There us quite some confusion around whether or not the ARTAS® robot is suitable for people with blonde, grey, curly or very curly hair. This is not surprising, in that the Wikipedia entry for ARTAS contains the following erroneous statement: “ARTAS can only be used on patients with straight, dark hair”.
The moral of the story is, “Don’t believe everything you read on the worldwide web.” Even Wikipedia contains articles with highly contested or just plain wrong information. The fact is that ARTAS can indeed be used on patients with curly, very curly, blonde or grey hair. But there are some caveats. Let’s break them down.
Curly hair poses no problem, because as part of the ARTAS procedure the head is shaved to approximately 1 mm in length. Any sign of the curl is therefore eliminated, and the robot perceives only a standard hair follicle.
Very curly and/or African-American hair
Patients with very curly hair such as those of African descent are still candidates for the ARTAS robotic procedure, despite the fact that the hair follicle is so curly that the curl extends below the surface skin into the scalp. To account for usual shape of the follicle compared to people of Caucasian or Asian descent, a slightly larger punch is used to extract more of the tissue surrounding the curved follicle.
Blonde, grey or white hair
It’s true that the ARTAS robot cannot accurately detect light-colored follicles. The hair must be dyed a dark color prior to the procedure, on the evening of the day before ideally. Only the hair in the donor area needs to be dyed, such as the back and sides.
If you prefer not to shave your head or dye the donor sites of your scalp, I can now perform an FUE ARTAS hair transplant with the no-shave technique. This involved lifting up the hair on the back of the head nearer to the top of the scalp. This exposes an area on the back of the head that can then be shaved. Once released from the band, the long hair will then cover the shaved donor site when it is released.
Contact my clinic for a consultation or ask me a question about your unique situation and how we might treat it.
Dr. James A. Harris was the lead consulting physician on the invention of the ARTAS robot and possesses unsurpassed knowledge and deep expertise regarding all things ARTAS. He is an internationally renowned hair transplant surgeon, inventor of patented follicular unit excision technology, published author in the field of hair restoration and an advocate for patient care. Learn more about Dr. Harris or read rave reviews from his patients.