Selecting the right hair transplant clinic in 2019 can be a daunting task. Performing a Google search for “hair transplant doctors in my area” returns dozens of seemingly qualified doctors, all of whom claim to be pioneers with unrivaled credentials and throngs of happy patients. But how do you know who is the “real deal” and who is relying on slick marketing tactics to compensate for a lack of proven protocols and consistent results? As a researching patient, there are several things you must look out for. Focusing on these elements and blocking out the rest of the “noise” will help you cut the “wheat from the chaff” and select the right clinic for you.
Results, Results, Results
There is only one “credential” a hair transplant surgeon needs, and it is not a degree from an Ivy League medical school; it is “before and after” results. As a researching patient, you must focus on results. Do not allow yourself to be distracted by fancy “technology,” slick online marketing ploys, celebrity endorsements, or vague testimonials. Once you land on a doctor’s website, the first thing you should click on is the “results” section. The results section should be prominently featured; in fact, the doctor should have a few results displayed on the homepage itself. The results section should have dozens, if not hundreds, of before and after images. These images should be in high definition and should show a variety of case sizes on a diverse group of patients. Something else you should look for is a robust video result section. While “HD” photographs are great, thorough and detailed video is the most honest way a hair transplant result can be displayed. If you land on a doctor’s website and only see a few “before and after” examples, if you see unclear and difficult to appreciate photographs, if you see photographs taken from device companies (meaning they were performed by another doctor), you should be concerned. Do not let anything else distract you; this doctor does not have the right “credentials” and you should be wary.
Although a professional practice website featuring a robust “before and after” results gallery is important, it should not be the only site where the doctor is featured or where you can find the doctor’s commentary and results. A quality hair transplant doctor will share his/her work and interact with patients on a variety of different “third party” websites. The more a doctor shares, interacts, and is featured on other websites online, the more invested they are in the field. Doctors who are truly “into” hair transplants and proud of what they do will be featured on websites other than their own. Doctors who proudly display their work for critique on websites like HairLossDoc.com and HairTransplantWeb.com and interact on “chat forums” like the Hair Loss Help forum and the Hair Transplant Web forum (forum.hairtransplantweb.com) are doctors you likely want to consider for your procedure. Doctors who cannot stand up to this type of scrutiny will purposely avoid third party websites. If a doctor you are considering is not featured on these types of websites, you may want to “think again.”
While there is a lot that can be learned about a doctor online, eventually you want to meet the person performing your surgery IN PERSON. And just like the online world, there are certain things you need to look for during a consultation with a potential doctor. It may sound obvious, but the first thing you need to ensure is that you meet with the actual doctor during the consultation and now a paid (commission-based) salesman. You should not let anyone aside from the doctor who will perform the surgery evaluate your scalp and make an official recommendation. Next, you need to take a look at the clinic itself. Is it a large, stand-alone hair transplant clinic? Does it look busy? Do you see a lot of staff members working? Better yet, is there a hair transplant surgery actively happening? If so, would the doctor (with the patient’s permission) let you take a look? Finally, pay attention to the doctor himself/herself. Does the doctor seem focused on hair transplant surgery or does he/she seem distracted with other cosmetic procedures performed at the office? Is the doctor answering your questions in a clear and detailed manner or do you sense any evasiveness? Finally, does the doctor have more patient examples to show you during the consultation? If the “vibe” of the office, the doctor, or the consultation experience feels “off,” you may want to rethink having a potential surgery with this doctor.
Finding the right clinic for your hair transplant can be tricky, but sticking with the above advice will help you navigate the field and find the right doctor to perform your procedure.