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Do Hair Transplant Repair Patients Have To Shave to Undergo Surgery? It Depends On Who You Ask

There are countless “walking wounded” looking to have botched hair transplant procedures repaired so that they can move on with their lives feeling comfortable in their own skin. However, for many men in search of repair, the commitment of living another 6 months of their lives looking worse before they look better can be daunting. If you’re considering repair hair transplant surgery this is a segment you’ll want to watch.

Joe Tillman: I think in cases like yours, it doesn't hurt to at least check it out and figure out who the better guys are for a case like yours, a repair, because you don't know until you know. If you go to someone that has a reputation for working with repair cases and has a track record, they may tell you ... I imagine they would tell you straight up, It'll be really involved or it's a piece of cake or somewhere in between and that would help you, at worst case, put it out of your mind for good to where you know or it might be something to consider. You know?

Caller:  My question is, this is the technical part. I'm sorry for the long call, but ...

Joe Tillman: No worries.

Caller: I've actually talked to Dr. Lindsey on the phone and he's like I got to come see him. Obviously he'll tell you what's what. But here's my question, the part that I can't do because of my life work is have any area of it shaved in the recipient area.

Spencer Kobren: Right.

Caller: He said, "Well I couldn't tell until I saw it", but I just want my hairline softened and refined. Is the shaving something that is necessary. I mean, is that something that you would just have to go with? Let's not rule it out if he won't don't that.

Spencer Kobren: It really depends. I mean, if you just wanted your hairline softened and you were going within-

Caller:  Build it a little. Yeah.

Spencer Kobren:  ... in front of the hairline, probably not. It's a lot easier to perform hair transplantation to really state-of-the-art standards, in my view, if that field is cleared.

Caller: Yeah, I can't do that.

Spencer Kobren: And the physician is really able to take a look. Now obviously your head can't be completely shaved because they want to see how the hair is growing out of your scalp, direction of growth and all that stuff.

Caller:  See that's the nightmare. Oh you say it'd grow back. The only thing that saved me is my hair is coarse and curly. It was put in every which way direction wise. You know what I mean?

Spencer Kobren: Well that's the thing, you know? I mean, they need to check out the ... They want to check out the orientation of current growth and what you have.

Caller: I don't want nothing. I'll live with that. It's curly, I can fool around with it. You know what I mean? I don't want pulled out and changed direction. I don't want that major-

Spencer Kobren:  Well, no, I don't know if that would even be the case and you'd be able to discuss that with the doctor. But the point is that there's a lot of docs who would prefer to shave your head. Now with that said there are still plenty of doctors out there who don't necessarily believe it's 100% necessary to do it and they can work within your hair, but you also have to be prepared for even other transplanted hair, which is less likely, but you have to be prepared for shock loss, which mostly likely is going to be temporary but if-

Caller: You guys have always made me, and I think the service you do to everyone is when you say there is doctors. There's doctors that will do anything.

Spencer Kobren: Right.

Caller: Right?

Joe Tillman: True.

Caller: That's the problem, right? Do you want it done right once and for all and not compromise? There's doctors who'll, obviously for money, will do anything you want.

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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.