How Can You Tell Who Provides the Best Hair Transplant?
What is the “best hair transplant?”
The question that is on everyone’s mind that is considering a hair transplant is what is the best hair transplant and who offers it? But how does a person really find that? One of the main ways people learn about hair transplants is through advertising, but it can be a one-sided source of information. The doctor or practice that places the ad controls the content of the ad. They dictate the words and the images used.
The smart consumer today is less dependent on traditional advertising media and searches for information online, often using Google. Our website gets thousands of visitors each month, many of whom come because Google ranks us among the top sources of relevant content about hair transplants and hair restoration.
But Google doesn’t really distinguish between one provider and another in terms of the quality of their work. So how can you find the best hair transplant?
A prospective patient should look for the patient outcomes. Nothing is more important than before-and-after pictures and videos.
Examine what the provider’s typical result is like, being sure to take into account a range of situations. For instance, review the hair transplant result of a patient with advanced hair loss in which they had to cover a large area and achieve proper framing of the face. Compare that to the result achieved for a patient with diffuse thinning in which it isn’t so obvious that they are losing hair. Is there evidence of shock loss in the recipient sites? Diffuse hair thinning can be a difficult area to restore successfully and requires significant skill and planning. You want to be able to compare and contrast a range of patient outcomes and situations to be sure the provider has the experience to deal with your challenge.
Three online communities are very helpful to any prospective patient doing research online. The Hair Transplant Network (www.hairtransplantnetwork.com), the International Alliance of Hair Restoration Surgeons (www.iahrs.org) and the American Hair Loss Association (www.americanhairloss.org), which has a community forum called Bald Truth Talk (www.baldtruthtalk.com). These organizations have screened prospective member physicians. In essence, they have done the homework for you. The bar is set highest within the Hair Transplant Network by the Coalition of Independent Hair Restoration Physicians:http://www.hairtransplantnetwork.com/Consult-a-Physician/doctors.asp?DrID=636#page=page-1
Through these online communities, the member providers recommended on the site regularly post examples of their before-and-after outcomes for the community. You can check out some of my work and the feedback from other providers as well as patients. You’ll also see that some patients also post photos, attributing the work to their doctor. Anonymous members of the community are free to comment on the results of these surgeries after viewing multiple views of before and after photos.
This offers a truly 3-dimensional view of the provider’s work – much different from a paid advertisement that only showcases the best results and certain angles that hide problems. Ultimately, the best hair transplant is the one that does not look like a hair transplant. In other words, it is totally natural and undetectable to start. On the other hand, if a patient outcome does look like a hair transplant, it should be considered a failure.
How a provider achieves the desired natural and undetectable result isn’t possible to capture in a brief article, but here are a few core elements:
- The best hair restoration employs the “artistic vantage point” to design a hairline that maximizes the framing of the face.
- The best hair restoration anticipates the likelihood for future evolution of hair loss as well as the patient’s donor hair reserves and hair characteristics.
- The best hair restoration is age and gender appropriate. A man in his 50s may desire the hairline of a teenager, but it would look strange and would immediately be detected.
- The best hair restoration artistically places each hair follicle in its receptive site at a specific angle and direction as to maximize the outcome.
- The best hair restoration approaches crown hair loss as another hairline – only this one is typically viewed from the back and avoids all the pitfalls of working in this area.
In our practice we have successfully restored many advanced stage MPB patients (Norwood VII) completely. However, this is always contingent on being a suitable candidate. That is, the patient has to have the necessary donor density and elasticity. Before transplanting the crown less than ideal candidates need to understand that undertaking to restore the crown loss will leave less donor hair reserves, which may or may not impact the future successful hair restoration of the hairline.