Attention Hair Transplant Surgeons - Can’t We All Just Get Along?

The extremely competitive, sadly commoditized, entrepreneurial environment of cosmetic surgery has not only made it more difficult for skilled and ethical hair transplant surgeons to practice their craft, but has made the field a much more dangerous place for hair transplant consumers. Sadly things are only getting worse. Spencer Kobren and IAHRS accepted member Sanusi Umar, MD, FAAD, FASDS discuss the competitive nature of this field and what can be done to improve the current environment in order to make it a safer place for consumers.

Sanusi Umar, MD:  I think the idea is for clinics to have access to all available technologies, and make up their mind what works best for them.

Spencer Kobren:   I agree.

Sanusi Umar, MD:  I think what we have will do very well in the market.

Spencer Kobren:  Well, listen, as a field, we want to provide patients with an overall better experience, better outcomes, more hair. That's why they're coming to you guys. That's it. They're unhappy and uncomfortable in their own skin, and whatever is going to get them closer to a certain comfort level, in my view is positive.

 So, when it comes to everyone jockeying for position and competing against each other and all this stuff. I just wish it would all stop, and everyone would just get together and say, "Hey, look what he invented. This is great. I'm going to license this and I'm going to work with it or I'm going to buy it." You would do the same thing.

It's a dog-eat-dog world that I don't believe it really has to be. I think there's so many patients that need hair, and if the right information's out there, and the right tools are being used by people who are really taking the time to learn their craft, then there'd be no competition. It's going to be good doctors using good tools who are being ethical, and these are who the patients are going to go and see.

Sanusi Umar, MD: Yes. I agree. I think on the path of us inventors, the idea is, "Let's always have that in mind as we invent."

Spencer Kobren: Right.

Sanusi Umar, MD: The goal is exactly what you just said. It's to provide easy access, make it possible to perform better procedures, and provide better service to our patients. I spent a better part of 10 years researching, developing these tools. There was no rush to just push it out there.

Spencer Kobren: Right.

Sanusi Umar, MD: I wanted to test, and test, and test, and come up with something that we know will work in the hands of most doctors. That's what I believe we've achieved this time. So, time will tell.


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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.