Pick the best hair transplant surgeon and technique for you

Want more hair? Done properly, a hair transplant can truly provide a lifetime of confidence. Done poorly, the unnatural appearing results can be much worse than whatever problems are associated with being bald. WIth today’s new technologies, when performed by skilled surgeons, hair transplants can be truly aesthetic and natural appearing.


Do

Do understand that hair loss is progressive

As we age, our hair loss continues essentially for a lifetime. Therefore, a hair transplant is not designed to “cure” hair loss, but rather is a treatment to fill in areas that have thinned or are already bald. Also, this means that more procedures may be needed in the future, but this needs to be planned for since you have a finite or limited supply of hairs for transplanting.

Do figure out the best technique for you

Figure out whether the FUE (follicular unit extraction) or FUG (follicular unit grafting, or strip) is the best technique for you. These two techniques each have their indications, benefits and downsides. FUE is a newer technique, rapidly growing in popularity, due to the fact that it avoids altogether any linear donor site incision scar, allowing you to potentially shave your head. Versus the FUG or strip technique, large FUE procedures require the back and sides of the head to be shaved, and tends to be more expensive due to the time and work involved. Both techniques however require it be done properly to create natural appearing results.

Do your research when seeking out a doctor

You have lots of choices, so do your homework. Research the doctor, make sure his/her advice makes sense and isn’t just what you want to hear, and ask to see the doctors actual patient results. Board certification is also important for signifying commitment to excellence. Appropriate certification includes the American Board of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery and the American Board of Dermatology. There is also an American Board of Hair Restoration Surgery, which is a certification that connotes specialization, but is not the same as these other boards recognized by organized medicine.

Do be wary of discount deals

There is a reason why an aesthetic surgery procedure is discounted, especially when the offer is presented publicly. Three-quarters of facial plastic surgeons (members of the AAFPRS), caution consumers to avoid such deal. If you find a discount deal, make sure that you research their credentials and what the procedure actually entails. You want to ensure that you are getting the best and most reliable hair transplant procedure available.


Don't

Do not skimp on surgical fees

Cheap surgery isn’t a bargain if it leaves unnatural appearing results that could require a lot more money to repair. Do it right the first time and hire a qualified doctor with proven results.

Do not choose a technique because of a brand name

There are transplant surgical device manufacturers who market their devices directly to the consumer, making the prospective patient feel that it is the device and not the surgeon who determines how good the results are. There is nothing wrong with technology, it is invaluable in advancing the field, however, it does not take the place of a surgeon with an experienced aesthetic eye.

Do not ignore advice to also treat your hair loss medically

As hair loss is progressive, it is important to take steps to prevent this process. There are three main ways to treat hair loss. The first is Propecia, a pill only to be taken by men. It works by blocking the conversion of testosterone into dihydrotestosterone, the hormone that can cause genetically susceptible hais to stop growing. The second is laser light therapy, which can be quite effective in some patients at slowing down the loss and in some cases reversing the thinning. It works by increasing blood flow to the scalp and increasing th activity of the hair follicle cells, causing hairs to become thicker and grow.The last is Rogaine, a topical treatment that has been around for over 20 years and has some good effects. Your doctor can help you with choosing the right medical treatment available.

Do not fail to validate the expertise of your surgeon

Ultimately, there is only one person who will be carrying out your procedure, and that will be your surgeon. Make sure you do your homework to determine his/her credentials, expertise, board certification (i.e. ABFPRS consist of facial plastic surgeons who are specialists in treating the head and neck), and experience. Failure to not validate their expertise might end up in you hiring a doctor that has falsified their expertise or is unexperienced.


Summary
Jumping cartoon

You can really do it. Do your homework, listen to the advice to get on medical therapy, and have your procedure done with the right technique by an experienced hair transplant surgeon.


More expert advice about Hair Loss and Baldness

Photo Credits: Phatthanit/bigstock.com; Check Man, Cross Man and Jump Man © ioannis kounadeas - Fotolia.com

Jeffrey S. Epstein, MD, FACSDirector and Founder, Diplomate

Triple board certified, Dr. Epstein is one of the most recognized experts in hair restoration and facial plastic surgery. For over 20 years, he has performed over 10,000 procedures on men and women from 80 countries. He is a Diplomate of the Ame...

View Full Profile