Being affected by hair loss is a little bit like going through the 5 stages of grief. We begin with denial (“I’m NOT losing my hair; I’ve just always had a really high forehead”), and move though anger (“If only I hadn’t had a father who went bald in his thirties!”), bargaining (“I’ll never complain again about shaving if I just get to keep my natural hair”), depression (“This can’t be happening to me, I’m only 34 and look like 50”), and finally acceptance (“Sigh!”).
The good news is, your journey doesn’t have to end with acceptance. With a #hairtransplant, it is only now beginning. Stage one: Choosing a hair transplant technician.
Getting a Hair Transplant is Like Commissioning a Work of Art
Whether you’ve just heard about the benefits of a hair transplant or have already conducted a fair amount of research, the most important decision you will make is choosing a hair transplant technician for your procedure. It’s a little bit like commissioning a painting or any work of art – whether the result is something you want to proudly display to the world will depend almost entirely on the artist. How good she or he is depends on their right mixture of artistic talent and experience.
Here are five things to look for when choosing a hair transplant technician or doctor:
1. Do they specialize in hair transplants?
Most plastic surgery practices offer a wide range of services, including hair restoration. From a surgeon’s perspective, hair transplants are relatively easy procedures to add to your catalog. How hard can the training be? Well, you shouldn’t be fooled. Just because they are in a beautiful office and boast several board certifications doesn’t mean they know all that much about hair transplants. Even though hair restoration is a surgical procedure, it doesn’t have very much in common with regular surgery. It requires dexterity, an eye for aesthetics, patience, and a lot of experience. A clinic or technician specializing in hair restoration will produce better results than a plastic surgeon performing mostly tummy tucks and breast augmentations and the occasional hair transplant.
2. What are their qualifications and experience?
Having been trained on the hair restoration equipment is just one part of the technician’s qualification. The longer the experience with real patients, the better a hair transplant technician becomes. A good NeoGraft Master Technician will have 10+ years of experience. When you do your research, you will start with the hair clinic’s website. Look for the hair transplant technician(s) on the “Meet the Team” page and see what their qualifications are. How long have they practiced hair restoration, and do they perform FUT or FUE transplants or both? If this information isn’t easily accessible online, these are good questions to ask when calling the office to set up your appointment.
3. What is their track record?
Going back to the painting analogy, you’d obviously want to see previous examples of the artist’s work. It’s the same with a hair transplant technician. There may be before and after pictures on the website, but some of these may also be manufacturer images. Make sure you get to see pictures of the technician’s personal work. Due to confidentiality some offices don’t show the majority of pictures online, but keep a nice volume of before and after pictures at their office. Looking through such a book during your consultation will help you determine if you like the technician’s work, particularly in patients with similar hair patterns as yours. Written or video testimonials may also be helpful. They may help you decide whether you’d feel comfortable with a particular technician, their style, and their “bedside manner.”
4. Which hair transplant method do they use?
Some hair replacement centers offer all different types of hair transplants, and some specialize in one particular kind. There is nothing wrong with either approach, but you need to make sure that the technician you choose has experience with the transplant you want. They may prefer to perform, say, the strip method, whereas you have determined that you’d rather go with NeoGraft (see NeoGraft vs Strip Method for more info). Surgically removing a strip of scalp is a very different skill from individually extracting hair follicles best suited for implantation. You want a technician who has the right skill and practices it regularly.
5. Are their prices comparable to the market average?
Searching for a hair transplant technician shouldn’t be like shopping for a pair of shoes. You’re not looking for the lowest price, but rather results and experience. However, you obviously don’t want to vastly overpay. Review sites like RealSelf may help you determine the average cost of hair restoration in your area. Don’t be surprised when you see fairly big regional differences. A hair transplant will cost more in New York City than it does in Tennessee. You might want to solicit more than one quote so you can compare cost. If available, getting an online quote is a great way to easily get a cost estimate without much trouble.
We hope we’ve helped you with the important step of choosing a hair transplant technician that is right for you. You don’t have to settle for acceptance of your hair loss. Give the Hair Doctor a call if you have any questions about hair restoration. We would love to help you on your journey towards a full head of natural hair.