Long gone are the days where the words "hair transplant" would be commonly associated with the iconic image of disastrous dolls plugs.
Over the past 10 years, the hair transplant industry has made giant strides in the right direction. State of the art follicular hair transplantation in the right hands can yield life changing results - I can vouch for this first-hand. The leading clinics are producing fuller, denser and the most natural heads of hair I have seen to date in my ten years since I first set out on my own personal mission to recover my distinctive locks.
With the added endorsement of so many high status individuals making their own personal hair transplants public, including Robbie Williams only the other day, it comes as no surprise to me that an explosion of NEW hair transplant clinics are emerging and opening up all over the country to cash in on this new craze.
Before you saddle up, jump on your horse and head to your nearest hair transplant clinic in your quest to get that illustrious head of hair - I feel it is my duty to help you pull the reins in and I mean pull very HARD. This surge needs to be treated with extreme caution.
I can say this with utmost confidence - I have been around many years in the hair transplant industry: initially as a repair patient and progressing to the well known industry figure worldwide I am today. I have learnt a thing or two about this notorious industry having consulted and mentored 1000's of hair loss sufferers on and offline.
In hindsight, had I been fortunate to have a hair loss mentor to navigate me through the pitfalls (I liken it to a minefield), I think my ten procedures would have been reduced to a only a few.
Don't be fooled into thinking it is plain sailing. The industry is full of smoke & mirrors, sleazy sales tactics and outright trickery that can deceive even the very brightest yet vulnerable sole.
I liaise on average with 50 patients a week, all in search for valuable guidance and a reliable source of information. Of these, I would say that an absolute minimum of 25% are in desperate need of repair surgery after having had surgery by less reputable clinics that do not perform state of the art follicular hair transplantation. Yet readily advertise it!
The headline "Leading Clinic" is bounded around far too often for my liking which begs the question of actual legitimacy, experience and ethical practice - even most of the NEW clinics popping up on the internet cannot scratch together a few accurate before and after pictures or legitimate testimonials. Any reputable clinic will be able to house over 30 clear results on their own website. If they do not, question it !
I know for a fact that a number of clinics are housing false information including before and after pictures of actual world renowned clinics to pass off as their own in an attempt to deceive the perspective patient. These clinics do not have a trusted reputation with a back catalogue of clear before and after pictures/videos or online public testimonials, so steal pictures and make up testimonials.
Instead of relying on reputation and actual patients they have the 'greasy' offers, discounts, 0% finance and pump ridiculous amounts into old school newspaper or online advertising. They advertise in an attempt to capitalise on the desperate, naive and vulnerable hair loss sufferer - telling them what they want to hear and not what they need to hear to simply get them in the chair and part with their money.
These clinics do not reside on their reputations or word of mouth as do the actual world leading surgeons that can have waiting lists of anything from 6 months up to 1 year. Oh no - these clinics have " Just had a cancellation - and we can fit you in next week...... "
If you do not take my words seriously, then there is a high chance you will be potentially lured in, taken full advantage of, your hard earned cash will evaporate instantly and be a distant memory and hence leaving you potentially more isolated, looking worse than before and a gaping hole in your wallet. This resonates strongly with me - I was that young, desperate and vulnerable individual in my early twenties.
Any perspective patient needs to do their own due diligence in order to make sure the clinic they are considering for surgery is in fact reputable as chances are it isn't. It is not all doom and gloom - the internet is not in its infancy like when I was starting my journey and slowly but surely the industry is moving in the right direction, but research wisely. Use the internet extensively research your chosen clinic, rather than going off the clinics word.
I can't be there to hold everyone's hand but I have condensed down a list of questions to ask a hair transplant surgeon to help you if you are considering surgery :
Be very careful when considering hair transplant surgery. The majority of patients, who in fact do conduct their research properly, whom take their time to thoroughly investigate and scrutinise various clinics will very often take 6-12 months to research this industry before deciding on an actual leading surgeon in my opinion.