People of different cultures and ethnicities have different standards of attractiveness. Fortunately, in recent years, this diversity has become celebrated and accepted in mainstream American society, so that people from a rich variety of backgrounds do not feel the need to conform to one particular “look” in order to be accepted.

As you’ve probably guessed the direction of our blog post by now, this diversity also affects an individual’s preferences and expectations when seeking a hair transplant. While you might assume that everyone wants the same aesthetic outcome from a hair transplant procedure, such is not the case. Hair is often tied to one’s cultural identity and heritage, which strongly influences self-image – which, in turn, also impacts self-confidence.

A native of Brazil, Dr. Marco Barusco – founder and Chief Medical Officer of Tempus Hair Restoration – has been privileged to perform hair restoration surgery on patients of all ethnicities, crediting his adopted home of Florida with being a popular destination for people of every racial heritage throughout the world. Here is the perspective that our practice has on cultural traditions for hair standards.

Hair Standards and Hair Loss Among Asian Men

According to a CNN report by Oscar Holland, while studies have suggested that almost all Caucasian men will eventually face some degree of male pattern baldness – and around half can expect to lose their hair by middle age – Asian men, and East Asians in particular, have historically experienced the lowest incidence of hair loss in the world.

“But losing your hair may be especially difficult in countries where it’s less common,” Holland writes. “The male beauty standards in East Asian popular culture – from Korean K-pop to Hong Kong’s movie industry – often favor big hair and boyish looks.” However, South Korean standards regarding balding for white and black men tend to be more accepting.

With South Korea being a global leader in skincare and other beauty trends, the number of hair transplant clinics is growing. Moreover, the same CNN report indicates that hair transplant procedures are popular among Chinese males, with the number of Chinese patients in Asian clinics described as “booming.”

A skilled hair restoration surgeon experienced in performing transplant procedures on Asian individuals takes into account the fact that their faces tend to be broader and rounder than their Western counterparts – especially Chinese and Korean faces. The hairline shape matches the face shape in that the hairline tends also to be broader and rounder in shape. In addition, the shape of the hairline has less lateral suppression – that is, it tends to stay rounder even toward the fronto-temporal region. Because Asian hairs grow out straight and black, the result can look unnatural if the angles of the hair grafts are not kept very low in relation to the scalp.

Preferences for Black/African-American Hair Transplants

As our blog post – “Why is Ethnicity an Important Consideration for a Hair Transplant?” – notes, black men prefer a more even hairline. In his article for the ISHRS, hair transplant surgeon William D. Yates, MD, writes that his male African-American patients prefer less temporal recession in the design – that is, a less-pronounced “M” shape that characterizes the mature male hairline. Although Caucasian men often seek a transplant to address a receding hairline, they tend to be more comfortable with some degree of temporal recession.

A straight hairline for men in Black American culture is a traditional preference, as it is widely considered a symbol of status and self-worth. As they have over many generations, Black men place great emphasis on personal grooming as a means of self-expression and identity preservation. A straight hairline typically occurs naturally, but is given a sharper edge by barbers.

When assessing an African-American male for a hair transplant, an experienced surgeon who is attuned to hair growth patterns among individuals of each ethnicity will take into account that restoring a straight hairline will produce an aesthetically natural result that would appear “off” if applied to a Caucasian male.

In addition to genetic hair loss – otherwise known as androgenetic alopecia (male and female pattern hair loss) – traction alopecia is a major cause of hair loss among African-American women. Traction alopecia is the term for hair loss from mechanical damage to the hair follicle caused by repeated tension or pulling. This can be caused by wearing the same hairstyle for long periods of time – especially those that tug on the hair. Tight hairstyles applied to chemically relaxed hair can lead to even greater damage. 

Unfortunately, many of the styling techniques – collectively known as protective styles – that cause traction alopecia have a long tradition in Black cultural identity and beauty. A protective style refers to hairstyles that tuck away the ends of each hair strand to protect them from the elements, as the end is the oldest, most fragile part of the strand. Protective styles include but are not limited to twists, braids, updos, weaves and wigs. However, protective styles ultimately have the opposite effect. According to Kimberly Lewis, CEO and co-founder of CurlMix – a clean beauty brand for curly hair – protective hairstyles actually damage hair and hurt hair growth.

If a woman experiencing traction alopecia has enough surviving hair, a transplant procedure can be an ideal solution for permanent hair loss, achieving a natural-appearing outcome that fills in and covers bald scalp areas – while restoring the patient’s self-image and self-confidence. Our blog post – “Is a Hair Transplant a Solution for Traction Alopecia?” – covers this topic in greater detail.

Hairline Preferences in Hispanic Culture

The term “Hispanic” is very broad and encompasses many types of individuals of Spanish descent – including Mexican, Caribbean, European, and Central and South American. A hair restoration surgeon must address the nuances of each when planning a transplant procedure, determining the appropriate hairline to complement the individual’s facial shape, degree of hair loss and specific ethnicity.

Moreover, Hispanic hair can range from straight and silky to curly and coily. The texture of Hispanic hair is typically finer than that of African-American hair, but coarser and thicker than Caucasian hair. Hispanic hair can have a wide range of curl patterns, from loose waves to tight spirals.

Whatever the hair texture or national background of the hair transplant patient, however, a Hispanic male’s hair is a source of pride – with most paying attention to hairstyling and how their hair establishes their status within their social circle and larger community – not to mention increases their attractiveness to women. An increasing number of Hispanic men now explore their hair restoration options when hair loss begins.

As for hairline preferences, many Hispanic men want a lower hairline that is typically associated with youth. As our blog post – “When Should You Have a Hair Transplant Procedure?” – covers, the male hairline continues to form up to approximately age 29. This occurs when the hairline moves back about a half inch to one inch from where it used to be. A mature hairline forms the “M” shape that distinguishes the male hairline from the female oval hairline shape. The preference for Hispanic (as well as many of Mediterranean and Middle Eastern heritage) males for a more forward hairline represents a desire to project the vitality and virility associated with young men.

You Deserve a Hair Restoration Procedure that Respects Your Heritage

Hair restoration is not a one-size-fits-all solution, and its significance varies greatly across cultures. If you’ve decided to have a hair transplant procedure, be sure the surgeon you choose has experience with patients of your ethnic group, and has achieved good results. Our website’s Before & After Gallery provides examples of Dr. Barusco’s outstanding work in creating the look of healthy, natural hair growth for patients of all ethnicities. In addition, ask any surgeon you schedule a consultation with about their experience in performing hair transplant procedures on members of your group. The consultation also is the time to tell the surgeon about your own aesthetic preferences and expectations of the results you want.

Ultimately, choose your surgeon based on experience, results and integrity. Dr. Barusco’s long list of accomplishments, his notable artistic ability and his successful surgical team make Tempus Hair Restoration a renowned practice. Contact us to schedule your free virtual consultation. Dr. Barusco conducts every consultation himself, giving you the opportunity to learn your options in the comfort of your home – or any location, on any internet-enabled device. 

Dr. Barusco conducts consultations in English, Spanish and Portuguese. For your greater convenience, Tempus Hair Restoration offers a two-night complimentary hotel stay to out-of-town clients who travel 100 miles or more to our Port Orange, Florida, surgical center. No matter how far the distance, we welcome the opportunity to help you on your hair restoration journey!

Author: Tempus Hair Restoration