thread through a needle. Many doctors and medical groups for this reason shy away from performing surgery on African American hair or even curly hair. Add this to the fact African American men and women have a greater tendency to develop scarring and keloids. If you’re not prone to keloids, you’re lucky!

Another point to make is that hair transplantation surgery in women generally is not as straight forward as surgery in men, as the results may not be permanent. Men have a permanent donor area, whereas women’s hair loss is more diffuse. You should also know that to fix the balding from traction alopecia, the patient will often need more than one surgery, as the density of transplanted hair may not match the density of the natural hair behind it.

Alas, I am not your surgeon and I am not here to give you a personalize opinion. This information is generalized and you need to understand what is and is not possible. Weigh out the pros and cons of what you are trying to achieve and make an informed and educated decision.

Tags: african american, black, hair loss in women, female hair loss, hair transplant, hairloss, hair loss


Hi I am a thirty year old African American Female. From my early childhood, I have been exposed to tight ponytails, braids, weaves and chemical services applied incorrectly. Surprisingly, I still have a head full of hair with the exception of my thinning hair line. My hair is currently chemical free and has been that way for over seven years. I normally wear wigs as a protective style. My hairline is still thin. Is surgery my only option?

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Norwood 4AUnfortunately, there’s no medication that can restore a hairline and surgery might be the only option. Hair transplants for the frontal hairline work well, even in African Americans. Unfortunately, many African American women I’ve seen with traction alopecia have lost much of their frontal hair, even the hair that goes into the temple peaks on the side, creating a concave look similar to a Norwood Class 4A pattern (see image at right). The problem is that the larger the area, the more hair it takes to get a thick result.

African Americans usually are born with less hair than Caucasians (about 65% by hair count) so the supply is often more limited. In your case, if the hair loss is just in the frontal 1 1/2 inches, you may be able to get it back. A good examination is important, especially when made by someone who has considerable experience capable of giving you realistic expectations.

Tags: african american, black hair, african hair, hairloss, hair loss, traction alopecia


Hello, I am an African- American 18-year-old with a very high forehead. I was wondering if the hairline lowering procedure would be successful because of my hair texture. Also, I have had numerous perms in my lifetime and will continue on with perming my hair.

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Everyone is different and there’s no way I can tell you about success or failures without at least an examination. The texture of your hair doesn’t rule you out, though.

If you are talking about actually lowering the hairline with a brow-dropping procedure then you need to be evaluated by a surgeon that does these. Many plastic surgeons offer this procedure. If you want to consider doing this with hair transplants, then you (again) need to be evaluated by an expert hair transplant surgeon like us.

Tags: african, african american, hairline lowering, hairline


I interesting in learning what can be done for Black Women who are lossing their hair. And the physcians are saying it from the chemicals that we use. Ex. perms. they say the only treatment is rogaine and injections which will also cause complete baldness if we can no longer afford that treatment while they give the white women hormone replacement. Can you help and give better advise

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Black hair permChemicals (like relaxers) can cause damage, but many black women will also see traction alopecia, which is permanent hair loss caused by the pulling of tight braids, many times from when they were very young. For women, the only FDA approved hair loss treatment is Rogaine (minoxidil). Hormone replacement likely won’t regrow your hair and I’m not sure which injections your doctor is recommending.

This isn’t an issue of race so much as gender. For men, the great majority of cases of hair loss are from genetics and there’s an oral pill for that. For women, there’s a large list of possible causes of hair loss and no truly great solutions. So it’s not that black women have less options, but rather, all women have limited treatment options.

See this page for more — Female Genetic Hair Loss Is Different From Male Genetic Hair Loss.

Tags: race, hairloss, hair loss, female hair loss, gender


Hello doctors,

I’m a black male with very early stage thinning in a 3v pattern. I’ve been on finasteride for about two years, and am basically satisfied with the results.

I’ve talked to friends and family who might have similar patterns of thinning, and in discussing the options, several of them are skeptical about the effect transplants would have.

My question is this: what is the authoritative opinion on how well transplanting can cover up balding (specifically, can It be made to look like I have virtually no thinning?)

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Your question isn’t really fair. You are asking a hair transplant surgeon who thinks about hair transplant surgery as a matter of livelihood. It’s like asking a chef if you should eat their food.

My point is you should be asking these questions to the patients who had hair transplants. You should meet them face-to-face to judge what the value has been based upon the change you see. Looking at some before and after photos has some minimum value, but face-to-face meetings like we have at our monthly Open House events in San Jose and Los Angeles give you the opportunity to see for yourself!

Hair transplants all depend on the supply of donor hair and the size of the balding area. Setting patient expectations is critical to what we do. You will never look like when you were 16 years old with regard to hair fullness. Maybe you can come close, but that depends on the number of grafts, hair color, hair texture, hair style, and skin color. For example, curly black hair on dark skin gives great coverage and fullness over thin straight black hair on while skin.

Tags: hair transplant, hairloss, hair loss, hair restoration


I am a black (African American) woman in my mid thirties, and in the top of my head and on the right side, in the front around my ears, my hair is continuously thinning and no new hair is growing so the area is getting bald. I chemically relax my hair, and when the straightened hair grows out and the new curly hair grows from my scalp, I notice that in the area with thin hair there is no new growth.

How possible would it be for me to get a hair transplant to that area of my hairline, that extends to my right ear, and about two inches back from my forehead?

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I suppose it might be possible, but this isn’t something I could agree to doing without a consultation. You might not be a candidate for surgery. I don’t know how long you’ve been waiting for the hair to regrow, but it could take a year or two.

There’s just too many variables to be able to give you a yes or no about having a hair transplant without seeing you in person. I’d meet with your doctor to find out if this is chemically related loss or if there is something else at play like a series of autoimmune diseases which can cause localized hair loss. You should try to figure out why you’re losing hair before you try to surgically correct it.

Tags: hair transplant, female hair loss, chemical relaxer, chemical damage, hairloss, hair loss


Since last year I have been experiencing hair loss. I am a 49 year old african american female who in December 2009 had a noticeable bald spot that began appearing at the left side of my crown. From December until January 2010 the spot began to move from one side to another and then became quite bad. I finally went to see a physician who diagnosed me with autoimmune disease and alopecia. He prescribe a topical steroid (betamethasone dipropiontate lotion) and encouraged to take biotin. The back of the hair has grown back and now between a nickle and a quarter spot still remains at the crown. I am experiencing hair growth and to the roots it is quite coarse.

Would you recommend that I put a kiddie relaxer in it to get some of the thickness straighten out?

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Kiddie relaxerIf you are asking whether a hair relaxer will help or make your condition worse, I would guess “no” to both. If you are asking if a hair relaxer will help with your look, that’s a styling question and I would rather leave that up to you.

As far as I know, hair relaxer for kids contains the same chemicals as hair relaxer for adults, but it is just marketed differently. In other words, you still run the risk of causing chemical damage.

Tags: alopecia areata, hairloss, hair loss, hair relaxer, chemical


well i seem to be having a thinning problem at the crown of my head. The real problem is that i am only 14. It appears that this runs in my family because my uncle is in his twenties and he has the same problem. I am an African American male.

I have also heard that African hair is fragile. i brush my hair with a boar brush that is quite hard. So i am wondering if the hardness of my brush could possibly make my hair look even more thin at the crown. currently i am also obtaining that popular waves hairstyle that is quite popular among african american males is this also a factor?

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Boar brushAfrican hair is fragile, but if your brush is indeed too ‘hard’ on the hair I’d suspect you would notice thinning everywhere you brush.

It’s not too common for male pattern baldness to start in 14 year olds, but it is not outside the realm of possibility and it could start with puberty. Considering you have an uncle with early loss, it certainly points to your genetics. You might even find others in your family line had similar issues in their youth. See a doctor, get a diagnosis, and have a miniaturization study done to see what is really going on.

Tags: crown hair loss, hair loss, hairloss, black, african hair


I am an African American male age 46 with a keloid on the back of my head which resulted from two surgeries to remove it. Now I have a keloid the size of a strawberry which leaves a bald patch in my hair. Can a hair transplant or hair patch be put in that area to cover it for good? If so will it cause more problems in the future or no?

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I often see patients that wish to cover scars (and keloids), but hair growth on this tissue can be less than optimal and patients often require addition surgery to increase the density of hair. In the end, the scar and keloid is still there, but it might be covered with the new transplanted hairs.

Transplanting into keloids, however, also runs the additional risk of making them worse. If you’re known to form keloids on the scalp, then having more surgery (like a hair transplant) could result in more of the same. You already tried to surgically excise the keloid on your scalp and it caused it to grow larger? I don’t think its worth the risk, though without an examination I couldn’t make a definitive opinion.

Tags: keloid, hair transplant, hairloss, hair loss, hair restoration, scarring


What are the side effects of Rogaine and the Afro American Male.

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The same potential side effects occur from Rogaine (minoxidil) in all skin colors and hair types. Those side effects include skin irritation and chest pain, but you can read the full list here.

Tags: rogaine, minoxidil, afro, african, black, hairloss, hair loss


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