How Important Are Hair Characteristics?

An individual´s hair characteristics play a vital role in the hair transplant result, and can make the difference between a WOW result and one seemingly below par; even make an individual not a hair transplant candidate. When researching hair transplant results try to look at people with similar hair characteristics to yourself, fair skin and blonde hair, tanned skin and coarse dark hair, curly, wavy or straight hair.

This will give you a better indication to how hair characteristics effect the result of a hair transplant; also research how hair characteristics will change the way a hair transplant is designed by the doctor. Hair characteristics cover a plethora of criteria; hair calibre, hair to skin colour variant, the amount of curl in the hair shaft, the donor hair density and the average number of hairs per follicular unit.

The number of hairs in the donor is going to determine how much coverage can be achieved; the follicular units range from 1-4 hairs, averaging around 2.2 hairs per FU. The higher the average the better as more density and coverage can be achieved.

Donor hair density is calculated by the number of FU´s per cm², low density can be around 50 FU cm², a high density 90-100 plus FU´s cm². The density will alter around the scalp so it is important to measure in more than one area.

variants in hair characteristics

variants in hair characteristics

Straight to curly hair; this will affect the density needed to be placed and the orientation and angle of placement. Curly hair gives more body or volume when grown out, straight hair more longer coverage.

A fair skin complexion coupled with dark hair creates a large contrast between the hair and skin making it harder to create the illusion of thickness; fair skin and fair hair is much easier to create this illusion with fewer hairs.

The calibre of hair can vary from very fine to very coarse hair shaft, fine hair covers less surface area so more hairs are required to gain fullness; coarse hair will achieve more coverage but can appear pluggy especially along the hair line.

If your characteristics all fall into the best selections then you are very lucky as the majority of candidates do not. Invariably there will be a mix of characteristics and the doctor will assess how to design based on this. Your characteristics will determine the density of hair that needs to be placed in strategic area of the recipient area; they will determine the hair line design and placement taking into consideration your hair loss pattern.

It is important to have your hair characteristics assessed correctly and plan how the hair transplant can create the result you are happy with; understanding this will go a long way a happy patient, short and long term

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