Behind The Reviews – Dr. Marco Barusco’s Hair Transplant Patients Share Their Stories

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Behind The Reviews – Dr. Marco Barusco’s Hair Transplant Patients Share Their Stories

Are you looking for a hair transplant surgeon? If so, you’re probably reading online reviews to get an idea of the surgeon’s ability to accomplish results that meet patient expectations. If you’ve been reading reviews for Dr. Marco Barusco – Founder and Chief Medical Officer at Tempus Hair Restoration – you’ve seen numerous five-star ratings and enthusiastic, heartfelt accounts of each patient’s experience. But what is the story behind their reviews? Two of Dr. Barusco’s patients offered to speak at length about their hair restoration journey – and why they were glad they chose him to achieve their goal.

Kevin Geddings – Owner of WSOS Radio and Morning Show Host, St. Augustine, FL

When Kevin Geddings started losing hair in his early 20s, he wasn’t surprised that it was from his crown area. “Balding in the crown is common in my family,” he said. “It’s just what’s expected. So that was my area of concern in seeking a hair transplant.”

Because radio personalities aren’t known for being introverts, his friends and associates never suspected that self-confidence was an issue. But his bald spot was an always-present, unwanted family legacy. When Geddings decided to look into his hair restoration options, Dr. Barusco was the first – and only – surgeon he consulted.

“One thing that impressed me is that the initial consultation was not rushed,” Geddings said. “Typically with a doctor, their time is very limited, and you feel they want to move things along. But Dr. Barusco talked at length with me during the consultation. We talked about hair growth patterns and how he figures that into the procedure to achieve a natural-looking result. We also talked very openly about pain management.

“Additionally, Dr. Barusco is on the faculty of the UCF medical school, which says a lot about his credentials. Also, it’s rare to work with a surgeon who’s actually had the experience of having a hair transplant. He just inspired a lot of confidence.”

In discussing the plan for Geddings’ procedure, Dr. Barusco determined he was a good candidate for the 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.

During the surgery, Geddings reported a comfortable, pain-free experience. Especially noteworthy to him was the presence of other surgeons and doctors who were there to observe Dr. Barusco in order to perfect their own technique.

“For me, that was a key indication of his skill level,” Geddings said.

After many years of living with a bald crown, Geddings started seeing new growth in three to four months post-op.

“When I first saw the new growth, I thought it was very exciting. I was very pleased that I made the decision to do it. As Dr. Barusco will tell you, your hair will go through a shock, and you’ll lose the new hair. But it starts to grow again after. The result started to be most noticeable after nine months. I had a follow-up exam, and Dr. Barusco told me that he thought I could get even better results with a second surgery, since I still had plenty of inventory [donor hair] that we could utilize.”

Geddings underwent the second procedure in 2019 – about one year and a half after the first – happy that Dr. Barusco was able to harvest even more hair follicles from his donor area than during the original surgery. Today, Geddings is still thrilled that through the skill and artistry of Dr. Barusco he was able to reverse the family curse of a bald crown. In fact, Dr. Barusco has been a frequent guest on his radio show.

“Dr. Barusco is one of the best hair transplant surgeons in the world, if not the best, yet he genuinely enjoys getting to know his patients. He’s incredibly laid-back, and has a great personality. You won’t feel intimidated. After my surgeries, he called me on his cell phone at 8 p.m. to see how I was doing. It’s pretty rare that the actual surgeon will check in on you hours after the procedure.”

hair transplant

                            Kevin Geddings: Before and After Crown Area FUT Hair Transplant

Geddings’ advice for men considering a hair transplant?

“Don’t delay. A lot of guys think this is going to be inconvenient or painful. These are excuses with no basis in fact. It wasn’t painful at all. I didn’t even take the prescription pain medication. I was right back to work on the radio the next day. Forget the old-school misconceptions of what transplants were back in the ‘90s. The results are really, really good!

“My biggest regret is that I should have done it years ago. If you’re thinking about a hair transplant, stop procrastinating. You’re not gaining anything by waiting.”

Argelis F. – Making the Dream of a Full Beard Come True

In his online review on RealSelf, Argelis F. shared the story of his beard transplant by Dr. Barusco, and the life-changing effect it’s had. 

Argelis wanted a beard ever since he was old enough to grow one. However, nature didn’t cooperate.

“I only had upper cheek patches,” he said. “The only thing that truly grew in was the line of the jaw, but I had always wanted fullness. Ironically, my brother was able to grow out a full beard.”

Although frustrated by his inability to grow a burly beard, Argelis had the financial responsibilities typical of a husband and father of four children. Yet he never lost sight of his dream, and eventually saved enough money through working overtime to look for a hair transplant surgeon.

“I called plenty of other surgeons,” Argelis said. “But his was the only practice I called where I spoke to the doctor himself. With the other places, I never got the actual procedure explained to me by the doctor. It was always by somebody else in the office. But Dr. Barusco was different.”

Argelis had a video consultation with Dr. Barusco. The appointment was scheduled after Argelis sent Dr. Barusco photos of his face as it was, and with a line drawn to indicate the areas where he wanted growth. During the consultation, he was surprised that Dr. Barusco wanted to see the back of his head, from where the donor hair would be harvested. Argelis hadn’t considered that Dr. Barusco would want to make sure that enough good-quality hair would be available to give him the coverage he wanted – and was impressed with Dr. Barusco’s attention to such an important detail.

“The way Dr. Barusco explained everything made me very comfortable. It was an excellent conversation. I could tell he has experience.”

On the big day, Argelis reported a very comfortable experience during surgery, which was performed under local anesthesia. He enjoyed lunch during a break in the procedure, then drifted back into relaxed sleep.

“There was no pain, even afterwards. It was almost like it didn’t happen.”

But just over two weeks later, Argelis began to see the proof that it really did happen.

“I believe that after the second week, I was able to scrub my face. I saw hair. Dr. Barusco told me not to be discouraged if I didn’t see anything after the scabs fell off, but six or seven months in, there was growth!”

It was a proud day for Argelis when he went to the barber to trim his beard and even it up. “It looks so natural, I don’t tell people I had the procedure done.”

Argelis said he appreciates Dr. Barusco’s technical skill and artistry, based upon the reactions he’s received – as well as the poor results he’s seen of beard transplants performed by other surgeons. He told of seeing a man he’d known for a long time who remarked on his beard. The man assumed Argelis had just decided to grow a beard – as if he’d always had the ability, but simply chosen not to do so until recently. Argelis did not correct him.

On another occasion, he went to a restaurant with his father-in-law, who knew someone who worked there. His father-in-law told Argelis the man had a beard transplant. “He went overseas for the transplant. It had been some time since he had it done, but he still had patchy growth and some red areas on his skin.”

Argelis: Before and After Beard Transplant

                                             Argelis: Before and After Beard Transplant

What advice does Argelis have for men considering a beard transplant?

“Don’t go for the cheaper things in life. You get what you pay for. If you want a beard that looks natural, you need a good surgeon. I left the review for Dr. Barusco because I’m truly happy with the result. To me, this is life-changing. I feel more comfortable as a man. I want people to know that this is worth it. The person I went to is the real deal.”

Read the Reviews to Help You Choose Your Surgeon Wisely

We at Tempus Hair Restoration thank every patient who has placed their trust in Dr. Barusco to perform their hair transplant procedure. Taking the time to write a review or agree to appear in a testimonial video on Dr. Barusco’s YouTube Channel – Hair Loss Medical Advice – means a great deal to us. You have helped others get the information they need to make an informed choice about an extremely important decision.

Ultimately, we want those considering a hair transplant to 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!

Why Do Some Hair Transplants Fail?

If you’ve heard about hair transplants that were unsuccessful and have concerns about how it could happen, your questions may make you hesitate to schedule a consultation with a hair restoration surgeon to learn your options. But examining the reasons why some hair transplants fail can help to alleviate your doubts and apprehensions – and better position you to achieve the result you want should you decide to address your hair loss.

Dr. Marco Barusco – founder and Chief Medical Officer of Tempus Hair Restoration – cites 10 of the most common reasons that hair transplants sometimes don’t attain the patient’s aesthetic goal. This article is based on the video – “Why Hair Transplants Fail?” – produced for his YouTube channel, Hair Loss Medical Advice.

Dr. Barusco’s insights are based upon his more than 20 years of experience as an internationally renowned hair restoration surgeon who has developed innovative advances in hair transplant procedures – such as the No-Shave FUE, which completely conceals harvested donor sites immediately, allowing patients to resume their regular activities with very little downtime. During the video, Dr. Barusco shares his experiences working with patients who have come to him after an unsatisfactory procedure.

Dr. Barusco begins by giving his definition of a failed hair transplant. “When I say the word ‘fail,’ it doesn’t mean that nothing grew, although it can be that, too. A failed hair transplant, in my opinion, is anything that didn’t produce the results that you were expecting after the transplant procedure was done.”

Dr. Barusco ranks the 10 main reasons for a failed hair transplant, beginning with the most frequent cause.

Number One: Poor Diagnosis of Hair Loss

“The first cause I see many times is that the hair loss itself was not diagnosed correctly,” says Dr. Barusco. “Not every hair loss is equal; not all hair loss is treatable with a hair transplant procedure.” Dr. Barusco notes that people often have the misconception that hair transplants are a treatment for hair loss when, in fact, they are a restorative measure.

“To prevent and treat hair loss – that is, the androgenetic male or female pattern hair loss – we need to treat with medication. So if you don’t diagnose the hair loss correctly, you may perform a hair transplant [in the wrong area of the scalp] or on a patient who should not have had the procedure. I see this sometimes because in many practices out there, the consultation is done by a consultant or a salesperson, or someone who has had some experience, but is not trained as a doctor to really diagnose hair loss. So a patient can fall through the cracks, and a surgery will be recommended for a patient who did not need to have that surgery.

“I make it a point to see all my patients because I’ve been studying hair loss for many years, as well as talking and teaching about it, so certain things can be subtle – and you need to be looking for them so that you can diagnose correctly. When you do this, of course, the chance of having a successful outcome is better.”

Number Two: Poor Understanding of Hair and Scalp Anatomy

What does that mean, and why is it important? A surgeon operating on any area of the human body must understand anatomy – not only the location of organs and structures in the surgical area, but how they all connect, interact and work together. The same is true of a hair transplant procedure.

“I need an understanding of the landscape of where I’m operating,” Dr. Barusco says. “The scalp has many different layers. It has nerves, veins, arteries and the skull. It has some important structures that I need to avoid. The hair itself has certain structures that need to be protected and transplanted together with the hair so that we can get an outcome that’s favorable.

“Inexperienced surgeons and technicians lack this knowledge, and can cause damage to major blood vessels and nerves, as well as other areas of the scalp. You may end up having numb areas, or areas of tissue that die off – which is known as necrosis of the scalp – and which I have seen. Wherever you go for a consultation, make sure you know who will actually be performing the surgery.”

Our blog post – “Complications in Hair Transplant Procedures” – covers this important topic of unqualified doctors or clinic technicians performing hair transplants in greater detail, with advice on how to protect yourself. Additional valuable information is available on the website of the International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery (ISHRS) – of which Dr. Barusco is a Fellow. Fewer than 10 percent of ISHRS members have achieved this honor.

Number Three: Poor Understanding of

Hair Physiology

Hair is a very complex organ. Understanding exactly how hair grows and the numerous mechanisms of cellular interactions requires high levels of education, training and experience. “When we transplant a follicle or a hair, it looks very simple, but we have to understand what goes on at a cellular level – how these things are going to play out in the survival of the graft. Grafts need to be treated and handled correctly to keep them viable to the time they’re implanted, as they are deprived of blood flow. You need to understand what goes on during the healing phases of the transplant in order to optimize so that every hair is protected and provided with good blood flow and a good environment for healing.”

Number Four: Poor Emphasis on Education

Dr. Barusco often sees patients who have been seen by other hair loss specialists who were ready to schedule surgery without recommending treatment with such medications as minoxidil (brand name Rogaine) or finasteride (brand name Propecia).

“Treatments were never mentioned to maintain their hair to prevent further loss. I usually recommend a patient first do medical therapy with medication for six months to see if he can comply with post-surgical treatment. Because if not, my transplant will not provide what you want over the long term. If I don’t educate the patient on hair loss, I’m not doing a service. Sometimes, the education involves recommending against the surgery. Not everyone is a candidate for a hair transplant. Education is key, and that’s the reason for the consultation in the first place.”

Number Five: Lack of Recommendation for Medical Treatment

This reason is closely related to the previous, a poor emphasis on education. Treatment with medication – for male and female patients – is essential in helping to prevent or slow further hair loss. Too many clinics and doctors do not prescribe medications or map out a treatment regimen, erroneously leading patients to believe that a hair transplant is a once-and-done solution.

Number Six: Not Listening to Your Concerns and Your Goals

The surgeon may look at you during the consultation and assume you want coverage in a particular area, when you actually want to see growth on a different area of your scalp. You must be sure to communicate your goals to the surgeon during consultation – then make certain the surgeon has heard and understands you.

If you sense the surgeon isn’t listening, or has already decided which areas(s) to focus on despite your description of the desired result, continue asking questions until you are satisfied with the answer. This should not be in the spirit of being difficult. If the surgeon has a vision that differs from yours, there may be a reason – but it is the surgeon’s responsibility to explain their reason so that you understand and can make your decision based upon this information.

“The surgeon needs to explain to you what is and what is not possible,” says Dr. Barusco. “I need to make sure that your goals are aligned with what I can deliver.”

Number Seven: Poor Planning of the Transplant Procedure

If you’ve ever seen men with a hairline that looks “off,” or not natural, you may not have been able to quite figure out why. This unsettling effect can be attributed to poor planning on the part of the surgeon.

“A hairline that’s not correct – such as too aggressive, too rounded and feminine for a man, very young looking on an older man – reflects poor planning. This also includes poor use of the donor zone. For example, using a lot of the donor area hair for a small area of the recipient area is not good planning. You have only so much hair that can be harvested, so I need to use it very wisely. You may need another transplant in the future, so if it’s all used at one time, there will be none left.”

Number Eight: Poor Technical Execution of the Transplant Procedure

Unfortunately, this particular “fail” is often linked to the previous, poor planning of the transplant procedure. A surgeon who lacks the skill to plan the procedure properly to create a natural-looking hairline and growth patterns also is likely to botch the implantation process itself. This includes placing hairs at the incorrect angle or direction, placing the hairline too low, and placing transplanted hairs very close together.

As previously mentioned, proper treatment of the hair grafts to keep them alive so they can take hold in the recipient area and grow is essential to a successful transplant. Grafts that are poorly prepared, allowed to dry out or otherwise mishandled at any point during the procedure will not be viable.

Number Nine: Poor Management of the Limited Number of Donor Hairs

As Dr. Barusco observes, we have only a limited supply of donor hair, although bald areas keep enlarging as hair loss continues over time.

“As hair transplant surgeons, we have to paint a beautiful picture, but we only have so much ink to do it. If we don’t utilize that ink in the best way we can, you’re not going to be happy and I’m not going to be happy. So that involves some compromise. While we can treat an area really well, we can’t treat the whole entire area of hair loss with the donor hair that you have. I need to explain that to you so you understand, and can make your decision. And then we’re going to be successful.”

Number 10: Damage to Existing Hairs by Overly Aggressive Surgery

People who have their first hair transplant too soon after hair loss begins are at risk of a poor eventual result. “In such a case, they still have a good amount of their own native hair, but it’s just starting to thin, and someone goes there very aggressively and puts a lot of transplants in between the existing hair. What then happens is that the transplants traumatize a large amount of those hairs, so they lose a lot of hair from the surgery. The transplants grow, but that trauma caused a good deal of loss of the native hair – so in the end, it’s a wash. They lost as many hairs as probably were placed, so the surgery didn’t produce any visible change.”

For this reason, Dr. Barusco uses a conservative approach, preserving as much native hair as possible. As always, Dr. Barusco emphasizes educating the patient on how hair transplants are planned and performed – including the follow-up medication treatment.

Knowledge is Power – Choose Your Hair Restoration Surgeon Wisely!

As you begin your search for a hair restoration specialist, having the facts at hand can help you avoid being swayed by advertising campaigns that offer a misleading idea of what a hair transplant involves over both the short and long term. Unlike buying a car, most people have no experience in choosing a hair restoration surgeon. This is an important decision that depends upon your knowledge of industry best practices and professional ethics in order to achieve a successful outcome that will allow you to face the world with the self-confidence you deserve.

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!

Busting Common Hair Transplant Myths

Even in this age of instant access to all of the world’s knowledge, many myths persist. Misconceptions regarding hair transplants, unfortunately, are still common. Being unaware that some of your beliefs about hair transplants aren’t true can prevent you from seeking help from a qualified, experienced surgeon specializing in hair restoration. If you’ve bought into a popular myth, you may feel that looking into your options is a waste of time – or that you’d only be setting yourself up for disappointment.

However, it would be far worse if the time you wasted was the time in which you could have enjoyed a full head of hair and improved self-confidence. We’ll look at seven common myths about hair transplants so you can put aside your reservations and start your journey to effective treatment.

Myth #1 – Hair transplants don’t look natural

Hair transplant surgery has greatly evolved since its beginning in the 1950s. Even so, the image of “pluggy” results has carried over from the 1970s, when it was only possible to harvest large grafts of skin and hair from donor areas of the scalp. The “mini” and “micro” grafts popular during the 1980s through the ‘90s likewise fell short of creating the look of natural growth.

Today’s advancements make possible procedures that achieve natural-appearing growth patterns, hairlines and overall scalp coverage. The Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUT) – also known as the “strip” method – has been perfected to heal with minimal scarring that can be easily concealed by hair growth. The traditional Follicular Unit Excision (FUE) procedure ultimately produces a good outcome, but requires shaving the donor area – which can make you feel self-conscious about going out in public until it grows back.

The ground-breaking No-Shave FUE developed by Dr. Marco Barusco – Founder and Chief Medical Officer of Tempus Hair Restoration – completely conceals harvested donor sites immediately, so you can quickly resume normal activities without self-consciousness. Also, the combined FUE and FUT procedure is designed so that patients with advanced hair loss can be treated during one surgery instead of two or three surgeries performed about one year apart.

However, this is a myth with a qualification. Only a surgeon with a high level of technical skill and a strong sense of aesthetics in placing grafts according to growth patterns can consistently achieve natural-appearing results – which means that bad transplants are still out there. Reasons include procedures by doctors who don’t specialize in hair restoration, those who use medically unqualified technicians and/or robotic devices to harvest and implant grafts and – worse yet – foreign hair clinics that package hair transplants with a vacation. Our blog post – “Consumer Beware – The Risks of Medical Tourism for Hair Transplants” – covers this issue in detail. Choose your surgeon wisely, and be assured that your hair transplant will look natural!

Myth #2 – Older people can’t have a hair transplant

While the popular idea of men from their early-30s to middle-age undergoing hair restoration surgery is prevalent, older people (including women – see Myth #4) may also be appropriate candidates. However, those with type 2 diabetes need to have their condition under control, and get clearance from their primary medical care provider for the procedure.

Otherwise, older patients can benefit from the boost in self-esteem that a fuller head of hair can provide. This is especially true for those who lead a healthy lifestyle and pride themselves on being fit and projecting a more youthful image. As society redefines aging, a hair transplant can help enhance your enjoyment of life on your own terms.

Myth #3 – The younger you have a hair transplant, the better

Rather the opposite situation from Myth #2, hair restoration surgeons do not typically recommend any hair transplant procedure for those experiencing male pattern hair loss in their 20s (as opposed to hair loss from head trauma). When such hair loss begins early, the balding process will continue. Because there are a finite number of donor hair follicles, undergoing a hair transplant at a younger age will deplete the amount of donor hair available for transplant in later years.

In such cases, hair restoration surgeons typically recommend non-surgical treatments, such as Propecia (Finasteride) or Rogaine (Minoxidil). Another option that can achieve excellent results for young men is treatment with adipose-derived cells and growth factors. This advanced treatment is also suitable for women of all ages.

While online subscription services that diagnose hair loss and prescribe medications are popular, there are risks. As reported by Natasha Singer and Katie Thomas in their article for The New York Times Drug Sites Upend Doctor-Patient Relations: ‘It’s Restaurant-Menu Medicine’ – “The sites invert the usual practice of medicine by turning the act of prescribing drugs into a service. Instead of doctors making diagnoses and then suggesting treatments, patients request drugs and physicians serve largely as gatekeepers.

“Some of these companies operate in a regulatory vacuum that could increase public health risks, according to interviews with physicians, former federal health regulators and legal experts. And federal and state health laws, written to ensure competent medical care and drug safety, have not kept pace with online services, they say.”

Our recommendation – if you’re a young man experiencing hair loss, schedule a consultation with a reputable, experienced hair restoration surgeon. You’ll receive the best available treatment for your individual case, and be monitored over time until you are an appropriate candidate for a transplant procedure.

Myth #4 – Women can’t have a hair transplant

This myth has led many women to believe that they have to live with hair loss. Although the situation is gradually changing, women still experience embarrassment and feelings of isolation, using hats, ball caps and wigs to conceal thin and balding areas of the scalp rather than schedule a consultation with a hair restoration specialist.

Unlike typical male pattern baldness, women lose hair more diffusely over the scalp, but rarely become completely bald. In such cases, hair loss may be treated by non-surgical means – such as Rogaine, adipose-derived cells and growth factors or low-level laser treatment – as well as a combination of such therapies However, in such cases as scarring due to surgery or head trauma, a transplant procedure may be the best treatment.

Because female hair loss can occur for a variety of reasons, scheduling a consultation with an experienced surgeon for an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan for your individual case is essential.

“For hair loss, usually a combination of treatments works better than monotherapy,” says Dr. Barusco. “The combination provides the optimal environment for the hairs to be both protected against damage and stimulated to grow stronger and thicker. But the treatments must be decided based on each patient’s situation and guided by many factors, so it is important to be counseled by a physician who understands hair loss.”

Myth #5 – You’ll receive someone else’s hair

We don’t know the origin of this particular myth, but it is patently false. Just as with organ transplants, the body rejects implanted tissues other than its own. Organ transplants are only possible because the recipient must take strong anti-rejection medications for the rest of their life. If not, their body would quickly reject the organ. One exception is corneal transplants. Even then, rejection is a problem for up to three out of 10 people who have a corneal transplant. Be assured that only your own hair can be used in any hair transplant procedure.

Also, hair from other parts of the body are never used. Even for facial hair transplants, donor hairs are harvested from the sides and back of the head, which are the same areas used in standard hair transplant surgery for bald and thinning areas of the scalp. The only difference is that the hair removed is usually from lower toward the neck, where the hair quality is more compatible to that of facial hair. Dr. Barusco understands how hairs from different areas of the body behave, and has the skill and artistry to harvest those that are the best match, and ensure the hair follicles are angled correctly when transplanted.

Myth #6 – Transplanted hair requires special treatment

If you’ve been hesitant to look into your hair replacement options because you think you’ll have to “baby” your transplanted hair indefinitely, be assured that no special care is necessary. Aside from following post-surgical care instructions, you can shampoo, dry and style your hair as usual. However, whether or not you have a recent transplant, wear a hat or loose-fitting cap when participating in outdoor activities to avoid sunburn and the risk of skin cancer.

Myth #7 – A hair transplant is not affordable

Of all the myths surrounding hair transplants, this is perhaps the most insidious. Why? If you already assume that hair restoration surgery is too expensive, you won’t be likely to seek treatment. The only way to learn your options is to research hair restoration surgeons and schedule a consultation. Tempus Hair Restoration is currently still scheduling only virtual consultations out of an abundance of caution, although surgical procedures have resumed at our Port Orange surgical center. Consultations with Dr. Barusco are always free.

Unlike many other hair restoration practices and clinics, Tempus Hair Restoration does not have set-fee procedures or pricing per number of hair grafts. Our approach is to treat each client as an individual, taking into account such factors as the following:

  • Your specific type of hair loss
  • Amount of current and projected hair loss
  • Complexity of procedure
  • Ethnic background (which affects hair texture and growth patterns)
  • Medical history/pre-existing conditions
  • Desired aesthetic result
  • Additional relevant circumstances, depending upon your individual situation

Once Dr. Barusco has made a diagnosis and treatment plan, our patient educator will discuss next steps, including pricing and financing options. We offer qualified clients third-party 12-month interest-free financing — as well as low-interest 60-month financing. A hair restoration procedure by world-renowned surgeon Dr. Barusco can be within reach.

A word of caution: We all want to save money, but do not consider a hair clinic based on price alone. You’ll most likely get assembly line treatment, medically unqualified technicians harvesting and implanting hair grafts, and unsatisfactory results that will ultimately cost even more to correct (assuming enough donor hair remains). Choose your surgeon wisely, and start enjoying the self-confidence you deserve!

Now that you know, take the next step

Now that we’ve busted some common myths about hair transplants, we invite you to learn more about Dr. Barusco’s reputation for integrity and results, his long list of accomplishments and certifications, and his notable artistic ability – then 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. No matter how far the distance, we welcome the opportunity to help you on your hair restoration journey!


Consumer Beware – The Risks of Medical Tourism for Hair Transplants

If you’re considering a hair transplant, you have probably conducted online searches for hair clinics. In the process, you’ve also probably found websites for overseas clinics – usually in Turkey – offering transplants at bargain rates, included as a package deal with airfare, luxury hotel accommodations and transportation. But the lure of combining an exotic vacation with hair transplant surgery should raise a major red flag, as black market hair restoration practices are proliferating unchecked – leaving patients with disastrous results and no recourse.

So serious is this problem that the International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery (ISHRS) – the world’s leading medical authority on hair loss treatment and restoration – has initiated a worldwide patient awareness campaign designed to help people recognize fraudulent hair restoration clinics and misleading advertising claims. The ISHRS has encouraged its members to raise awareness of the risks of medical tourism for hair transplants.

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.

Launched in March 2019, the campaign, Beware of the Hair Transplant Black Market, provides valuable resources to help patients evaluate a surgeon’s credentials, and patient photos illustrating the disfiguring – and many times irreversible – outcomes of botched surgeries by untrained, unqualified staff members.

To define the issue, “medical tourism” can be a confusing term. Patients often travel long distances for a surgeon with an excellent reputation and credentials. Dr. Barusco treats international patients at Tempus’ surgical center in Port Orange, Florida, providing a convenient, complimentary two-night stay at a nearby hotel. However, all travel, additional transportation and other expenses are the patient’s responsibility.

The negative aspect that the medical profession attributes to medical tourism is when unscrupulous clinics leverage the promise of travel to unsuspecting patients, then subject them to treatments performed under substandard conditions by nurses or non-medical technicians.

Why Turkey is the world’s black market hair transplant capital

Popular destinations for hair transplants include Mexico, India and Sweden, but Turkey is where the most aggressive marketing is conducted. Although Turkish law prohibits hair transplant surgery from being performed outside of a hospital setting, black market practitioners get around the restrictions by illegally setting up shop in private hospitals or clinics. Bribery of officials is commonplace, allowing such clinics to operate without consequences. The TURSAB (a committee working with the Turkish Health Ministry) reports that Turkey’s income from medical tourism topped $4.5 billion in 2015.

In addition to lining the pockets of those entrusted to protect the public, black market clinics use the internet to draw in patients. Slick clinic websites making false claims about their legitimacy, staff experience and positive patient outcomes do effective groundwork in misleading potential patients. Their doctors are given a veneer of respectability by paid writers who represent themselves as journalists filing objective reports about the clinics and the successful results they achieve.

According to the ISHRS, “Many of the illegal clinics have sophisticated websites ranking high with Google paid ads to attract the consumer into a clinic that appears on the surface very professional. The marketing tactics are deceptive as it appears like a team of professional doctors with excellent testimonials. However, the reality is your surgery may be done by someone with no medical training. The demand is so high, reports are that Taxi cab drivers and Syrian refugees do the surgery in some overseas countries.”

What is the real cost of a hair transplant?

Consumers who lack knowledge about ethical medical practices and conduct in the hair restoration field are particularly susceptible. But their greatest vulnerability is the pursuit of a bargain. The cost of a hair transplant in the United States varies widely, depending upon many factors – such as the type of procedure, extent of hair loss, amount of donor hair available, etc. The patient can expect to pay several thousand dollars, however.

As the ISHRS emphasizes, hair transplant surgery is still surgery, with all the risks of surgery performed on any other area of the body. Unethical overseas clinics offer procedures at the same price for all patients, ranging from just $600 to $2,000 USD.

What do patients get for their hair transplant package? Poor growth, improper graft preparation (which means a higher number of grafts become non-viable), misangled graft placement, unnatural hairlines, a pluggy doll’s hair appearance and complete donor decimation are often reported. Severe scarring and disfigurement are also common. Add to that the risk for such infections as hepatitis or HIV. This is because the emphasis for the clinic is volume – performing as many hair transplants as possible each day for maximum profit.

Why don’t victimized patients report black market hair transplant clinics?

Why hasn’t word gotten out? Ironically, many patients are satisfied with their experience – at first. Results from a hair transplant typically require a year to fully activate and grow out. Patients who don’t know what a good transplant looks like during each stage assume that what they see is normal, and that the appearance of their scalp and hair will improve over time.

When they finally realize their surgery has been botched, they have no recourse. Dr. Barusco treated one such patient who traveled back to the Turkish clinic that performed his transplant to have complications corrected, and found the clinic had gone out of business. Actually, the clinic may well have moved to a different location under a new name, continuing to run its illegal assembly line surgeries – as is common practice.

As noted by one observer of Turkey’s booming medical tourism scene, “The market is plagued by corruption, fake clinics and gullible customers looking for a bargain. And the market is only expanding.”

Knowledge is power

Human nature being what it is, we want to believe what we want to be true. But if something sounds too good to be true, it is. This includes a bargain hair transplant performed during an all-expenses-included exotic vacation. Educating yourself about hair transplants and the questions you need to ask any surgeon before consenting to treatment are essential to avoiding unscrupulous clinics and ensuring the best possible outcome. Our July 8, 2019 blog post – “Undoing the Damage of a Bad Hair Transplant” – includes the following 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 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?

Once you are at the consultation, make sure all of your questions are answered to your satisfaction and DEMAND TO SEE A PHYSICIAN. At Tempus Hair Restoration, every prospective patient meets with Dr. Barusco – whether the consultation is in-office, or by video conference.

Investigate other trusted resources

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.

Dr. Barusco also conducts virtual consultations for those who can’t travel to one of our 14 Florida locations, and our office will arrange travel and accommodations for out-of-area patients. We invite you to learn more about our procedures, then contact us to schedule your free consultation with Dr. Barusco. We look forward to meeting you and discussing your options.