There is no law in the US that requires a doctor to have any special credentials to perform hair transplant surgery, other than basic licensing as a physician. This leaves many potential candidates for the surgery in the dark. It is difficult to know the difference between a good hair transplant surgeon and an inexperienced one.
If you know someone who has had hair transplant surgery, you have at least one person to whom you can go for advice. You will know from looking at their hair whether the job was done well. You can ask the person whether you were treated professionally. That person will also know how much the total cost was, and if there were any hidden fees.
You might not know anyone who has had a hair transplant procedure. In this case, you might go to the telephone directory. This is just a starting point. Many of the doctors who advertise there are simply trying to start up a practice in the field. They may have little or no experience. This is just a way to get names that you can check out.
When you contact a hair restoration surgeon, ask to see a portfolio of patients’ photos before and after hair transplant surgery. You should be suspicious if you are shown less than a dozen or so sets of pictures. This may mean the doctor does not have much experience to brag about. The pictures should be of good quality so that you can really see what kind of job was done.
Next, ask for names and phone numbers of patients the surgeon has treated. A doctor who has done many successful hair transplant procedures will have a list of people willing to talk about their experience. You can call each one and ask about how the procedure went for them.
Be aware that not all hair transplant doctors are scrupulous businesspeople. Many will try to fool you into believing they are more experienced than they are. Sometimes, they will try to make you believe they do better work than they do. They will show you pictures that are not true examples of their own work.
They might show you photos that they have taken using lighting tricks to make the hair look thicker and healthier than it is. It is often hard to spot such tricks, but knowing that some surgeons do them will help you to watch out for them.
You will get some good advice if you go to certain associations for assistance. The International Alliance of Hair Restoration Surgeons will give you information on surgeons that are affiliated with them. The American Academy of Dermatology is another fine institution that has data on hair transplant surgeons.
The American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery is known for supporting good cosmetic surgery, which hair transplant procedures are. Finally, the International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery deals exclusively with these types of procedures.
It can be quite difficult to find the right surgeon to do your hair transplant procedure. Do not give up. There are plenty of skilled surgeons who can perform these operations well. You just need to take the time you need to find them.