Commercial media are full of offers to solve the problem of hair loss, but there is only one permanent solution: hair transplantation (also called hair replacement surgery). The procedure yields natural-looking results. They look natural because they are natural - your own hair grows in areas of your scalp that were previously bald or thinning. This is achieved and maintained permanently without an endless regimen of expensive drugs.
If you already know about hair replacement surgery and have decided to undergo it to solve your own hair-loss problem, you should know that the most important factor in your success will be your choice of a qualified physician. As with most things in life, there is a broad range of quality among hair transplant specialists. At one end of the spectrum, you'll find many doctors who are relatively inexperienced.
These often work for large groups that may look impressive because they have offices all over the country, but that are actually little more than sales offices which may import relatively inexperienced surgeons, some of whom don't even specialize in hair transplant surgery. Many of these doctors have limited understanding of this new field of medicine and use outdated practices. Most of the time these practices yield unsightly results. At the other end of the scale, you'll find a handful of skilled doctors, highly experienced and knowledgeable in state-of-the-art techniques.
These are true artists who have done thousands of hair transplants personally, and who continue to do them every day. It is unlikely that you will locate such a qualified specialist down the street from your home. You are probably going to have to travel, even to another state. The following checklist will help you evaluate prospective hair transplant doctors: 1.
Ask how many hair transplants the doctor has done himself. If you're looking for the best, his answer should be well up in the thousands. 2. Ask how often he performs hair transplant surgeries.
The right answer is "every day." 3. Ask to speak with happy patients. Not just one or two. Get dozens and call them. If possible, have lunch with a few and take a look at their hair.
4. Ask to view a surgery in progress. There is no valid reason why this request should be denied. 5. Ask how many assistants work with the doctor on any given day.
The right answer will be ten or more. When the strip of healthy hair is removed from the donor area of your scalp, many assistants will be needed to work on it simultaneously, separating the up to 3,000 miniscule hair follicles that your doctor will then plant in your scalp during your three-to-five-hour session. If only a few assistants are involved, the doctor won't be able to complete the procedure in one session. Many sessions will then be needed, at high cost and inconvenience to you, before you achieve adequate hair coverage. Save yourself thousands of dollars by selecting a doctor with a large staff, ensuring your work probably will be done in one or two sessions. If your prospective physician is unwilling or unable to satisfactorily answer any of these questions, continue your search.
Be patient and persevering. Your choice of physician will have life-long consequences. The wrong one may leave you with nightmarish phenomena like scarring, freaky-looking hairlines, doll-head hair (holes poked into the scalp and inserted with small clumps of hair), and other unnatural disasters.
Permanent hair replacement is a once-in-a-lifetime gift you give yourself. If you do it right the first time, and you'll never regret it.
Dr. Lawrence Shapiro has performed over 10,000 permanent hair replacement surgeries in the last 18 years. Call Dr. Larry Shapiro of Dr. Shapiro's Hair Institute for a hair transplant consultation: 1-800-799-4247.