A hair transplant is not only a medical procedure that requires a high degree of technical skill, but also an artistic one, where the doctor needs to create a natural looking result. While the answer to the question on who is qualified to do a hair transplant might just depend on who you ask, there are a few basic qualifications that many hair transplant experts would agree on.
The most basic qualification to performing a hair transplant is being a licensed medical doctor. But simply being a medical doctor is often not enough, and there are many additional qualifications a hair transplant doctor should have. Other than having extensive training in hair transplantation, additional training in another field, such as dermatology or plastic surgery can also prove helpful. In fact, many doctors who specialize in hair transplantation are also plastic surgeons or dermatologists.
A board certification in a medical field can be of value, and many doctors are board certified in different specialties. The American Board of Hair Restoration Surgery is a well known organization that offers board certifications for doctors specializing in hair transplantation. However, a certification is not a guarantee that the doctor can perform well, and the client still needs to be discerning when choosing a hair transplant doctor.
The International Alliance of Hair Restoration Surgeons is one of few organizations that recognize that not all hair transplant doctors are equally qualified to perform a hair transplant. The IAHRS grant membership only to those who meet their criterions, which include technique, skill, character and impromptu inspection, which means the doctor has to agree to unannounced visits from the IAHRS.
Experience is an absolute necessity to perform a hair transplant. A qualified hair transplant doctor is someone who has extensive training in hair transplant surgery. Some of the best doctors in the hair transplant industry have many years, or even decades of experience. The doctor should be comfortable telling you about his experience performing hair transplant surgery as well as show you plenty of before and after pictures of his clients.
A well qualified hair transplant doctor also has an excellent team, who is mostly responsible for preparing grafts for insertion. In addition, a qualified hair transplant doctor should also understand your hair loss well and be able to estimate future hair loss and plan for subsequent sessions, should they be needed. While technical skill is undoubtedly a basic qualification for performing a hair transplant, so is artistic skill. A hair transplant doctor should pay very close attention to creating a natural looking final result.
Any doctor, plastic surgeon or dermatologist who specializes in hair transplantation may be qualified to perform one. However, sometimes experience and results weigh more than a long list of credentials. In addition to the basic requirement of being a licensed doctor, a well qualified hair transplant doctor also has extensive training in hair transplantation, understands hair loss well, and has many satisfied clients.
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