In East Asian countries, hair transplantation is a quite common procedure for treating pattern hair loss, cosmetically correcting the hairline, and correcting eyebrow and pubic hair defects. Although there are general guidelines concerning hair transplantation, certain factors need to be addressed to make the guidelines more specific and suitable to East Asian requirements
The sakayaki custom in Japan during the Tokugawa Shogunate made it possible for men to conceal their discomfort and insecurity once they start to get bald. China’s Qing dynasty also had a pigtail hairstyle that concealed men’s baldness. Because of this, it was believed that male pattern baldness was more prevalent in Caucasians than in Asians.
This theory is not yet proven, but there are important differences between the hair and scalp of Asians and Caucasians which play big roles in the conduct of hair transplant procedures. With his years of experience Doctor Donald Ng understand the differences learnt by doing this procedure many time,
- Asians have round skulls while Caucasians typically have oblong shaped skulls. This means that although the typical Asian skull is short,
- Asians have larger heads than Caucasians.
- Asians have flatter hairlines than Caucasians.
- Asian hairlines are also located a little lower which means hair transplant in Asian men requires more hair than in Caucasian men. It is very important for doctors to consider this anatomical feature when trying to create a natural-looking hairline.
- Asians have tighter and thicker scalps. This makes it difficult for doctors to apply the dissection technique when harvesting for hair donor.
Transection is more probable in Asians during harvesting of donors and preparing of grafts because their hair follicles are longer.
The metabolism of Asian hair follicles is more active than those of their Caucasian counterparts. Doctors need to be very careful in preserving Asian hair follicles for hair transplant. They are more prone to dehydration.
A larger donor strip is needed from the Asian scalp. This is because Asians have lower hair density than Caucasians.
Asians are more vulnerable to hypertrophic scars. Because of this, doctors avoid aggressive donor harvesting and consider follicular unit extraction instead.
Understanding the differences between the scalp and hair of Asians and Caucasians is important in the success of hair transplant operations. It is best to consult only hair transplant experts who have extensive knowledge about this concern.
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