This article has been updated June 2021.
Atlanta Hair Restoration Options for Black Men
Black men, like men of all ethnicities, are prone to suffering from hair loss. However, it can be much more difficult for patients of African or Caribbean descent to find doctors who have experience working with their hair type.
Most people of African or Caribbean ancestry have curly hair. Hair curliness is often described using a system of numbers and letters, with 2 indicating a mild wave and 4 signifying tighter coils. NaturallyCurly.com provides a guide to determining curl type. While their examples all feature women, these curl types are the same for men.
As anyone with curls can attest, it is not easy to find professionals who have experience working with curly hair. Even licensed hair stylists are often inexperienced at cutting and styling curls. Many hair restoration clinics are similarly unprepared to teat patients with textured hair.
That is not the case at North Atlanta Hair Restoration. Dr. Danyo has extensive experience working with a diverse array of clients, and no matter your hair type, he can help you achieve your ideal head of hair.
What Are The Causes Of Hair Loss In Men Of African And Caribbean Descent?
One of the main culprits in hair loss across ethnicities is male pattern baldness. Generally, male pattern baldness is caused by a genetic sensitivity to DHT, a hormone that causes hair follicles to shrink with age.
Everyone sheds hair constantly – humans of all ages lose around 100 to 125 strands a day. Usually they regrow, so one won’t notice any thinning.
But for those sensitive to DHT, the hair follicles gradually shrink with age and the hair that regrows becomes thinner and finer. Eventually, it doesn’t grow back at all.
This is the most common type of hair loss among men, including black men.
Alopecia areata is a disorder that causes the immune system to attack hair follicles. The body mistakes these follicles for an invading pathogen and attempts to kill the follicles. This can lead to both temporary and permanent hair loss. Studies show that alopecia may be more common in Black populations than in white ones.
Black men can also be prone to traction alopecia, which is irreversible without a hair transplant. It can be caused by repeatedly pulling the hair back into tight hairstyles.
Because textured hair tends to be quite fragile, protective hairstyles – like cornrows, twists, and locs – are very popular in Black communities. Unfortunately, these styles can place too much tension on the root of one’s hair, causing breakage and hair loss over time.
There is also some evidence to suggest that anemia also causes hair loss. Anemia is when you lack the necessary red blood cells to carry oxygen throughout the body. It can lead to fatigue and pain.
Sickle cell disease can lead to anemia, and disproportionately affects people of African ancestry. 1 in 500 Black people in the United States has sickle cell.
Luckily, there are several procedures that can help restore natural hair growth in Black men, whether the underlying cause is traction alopecia, male pattern baldness, or something else.
How Is Hair Restoration Different For Black Men?
There are a few special challenges involved with restoring Black hair, as well as a few benefits. These include:
- Distinctive Curl
While Black hair tends to be very curly, curl tightness and texture vary depending on the individual. People can even have multiple curls patterns on one head of hair. The hair at the nape of the neck might be a dense 4A, and the top of the head might be a looser 3B.
When performing follicular transplants, the angle at which the follicle is re-inserted into the scalp will determine how curly the new hair growth is. Each follicle needs to be carefully placed to ensure that the new hair growth will exactly match the surrounding hair.
At many hair restoration clinics (especially the national chains) procedures and transplants are not performed by a doctor, but by a technician. While this might not be an issue for people with straight hair, curly-haired individuals are likely to have poor results from a one-size-fits-all approach.
- Increased Fragility
Textured hair tends to be more fragile than other types of hair, and the roots are more easily damaged.
This is because the hair shaft is relatively thick compared to other hair types and the curl continues all the way to the root. A thick, curved root makes the extraction and re-insertion of hair follicles more difficult and heightens the risk of damage.
Techniques that rely on follicular transplants, such as Shave-Less FUE or traditional FUE, must be performed with the utmost care. Again, a technician with only a few hours of training is less likely to achieve a natural look than a doctor who specializes in these procedures.
- Better Coverage
With naturally curly hair, each strand provides more coverage than that of straight hair. Consequently, Black men can get better coverage from having to transplant fewer overall follicles.
This can make the procedure less costly and less invasive.
What Are My Hair Restoration Options?
There are a number of hair restoration options for black men. Some of the more prevalent include:
- Follicular Unit Transplant (FUT)
This procedure involves removing a strip of scalp with healthy hair growth, then harvesting the hair follicles and re-inserting them into the thinning area.
Some hair transplant surgeons believe this procedure is well suited to African American hair because of the added challenges of harvesting hair follicles. They claim is that it’s easier to remove healthy hair follicles this way without damaging them.
However, this procedure also results in a distinctive linear scar. This may be harder for Black men to conceal for a variety of factors, including the popularity of very short hairstyles, as well as the increased visibility of scar tissue in darker skin.
- Traditional and No-Shave FUE
“FUE” stands for “Follicular Unit Excision.” In this procedure, hair follicles are plucked directly from the scalp, without removing a strip of skin from the donor site.
With traditional FUE, the patient’s head is shaved as part of the procedure; with Shave-Less FUE, the head is not shaved.
Many patients prefer No-Shave FUE because of its discreet nature. Unfortunately, hair restoration still comes with its fair share of stigma; with No-Shave FUE, the procedure is much less noticeable to the patient’s friends and family.
Many of our patients report that even their closest friends do not notice they’ve undergone hair restoration.
- Scalp Micro-Pigmentation
Micro-pigmentation is a non-surgical procedure where tiny, medical-grade tattoos are placed on the scalp to mimic the look of shaved hair follicles.
This procedure can be used on men of all ethnicities – and women too. It can be used on its own or in conjunction with surgical procedures to enhance the end result.
Micro-pigmentation is particularly popular among Black men because of the popularity of very close-cropped hairstyles.
Hugh Douglas of 92.9 The Game Atlanta
Hugh Douglas, of 92.9 The Game, visited North Atlanta Hair Restoration 3 months ago for Shave-Less FUE. He has been effusive about his results, both on the air and on Twitter.
He says, “I went to North Atlanta Hair Restoration because I wanted options – options to grow hair or not. I’ve been bald for a while, which is ok. But I wanted to have different options when it comes to hair styles.”
Check out Hugh Douglas and Mike Bell of 92.9 talking about their hair transplants with Dr. Danyo
Hugh has already teased some fun plans for his new hair. “I’ll probably rock the full mohawk,” he says.
That’s the beauty of hair restoration – you don’t have to stick with one hairstyle forever. Like Hugh, you can have a complete head of hair to experiment with.
Work with An Expert in Black Hair Transplants
When choosing any doctor, it’s crucial to ensure that they have the right experience. In hair restoration, that experience should be backed-up by a long history of testimonials and before-and-after pictures of men with your hair type.
Dr. Danyo combines an artist’s eye with extremely precise surgical skill, enabling him to carefully extract even the most delicate grafts and perfectly place them to blend with the patient’s existing hair.
At North Atlanta Hair Restoration, you will never be passed off to a technician. Dr. Danyo performs every consultation and every graft on every patient.
If you have questions about hair restoration, we encourage you to get in touch and schedule a confidential consultation with Dr. Danyo, in person or online.