Physician Answered Q & As

African American Male Hair Transplant Questions and Concerns

I am a 43 year old African American male, and I had a hair transplant when I was 33. I consider my hair transplant to be one of the worst decisions I ever made in my life. The doctor left me with visible bumps and scars on my head that look terrible. My questions are: Can African Americans transplant hair from one person to the next? And if so, what are the determining factors to gets this done? Can African Americans have the FUE procedure done from person to person? If so, what are the determining factors? Also, do doctors know of known donors of hair for a fee? Last question, if I could get some help where would I start? -Craig

Dear Craig,

I am sorry to learn that your experience with hair restoration surgery has not worked well for you.

Your question about transplanting from one person to another is one that prospective patients frequently ask. Unfortunately this cannot be done successfully regardless of ethnicity. The body always will reject foreign organisms, tissue or organs. Kidneys and hearts can be transplanted from one person to another but there has to be a very precise donor match. Even then the person with an organ transplant has to take powerful drugs to prevent rejection of the organ. This is an acceptable necessity when talking about a life saving situation, but would not be acceptable when the situation is cosmetic. Moreover, our skin has the job of acting as a protective envelope for our bodies. It is loaded with antibodies to defend against infection, so perhaps even more than other body organs it will reject any graft from another person even when there has been a donor match. Perhaps someday advances in transplantation pharmacology will allow transplants to come from another person, but now it is not an option.

There may be other measures, however, that may be taken to correct the results of your previous surgery. For example, we have found FUE to be a particularly good technique for African Americans. I suggest that you consult in person with us or another IAHRS surgeon to explore these options.

Thanks again for your excellent question and I hope you are able to find a satisfactory resolution of your problem.



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The International Alliance of Hair Restoration Surgeons is a consumer organization that selectively screens skilled and ethical hair transplant surgeons. The IAHRS does not offer an open membership policy to doctors practicing hair transplatation, and is the only group that recognizes that all surgeons are not equal in their skill and technique. Its elite membership seeks to represent the best in the discipline, the true leaders in the field of surgical hair restoration.