All posts by Tempus Hair Restoration

New Year, New You: Transform Your Confidence with a Hair Transplant

Every year starts with TV commercials for fitness centers and weight loss products. The timing for such marketing is obvious. The new year symbolizes fresh beginnings – the promise you make to yourself that this will be the year you make improvements in your lifestyle, health and appearance.

Of course, these initial good intentions sometimes aren’t carried out into actions, set aside during the following months until next January delivers another guilt-inducing reminder of how last year’s resolutions went by the wayside. But if you need inspiration to kick-start a more vital-looking, self-confident you, a hair transplant can be the first step you take toward a new you in the new year!

Why New Year Resolutions are Hard to Keep

Let’s be honest. Getting in shape requires a lot of hard work and commitment to hitting the gym every other day. It’s a worthwhile goal, but your daily schedule might not be conducive to driving to a fitness center, and you may not have room in your home to accommodate equipment. Losing weight requires a commitment to changing the types of food you eat, and/or frequency of meals. Considering that eating is required to live, making this kind of modification in behavior is challenging on many levels.

When it’s hard to comply during the initial stages of any self-improvement program, motivation tends to suffer. If you’re not seeing results as soon as you’d like in proportion to the amount of effort or willpower you’re exerting, discouragement sets in. After all, why bother?

Unfortunately, this type of attitude leads to giving up and settling back into old, comfortable behaviors. Until next January, when you again feel the need to take control and make those positive changes. But maybe this year will be different!

How a Hair Transplant Can Make a Big Difference

If you are among the approximately 35 million men in the United States experiencing hair loss, a hair transplant can be a life-changing procedure. While well-meaning family members and friends may tell you that your self-esteem shouldn’t depend upon your physical appearance, it is human nature to feel better about yourself when you’re satisfied with the way you present yourself to the world. And that feeling can have a powerful effect.

As cited in our blog post – “The Big Picture: Hair Replacement and Self-Confidence” – multiple studies have linked male pattern hair loss to lowered self-esteem and decreased confidence. An article for WebMD written by journalist Marta Manning and medically reviewed by Jennifer T. Haley, MD, FAAD, cites a 2019 study published in the International Journal of Trichology. The study found that androgenic alopecia (genetic, a.k.a. male pattern baldness) lowered the quality of life for many men, with particular effects in the areas of self-perception and interpersonal relations. A 2018 research study published in the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology identified low self-esteem in many patients with androgenic alopecia and found that confidence can improve after hair transplantation treatment.

Starting your self-improvement program with a hair transplant has one big advantage in that it requires no effort on your part – unlike exercise or following a weight loss plan. Although it generally takes 12 months for a hair transplant to fully grow out, you will begin seeing new growth and thickening from four to six months post-op. Our blog post – “What to Expect After Your Hair Transplant” – covers this topic in greater detail.

A Patient’s Testimonial Says It All

Dr. Marco Barusco – Founder and Chief Medical Officer at Tempus Hair Restoration – has been honored to receive five-star reviews and testimonials from patients on a regular basis. But one heartfelt testimonial sent to Dr. Barusco from “Joe” several years ago continues to stand out:

“After my divorce I was feeling really low. I had gained weight and lost all desire to start over. My hair was receding which made everything else worse. Each day that passed it was harder and harder to look in the mirror and gain the motivation to get my life together. Finally I figured I’d go talk to someone to see what can be done about my hair. I did a quick Google search and came across Dr. Barusco’s website. I was impressed with the vast amount of information … and before and after pictures. I thought I’d give it a shot as there was a consult office in my area and there was no charge … I moved forward with the procedure and was impressed with the professionalism … My confidence definitely increased as the compliments came rolling in. I joined a gym and felt determined again. I just got home from my final follow up. I looked in the mirror and finally feel happy with who is looking back.”

In Joe’s case, undergoing a hair transplant gave him the psychological boost he needed to make other major personal improvements. In a follow-up, Joe reported that he had some cosmetic procedures performed, and is now living his best life!

Which Hair Transplant Procedure Is Right for You?

Dr. Barusco is an award-winning board-certified hair transplant surgeon with more than 25 years dedicated exclusively to hair restoration. He has long been at the forefront of advanced hair restoration procedures, having developed such techniques as the groundbreaking no-shave FUE. Short for follicular unit excision, the no-shave FUE completely conceals harvested donor sites immediately, allowing you to resume your regular activities with virtually no evidence of the procedure.

Going one step beyond this procedure is the long-hair FUE. It is also known as the “preview” long-hair FUE because it gives the patient a preview of what the ultimate result will be. As with any hair transplant, the hair in the newly implanted grafts soon falls out, to be replaced by new growth as the grafts establish themselves. Dr. Barusco is one of only a few doctors in the world with the experience and skill to perform this technique.

Another leading-edge procedure is the combined FUE and FUT (follicular unit transplantation). This technique covers large areas of baldness in a single surgery. Patients with advanced hair loss are typically required to undergo multiple hair transplant procedures to obtain coverage of their entire bald scalp – having to wait one year or more between procedures. This allows patients to achieve their ultimate goal sooner, with one procedure instead of many.

However, it’s important to understand that choosing a hair transplant procedure isn’t the same as ordering from a menu. An experienced, ethical surgeon will examine your scalp, diagnose the cause of your hair loss, then discuss your hair restoration goals and expectations – followed by a treatment plan that is right for your individual situation. Areas to be covered should include the type of surgery, why this type of surgery is recommended, which areas of the scalp will be involved, how the surgery will be performed and the results you can expect. Our blog post, “The Importance of Consultation Before Hair Restoration Treatment” – covers this topic in greater detail.

Make This the Year You Get your Hair and Self-confidence Back

Make this the year you transform your appearance and regain your confidence! Don’t let hair loss hold you back any longer – take the first step toward a new you in the new year! We understand that the main concern you may have is cost, which is why we offer financing options that can place this goal within reach.

Ultimately, choose your surgeon based on experience, results and integrity. Dr. Barusco’s long list of accomplishments, his notable artistic ability and his successful surgical team make Tempus Hair Restoration a renowned practice. 

Contact us to schedule your free virtual consultation. Dr. Barusco conducts every consultation himself, giving you the opportunity to learn your options in the comfort of your home – or any location, on any internet-enabled device. 

Dr. Barusco conducts consultations in English, Spanish and Portuguese. For your greater convenience, Tempus Hair Restoration offers a two-night complimentary hotel stay to out-of-town clients who travel 100 miles or more to our Port Orange, Florida, surgical center. No matter how far the distance, we welcome the opportunity to help you on your hair restoration journey!

What to Do if You’re Unhappy with Your Hair Transplant

Getting a hair transplant represents a substantial financial and emotional investment. At the risk of perpetuating stereotypes, men don’t like talking about their emotions, yet hair loss has an effect that’s more demoralizing than most care to admit. The desire to project an image of vitality and the increase in self-confidence that results is a strong motivation in undergoing hair restoration surgery.

But what if you took the big step, and the outcome has fallen far short of your expectations? Should you resign yourself to dissatisfaction and regret? The hopeful news is that this may not be the end of your hair restoration journey. We’ll cover three common reasons why a hair transplant sometimes doesn’t achieve the patient’s aesthetic goal.

You’re Expecting to See Full Growth Too Soon

Of all the reasons we’ll discuss, this could very well correct itself. Hair transplant surgery isn’t magic. The surgeon wields a scalpel, not a wand. The “after” of the before-and-after patient photos that impressed you about the surgeon you chose most likely were taken one year post-op. During this time, your newly transplanted hair goes through various stages of shedding and growth.

Moreover, individual hairs don’t grow at the same rate. As our blog post – “What to Expect After Your Hair Transplant” – covers, while you might assume all of your hair will come in at the same time, don’t be alarmed if it’s somewhat patchy and grows out at different rates. Actually, this is typical of normal growth, but you don’t notice it with a full head of hair. About six months after your hair transplant, you may see that the new growth is not necessarily full or consistent around your head, but be patient. Despite the different growth rates, it usually looks natural throughout this time.

Backing up somewhat, the first stage of growth is the hair from the newly implanted grafts falling out. This indicates that the grafts are establishing themselves in their new location, and will start producing hair again – typically in about two months.

A good hair transplant surgeon will be sure to tell you what to expect during each phase of growth, so you shouldn’t experience anxiety about how your new hair is coming in. A good surgeon also will keep the lines of communication open to answer any questions you may have during this time. If your surgeon has addressed your expectations, all has gone well and there are no complications, you’ll see the desired result. However, this is assuming your surgeon has the skill to deliver the desired result – which leads to our next reason.

You’re Unhappy with Your Hairline and/or Scalp Coverage

Once your hair has grown out, your hairline or scalp coverage may not be as you had envisioned. Common reasons for dissatisfaction with a hairline are that it’s too far forward, or just looks “off.” You may not be able to put your finger on it, so to speak, but there is an explanation as to why your new hairline doesn’t have the appearance of natural growth.

While you may have an idea of where your restored hairline should be, a hair transplant surgeon’s technical skill should be informed by a strong aesthetic sensibility. Dr. Marco Barusco – Founder and Chief Medical Officer at Tempus Hair Restoration follows the classic “rule of thirds” as put forth by Leonardo da Vinci in determining each patient’s ideal hairline position.

As our blog post – “Principles of Male Hairline Design” – covers, in addition to properly positioning the hairline restoration to your facial features, implanting each follicular unit (hair graft) to create the appearance of natural growth is essential to preventing the result from looking like a hairpiece.

“There are no straight lines on the human body,” says Dr. Barusco. “You don’t want to put anything in a straight line because it doesn’t look natural. It will catch peoples’ eyes for the wrong reason. You want to create variability.”

During the transplant procedure, Dr. Barusco implants hair grafts to build macro and micro irregularities into the hairline. Each follicular unit graft can contain one to three (or even four) hair follicles, which Dr. Barusco varies to further create a natural effect.

Dr. Barusco also takes great care in creating a frontal temporal transition to achieve this visual variability. “If I just design a hairline and go straight into the hair without creating that soft transition to the temples, it’s going to look artificial. The effect will be so obvious that people will either know you’ve had a transplant, or think you’re wearing a hairpiece. Neither is a desirable outcome.”

As for scalp coverage, a common reason for dissatisfaction is that there isn’t as much hair covering bald areas as you’d expected. So we pause at this point to emphasize the importance of consulting with your prospective surgeon before the procedure. When discussing your goals for your outcome, you should have a candid discussion with the surgeon about your expectations for your hairline and overall scalp coverage.

For example, Dr. Barusco has had patients who wanted hair on areas of the scalp that he considered secondary – that is, not as obvious as the hairline – yet that was the area on which the patient wanted to see hair growth. Learning what the patient wants is an important part of the consultation.

“However, patients need to be realistic. If you say you want the hair you had when you were 18, that will not be possible with a hair transplant. No one will be able to give you that unless you get a hair piece. But if I don’t tell you that – or worse, I lead you to believe that can happen – that’s wrong. If I don’t know what your goals are, I may make a recommendation that’s not appropriate.”

Your Hair Transplant Failed

Unfortunately, this is becoming an increasingly common situation as more clinics utilize robotic devices illegally operated by unlicensed technicians, or follow other unethical practices. Hair transplants performed by black market clinics outside of the United States – most commonly Turkey – are notorious for hiring unqualified, unlicensed individuals to harvest hair follicles and implant them into the recipient area. Our blog has several posts on this topic, which we encourage you to read.

The reasons a transplant can fail are numerous, including the following:

  • Poor diagnosis of the reason for hair loss – there may be a medical reason that a transplant can’t address.
  • Poor understanding of hair and scalp anatomy.
  • Poor understanding of hair physiology.
  • Poor planning of the transplant procedure.
  • Poor preparation of hair grafts, resulting in fewer viable grafts.
  • Poor technical execution of the transplant procedure – placing hairs at the incorrect angle or direction; placing transplanted hairs too close together, etc.
  • Poor management of the limited number of donor hair follicles – overharvesting the donor area.
  • Damage to existing hair follicles by overly aggressive surgery.

Can an Aesthetically Unpleasing or Failed Hair Transplant be Corrected?

This can only be determined by a consultation with a hair restoration surgeon who has extensive experience in corrective procedures. Depending upon the amount of healthy follicles remaining in the donor area and other factors, it is possible, in many cases, to mitigate the damage of bad hair transplants and achieve the look the patient had originally anticipated. Unfortunately, there are situations in which the damage is too extensive to be corrected. Again, only a consultation with a highly experienced, ethical hair restoration surgeon can provide an assessment of the degree to which a bad outcome can be repaired.

But how do you find one? You don’t want to repeat the circumstances that led you to misplace your trust in your original surgeon, but as we often warn, there is much misleading “information” regarding hair transplant surgery that works against consumers educating themselves about how to choose a qualified surgeon.

The website of the International Society of Hair Restoration Surgeons (ISHRS) is an excellent place to start. It provides consumers with unbiased information on a wide range of issues – including how to be sure that a properly trained and licensed physician performs your hair transplant procedure, questions to ask during your consultation and many others.

We also invite you to visit Dr. Barusco’s YouTube channel, Hair Loss Medical Advice, where you can learn as he discusses such issues as the types and causes of hair loss, hair transplant procedures, and much more. And of course, our blog features informative posts, updated every month.

Ultimately, choose your surgeon based on experience, results and integrity. Dr. Barusco’s long list of accomplishments, his notable artistic ability and his successful surgical team make Tempus Hair Restoration a renowned practice. We understand that the main concern you may have is cost, which is why we offer financing options that can place this important goal within reach.

Contact us to schedule your free virtual consultation. Dr. Barusco conducts every consultation himself, giving you the opportunity to learn your options in the comfort of your home – or any location, on any internet-enabled device. 

Dr. Barusco conducts consultations in English, Spanish and Portuguese. For your greater convenience, Tempus Hair Restoration offers a two-night complimentary hotel stay to out-of-town clients who travel 100 miles or more to our Port Orange, Florida, surgical center. No matter how far the distance, we welcome the opportunity to help you on your hair restoration journey!

Is a Hair Transplant a Solution for Traction Alopecia?

Traction alopecia is an especially distressing type of hair loss to experience. Unlike other types, it’s caused by repeated, prolonged tension on the hair follicles. When caught early enough, the condition can be reversed and hair can resume healthy growth. In advanced cases, the follicles are too damaged to recover, and hair loss is permanent

Although we always say “knowledge is power,” the knowledge unfortunately sometimes comes too late to prevent permanent hair loss from traction alopecia. The situation is not hopeless, as we’ll answer our own question now and affirm that a hair transplant can restore hair to the areas of the scalp left bald or patchy by traction alopecia. However, learning more may help you recognize if you’re experiencing this condition in its early or advanced stages, and take the appropriate action.

Common Causes of Traction Alopecia

Traction alopecia is the term for hair loss from mechanical damage to the hair follicle caused by repeated tension or pulling. This can be caused by wearing the same hairstyle for long periods of time – especially those that tug on the hair. Tight hairstyles applied to chemically relaxed hair can lead to even greater damage. 

Because traction alopecia progresses over time, those affected may not connect the hairstyling method they’ve practiced for years with the reason for their hair loss. Moreover, many of the styling techniques that cause traction alopecia – collectively known as protective styles – have a long tradition in Black cultural identity and beauty.

A protective style refers to hairstyles that tuck away the ends of each hair strand to protect them from the elements, as the end is the oldest, most fragile part of the strand. Protective styles include but are not limited to twists, braids, updos, weaves and wigs. However, protective styles ultimately have the opposite effect. According to Kimberly Lewis, CEO and co-founder of CurlMix – a clean beauty brand for curly hair – protective hairstyles actually damage hair and hurt hair growth.

“Tension can be worse when you have short natural hair because the braider has to pull tighter to get all of your hair into the braid,” says Lewis. “Braids can seem like a better alternative to straightening your hair because there is less risk of ruining your natural texture but that doesn’t mean there is no risk. And many styles even go a step further by adding extra weight. The excessive use of ponytails weaves, and extensions are working double-time to give you tension damage. And what happens when your hair is pulled tightly and something heavy like extensions is weighing on it?”

What happens is the beginning of traction alopecia. However, women – and men – of color who wear protective hairstyles aren’t the only ones at risk. Gymnasts, ballerinas and women in fields that require their hair be pulled back can also develop it, as well as those who wear helmets or hats over extended periods, and repeatedly put them on and take them off. 

Recognizing the Early Signs of Traction Alopecia

When caught early, the effects of traction alopecia can usually be reversed. The signs aren’t always obvious, so it’s important to be aware of them in order to take action and avoid permanent hair loss.

The first signs of traction alopecia can include:

  • Redness or soreness around the hairline or scalp.
  • An itching or stinging sensation.
  • Pimples, small bumps or ulcers on the scalp or around the hairline.
  • Areas of thin or broken hair, especially where the hair has been under particular strain.

Should these early warning signs not be recognized, signs of advanced traction alopecia include:

  • Extensive hair loss and bald patches.
  • Irreversible scarring – the scalp may appear smooth and shiny.
  • A tender, inflamed scalp.
  • Frequent headaches.
  • A receding hairline – which typically occurs around the forehead, nape and temples. For some, the part might also widen over time.

Steps to Prevent Traction Alopecia

The best way to prevent traction alopecia is to wear a hairstyle that doesn’t create constant tension on the roots. If you must pull your hair up into a ponytail or bun, keep it loose and low on your head.

Other recommendations include the following:

  • Change your hairstyle every couple of weeks. For example, alternate between braids and wearing your hair down.
  • If you wear a ponytail, don’t use rubber or elastic bands to hold it in place. They can pull out your hair.
  • Avoid chemically processing your hair if you use weaves or braid your hair. The chemicals can damage your hair, making it more likely to break.
  • If you have weaves or extensions, wear them for only a short period of time and take a break between each use.
  • When you braid your hair or put it in dreadlocks, make the braids thick. Thinner braids pull more tightly.
  • Don’t use hair relaxers.
  • Keep the heat setting low on your hair dryer and flat iron.
  • Don’t sleep in rollers. Wrap your hair instead.
  • If you wear a wig, choose one with a satin wig cap, as it won’t pull as hard on your scalp.

Hair Transplantation as a Solution for Advanced Traction Alopecia

When hair loss is permanent, many women turn to wearing a wig. But having to wear a wig full-time to cover bald areas when out in public is very different from wearing one to be stylish. Even the highest quality wigs quickly become hot and uncomfortable. A hair transplant offers a permanent solution that can provide outstanding aesthetic results.

Our blog post – “Advanced Treatments for Non-Pattern Hair Loss” – relates the story of J.D. – a patient of  Dr. Marco Barusco – Founder and Chief Medical Officer of Tempus Hair Restoration – who sought treatment for her traction alopecia. At the time, J.D. was a pharmaceutical representative – a profession that requires a polished appearance when visiting multiple physician offices on a daily basis. As her hair loss progressed, J.D. tried to conceal it with wigs, weaves and extensions, which made the condition even worse. After consulting with Dr. Barusco, J.D. underwent a procedure that restored her hairline and temples with the full look of natural growth – which not only restored her confidence, but provided the extra boost for J.D. to start her own business.

Dr. Barusco typically recommends the Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUT) for traction alopecia. Also known as the “strip” method, this technique harvests hair follicles by removing a strip of hair from the back of the head (donor area). This strip is then dissected into smaller segments in order to implant individual follicles. The FUT has undergone refinements over the years so that the only evidence is a pencil-line linear scar easily concealed by hair – even at a shorter length. Dr. Barusco covers this method and its advantages for African-heritage women in his YouTube video – “Afro Hair Transplantation: FUT or FUE?” – on his Hair Loss Medical Advice channel.

The technology for the Follicular Unit Excision (FUE) procedure has developed to allow people of all ethnicities to have this option. However, it is typically not recommended for women dealing with traction alopecia, as it decreases the volume of the donor area.

The curling and twisting of African-heritage hair provides the appearance of good scalp density, which is an advantage in hair transplants. As our blog post – “Why is Ethnicity an Important Consideration for a Hair Transplant?” – covers, its curliness allows coverage of scalp areas with a fewer number of hair follicles needed to achieve an aesthetically pleasing “full” coverage – thereby reducing the number of follicles needed for transplantation.

However, hair may emerge at a variety of angles from the scalp, which can make the harvesting of donor hair more challenging. Both the follicles and hairs have a degree of curvature in relation to the scalp that must be accommodated when harvesting.

The ability to create a natural-looking hairline that’s flattering to each individual woman is essential in achieving an aesthetically successful outcome. For these reasons, it is especially important to choose a hair transplant surgeon with extensive experience in performing procedures for those with African-heritage hair.

Another factor to keep in mind is that Black patients may be at risk for developing keloid scarring. This appears as a puffy or raised pinkish area, and occurs when the skin is injured, or cut during a surgical incision. A conscientious hair transplant surgeon will ask if a prospective patient has a history of such scarring, or any other scarring scalp disorders. The surgeon will also monitor for scarring post-op, as well as watch for ingrown hairs, which can occur two to three months after surgery, when the hair begins to grow.

If you are considering a hair transplant to restore your hairline and temples due to traction alopecia hair loss, we hope we’ve provided the information you need to make an informed decision. Ultimately, choose your surgeon based on experience, results and integrity. Dr. Barusco’s long list of accomplishments, his notable artistic ability and his successful surgical team make Tempus Hair Restoration a renowned practice.

We understand that the main concern you may have is cost, which is why we offer financing options that can place this important goal within reach. Putting yourself at risk of the consequences of a hair transplant procedure at an overseas black market clinic – or even an unscrupulous domestic clinic where unlicensed non-medical personnel harvest and implant hair grafts – isn’t worth the perceived savings.

Contact us to schedule your free virtual consultation. Dr. Barusco conducts every consultation himself, giving you the opportunity to learn your options in the comfort of your home – or any location, on any internet-enabled device. 

Dr. Barusco conducts consultations in English, Spanish and Portuguese. For your greater convenience, Tempus Hair Restoration offers a two-night complimentary hotel stay to out-of-town clients who travel 100 miles or more to our Port Orange, Florida, surgical center. No matter how far the distance, we welcome the opportunity to help you on your hair restoration journey!

The Truth About Robotic Devices in Hair Transplant Procedures

Robotic assisted devices are promoted by many hair transplant clinics as a quick, foolproof tool for performing the Follicular Unit Excision (FUE) procedure. However, the truth is very different. Unfortunately, many men considering a hair restoration procedure don’t learn the truth, because misinformation is more prevalent than facts – be it on the websites of unscrupulous hair transplant or plastic surgery clinics, articles in men’s lifestyle and fashion publications, or social media.

As we at Tempus Hair Restoration always say, “Knowledge is power.” In the interest of giving you the knowledge to make an informed decision, here is what you need to know about robotic devices, and why you should expect (and demand) manual extractions and implantation by an experienced surgeon.

How a Robotic Assisted Device is Used in FUE Hair Transplants

Instead of the surgeon choosing which hair follicles to harvest from the donor area, a robotic assisted system evaluates the hair and – based on a complex algorithm – chooses the follicles that it identifies as being the best for transplantation. The device then harvests these follicles by means of a computer-controlled robotic arm. Although practices that utilize this device advertise it as the future of hair transplantation, there are limitations, even when used according to medical ethical standards and within the law (more about this later).

Narrow range of good candidates – The best-known robotic assisted device is very limited in those who are appropriate candidates. It can only be used on people with straight, dark hair – a fact that isn’t always mentioned in the media. People with blond, fair or curly hair (even dark or black hair) are not good candidates.

Restricted donor areas – Many patients require an extended donor area when the back of the head doesn’t have enough hair for a successful transplant. A robotic device can’t be used in such a scenario, as it is only able to extract hair from the back and sides of the head.

The possibility of healing complications – The best-known robotic device uses large diameter punches to extract follicles, which can cause complications in healing and even damage nearby follicles.

Graft survival – An experienced surgeon performing manual hair graft extractions can expect a survival rate of 97-95%. The robotic device has a survivability percentage of around 90%. This lower percentage can be attributed to the fact that after being harvested, the hair grafts are left in place by the device until the doctor removes them. This delay can lead to drying of the grafts, leaving fewer that are viable.

There is another type of system marketed for FUE transplants that you may see advertised. It uses automatic equipment to perform hair restoration surgery, and comes with a pneumatic motor – which operates through the expansion of air inside the device. This controls the pressure for extracting hair grafts from the back of the scalp and then implanting them into the recipient site. This is technically not a robotic device, as it features hand-held devices that should be operated by the hair transplant surgeon. The “should be” is important to note. Although it can be useful when operated by a qualified surgeon, this system has the potential for abuse by unethical clinics to relegate the procedure to untrained technicians due to its high level of automation.

How Marketing Messages Mislead Consumers About Robotic Devices

It may sound like somewhat of a generalization, but we expect things to be easy and convenient. Most of us also believe that advanced technology can improve our life, and feel ahead of the curve when we buy the newest smartphone. So most of the groundwork of promoting robotic devices as “the future of hair transplantation” is already done. Marketing messaging positioning robotic assisted FUE as an infallible high-tech procedure sets misleading, unrealistic expectations for success, yet often finds a receptive audience.

Still, ethical hair restoration surgeons recognize red flags when they’re raised. For example, the website of one clinic positioned the ability of robotic devices to allow less-experienced doctors to perform FUE procedures as an advantage. Now, ask yourself if it sounds like an advantage to the patient – that is, you – that using a robotic device makes it possible for a less-experienced doctor to offer hair transplants. According to this clinic’s website, “A less experienced doctor can rely on the [name redacted] machine to handle the delicate job of extracting grafts.”

Think about it. Why would you want a doctor with relatively little experience – not to mention knowledge – in performing hair transplants performing yours? Would you really feel confident that such a person is depending on a device to extract hair grafts? What does this imply about the experience of the doctor who has this statement on his website?

This robotic device also implants the harvested hair grafts – which may sound like a positive selling point to those who don’t realize that implantation requires an extremely high degree of knowledge, technical skill and both the professional experience and sense of aesthetics to place the grafts properly to achieve a natural-looking growth pattern. The popular buzz phrase “artificial intelligence” is used to explain how the device determines optimum placement, but this is no substitute for the eyes (and hands) of an experienced, skilled hair restoration surgeon.

This leads to the slippery slope of unlicensed, non-medical personnel performing some or all aspects of an FUE hair transplant procedure – which is much more common than you may know. If you’re new to our blog, our post – “Don’t Let a Technician Perform Your Hair Transplant Surgery” – covers this important topic in detail. We encourage you to read it.

What Consumers Aren’t Told About Robotic Hair Transplant Devices

Most accounts of hair transplants are in men’s lifestyle magazines (including online versions), and on social media. While you might think you’re educating yourself, the authors, publications and social media influencers often have their own agenda. And it isn’t to inform you. It’s to earn revenue from the clinics that advertise – either overtly in display ads, or subtly, in the free services and perks that writers and editors receive for featuring them in editorial content.

To start with the basics, the best-known robotic assisted device takes the critical elements of an FUE transplant that should be performed by the surgeon out of his/her hands – such as hairline design, the selection of hair grafts, recipient site preparation, harvesting of grafts, preparing grafts for implantation and graft implantation.

As Dr. Marco Barusco – Founder and Chief Medical Officer of Tempus Hair Restoration – writes in his article – “The Truth Behind Advertising Devices Instead of Surgeons”:

“Behind these devices there needs to be a competent doctor, and with the doctor, a competent team. Otherwise, no robot or vacuum-assisted gizmo will help you. But here is the big problem: these companies are advertising, selling and promoting these devices to doctors all over the country and the world who have no training in the complex procedure of hair restoration surgery. And they couldn’t care less. Their investors need to make their money, so therefore machines need to be sold … to whoever is buying.”

Modern Aesthetics describes the situation as follows:

“Unfortunately, some FUE medical device companies deceive some doctors into believing that after they buy this FUE motorized surgical drill that they can delegate these steps of hair transplant surgery to hair transplant technicians. Hair transplant technicians are medical assistants (MAs). MAs do not have to graduate from any school (even high school), do not have to pass any test, and are not licensed/certified by any medical governing body. A medical device company has no authority to provide MAs medical licenses to practice medicine. However, some FUE medical device companies are deceiving the public and doctors by giving these MAs certificates stating that they are certified and can be delegated to do these critical aspects of the surgery. This is illegal and probably criminal since it is aiding and abetting the unlicensed practice of medicine.”

In fact, it is illegal. As we always emphasize, hair restoration surgery is surgery. Any person recommending procedures and/or treatments is practicing medicine without a license, which is a felony crime in Florida and many other states.

The International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery (ISHRS) is an international, non-profit medical society comprised of over 1,200 members representing 70 countries dedicated to promoting the highest standards of medical practice and medical ethics. Its Position Statement on Qualifications for Scalp Surgery includes the following:

“The position of the International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery is that any procedure involving a skin incision for the purpose of tissue removal from the scalp or body, or to prepare the scalp or body to receive tissue, (e.g., incising the FUE graft, excising the donor strip, creating recipient sites) by any means, including robotics, is a surgical procedure. Such procedures must be performed by a properly trained and licensed physician. All FUE harvesting tools, including robotic devices, are considered extensions of the hand of the operator, and as such, all operators of these devices must be physicians.*”

Dr. Barusco is a Fellow of the ISHRS – a distinction only given to those who achieve certain landmarks on teaching and leadership. Currently, fewer than 10% of the ISHRS members are Fellows.

How to Educate Yourself and Choose Your Surgeon Wisely

Earlier, we mentioned that knowledge is power. However, we know that being able to tell the difference between marketing hype and facts can be hard – especially when you don’t know where to look. The ISHRS website is an excellent place to start. It provides consumers with unbiased information on a wide range of issues – including how to be sure that a properly trained and licensed physician performs your hair transplant procedure, questions to ask during your consultation, and many others.

We also invite you to visit Dr. Barusco’s YouTube channel, Hair Loss Medical Advice, where you can learn as he discusses such issues as the types and causes of hair loss, hair transplant procedures, and much more. And of course, our blog features informative posts, updated every month.

Ultimately, choose your surgeon based on experience, results and integrity. Dr. Barusco’s long list of accomplishments, his notable artistic ability and his successful surgical team make Tempus Hair Restoration a renowned practice. Contact us to schedule your free virtual consultation. Dr. Barusco conducts every consultation himself, giving you the opportunity to learn your options in the comfort of your home – or any location, on any internet-enabled device. 

Dr. Barusco conducts consultations in English, Spanish and Portuguese. For your greater convenience, Tempus Hair Restoration offers a two-night complimentary hotel stay to out-of-town clients who travel 100 miles or more to our Port Orange, Florida, surgical center. No matter how far the distance, we welcome the opportunity to help you on your hair restoration journey!

What to Expect After Your Hair Transplant

If you’ve made the decision to have a hair transplant, you’re most likely focusing on the ultimate outcome. Imagining how you’ll look with a restored hairline and more overall fullness is the psychological light at the end of the tunnel. But between surgery day and the day your mirror reflects the image you want to show the world, there are many days that are critical in achieving the desired result. It is during these days that you should know what to expect in terms of post-surgical care, healing time and milestones in the growth process.

Your surgeon will provide this important information, but if you have just started researching hair transplant surgeons, it’s helpful to have a good idea of what lies ahead. It’s also helpful to have this knowledge beforehand when you consult with a surgeon so you can ask well-informed questions and therefore have a better overall understanding of the process.

The Basics of Post-Operative Hair Transplant Care

As we at Tempus Hair Restoration always emphasize, hair restoration surgery is surgery. As with any other outpatient surgical procedure, following the surgeon’s post-operative instructions is essential to both your safety and the success of the procedure’s objective. Although specific instructions may vary depending upon the individual patient, general instructions you can expect to receive are as follows:

  • Your newly transplanted hair grafts are especially sensitive during the first seven days after surgery. Any rubbing, bumping, or scratching may cause them to be damaged and lost.
  • Stay hydrated – drink plenty of fluids.
  • Avoid any strenuous physical activity during the first seven days. Walking is okay, but not power walking. You may resume cardio exercises – such as running, cycling, etc. You may resume regular exercise (and weightlifting) after 14 days.
  • Do not swim in chlorinated pools during the first seven days after surgery, as chlorine (and other pool chemicals) may damage the grafts. Do not dive. 

Again, this is just a brief snapshot of general post-op instructions. Your surgeon will give you detailed printed instructions for you to take home and follow. But you now know that you need to plan for some amount of time to recover before resuming your regular schedule and activities. Dr. Marco Barusco – Founder and Chief Medical Officer of Tempus Hair Restoration – covers the instructions he gives his patients in his video – “Post-Operative Instructions Following Your Hair Transplant Procedure” – on his YouTube channel, Hair Loss Medical Advice.

Is What You’re Seeing Normal or Cause for Concern After Your Hair Transplant?

During this time and soon after, you could wonder if what you experience is normal or cause for concern. According to Dr. Barusco, about 50 percent of patients will have some degree of edema (swelling caused by fluid trapped in the body’s tissues) in their forehead. To prevent swelling, sleep at a 45-degree angle by using two or three pillows for the first three or four nights post-surgery, and avoid bending over.

As for the scalp itself, expect the graft sites to form scabs in 24 to 72 hours after surgery, and for the scabs to fall off in three to 10 days. As the scabs fall off, you may notice that hair is shed with them. This is to be expected. Do not pick or scratch the scabs, as doing so can cause infection and endanger the grafts.

Several weeks after your hair transplant or anytime thereafter, an ingrown hair(s) may appear. This will look like a small pimple or painless bump in the donor or recipient area. Applying a warm washcloth or compress to the area for 10 minutes three times a day is typically recommended for relief, but contact your surgeon before taking any action.

While we’re on the subject, contact your surgeon if you experience unusual swelling, inflammation or discomfort – or have questions about shampooing techniques or any other matter regarding how you should care for your hair and scalp during this initial time. Following advice you find online – regardless how reputable the source seems – can lead to complications or a poor outcome. When in doubt, call your surgeon and follow his/her instructions! Dr. Barusco gives every patient his cell phone number so he is always available to answer questions and address concerns.

What Should Your Hair Look Like as It’s Growing In?

A common question is if there is a difference between how hair grows in from a Follicular Unit Excision (FUE) or Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUT). The answer is no. Healing, growth velocity and the presence of aesthetically visible results are all independent from the surgical technique used.

The first stage of growth, ironically, is the hair from the newly implanted grafts falling out. This indicates that the graft is establishing itself in its new location, and will start producing hair again – typically in about two months. This should be followed by visible growth and thickening from four to six months.

While you might expect your hair to grow in at the same time, don’t be alarmed if it’s somewhat patchy and grows at different rates during this stage. All hair doesn’t grow at the same rate, but you just don’t notice it with a full head of hair. About six months after your hair transplant, you may see that the new growth is not necessarily full or consistent around your head, but be patient. Despite the different growth rates, it usually looks natural throughout this time. In fact, such gradual growth creates the impression that you haven’t had a hair transplant. Strangers and casual acquaintances aren’t likely to notice. Your hair transplant should be fully grown in by 12 months, barring any health issues during that time.

As you see, hair restoration is a journey that can’t be rushed. Doing your due diligence in choosing your surgeon wisely, following the post-op care plan that he/she gives you and taking care of yourself throughout the first year (and hopefully every year thereafter) will position you for success in achieving the result you had anticipated.

Ultimately, choose your surgeon based on experience, results and integrity. Dr. Barusco’s long list of accomplishments, his notable artistic ability and his successful surgical team make Tempus Hair Restoration a renowned practice.

We understand that the main concern you may have is cost, which is why we offer financing options that can place this important goal within reach. Putting yourself at risk of the consequences of a hair transplant procedure at an overseas black market clinic – or even an unscrupulous domestic clinic where unlicensed non-medical personnel harvest and implant hair grafts – isn’t worth the perceived savings.

Contact us to schedule your free virtual consultation. Dr. Barusco conducts every consultation himself, giving you the opportunity to learn your options in the comfort of your home – or any location, on any internet-enabled device. 

Dr. Barusco conducts consultations in English, Spanish and Portuguese. For your greater convenience, Tempus Hair Restoration offers a two-night complimentary hotel stay to out-of-town clients who travel 100 miles or more to our Port Orange, Florida, surgical center. No matter how far the distance, we welcome the opportunity to help you on your hair restoration journey!

What You Need to Know About Hair Transplant Pricing

If you’re researching your options for a hair transplant procedure, you’re most likely visiting the websites of a variety of clinics and practices – including this one, obviously. However, pricing structures vary widely, which can cause confusion. Because we at Tempus Hair Restoration believe that well-informed consumers are able to make the choice that’s best for their individual situation, we’ll cover the different types of pricing that some hair restoration practices offer, and how we determine our pricing – as well as why price shouldn’t be the main factor in this important decision.

Per-graft Pricing

This pricing structure is perhaps the most frequently promoted by hair transplant clinics. Based on search engine results about how pricing is determined, consumers tend to ask about the cost of 2,000 or 5,000 hair grafts. Thinking about the cost of a transplant in this way is counterproductive, however, as it leads people to believe that a set number of grafts will produce the desired result.

An ethical practice may refer to a price-per-graft, but emphasize that each person is unique, and the number of grafts needed can only be estimated during an in-person or virtual consultation. A common practice is to charge less per-graft as the number of grafts increases, so a patient doesn’t pay double the cost for a 2,000 per follicular unit graft over a 1,000 per follicular unit graft.

The Type of Hair Transplant Procedure Performed – FUT or FUE

Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUT) refers to the “strip” method of hair transplantation. In this procedure, the surgeon takes hair grafts by removing a strip of skin from the back of the scalp.  Once the donor site is sutured, the strip is split into smaller sections with a surgical tool. These smaller sections are then implanted at the recipient site.

Traditionally, the FUT has been a less expensive procedure than the Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE), which harvests hair grafts by way of a tiny circular incision made around each follicular unit. The follicular units are individually extracted directly from the scalp, then implanted in the recipient sites. Because this method is more time-consuming than the FUT, it typically is more expensive.

Red Flags to Look for With an FUE Transplant

The way in which follicles are harvested in an FUE transplant has given rise to devices that harvest and/or implant follicular units. This complicates matters, as practices that use such devices often promote them by brand name, and position them as a selling point. There are two basic types of these devices:

  1. Machines that use pneumatic pressure to power a hollow circular punch, then suck the hair graft into a container where the grafts are gathered for implantation.
  2. Robotic hair transplant systems, which are guided by a computer algorithm to identify and harvest follicular units.

We mention these devices because they’re used in advertising for the clinics that employ them, and you may assume they figure into the pricing. This could be a factor in the case of the robotic system, which tends to be higher because the practice has to recoup the cost of the machine – which can cost about $200,000. However, we strongly caution against choosing such a clinic, as it is common practice for them to use technicians and other unlicensed personnel to harvest follicular units.

Legally speaking, these devices are considered an extension of the hand of the surgeon. Florida and a few other states in the U.S. have passed legislation which deems that harvesting hair and making incisions on a patient are functions that only a physician, a Physician’s Assistant (not the same as a technician or nurse) or a Nurse Practitioner are allowed to perform. If you have not already done so, we recommend you read Dr. Marco Barusco’s eye-opening report – “The Truth Behind Advertising Devices Instead of Surgeons” – for the complete story of the consequences of unqualified clinic personnel performing hair transplants with these devices.

Other Factors that Affect the Cost of a Hair Transplant

The overall cost of living in your area – as well as the number of hair transplant surgeons in your vicinity – can affect the cost of a hair transplant. Also important is the surgeon’s experience and professional reputation.

Keep in mind that hair transplant surgery is surgery. At Tempus Hair Restoration, the cost includes guarantee, local anesthesia, post-operative kit and follow-ups. Patients do need to pay for post-op pain medication at their local pharmacy with a provided prescription.

How Tempus Hair Restoration Determines the Cost of Your Hair Transplant Procedure

Tempus Hair Restoration charges per-graft. However, pricing is determined only after Dr. Marco Barusco – Founder and Chief Medical Officer of Tempus Hair Restoration – conducts a one-on-one consultation with the prospective patient. During this consultation, he will diagnose the cause of your hair loss, discuss your hair restoration goals with you, and provide and discuss a treatment plan. To state the obvious, because each person is different, each treatment plan will be different. Therefore, pricing will ultimately be tailored to the individual.

We cannot emphasize strongly enough the importance of choosing a transplant surgeon based on experience, skill, results and integrity rather than a bargain deal. You do get what you pay for. Dr. Barusco’s long list of accomplishments, his notable artistic ability and his successful surgical team make Tempus Hair Restoration a renowned practice.

We want to help you achieve the best possible result that restores your self-image and boosts your confidence. Here at Tempus Hair Restoration, we understand the investment this involves, and offer many great financing options to place this important goal within reach.

Contact us to schedule your free virtual or in-person consultation. Dr. Barusco conducts every consultation himself, giving you the opportunity to learn your options in the comfort of your home – or any location, on any internet-enabled device. 

Dr. Barusco conducts consultations in English, Spanish and Portuguese. For your greater convenience, Tempus Hair Restoration offers a two-night complimentary hotel stay to out-of-town clients who travel 100 miles or more to our Port Orange, Florida, surgical center. No matter how far the distance, we welcome the opportunity to help you on your hair restoration journey!

The Dangers of Black Market Hair Transplants in Turkey

If you’re considering hair restoration surgery, you’ve doubtlessly read about the advantages of traveling to Turkey for the procedure. Surgery at a bargain price combined with an exotic vacation are strong lures for many men eager to restore their youthful hairline. However, much of what you read about Turkish hair transplant clinics are a combination of deliberate disinformation produced by the clinics themselves, social media hype and publicity provided by mainstream publications more eager for readers’ eyeballs than presenting the facts.

Yes, facts can be boring. But there are far worse things than being bored – for example, being permanently disfigured by a botched hair transplant procedure performed by non-medical clinic employees who go to their other jobs, like waiting tables or driving taxis, after their shift at the clinic. Unfortunately, since the publication of our blog post – “Consumer Beware – The Risks of Medical Tourism for Hair Transplants” – this dangerous trend is still on the rise.

In 2019, the International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery (ISHRS) – the world’s leading medical authority on hair loss treatment and restoration – launched a worldwide campaign designed to raise awareness of the risks of medical tourism for hair transplants. Its Fight the FIGHT (Fraudulent, Illicit and Global Hair Transplants) campaign targets the hair transplant black market, which is built upon fraudulent hair restoration clinics and misleading advertising claims.

Dr. Marco Barusco – Founder and Chief Medical Officer of Tempus Hair Restoration – is a Fellow of the ISHRS. This is a distinction that is only given to those who achieve certain landmarks on teaching and leadership. Currently, fewer than 10% of the ISHRS members are Fellows. As such, Dr. Barusco and the Tempus Hair Restoration team are proud to help the ISHRS in this important mission.

We want to make it clear that many members and Fellows of the ISHRS are Turkish citizens, and uphold the organization’s code of ethics. They are as concerned as all other members regarding the alarming proliferation of black market clinics, and are doing their part to educate consumers about how to identify and avoid them.

Yet despite the ongoing work of the ISHRS on a global level, black market clinics continue to thrive. There are two big reasons for this: social media and mainstream media – especially men’s lifestyle and fashion magazines.

One such magazine featured an article by a reporter who traveled to Istanbul for hair transplant surgery, and referenced (as well as quoted) the ISHRS website’s FightTheFIGHT page about the risks of black market clinics. The reporter also interviewed Dr. Ricardo Mejia, who sits on the ISHRS Board of Governors. Dr. Mejia advised him to conduct thorough research to ensure that any doctor he was considering is registered with the ISHRS. Despite Dr. Mejia’s caution and the warnings on Fight the FIGHT, the reporter was still more influenced by posts on Reddit and before-and-after photos showing apparently impressive results.

In a follow-up article written 10 months post-surgery, the reporter related a satisfactory outcome. Still, such articles do a disservice to readers, as they give the impression that the risks are exaggerated, and your experience may also be positive. The reporter provided no information as to how he determined the clinic he chose was legitimate. Instead, he seemed to take a leap of faith that his surgery wouldn’t be botched. He was lucky. You may not be.

Risks of Having Hair Transplant Surgery at a Turkish Black Market Clinic

At a legitimate hair restoration practice, you’ll have a consultation with the surgeon, who will diagnose the cause of your hair loss and recommend the best transplant procedure for your individual situation. A black market clinic only wants your money. The person you meet may wear a white lab jacket or surgical scrubs, but may or may not be a surgeon – or any licensed medical professional at all. You aren’t likely to receive an accurate diagnosis or solid treatment plan.

And you definitely won’t be told if you’re not a good candidate for the surgery. Reasons a legitimate hair transplant surgeon will turn away a patient include serious health conditions (such as uncontrolled type 2 diabetes), and not enough availability of donor hair. As long as you can pay, a black market clinic will take your money – and, of course, not produce the result you had expected while quite possibly endangering your life.

But that’s just the starting point. Other risks include the following:

An unnatural-looking hairline – Achieving a male hairline that looks natural is harder to do than you might think. An experienced hair transplant surgeon with knowledge of how the male hairline changes over time can implant hair grafts to get the right amount of coverage while looking age-appropriate. A hairline that’s too aggressively forward, goes straight across the forehead with no variations, etc., will look “off” at best, bizarre, at worst. Our blog post – “Principles of Male Hairline Design” – covers this topic in detail.

Hair growing in the wrong directions – A knowledge of the directions of hair growth is essential in placing grafts. Personnel at black market clinics lack this knowledge, which means hair grafts are implanted incorrectly – resulting in a strange, unnatural growth pattern.

Improper graft preparation – When hair grafts are harvested from the donor site, time is of the essence in preparing them for implantation. Improperly treated grafts quickly die, and will not grow in the recipient area – resulting in a failed transplant. Poor quality control conditions include dehydration, warming and oxygen deprivation. A photo taken at one Turkish clinic shows hair grafts on strips of cotton gauze laid out in bloody rows in what appear to be baking pans, evidently drying into non-viability as they wait to be transplanted.

Overharvesting of grafts from the donor area – The donor area is where grafts are harvested for implantation into bald areas of the scalp. Once a graft is taken from this area, no hair will grow there again. Black market clinics tend to offer a large number of grafts – usually between 2,000 – 4,000 graft extractions per session – but with no consideration for the patient’s degree of hair loss. A licensed, ethical hair transplant surgeon takes into consideration the amount of donor hair each patient has available, and plans the surgery according to anticipated – as well as current – hair loss. This helps ensure that enough donor hair will be available for future hair transplants. There are numerous accounts of black market clinics decimating donor areas, leaving disfiguring permanent scars – and no way to correct the often-botched transplant.

Infection from Unsanitary Operating Room Conditions – When you think of an operating room, you assume the surgical theater will be sterile. In black market clinics, it’s common for several patients to undergo transplant surgery simultaneously in one large room, much like a warehouse. Under such conditions, maintaining a safe, sanitary environment is impossible – putting patients at risk for hepatitis, HIV or other infections. This is because the emphasis for the clinic is volume – performing as many hair transplants as possible each day for maximum profit. Patient safety is not a priority.

Don’t be a Victim of a Turkish Black Market Clinic! Choose Your Surgeon Wisely!

We hope we have provided information that will prevent you from making a serious mistake that can negatively impact the quality of your life and general health. To further educate yourself, we recommend visiting the links we’ve provided in this blog post to the ISHRS website. This organization is an unbiased source of information, and holds its members to the highest ethical standards – as well as establishing and enforcing industry standards.

Ultimately, choose your surgeon based on experience, results and integrity. Dr. Barusco’s long list of accomplishments, his notable artistic ability and his successful surgical team make Tempus Hair Restoration a renowned practice.

We understand that the main concern you may have is cost, which is why we offer financing options that can place this important goal within reach. Putting yourself at risk of the consequences of a hair transplant procedure at an overseas black market clinic – or even an unscrupulous domestic clinic where unlicensed non-medical personnel harvest and implant hair grafts – isn’t worth the perceived savings.

Contact us to schedule your free virtual consultation. Dr. Barusco conducts every consultation himself, giving you the opportunity to learn your options in the comfort of your home – or any location, on any internet-enabled device. 

Dr. Barusco conducts consultations in English, Spanish and Portuguese. For your greater convenience, Tempus Hair Restoration offers a two-night complimentary hotel stay to out-of-town clients who travel 100 miles or more to our Port Orange, Florida, surgical center. No matter how far the distance, we welcome the opportunity to help you on your hair restoration journey!

A New Look at Transgender Hair Transplants

Transgender females and males now have a wide range of resources to help complete the process of aligning their physical appearance with their gender identity. Hair transplantation to create the correct feminine hairline for transgender women and facial hair transplants to further masculinize the appearance of transgender men have gone mainstream, and are heavily promoted – making the caution to choose your surgeon wisely more relevant than ever.

Dr. Marco Barusco – Founder and Chief Medical Officer of Tempus Hair Restoration – has been honored to help our transgender patients fulfill their challenging journey. As one of the first hair restoration surgeons in the United States to welcome transgender patients with respect and support, Dr. Barusco continues to serve members of this diverse community through his experience, skill and strong sense of aesthetics.

“We have many patients who come to us for help during their transition period,” says Dr. Barusco. “Of course, that involves a lot of medical therapy, hormone replacement and commitment on the patient’s part. I greatly admire the courage of people who are going through these transitions, as they are not easy from a psychological or social standpoint.”

If you’re ready to take this next step in your transition, you may already be knowledgeable about your hair transplantation options. However, there is always something new to learn. Because you want to achieve the best possible result, we will look at the many factors involved, and the elements that can affect the process.

We also invite you to watch Dr. Barusco’s video – “Hair Restoration Surgery for Transgenders” – on his YouTube channel, Hair Loss Medical Advice. In this informative video, Dr. Barusco discusses the process in greater detail, and describes the procedure he performed for Ronie, a transgender woman who wanted a feminine hairline and correction of balding scalp areas so she could feel complete as a female and confident going out in public without a wig.

The Art and Technique of Creating a Feminine Hairline for Transgender Females

For those transitioning from male to female, the male hairline presents an aesthetic obstacle, as the hairline and growth patterns for males and females are noticeably different. As our blog post – “Transgender Hair Transplants – Becoming Your True Self, Beautifully” – notes, the male hairline has the following characteristics:

  • A lower overall position.
  • M-shape – temporal corners are further back.
  • Forward flow pattern frontal hairs – angles project straight forward.

Conversely, the female hairline is characterized by the following:

  • A higher overall position.
  • Inverted U-shape – creates an oval effect.
  • Frontal hairs in a backward-facing whorl flow pattern – also known as a “cowlick” growth pattern.

For this reason, we introduce our first note of caution. If the hair restoration surgeon you consult recommends a hairline lowering procedure, know that this technique won’t produce a good result, as it was designed to address issues with a cis female hairline. The objective here is to create a female hairline, rather than to correct one. Lowering the hairline alone does nothing to fill in the outer temple areas, which are critical to crafting the new feminine hairline.

Here is where the skill and artistry of the hair transplant surgeon is of particular importance. There is more to creating a feminine hairline than simply making an oval shape around the face. Just as a cosmetic surgeon specializing in rhinoplasty carefully considers the unique facial characteristics of each patient to reshape the nose in perfect, attractive proportion to the face itself, so does an advanced hair restoration surgeon in performing hairline feminization. There is no one-shape-fits-all approach. The surgeon must be able to correctly place each hair graft so that the hair grows and falls around the face in a natural, pleasing manner. The ideal outcome is the achievement of feminine beauty, not just an appropriate hairline.

Addressing Male Pattern Baldness in Transgender Females and Males

Depending upon when you began your journey transitioning to female, you may have been experiencing hair loss as the result of androgenetic alopecia. This is popularly known as male pattern hair loss (although it also occurs in women), and is genetically predetermined. Undergoing hormone therapy will help to slow or stop further loss as estrogen levels increase, but it can’t reverse existing hair loss. Only a hair transplant procedure can address bald areas of the scalp.

In the case of balding at the crown (vortex), a transplant can be successful and achieve the look of natural growth. Our blog post – “Crowning Glory – The Art of Hair Transplantation to the Crown Area” – covers the challenges involved, as well as the cross-hatching technique developed by Dr. Barusco, which he has written about for medical textbooks and reference publications.

Those transitioning from female to male may begin experiencing androgenetic alopecia as testosterone therapy replaces estrogen. For either situation, the same types of hair transplantation procedures apply:

Follicular Unit Excision (FUE) – In this procedure developed by Dr. Barusco, follicular units in groupings of one, two or three hairs are individually extracted from the back of the head using small circular punch blades instead of a scalpel. The grafts are then transplanted to the thinning or balding areas of the scalp. Once the desired number of grafts are obtained, the donor sites are left to heal without suturing. The resulting scars are not readily visible and are easily concealed even by very short hair.

No-Shave FUE – Also developed by Dr. Barusco, the no-shave FUE completely conceals harvested donor sites immediately, allowing you to resume your regular activities with virtually no evidence of the procedure.

Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUT) – Also known as the “strip” method, the FUT procedure has undergone refinements over the years so that the only evidence is a pencil-line linear scar easily concealed by hair – even at a shorter length.

Combination FUE and FUT – This technique covers large areas of baldness in a single surgery. Patients with advanced hair loss are typically required to undergo multiple hair transplant procedures to obtain coverage – having to wait one year or more between procedures. This allows patients to achieve their ultimate goal sooner, with one procedure versus many. The combination FUE and FUT could be an appropriate procedure for those who began their male-to-female transition later in life, when hair loss from androgenetic alopecia was already well under way.

Facial Hair Transplants for Transgender Males

Facial hair transplant surgery is popular among transgender men to further masculinize their appearance so they can confidently be at ease in the world. Hormone therapy promotes facial hair growth, yet is often not dense enough to grow a full beard, mustache or sideburns. An eyebrow transplant may also be needed to provide the fullness typical of male eyebrows.

Techniques used for facial hair transplants differ from those used for the scalp, because the length, texture, characteristics and growth patterns of the hair differ. An experienced surgeon such as Dr. Barusco knows how hairs from different areas of the body behave, and has the skill and artistry to harvest those that are the best match, thereby ensuring the hair follicles are angled correctly when transplanted. Be aware that not all hair restoration surgeons are equal in their ability to create the appearance of natural facial hair growth.

Choose Your Surgeon Wisely, and Live Your Best Life as Your True Self!

You already have valuable experience in choosing the team of physicians and surgeons who have brought you this far. Knowing who to trust to make your new life a reality is important, and making the right hair restoration surgeon part of your team to provide the finishing touches is vital.

Ultimately, choose your surgeon based on experience, results and integrity. Dr. Barusco’s long list of accomplishments, his notable artistic ability and his successful surgical team make Tempus Hair Restoration a renowned practice. Contact us to schedule your free virtual consultation. Dr. Barusco conducts every consultation himself, giving you the opportunity to learn your options in the comfort of your home – or any location, on any internet-enabled device. 

Dr. Barusco conducts consultations in English, Spanish and Portuguese. For your greater convenience, Tempus Hair Restoration offers a two-night complimentary hotel stay to out-of-town clients who travel 100 miles or more to our Port Orange, Florida, surgical center. No matter how far the distance, we welcome the opportunity to help you live your authentic best life!

What You Need to Know About Bodybuilding and Hair Loss

Competitive bodybuilders have a laser-like focus and fierce determination to achieve their goals. If you are among those dedicated to chiseling yourself to perfection, that moment on the competition stage in front of the judges is the most important. During this critical time, showing your confidence is the direct result of your success in all aspects of your training – as well as your attitude about yourself during your daily life.

If you’ve been experiencing hair loss, your self-image could be negatively impacted. Let’s face the truth – in our society, the progression of hair loss signals the loss of youth and vitality, no matter how sculpted you are. Some men embrace their baldness, but not everyone has the shape of head that looks good completely bereft of hair. Although judges don’t award points for hair, they do take into account the amount of self-confidence you project.

You also might be wondering if all that’s involved in striving to be the best in this demanding sport that’s actually a way of life is causing your hairline to recede. It’s time to learn what you need to know about this complex issue so you can make informed decisions.

Does Bodybuilding Cause Hair Loss?

Hair loss is a common issue among bodybuilders, but is the process itself the cause? As you probably already know, androgenetic alopecia (AGA) – otherwise known as male pattern hair loss (although it also occurs in women) – is in the genetic hand you’ve been dealt. However, as our blog post – “How Lifestyle Affects Hair Loss” – covers, lifestyle can trigger hair loss, or accelerate it in those genetically predisposed.

But first, let’s acknowledge the elephant in the room. Those looking to increase muscle mass and athletic performance have long turned to anabolic steroids, despite their dangerous side effects. Add hair loss to the list. Although not life-threatening, it’s indicative of the other negative conditions steroid use triggers. Those who are genetically predisposed to AGA can quickly accelerate its progression. This is because the Type II 5-alpha reductase enzyme transforms testosterone into DHT (dihydrotestosterone). DHT clings to receptors on hair follicles and causes them to weaken. Hair loss accelerated by steroid use is permanent.

Assuming you avoid anabolic steroids use, other factors can account for hair loss. Look at it this way. As a competitive bodybuilder, you push your body to the extreme for prolonged periods – far beyond what most others are willing or able to do. According to a study published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, intense resistance exercise itself can cause increases in androgenic hormones (testosterone for males). Our next section will cover the findings of this important study in further detail.

How Diet and Nutrition Can Affect Hair Loss for Bodybuilders – Facts and Myths

You may have read some conflicting reports on the effects of workout supplements and hair loss. Here is what we know for certain. Following a strict diet to maintain your physique may mean you’re not getting enough nutrients – such as vitamins and minerals – which are essential for healthy hair growth. Hair is sensitive to nutritional imbalances. An inadequate intake of essential vitamins or minerals can impact the hair growth (anagen phase) / rest cycle (telogen phase), leading to hair loss. However, such hair loss is temporary, and (in healthy individuals) hair resumes normal growth when nutritional balance is restored.

Creatine supplements have gained popularity as a means of enhancing stamina, developing strength and increasing muscle mass. However, creatine has a reputation for hair loss as a side effect. Although creatine may indirectly increase the level of DHT, no definitive link between creatine and balding has been established. According to the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition study cited earlier, this belief is based upon a single study in which college-aged male rugby players who supplemented with creatine experienced an increase in DHT concentrations over time.

“Given that changes in these hormones, particularly DHT, have been linked to some (but not all) occurrences of hair loss/baldness, the theory that creatine supplementation leads to hair loss / baldness gained some momentum and this potential link continues to be a common question / myth today. It is important to note that the results of [the study] have not been replicated, and that intense resistance exercise itself can cause increases in these androgenic hormones.”

So while creatine may not cause hair loss, keep in mind that maintaining a balance of nutrients is imperative in giving your body what it needs to be healthy, as well as to achieve optimum performance.

Making the Decision to Get a Hair Transplant

As a competitive bodybuilder, you know that appearances count! While most say they believe that people shouldn’t be judged on the basis of their appearance, you actually are, in every competition! For whatever reason you’re experiencing hair loss, a hair transplant procedure can help you get the psychological boost that gives you that all-important competitive edge. When you take the stage looking and feeling your very best, the judges will take notice!

Dr. Marco Barusco – Founder and Chief Medical Officer of Tempus Hair Restoration – counts many competitive bodybuilders among his patients, achieving the desirable look of healthy natural growth. He understands their concerns and recommends the most appropriate procedure for each individual’s situation.

In addition to the popular Follicular Unit Excision (FUE) and Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUT) procedures, Dr. Barusco offers two advanced – yet proven – procedures that can help those who are in the public eye and need to present a particular image to their audience. He developed the groundbreaking No-Shave FUE, which completely conceals harvested donor sites of the scalp immediately, allowing the patient to resume regular activities with virtually no evidence of the procedure.

The Combination FUE and FUT covers large areas of baldness in a single surgery. Patients with advanced hair loss are typically required to undergo multiple hair transplant procedures to obtain coverage of their entire bald scalp – having to wait one year or more between procedures. This allows patients to achieve their ultimate goal sooner, with one procedure versus many.

While each procedure provides an advantage to bodybuilders in regard to a reduction in aesthetic downtime that could affect your ability to compete, Dr. Barusco will base his recommendation on his determination as to whether you’re an appropriate candidate.

Regardless of which procedure is right for you, post-surgery care is crucial. You may have had a procedure that doesn’t look as if you’ve just received a hair transplant, but the surgical site needs sufficient time to heal. To give your hair grafts the best possible opportunity to heal and establish themselves, you should wait at least one month after a hair transplant before going to the gym, lifting weights or doing other strenuous exercise. This also will decrease the possibility of bleeding or trauma, which could affect the grafts. Your surgeon should take your lifestyle into account when giving post-op care instructions.

Choose Your Surgeon Wisely to Be Your Best

The path you’ve chosen as a competitive bodybuilder is demanding. As high as your standards of physical excellence are, you’re always striving to meet those of the judges. Your standards of a hair restoration surgeon should be just as high.

Choose your surgeon based on experience, results and integrity. Dr. Barusco’s long list of accomplishments, his notable artistic ability and his successful surgical team make Tempus Hair Restoration a renowned practice. Contact us to schedule your free virtual consultation. Dr. Barusco conducts every consultation himself, giving you the opportunity to learn your options in the comfort of your home – or any location, on any internet-enabled device. 

Dr. Barusco conducts consultations in English, Spanish and Portuguese. For your greater convenience, Tempus Hair Restoration offers a two-night complimentary hotel stay to out-of-town clients who travel 100 miles or more to our Port Orange, Florida, surgical center. No matter how far the distance, we welcome the opportunity to help you on your hair restoration journey!

Questions to Ask a Hair Transplant Surgeon

Have you made the big decision to undergo a hair transplant procedure? If so, you’ve most likely been paying attention to advertising by national brand clinics and other practices that position hair restoration somewhat as a consumer purchase. However, no matter what the procedure, hair transplant surgery is surgery. This takes it from the realm of a consumer purchase to a medical procedure. Once you see it from this lens, you understand how important it is to not only ask questions of the hair restoration surgeon who may be performing your procedure, but to ask the right questions. 

Heavily advertised clinics and practices depend upon consumers’ familiarity with their brand name, expecting you to assume that you’ll be treated well and get the outcome you want. However, as our blog post – “What to Look for in a Hair Transplant Surgeon” – states, choosing a hair transplant surgeon based solely upon the amount of advertising the doctor or practice does is no guarantee of good results. 

There are also those who “shop” by price only, looking for the practice offering the lowest cost and assuming that all hair restoration surgeons are equally skilled. This assumption is greatly mistaken. As our blog post – “Is Your Hair Transplant Surgeon Qualified? What You Need to Know!” – covers, the field of surgical hair restoration is not regulated by either the United States government or the medical community. According to the American Hair Loss Association, any licensed physician can legally perform hair transplant surgery without prior surgical training or accreditation of any kind. And as we frequently note, some clinics assign the harvesting and implantation of hair grafts to non-medical technicians, which has resulted in serious complications and outcomes ranging from poor to irreversible due to overharvesting of the donor site.

How to Find a Reputable Hair Restoration Practice

Dr. Marco Barusco – Founder and Chief Medical Officer of Tempus Hair Restoration – believes that knowledge is power – and therefore consumers need a base knowledge about the hair restoration field in order to make an informed decision. For this reason, we’ll start with how to find a reputable practice, which isn’t as easy as you may think. Advertising can be misleading, and websites that seem to be of an informative nature can have affiliate links, which means that the owner of the website is paid a percentage of the revenue of products sold on the site.

A valuable online resource for anyone considering a hair restoration procedure is the International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery (ISHRS). This is a global non-profit medical association, and the leading authority on hair loss treatment and restoration. The ISHRS offers objective, unbiased information, and does not accept advertising or affiliate links. Its website provides free resources for consumers – such as its Find a Doctor database. This is maintained and updated with the name, location, contact information and link to the ISHRS member page of each doctor. Dr. Barusco is a Fellow of the ISHRS. This is a distinction that is only given to those who achieve certain landmarks on teaching and leadership. Currently, fewer than 10% of the ISHRS members are Fellows.

Questions to Ask the Surgeon During Your Consultation

Whether your consultation will be virtual or in-person, first make sure that you will be talking to the surgeon who will be performing your procedure – not a salesperson or medical technician. As our blog post – “The Importance of Consultation Before Hair Restoration Treatment” – cautions, if you’re told the doctor cannot or will not meet with you, leave – or don’t schedule the consultation in the first place. This is a red flag that should not be ignored!

For additional information on this topic, Dr. Barusco’s informative YouTube video – “The Importance of Consultation” – is a comprehensive discussion of what you should expect during your hair loss consultation. Running at just over 24 minutes, this video covers every aspect in detail – including Dr. Barusco’s observations about how less-than-conscientious practitioners fail their patients.

The following questions are courtesy of the ISHRS so that you can make an informed decision about the surgeon who will perform your hair restoration procedure.

The Physician’s Training and Credentials

Questions about the physician’s training include:

  • From what medical school did the physician receive his/her M.D. (Doctor of medicine, allopathic medical), D.O. (Doctor of osteopathic medicine) or M.B.B.S. (Bachelor of medicine, bachelor of surgery, also abbreviated as, M.B.Ch.B.) degree?
  • What year did he/she receive the medical degree?
  • When was the physician licensed to practice medicine? Is he/she licensed to practice medicine in your state/province or the state/province in which the treatment will take place?
  • Where (hospital or medical center) did the physician complete his/her internship and residency training?
  • Did the physician have additional training in a medical or surgical specialty after completing residency?
  • Is the physician board certified or a diplomate of a legitimate certifying board? Learn more about what this means.
  • Does the physician hold membership in their related specialty professional society? For hair restoration surgery, this is the International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery. Do they attend scientific conferences and workshops? Membership and attendance in such societies is not essential, but it is an additional indication of commitment and advanced training.

The Physician’s Experience

If you are considering surgical hair restoration (hair transplantation, scalp reduction, flap grafting) you should want to know:

  • How long has the physician been doing surgical hair restoration procedures?
  • How many hair restoration procedures has the physician done? How many of the specific type you may consider having done?
  • How many hair restoration procedures does the physician currently do per month? A busy practice can be one indication that a surgeon is skilled and well respected by patients.
  • Is hair restoration surgery the physician’s only practice, or does the physician perform other types of cosmetic surgery? This question may be important to ask for two reasons: (1) if hair restoration is only part of an overall treatment you think you may need-for example, hair restoration and treatment to remove facial wrinkles and sun-damaged skin-a dermatologic or plastic surgeon will be able to consult with you regarding the overall treatment, and (2) to determine whether the surgeon performs enough hair restoration surgery to maintain his/her skills.
  • Will the physician, on request, provide names of patients who are willing to be references for the physician?

Other Relevant Questions 

  • Who will evaluate my hair loss and recommend a course of treatment? What is their education, training, licensure, and experience in treating hair loss? Only physicians, Physician’s Assistants and Nurse Practitioners are legally allowed to diagnose a patient and to recommend medical treatments. Otherwise, the person recommending procedures and/or treatments is practicing medicine without a license, a Felony crime in Florida and many other states.
  • Who will be involved in performing my surgery, what role will they play, and what is their education, training, licensure, and experience performing hair restoration surgery?
  • Will anyone not allowed by the State Medical Board be making incisions or harvesting grafts during my surgery? If so, please identify this person, explain their specific role and why they are legally permitted to perform it.
  • Is everyone involved in my surgery covered by malpractice insurance?

What is the Most Important Aspect of Choosing a Hair Restoration Surgeon?

As you’ve learned, a well-known brand name or cost should not be the basis of choosing a hair restoration surgeon. Being an informed patient and asking the right questions will help you achieve the outcome that allows you to face the world and live your best life with renewed self-confidence.

Ultimately, choose your surgeon based on experience, results and integrity. Dr. Barusco’s long list of accomplishments, his notable artistic ability and his successful surgical team make Tempus Hair Restoration a renowned practice. Contact us to schedule your free virtual consultation. Dr. Barusco conducts every consultation himself, giving you the opportunity to learn your options in the comfort of your home – or any location, on any internet-enabled device. 

Dr. Barusco conducts consultations in English, Spanish and Portuguese. For your greater convenience, Tempus Hair Restoration offers a two-night complimentary hotel stay to out-of-town clients who travel 100 miles or more to our Port Orange, Florida, surgical center. No matter how far the distance, we welcome the opportunity to help you on your hair restoration journey!