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

Tag Archives: Hair Transplant

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!

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!

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!

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!

Can Body Hair Be Used For Hair Transplants?

Do you think nature has played a cruel trick on you because you have plenty of hair everywhere on your body except your scalp? Why can’t some of that hair grow on your head? Perhaps it can! Transplanting hair from the chest, abdomen or beard to the scalp may be an option under certain circumstances to address hair loss when there is not enough hair in the donor areas of the scalp to be harvested for a hair restoration procedure.

Dr. Marco Barusco – Founder and Chief Medical Officer at Tempus Hair Restoration – is a pioneer in utilizing hair grafts from other areas of the body to fill in thinning areas of scalp in order to achieve an aesthetically pleasing look of full growth. As can be expected, the technique for harvesting body hair is more time consuming than harvesting follicles from the scalp, and requires a high degree of skill. Dr. Barusco discusses the details of this approach, which is based on the video – “Transplanting Body Hair to the Scalp” – on his YouTube channel, Hair Loss Medical Advice.

The Limitations of Scalp Donor Areas

Traditionally, hair transplant surgery relies on the supply of scalp donor hairs. These are permanent hairs that are not susceptible to the action of the dihydrotestosterone (DHT) hormone, which – in very fundamental terms – is a factor in male pattern hair loss (androgenic alopecia). Temporal areas (sides of the scalp) and the occipital area (back of the scalp) are typically those from which hair grafts are harvested for transplantation into bald or balding areas of the scalp.

However, the amount of available hair in donor areas is finite. As our blog post – “An Up-close Look at Hair Grafts” – states, “Once a graft is taken from the donor site, hair will never grow there again.” Hair restoration surgeons who are experienced, skilled and conscientious avoid overharvesting, which depletes donor sites, leaving the patient with patchy growth and/or visible scarring.

“Sometimes, we see patients who don’t have enough donor hair, or have already had multiple hair transplants, and the supply has been depleted,” says Dr. Barusco. “So what do we do then? We can use other areas as donor zones.”

Where is Body Hair Harvested for a Hair Transplant?

Body hair can be harvested from several locations. Dr. Barusco considers the chest and abdomen to be the optimum areas because the amount of hair tends to be abundant, and the quality of hair is good. Although people typically think about hair only in terms of what is visible above the skin, Dr. Barusco considers the entire anatomy of the hair graft. Also known as a hair implant or follicular unit, a hair graft is a cylinder of skin and hair that encompasses the hair follicle, the sebaceous gland (which secretes sebum – a lubricating oily matter – into the hair follicles to lubricate the skin and hair), the arrector pili muscle (a microscopic band of muscle tissue which connects a hair follicle to the dermis), and the papilla – or bulb – of the hair, which is an important stem cell reservoir. A hair graft includes all of these structures. Each follicular unit graft can contain one to three (or even four) hair follicles.

“In harvesting chest or abdominal hair for transplantation, we sometimes can get grafts with two follicles, although the majority will be singles. If you have enough hair, we can harvest enough for a few thousand grafts.”

Chest hair is short, making it suitable for filling in certain areas of the scalp. But Dr. Barusco has noticed an interesting phenomenon about post-transplant chest hair.

“The chest hair only grows about an inch or two, but over time, we noticed that once the hair is implanted in the scalp, it starts to grow longer and longer. For some reason, the location changes the hair growth cycle phases so the growth phase starts to increase – so sometimes, a patient can get long hair.”

The submental (under chin) area of the face is another suitable location for harvesting. While many people seek Dr. Barusco’s services for a beard transplant, those who already enjoy healthy beard growth may be an appropriate candidate for harvesting these hairs for transplantation to the scalp.

“The nice thing about beard hair is that it’s usually a little coarser, and it tends to grow long. If you have a beard, you know that if you don’t shave or trim it, it will keep growing long. So when you transfer it to the scalp, the hair will continue to grow, which can allow you more flexibility in styling.”

In harvesting beard hair – as well as hair from the chest and abdomen – Dr. Barusco takes great care to select grafts so as not to be noticeable. For both body hair and beard hair harvesting, Dr. Barusco uses the Follicular Unit Excision (FUE) method, which involves harvesting follicular units from the scalp individually with a small diameter round punch. This results in tiny circular dot-like scars that are easily concealed by surrounding hair and for all practical circumstances are not visible. In addition, the under chin area itself is inconspicuous when one is facing forward.

Areas of the beard that Dr. Barusco will not harvest from include the neck, cheeks and goatee. “Sometimes, patients who have hair all the way into the neck ask me if I can harvest follicles from that area. I don’t, because the skin is different. Scarring will be more visible, and if you shave there, it’s going to show. The same is true of the cheeks and goatee. But as long as we stay in the safe zone under the chin, you should heal very well.”

As for the surgery itself, local anesthesia is used to numb the areas of the scalp involved in the procedure. For harvesting of body hair, Dr. Barusco administers a special anesthetic technique he developed to numb the appropriate surface area, ensuring a safe, comfortable experience for the patient.

Are You a Good Candidate for a Body Hair to Scalp Transplant?

Regardless of the procedure, a one-on-one consultation with a hair transplant surgeon is necessary to ensure that you are an appropriate candidate.

“During the consultation, I will tell you what I can do safely and realistically. Everybody’s hair is different. There are different types of hair loss, and different hair loss possibilities in the future. But if you’ve had a few transplant surgeries, or you have had a couple of big ones and there’s not enough hair in the traditional donor areas anymore to remove without overharvesting, hair from the body can be a good option for filling in some areas. In the consultation, I will discuss all of these factors and circumstances with you so you will have realistic expectations of the outcome.”

If you are wondering if a body hair transplant can help address your hair loss, be sure that the surgeons you consider have extensive experience, rather than having performed it sporadically. Also, ask to see before-and-after photographs. The results should look like healthy, natural growth, with no detectable difference between body and scalp hair.

Ultimately, choose your best hair transplant 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!

Fighting the FIGHT Against Illicit Hair Transplants: Dr. Barusco Participates in World Hair Transplant Repair Day

Are you the victim of a hair transplant performed at a clinic you thought was a legitimate facility, but actually wasn’t – and are now living with the results of a seriously botched procedure? Or do you know of someone who is? You have the opportunity to be selected for pro bono (free) corrective surgery by Dr. Marco Barusco – Founder and Chief Medical Officer of Tempus Hair Restoration – on November 11, 2022.

On that date, Dr. Barusco will be among 65 hair transplant surgeons worldwide participating in World Hair Transplant Repair Day. This is the second year that the International Society of Hair Restoration (ISHRS) is holding this event as part of its Fight the FIGHT (Fraudulent, Illicit and Global Hair Transplants) global consumer awareness campaign.

With more than 1,000 members throughout 70 countries, the ISHRS is dedicated to achieving excellence in patient outcomes by promoting the highest standards of medical practice, medical ethics and research in the medical hair restoration industry. 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.

Toward increasing consumer awareness of this problem and his involvement with World Hair Transplant Repair Day, Dr. Barusco has produced this video for his YouTube channel, Hair Loss Medical Advice. The video – “The Dark Side of the Hair Restoration Industry” – provides an overview of the prevalence of black market clinics, substandard operating room conditions, disastrous results and how to recognize and avoid such clinics.

Learn about this important campaign and how you can submit yourself as a candidate for a pro bono corrective procedure performed by Dr. Barusco on November 11. If you know someone who is the victim of an illicit black market hair transplant, share this information and encourage them to register. Dr. Barusco will select the recipient in October, so please act now to be sure that you – or a friend or family member – will be considered.

The Story Behind the Fight the FIGHT Campaign

ISHRS launched Fight the FIGHT in 2019 in response to the ever-increasing incidents of disfiguring hair transplants performed by unlicensed, non-medical technicians in illicit clinics. The use of unlicensed technicians to perform aspects of hair restoration surgery – which should only be performed by a properly trained and licensed physician – places patients at the following risks, all of which jeopardize patient safety and outcomes:

  • Misdiagnosis of the cause of hair loss.
  • Failure to diagnose hair disorders and related systemic diseases.
  • Performance of unnecessary or ill-advised surgery.
  • Unlicensed technicians may not be covered by malpractice insurance.

As the ISHRS states, “Vulnerable patients are lured by cheap prices and false advertising presented with misleading information alongside attractive medical tourism packages to visit clinics that use non-medical persons with very little training in aesthetic hair transplantation. This type of surgery is unsafe. It is a serious health risk often leading to tragic side effects such as permanent scarring, infection that leads to disfiguring results with very little to no recourse for correction.”

The lure of foreign clinics to consumers unfamiliar with ethical standards and practices in the field of hair transplantation is understandable. As our blog post – “Consumer Beware – The Risks of Medical Tourism for Hair Transplants” – covers, such clinics offer transplants at bargain rates, included as a package deal with airfare, luxury hotel accommodations and transportation. Combining an exotic vacation with a hair transplant procedure at a total cost lower than a comparable procedure alone by a reputable surgeon in the U.S. seems like an attractive deal. Slick clinic websites look professional and position the facility as trustworthy. But it’s all a sophisticated deception. False claims about their legitimacy, staff experience and positive patient outcomes do effective groundwork in misleading potential patients.

What do patients actually 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.

Hair Transplant Surgery Performed by Non-medical Technicians – an Ongoing Problem

However, this disturbing trend is not limited to foreign clinics. Over the past several years, Dr. Barusco has dedicated himself to educating consumers about the risks of hair transplant surgeries performed by non-medical technicians using robotic devices to harvest and implant hair follicles. Our blog post – “Don’t Let a Technician Perform Your Transplant Surgery” – covers this important topic in detail. We also frequently reference Dr. Barusco’s article – “The Truth Behind Advertising Devices Instead of Surgeons” – which provides his insights on the marketing of such devices to cosmetic surgeons, plastic surgeons, family practitioners and others who have no training or experience in hair restoration surgery. In the article, Dr. Barusco relates his own experience in correcting the damage done to patients who had placed their trust (and money) in doctors who depend on these machines to perform the delicate procedures that only a highly skilled surgeon can.

The practice is becoming so prevalent that consumers have come to accept this as a typical, legitimate situation – which it is definitely not. These clinics gear their marketing and advertising to mislead the public into believing that technicians have a high degree of training and are just as capable as a surgeon to perform most – if not all – of the procedure. And that doing so allows them to offer hair restoration surgeries at a discount.

As the ISHRS states, “In fact, this is a common occurrence in many cosmetic surgery offices in the United States, where a surgeon will buy a heavily marketed device to assist with donor harvesting, then advertise their own credentials to attract patients, and in a ‘bait and switch’ type operation, bring in technicians to perform most if not the entire procedure.”

According to ISHRS policy, hair restoration surgery should only be performed by qualified physicians who possess education, training, and current competency in the field of hair restoration surgery or other licensed health care professionals who are properly trained, performing the procedure within their scope of practice, and supervised by a qualified and experienced physician.

“The cons of some of the heavily advertised, new technology available for hair transplantation (suction-assisted, easy-profit devices and robotic technology) are rarely discussed,” says Dr. Barusco. “Marketing campaigns make the unaware consumer think that unless a doctor has one of these devices, he or she is not up to par with the science. Even worse, they lead the consumer to think that if a practice or doctor owns one or more of them, he or she automatically knows what they are doing and will provide good results. Neither could be farther from the truth.”

The truth is, hair transplant surgery is surgery – and as such, requires a surgeon to perform. The position of the ISHRS 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. Physicians who perform hair restoration surgery must possess the education, training, and current competency in the field of hair restoration surgery.”

To help ensure you have the information to make informed decisions about who performs your hair restoration surgery, the ISHRS urges you to ask the following questions – as well as questions regarding costs, risks, and short and long-term benefits and planning:

  • Who will evaluate my hair loss and recommend a course of treatment? What is their education, training, licensure, and experience in treating hair loss? (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 licensed by the state 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?

Has Your Hair Transplant Been Botched by a Non-medical Technician?

As much as Dr. Barusco and the ISHRS strive to educate consumers about the risks of illicit clinics and non-medical technicians performing hair restoration procedures, far too many people aren’t reached. If your hair transplant was botched under the circumstances this blog post covers, you have the opportunity for Dr. Barusco to perform corrective surgery free of charge if you are selected as his patient for World Hair Transplant Repair Day. To submit yourself as a candidate for surgery on World Hair Transplant Repair Day, please click here to access the contact form.

Note: According to the ISHRS rules for this event, contact with the physician does not guarantee participation and pro bono procedures are limited. Local laws and regulations may apply.

For those who are not selected, we invite you to schedule your free virtual consultation with Dr. Barusco to learn your options for a corrective procedure. Dr. Barusco has helped numerous patients achieve the look they had originally anticipated. Our blog post – “Undoing the Damage of a Bad Hair Transplant” – provides examples of how Dr. Barusco was able to mitigate the poor aesthetic effect of an ineptly performed procedure.

We understand that the main concern you may have is cost. Tempus Hair Restoration offers 12-month interest-free financing, or up to 60-month terms with low interest. Your hair restoration journey should take you where you want to be, with a result that improves your self-image and self-confidence. Dr. Barusco and our Tempus Hair Restoration team are here to help.

Why is Ethnicity an Important Consideration for a Hair Transplant?

Performing a hair transplant that achieves the look of natural, healthy hair growth is – or should be – the goal of every hair restoration surgeon. Therefore, a skilled, experienced surgeon knows that there is no cookie-cutter, one-technique-fits-all approach. However, you might be surprised to learn that in addition to the numerous factors a conscientious surgeon such as Dr. Marco Barusco – founder and Chief Medical Officer of Tempus Hair Restoration – considers, the ethnicity of the patient is highly important in determining the “game plan” for the placement of hair, as well as for the implantation technique.

A native of Brazil, Dr. Barusco has been privileged to perform hair restoration surgery on patients of all ethnicities, crediting his adopted home of Florida with being a popular destination for people of every racial heritage throughout the world. Some of the information in this article is based on Dr. Barusco’s video – “Is Ethnicity Important When it Comes to Hair Transplantation?” – that Dr. Barusco produced for his YouTube channel, Hair Loss Medical Advice.

“There is a lot of mixture of races here, and so I come across every type of ethnic hair that there is: Asian, African-American and Caucasian,” says Dr. Barusco. “They each require a slightly different approach.”

Common Ethnic Considerations for Planning a Successful Hair Transplant Procedure

According to the International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery (ISHRS), there are common factors for a surgeon to consider when planning for a successful outcome:

  • Head shape – For example, a “long” head shape and a “round” head shape require different approaches to placement of transplanted hair.
  • Hair characteristics – For example, hair color, hair caliber (diameter) and hair shape (straight, wavy, curly, frizzled, etc.) all influence the appearance of transplanted hair.
  • Hair density Differences in the numbers of hairs per square centimeter of scalp – for example, about 200 hairs per square centimeter in East Asians versus about 130 hairs per square centimeter in Caucasians – influence the surgeon’s decision on where, how and how many follicles to implant in the recipient sites.
  • Skin thickness – Thickness and other genetically programmed features of skin influence technique for setting donor hair into the transplantation site, and may predispose a patient to postoperative formation of the type of scarring called keloids. African-Americans are particularly susceptible to forming keloids in response to skin injury, which must be taken into account before surgery. Dr. Barusco’s YouTube video – “What is Keloid Scarring?” – addresses this issue in detail. People of Asian background are also more prone to keloid scarring than Caucasians, although to a lesser extent than African-Americans.
  • Cultural preferences Ethnicity may influence a patient’s preferences regarding where a transplanted hairline should be placed, and how much “baldness” is acceptable.

Characteristics of Asian Hair to Consider in Hair Transplantation

In covering the characteristics of Asian hair, the ISHRS makes the distinction of people of East Asian origin (Chinese, Japanese and Korean). Noting that East Asian hair is similar in most respects to Caucasian hair, there are differences that can influence the transplant procedure.

Characteristics include the following:

  • East Asians have thicker individual hairs than Caucasians, but fewer hairs per square centimeter of scalp (lower hair density). However, the thickness of hair follicles creates the impression of greater hair density. For this reason, a larger donor area must be harvested to obtain the number of hairs necessary for a transplant.
  • The characteristic shape of the East Asian head is somewhat more rounded than the longer, more narrow head typical of Caucasians. Therefore, hair placement must be adapted accordingly to achieve a natural-looking hairline and growth pattern.

Characteristics of African-American Hair to Consider in Hair Transplantation

The curling and twisting of African-heritage hair provides the appearance of good scalp density, which is an advantage in hair transplants. 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. However, its curliness allows coverage of scalp areas with fewer number of follicles needed to achieve an aesthetically pleasing “full” coverage – thereby reducing the number of follicles needed for transplantation.

In his article for the ISHRS, William D. Yates, MD, writes that African-American hair transplantation involves unique factors which must be considered in the pre-op, operative and post-operative stages to ensure the best outcome. Because developing keloid scarring may be a possibility, the surgeon should ask if a prospective patient has a history of such scarring, or any other scarring scalp disorders. A conscientious 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.

Characteristics of Caucasian Hair to Consider in Hair Transplantation

Caucasian hair is generally straight or wavy and is the thinnest of the three main types of hair, while its cross-section is relatively elliptic. It grows diagonally to the scalp, and has the highest density of the three ethnic profiles.

People of multi-ethnic backgrounds may have hair that better fits one particular profile – which, of course, the surgeon needs to take into consideration when planning a hair transplantation procedure.

Cultural Preferences to Consider

In addition to the technical aspects of harvesting and implanting different types of hair, a conscientious surgeon will also be aware of how the patient’s culture affects their self-image and expectations. For example, Dr. Yates writes that his male African-American patients prefer less temporal recession in the design – that is, a less-pronounced “M” shape that characterizes the mature male hairline.

Dr. Barusco sees similar preferences in his own practice. “Some ethnic groups are much more in tune with what their hairlines are, so they want a lower, more aggressive hairline; others don’t.”

What This Means to You – Choose Your Hair Restoration Surgeon Wisely

If you’ve decided to have a hair transplant procedure, be sure the surgeon you choose has experience with patients of your ethnic group, and has achieved good results. Our website’s Before & After Gallery provides examples of Dr. Barusco’s outstanding work in creating the look of healthy, natural hair growth for patients of all ethnicities. In addition, ask any surgeon you schedule a consultation with about their experience in performing hair transplant procedures on members of your group. This article should give you a basis for questions to help you determine the surgeon’s degree of knowledge and expertise.

The consultation also is the time to tell the surgeon about your own aesthetic preferences and expectations of the results you want. The surgeon may assume you want coverage in a particular area, when you actually want to see growth on a different area of your scalp. 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. Our blog post – “Why Do Some Hair Transplants Fail?” – covers such reasons as poor doctor-patient communication and poor technical execution of the transplant procedure – among many others – for unsatisfying results.

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!

Complications in Hair Transplant Procedures

Every person who schedules a hair transplant procedure expects a successful outcome. However, just as with any other surgical procedure, it carries the potential for complications. We at Tempus Hair Restoration consider our blog an important means of educating potential patients on every aspect of hair restoration – be it surgical or non-surgical. Our YouTube channel – Hair Loss Medical Advice – is another educational tool in which Dr. Marco Barusco – Founder and Chief Medical Officer at Tempus Hair Restoration – covers a hair loss-related topic in a conversational style. This article is based on his video, Complications in Hair Transplant Surgery, which we highly recommend you watch. Knowing what can possibly go wrong and how complications can best be prevented will make you a better informed patient able to ask the right questions and find an experienced, qualified surgeon specializing in hair transplant procedures.

What is a Complication?

A complication is an unanticipated problem that arises following – and is a result of – a procedure, treatment or illness. Fortunately, says Dr. Barusco, complications in hair restoration surgery are very rare. Serious complications are even rarer. However, although complications do not tend to be life-threatening, cosmetic complications can result in excessive scarring, decimation of the donor area caused by overharvesting, poor growth and unnatural-appearing growth patterns. In extreme cases, a complication can be permanently disfiguring.

Donor Area Complications – Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUT)

Also known as the strip method – in which hair follicles are harvested from the donor area of the scalp as strips – an FUT can result in tissue necrosis originating from wound dehiscence (the separation of the edges of a surgical incision) at the donor site. Dr. Barusco explains this complication as follows:

“Basically, if you take too much of an area too wide and you close it and there’s a lot of tension in the skin, you can stretch the vascular supply or the blood supply and the skin around the edges won’t survive so it’ll create these kind of dead areas there – and eventually it will heal, but it can leave a bigger scar that’s completely preventable. You just have to be careful in this area. Behind the ear there’s a little mastoid bone there where the skin is much tighter. There’s not a lot of movement, so when I train doctors on strict procedures, I warn them about this risk.”

Other complications with FUT procedures include a wider scar, rather than the typical “pencil line” scar that is eventually concealed by new hair growth. This can be a complication if the patient wants to keep his hair short.

Rare complications such as infections, bleeding, hematomas (a collection of blood outside of blood vessels) and a suture break that opens the incision back up can also occur.

Donor Area Complications – Follicular Unit Excision (FUE)

In this method, follicular units are extracted individually from the scalp. According to Dr. Barusco, complications in FUE transplants are more difficult to treat. The most common is scarring. Because patients who select this procedure tend to do so because they want to keep their hair shorter without the scars being visible, this complication defeats the purpose of the FUE – as the scars can be concealed if the hair is a longer length.

Why does this complication occur? Some people are more at risk for it. Dr. Barusco emphasizes the need for choosing a knowledgeable, experienced surgeon who is able to determine if the patient is a good candidate for the FUE. Also, punches that are too large in diameter and too close together can be another factor in scarring. This also limits the donor area, as no additional follicles can be harvested without resulting in a bald spot.

This leads into the fact that some bad outcomes are due to a botched surgery rather than a complication. Examples cited by Dr. Barusco include harvesting too many grafts from very high in the donor area – causing thinning – and a patient with already thin hair who was an inappropriate candidate for an FUE. Overharvesting in general, taking too many hair follicles from a small area and incisions too close together are other bad practices that result in disastrous outcomes.

“If you are going in for an FUE procedure, you have to be even more careful about who you let work on your scalp, because the burden of success for FUE procedures is much higher, and the problems with complications are much worse. So you want to go with someone who has a lot of experience and credentials – and you want a doctor performing it.”

Recipient Area Complications

Again, the following are not so much complications as they are botched surgical outcomes from bad medical practices. These include a poor hairline, low-density unnatural appearance, edema, necrosis (tissue death) and postoperative folliculitis/pustules.

Is the Person Performing Hair Transplants Qualified and Experienced?

Not everyone who performs hair transplants has the education, qualification and experience to do so – not even all surgeons! Dr. Barusco explains the situation as follows:

“Surgical specialty skills are not transferable. A surgeon who’s experienced at liposuction won’t necessarily be good at hair transplants, and vice versa.”

However, such surgeons are encouraged to see hair transplants as a new and profitable revenue stream by sales representatives of devices using robotic technology. The devices are typically sold as turnkey products, with the company providing non-medical technicians to not only operate the machine, but harvest and implant hair follicles. If you are not familiar with our practice and have not yet read Dr. Barusco’s insightful article – “The Truth Behind Advertising Devices Instead of Surgeons” – you owe it to yourself to learn the difference between marketing hype and medical best practices.

“A lot of doctors have fallen prey to that, and unfortunately, a lot of patients have been and are being harmed by that because the doctor is really not doing anything – he’s delegating to these technicians that the companies send them, or relying on a machine to make all the calculations, then push buttons and expect the machine to do everything.

“Hair transplant surgery may look simple, but it’s a very complex procedure. A lot of decisions are made in real time, in a real fast environment in terms of the angle and direction of hair growth – so you need someone with experience. We’re seeing complications now that we shouldn’t be seeing.”

The International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery (ISHRS) is the world’s leading medical authority on hair loss treatment and restoration. 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. The ISHRS makes the following statement regarding this increasingly widespread practice of non-medical technicians performing hair transplant procedures:

“When a physician has taken the time to earn their medical degree, they will often spend additional time and resources to properly learn their craft so that they can offer the best medical service possible. Many hair restoration surgeons have spent numerous years learning from their peers and attending ISHRS-sanctioned surgical workshops to learn the advanced and basics of proper hair restoration surgery. This significantly reduces the chances of negative outcomes due to the time invested to learn the craft of hair restoration.

“Technicians, however, have no such training. Any training that a technician receives in a technician-driven clinic is usually from technicians learning from technicians. And that technician most likely learned from another technician, and so on. This means that there is potentially very little effort and time invested in learning the craft of hair restoration surgery, to the point that the methods necessary for achieving naturalness and high rates of growth are poorly understood.

“Moreover, the technicians never went to medical school and are not licensed to practice medicine! Most of these clinics do not understand even the most basic fundamentals of naturalness as it has taken many of the finest hair restoration physicians several years to master this aspect of their craft. All of the research into all of the meaningful areas of hair transplant surgery are performed by doctors, and this information is shared among colleagues.”

Clandestine Black Market Clinics – Why They’re No Bargain at Any Price

Clinics operated by non-physicians or technicians are becoming more common – especially in such countries as Turkey, Mexico, India and Sweden. According to the ISHRS, Turkey conducts the most aggressive marketing. Wherever the location, such clinics produce botched hair transplants much more as a rule rather than an occasional exception.

“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.”

Our blog post – “Consumer Beware – The Risks of Medical Tourism for Hair Transplants” – covers this topic in depth, and features the ISHRS’s Fight the FIGHT campaign against fraudulent hair restoration clinics. Dr. Barusco participates in this consumer awareness campaign, which he covers in his video. The photo he shares of a horrific, permanently disfiguring outcome of a hair transplant performed at such a clinic can be found on the ISHRS’s Fight the FIGHT website, which is also linked above.

Knowledge is Power – Choose Your Hair Restoration Surgeon Wisely!

Some complications can be corrected by a skilled, experienced surgeon specializing in hair transplant procedures. Of course, avoiding such a situation in the first place is preferable to correcting a poor outcome later.

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!