First of all Afro Hair transplants are becoming very popular. A simple process of transplanting hair from a donor sight to where it is required. Methods include FUT (follicular unit transplant) and FUE (follicular unit extraction). Both Afro Caribbean men and women are able to undertake Afro hair surgery if suitable. If you would like to know more about Afro hair transplants then give us a call, write to us or come along for a consultation. We can answer any questions you may have and confirm your suitability.
In addition we offer eyebrow and beard surgery. Maybe you are considering one of these procedures? Similarly you may have visited other clinics and want a comparison. Why not arrange a free consultation. We can answer any questions you have and perhaps put your mind at rest. We hope that you will consider us when choosing a clinic to help you.
Finally we must establish of you are suitable. We have hair and scalp specialists (trichologists) on hand to speak to you right now. Hope to hear from you soon. Thank you.
Free Consultation – Afro Hair Transplants
You will be invited to attend the Holborn Clinic at a suitable time where you will be seen by a qualified Trichologist. This first step is to ensure you are suitable. A full scalp examination will take place in order to ensure there are no underlying skin conditions that could hinder the transplant. In addition confirm the reason why the hair has shed and whether there are non surgical options. The consultation takes around 30 minutes albeit we don’t have time limits.
Afro Hair Transplant FUT or FUE?
First of all, in the majority of cases FUE is not the best option when considering Afro Hair surgery cases. So why am I saying this? Ok, think about the shape of your hair. Afro Hair is very curly above the skin. Furthermore it is just as likely to be as curly under the skin too. The FUE procedure uses a straight extraction device which enters the skin and dislodges the hair follicular unit. Curly hair has a high chance of being damaged in the FUE procedure.
Therefore the FUT (follicular unit transplantation technique) is the preferred option. Yes you will speak to some clinics that say they can do an FUE. There are three main reasons for this.
- First of all only a qualified surgeon may undertake the FUT procedure. Any qualified Doctor (GP for instance) may practice the FUE procedure.
- Secondly, some clinics would “take the chance” knowing that you would have signed to say you are aware that they grafts may not grow.
- Thirdly, if you have perhaps a small procedure requiring lets say 600 grafts. How would you feel if they took 3000 grafts with only 600 that were not destroyed? Luckily most clinics would steer clear of attempting afro cases using the FUE procedure. In my view along with the surgeons that work at the Holborn Clinic FUE in afro cases should not be attempted.
So let’s take you through the FUT procedure from start to finish. I must warn you that I have included every part of the Afro Hair surgery and there may be some images containing blood and some videos of the skin being opened. My apologies if this in anyway upsets you but I feel it is important to know what actually happens.
Finally, don’t forget this is a minor cosmetic procedure under local anaesthetic. You are fully awake but you will be positioned in a relaxed position and you won’t see any of the gory details.
Lets get started
So, you arrive at the clinic. Don’t forget not to drink alcohol for a week prior to the operation. So you would have been advised to make sure you have something for breakfast. If not we will go and get you something. Next, we will go through a final medical check and run through the procedure again and answer any questions you may have. This will be with the doctor. Once this is complete we can get started. So this is an FUT procedure.
Prepare the Donor Site
First of all, we have to decide on the size of the door strip. This is the piece of skin that will be removed from the back of the head. The surgeon will decide on an approximate amount of grafts required then examine the density. Once this is done the strip size can be accurately estimated.
Furthermore, once the area is shaved it needs to be washed. A Hair Transplant is what’s classed as a clean procedure and not sterile. What this means is you are not under sedation but under a local anaesthetic. A little like going to the dentist but you will be here for a good few hours. The clinic is cleaned to a high level and all instruments are sterile and single use. Once the area is cleaned using a sterilising solution you are ready for the injections.
So, I’m sure you like most are perhaps worried about injections and if they are going to hurt? I’m not going to lie and say you won’t feel anything. Most patients just sit back and it doesn’t bother them. Some feel them more than others but I would add they are over quickly. Furthermore once they are done you won’t feel anything for the rest fo the procedure.
So, how many injections are required? This will depend on the size of the strip or donor site and recipient area. Each injection takes a matter of seconds.
Some patients are really worried about injections. The doctor may give you something to relax.
Taking the strip
First of all, the taking of the strip can and must only be conducted by a qualified surgeon. So a doctor (not a surgeon) may conduct an FUE (follicular Hair Extraction) procedure but not an FUT (Follicular Hair Transplant). Also, you need a surgeon who has had a lot of experience in Afro Hair transplant to ensure the risks of scarring are reduced.
The video shows the surgeon Dr Sciacca opening the skin using a scalpel. At the Holborn Clinic all of our instruments are single use and sterile. You will see that the patient is fully awake and feels no pain.
Taking the strip takes a matter of a few minutes. Stitching up afterwards takes longer. Throughout, you will feel no pain. Although you may hear what’s going on.
Stitching the Donor Site
Stitching the donor site needs care and precision. Firstly, the internal lining is joined after which the most superficial epidermal layer is closed ensuring a clean look and to minimalise the potential for keloid scars. This process takes time to ensure a finished look. Stitching needs an expert hand to ensure they will not come apart.
Most noteworthy, stitching should be completed by the surgeon.
There is no pain during this procedure. You may feel a little “tugging” in the skin. Once the stitching is complete the surgeon will move to the incisions.
The above image is that of an afro scalp strip. You can see the hairs and how they lie within the skin. Most noteworthy how they enter the skin at angles. Also you may zoom in on this image which will give you a better image.
Placing the Incisions
First of all you will need a few more injections to numb the area.
Afro Hair Transplant incision are created like all skin types. Furthermore they are created using a razor sharp, precision blade. The sizes vary but as a rule the incisions will be formed using 0.9-1.0mm blades.
The depth would be approx 0.6mm. Furthermore it takes approx 1-2 hours to create the incisions depending the amount required.
Finally, you will not feel any pain. However, you will probably hear the blade going in. Its difficult to explain but due to the numbness your sense of feeling is heightened.
Planting the Grafts
First of all, the grafts are cut from the strip taken above. Secondly they are shaped to ensure a close and appropriate fit into the incisions. It is important to remember that we are transferring hair stem cells which are located around the base of the hair follicular unit. The shaping of grafts in determined under a microscope, by experienced hair technicians.
Once the hairs are shaped the technical team will start to implant them in to the incisions created by the surgeon.
Forceps are used to carefully take the hair and place it deep inside the incision. You can imagine this takes time when we could be transferring over 2000 follicles. This is a tricky and time consuming role. It takes a steady hand and a keen eye to ensure they are placed correctly.
Ok, so we are now finished. Time to clean the area and bandage up the donor site. Also make sure everything is looking good. So the final step is to sit you down and go through what we have done and what is required of you at home. Furthermore, we will give you some written material advising the same. Don’t worry though, I don’t expect you to remember everything. I will be in touch most days for the first week to ensure you are doing what you should. Also I think most patients quite like contact from us.
After this I will be in contact over the following weeks and months to monitor your progress. In Afro Hair Transplants the final results may take up to 18 months.
A 36 year old female who suffered from traction loss. The image to the left shows before. The image to the right was 12 months after the hair transplant. A total of 2200 grafts were used in this case.
We will advise you of the cost for your individual Afro Hair transplant case at consultation. Please note we don’t charge per graft. We charge for what is required to complete the job. The actual number can only be confirmed once the surgeon has created the incisions. This is prevent any additional charges on the day which does happen when paying per graft. Prices range from £3000-£6000 depending on the size of the transplant.
An Afro Female case. Traction Alopecia causing permanent hair loss. We have rebuilt the hair line. This image was taken straight after the Afro Hair transplant.
You can see in this image that the temporal regions have been covered with a thick density of donor hair. Again this image was taken straight after the procedure. It goes without saying that avoiding strain on the hair in future will prevent this from happening again.
You will notice the hair line is not straight. All patients have different requirements when designing a hair line. The shape of the face is a major factor when deciding on the most natural look.
Considerations when thinking of a Afro Hair Transplant
Type of hair loss?
Type of hair shedding is a main concern. Hair loss in women when discussing a permanent state of loss differs from that of a male pattern in most cases. Of course there are many temporary hair loss conditions that affect women. In such cases the hair loss will grow back. Treatment of course may be required but in this instance Afro hair surgery would not be suitable.
Quite possibly the most obvious case for surgery. A simple and permanent solution for the lost hair caused by traction alopecia. Contrary to belief, traction loss cannot be regenerated. If there are no hair follicles then hair cannot grow. Therefore the only way to have that perfect hair line that you have lost is to have it transplanted. You can choose the hair line you want as well.
Afro Hair Surgery FUE or FUT?
Most Afro men will have very short hair. hence this would exclude FUT (follicular unit transplantation) transplant’s as there will be a visible scar which will show in very short hair styles. FUE (follicular unit extraction) is the only real method to avoid obvious scarring.
We find most women prefer the FUT procedure.
Patients may have medical conditions such as high blood Pressure, HIV, Hep B, Alopecia Areata and a list of other conditions that may prevent a patient being suitable for an Afro Hair Transplant.
Sufficient Donor Site?
There must be sufficient donor hair. There should be sufficient hair grafts to be able to take what is needed and leave a good amount of hair to leave the donor site looking totally natural.
Risk of Scarring?
Underlying skin conditions may be an issue when considering Afro hair surgery. Scarring may result. Consideration is taken when considering the risk of scarring Keloids.
Risk of future Hair Loss?
Female or male pattern baldness is likely to cause further loss and must be taken into consideration. There are medications that can slow down and in some cases stop future hair loss.