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Are you a Hair Transplant Candidate?

Hair replacement surgery can improve your appearance and boost your self-confidence, but the results won't necessarily measure up to your ideal. Before you decide to have surgery, think carefully about your expectations and discuss them with your hair transplant surgeon. It's important to understand that all hair replacement techniques use your existing hair. The goal of surgery is to find the most efficient uses for that hair.

You're a good candidate for hair replacement if you have any of the following:

  • You've lost hair due to an inherited trait
  • You've lost hair due to trauma or burns
  • You have healthy hair growth at the back and side of your head
Surgical hair replacement procedures always involves taking hair from where you have it and surgically "moving" it to where you don't. So, in order to be able to have this procedure, you must have healthy hair growth at the back and sides of your head. These areas are called "donor" areas; they're the places on the head from which grafts are taken and surgically transplanted to an a place on the head that's bald or where the hair is thinning.

You should note that your hair color, its texture, degree of waviness and curliness could also affect the final aesthetic results.

Finding a Hair Transplant Surgeon

In the United States any licensed physician can perform hair transplant surgery, it is easy to end up with unsatisfactory results so it is important carefully choose your hair transplant surgeon. Beware of seductive advertising brochures, always ask to see some real people whom the doctor has treated. One of the best ways to find a hair transplant surgeon is through a referral from a satisfied customer, but even then, you should be sure the doctor's credentials check out.

Finding a qualified hair transplant surgeon can be challenging. Do not underestimate the complexity of this important task. Consider the following advice:

Ask a friend
If a friend was satisfied with their care and results of their hair transplant, then chances are that you will be similarly pleased. Unfortunately, not everyone has a friend who has undergone hair transplant surgery. Also, everyone's results will differ and may not be representative of what your individual results will be, but asking a friend is still a great way to find a hair transplant surgeon.

Look for a hair restoration surgeon willing to provide several patient references
A reputable hair transplant surgeon should be willing to provide you with several with at least ten sets of clinical "before" and "after" photos. The photos should be of good clarity and detail. The doctor should also be willing to provide a list of names and phone numbers of patients willing to discuss their personal experiences.

You may look in your telephone directory for a hair transplant surgeon, but beware:
A telephone directory may be a great place to start to look for you hair transplant doctor, but it should not be your only resource. Some doctors listed in phone directories may not have the experience of knowledge to give you the best possible hair transplant procedure.

Summary advice on finding a qualified hair transplant surgeon:
Finding a qualified hair transplant plastic surgeon may seem like a daunting task. It can be. Understand that unqualified surgeons make great efforts to create the impression that they are professional, experienced and qualified hair restoration experts. Realize that you may unknowingly see an unqualified doctor, but think he is a qualified based on his advertising brochures and photos. You should be aware that their are some doctors that will alter their photos and use lighting tricks to create the illusion of more hair or a more natural hair transplant. If you understand these issues, then you are well ahead of the general public.

You can also contact the following organizations:
  • International Alliance of Hair Restoration Surgeons
  • American Academy of Dermatology
  • American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery
  • International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery