Hair transplant surgery has never been so popular, but not everything is always as it seems. Surgical hair restoration has grown leaps and bounds from the “hair plug” and “barbie doll” procedures of the 80’s and 90’s, but there is a new problem on the rise.
More and more hair transplant clinics are opening all around the world and some of these clinics are practicing what is referred to as “black market FUE”. Most of the clinics use deceptive marketing tactics and gimmicks to lure in unsuspecting patients into their chair. Keep reading to learn how you can avoid becoming a victim.
Black Market FUE Clinics
Some unscrupulous hair transplant clinics lure in prospective patients with the promise of having their procedure performed by a qualified surgeon, but instead, the entire procedure is performed by unlicensed technicians. This is what the hair transplant industry refers to as “black market FUE” these clinics will generally offer exceptionally low rates for an obscene number of grafts.
Moreover, these clinics have resorted to the “act now” form of aggressive marketing. Patients are duped into having surgery, because if they “act now” they will receive a significantly lower price if they agree to surgery right away. No patient should ever have a consultation and surgery the same day. That is the #1 sign of a “black market FUE” clinic.
FUE is a scarless procedure
Unfortunately, this lie has been perpetuated by unethical hair restoration clinics that use misleading marketing gimmicks. Additionally, with the advent of Follicular Unit Excision formerly known as Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) many patients themselves have assumed that FUE is scarless. This is simply not true.
A scar is defined as any mark left by a healed wound, sore or burn. Both harvesting methods Follicular Unit Strip Surgery (FUSS) and FUE permanently remove tissue from the sides and back of the scalp. Thus, causing wounds that heal that ultimately leads to scarring.
Most of these unethical clinics claim to produce outstanding results and show dramatic before and after photographs to lure in prospective patients. Do these photos lie? Well yes, yes they do. Some of these clinics publish results with patients using hair loss concealers such as Toppik and DermMatch to falsely market their results. In addition, these clinics resort to trick photography to deceive potential patients and falsify their results.
Many of these late night infomercials show men and women with thick luscious locks that appear to have never suffered from hair loss. The truth is, most of these “patients” are actually paid actors that have never had hair restoration surgery. In addition, with the anonymous nature of the internet, many clinics use their employees to pose as patients and falsify their testimonials.
Since there are few websites that regulate online postings, it is advised for patients to take anonymous testimonials with skepticism. This is why it is important to be a part of a legitimate hair loss forum with real patients and real testimonials.
We are bombarded by advertisements every day, so much so that it becomes difficult to be able to discern from fact and fiction. It is vital for potential patients to select pre-screened hair restoration surgeons who have been vetted and have a long track record of producing outstanding patient results. Surgeons who are approved by the hair transplant network have been tried through fire to be approved.
Many apply, but only a select few are approved and recommended. The hair transplant network is the most transparent network comprised of physicians who continuously submit consistent results and hold themselves accountable to their colleagues and patients.