Technology Can’t Perform Great Hair Transplants... Only People Can

Spencer Kobren speaks to IAHRS accepted member, Phoenix hair transplant surgeon Scott Alexander M.D. about the misinformation and confusion consumers face in today’s devolving hair transplant industry. No matter how “advanced” the technology, when it comes to hair transplant surgery, outcomes (good or bad) are dictated by people, not machines.

Spencer Kobren: All is I know guys who ... classic surgeons who've purchased two machines and they have them running simultaneously and they're doing two surgeries at once. And they look at a control room, and they're on social media saying how wonderful this is.

Scott Alexander, MD: But they're not showing how wonderful their patients' results are.

Spencer Kobren: And that's the case, and you know, here's what happened: and this is kind of like ... even the old-school models, you know, the large chain clinics ... Everyone's like, "Well, if so-and-so is so bad why would they be around so long?" We're dealing with very vulnerable people.

Scott Alexander, MD: Yeah. And we were talking about that yesterday. It's like, "Why do people keep making the same mistakes?" But the problem is, hair loss is one of those things that five years ago the people that are balding now weren't balding then, so everybody's always new and current in this industry. All the patients, they're, like, brand new. They're coming into the ... And a lot of them, if all they're doing is Googling or going on Facebook or finding the doctor that way, or Yelp, which surprised me that it really happens ...

Spencer Kobren: What about RealSelf?

Scott Alexander, MD: Yeah. I mean, it's like these guys just Google and, "Oh, here's a doctor doing it. It looks great. Let's go get it done." They're not aware of all this stuff that's happened in the past and it's happening now.

Spencer Kobren: Well, it's also ... Listen. It's no different than when we were young and we would look something up in the Yellow Pages. It's like who ever is able to be seen first won. That's the way it is. Or when I started in this industry, everything was in the back of the sport pages and Muscle and Fitness magazine. And you saw Joe Weider with Larry Lee Bosley. You know, like, this is the man.

Scott Alexander, MD: Exactly.

Spencer Kobren: Really, the only thing that I think has changed is the ... everything's been scaled. The old model has just been scaled. Things are different. Technology's different, but it's all the same shit ... excuse my French ... and that's just the reality of what it is.

Scott Alexander, MD: Yeah. And people have to understand that the newest and greatest machine does not give them the newest and best hair transplant.

Spencer Kobren: And you know what? You know, this is important information to get out there. It's important that you put this type of information on your site, and it's being supported by ... Listen, this is all I do. I've been doing this for 20 years. I'm going to repeat myself: I know where all the bodies are buried, and the reality is that there is not a single piece of technology, and I know ... I think the Artist is a great device in the right hands, but there's not a single piece of technology that can perform a good hair transplant, period. It's all about the people doing it.

Scott Alexander, MD: Exactly.

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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.