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The Decline of Hair Transplant Surgery

Have the medical device manufacturers, novice hair transplant practitioners and ill-informed patients accepted less natural and even sparse results as the new normal? Sadly, it appears that a new narrative is being created and expectations are lower than they’ve been in years. Remember, it is possible to get a great hair transplant but sadly, most of what is being offered today by these turn key practices is mediocre at best and that seems ok with today’s hash-tag, cosmetic surgery consumer and mainstream cosmetic surgery marketing websites.

Joe Tillman: Well keep in mind that the expectation of what looks natural and what the result should be has dropped dramatically.

Spencer Kobren: That's actually true something I forgot to share that's well said.

Joe Tillman: It's really strange where you have the complaints, I don't think that the complaints are really going up as far as this linear fashion goes, but I do know that the expectations have gone down, I think there's a correlation with that. Jay you remember 10 years ago people were talking about the finer details about single hair graphs, the angle, and the direction, and people were really passionate about discussing this and now-- Man, I think I was telling you the other night, I'm seeing photos of people saying how great the result is and there's two three, hair grafts like 20,30 of them in the hairline.

It looks like a horsehair brush, it looks horrible [crosstalk] and they're happy with it. What's worse is people are commenting saying, "Wow, Looks great, good for you." 10 years ago we would've lost our damn minds, like what's wrong with this?

Jason: I had a couple of those little mini plugs, but I guess the irony or the illusion is it seems like the tool is just going to make it easy, the learning curve is less steep and it makes the barrier to entry lower, and then people who shouldn't be entering the field  are. I've seen the kind of greed of some of these doctors, the hair mill and just having three or four surgeries going on at once, you can't possibly pay attention to people, give them the care and quality they deserve.

Spencer Kobren: Jason, you will know when it's time for me to shell out, open up a clinic with Joe's picture on it, and that's the way it's going to be. I'm putting it out there just  get five doctors, and get a group of technicians, it will be recommended by the American hair loss association, I will pay Joe for his big mug and his great head of hair, to be the spokesperson and we will make money hand over fist. That is how easy it is, in my view to start a hair transplant practice today.

Jason: It's amazing, it's not amazing I guess. It's all too familiar, it's disappointing is a better word, disappointing. But I guess it just goes with the nature of what-- I guess really is a vanity type of surgery.

Find A Surgeon

The International Alliance of Hair Restoration Surgeons is a consumer organization that selectively screens skilled and ethical hair transplant surgeons. The IAHRS does not offer an open membership policy to doctors practicing hair transplatation, and is the only group that recognizes that all surgeons are not equal in their skill and technique. Its elite membership seeks to represent the best in the discipline, the true leaders in the field of surgical hair restoration.