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?
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.