The results of a hair transplant is determined by a number of factors which include the skill of the surgeon and team, the design of the hair transplant, a patients ability to heal post-operatively, the technique used to extract the hair follicles (FUT Vs FUE) and the overall number of grafts transplanted. As well as these factors the characteristics of a patient’s hair, such as having wavy or curly hair, can also have a bearing on the outcome of a hair transplant.
How Curly Hair Affects the Perception of Hair Loss
Patients with wavy or curly hair usually notice their hair loss later as the curl in the hair can have the effect of camouflaging the speed at which the hair loss is occurring. When the hair is wavy or curly, the amount of hair that is often lost before the hair loss becomes noticeable is up to 60-70% as opposed to the normal 50%.
Curly Hair Transplant: Results
Patients with curly or wavy hair can often have excellent outcomes following surgery with the curl giving the appearance of more coverage in the recipient area.
Curly Hair & Extraction from the Donor Area
When transplanting very curly hair, the curl can proceed underneath the skin and this makes the possible transection rate of the hair much higher when doing the FUE (follicular unit extraction) procedure. A patient with very curly hair having an FUE procedure, may have transection rates i.e. damage to the hair roots as high as 20-25%.
Patients with very curly hair, where it is suspected that the curl can proceed beneath the skin, may be advised to have an FUT (strip) procedure where the individual hair follicles are dissected out, one by one, under a microscope. With FUT transplantation, because each hair follicle is individually visualised and prepared by a technician under microscope, the transection rate is normally less than 1–1.5%. This means there is more transplantable hair going into the thinning or balding areas.
Patients with Curly Hair Post Transplant
A very interesting feature is the development of a wave or curl in the transplanted hair following a hair transplant. Hair that is harvested from the donor region, at the back and sides, may have a curl or wave in it at the time of surgery but all of the grafts are mixed up in the hair transplant procedure.
A fascinating feature the team at HRBR have noticed over the years is that when the transplanted hair starts growing to maturity between a year to 18 months, a wave or curl can develop in it. Thus, showing that the characteristics of waviness or curliness appears to be in the recipient area (where the grafts are planted) as well as in the donor area (where the grafts are taken).
When planning a hair transplant procedure, all of the characteristics of the patient’s hair are taken into account, an individual plan is then prepared that considers the patients current hair loss and characteristics as well as their expected future hair loss.