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Beware of the Crooks in the Hair Transplant Industry

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Any statements I make on this website are my opinion.


This blatantly misleading flyer was distributed to the public beginning in 1979-1980

This brochure falsely claims that hair transplants "end baldness" and "end receding hairlines", and makes the phoney suggestion that a hair transplant can create a full head of hair on a bald man.

Phrases like "End Baldness" and "there's no longer any reason to be bald or balding", along with photos of men with what appear to be full heads of hair, deceptively imply that a bald man can regain a full head of hair through what the clinic calls "the Magic of Medical Hair Transplants".

There are several phoney premises planted in this brochure:
  • That a hair transplant can restore a full head of hair ("Grow Your Own Head of Hair"). Hair transplants do not create any new hair, they simply move hair from the back to the front. So it is physically impossible for a bald man to attain a "full head of hair" from a hair transplant.

  • That a hair transplant will stop hair loss ("put an end to a receding hairline"). It is physically impossible for a hair transplant to actually "end" the natural process of balding. (A hair transplant can actually speed up the hair loss process).
  • That a hair transplant is a "natural" solution to hair loss. (Cosmetic surgery is NOT "natural".)

Notice the derogatory comment about "fake looking hairpieces" and "embarrassing shiny patches".
The clinic is trying to prey on balding men's insecurity by using humiliation, in order to try to push them into cosmetic surgery.

This brochure is intentionally misleading, in my opinion. A hair transplant cannot "put an end to baldness and receding hairlines" because they do not stop the natural progression of hair loss. It's disgraceful for a physician to be spreading this kind of misinformation.

By creating the false premise that getting a hair transplant will stop a hairline from receding, many more men will be misled into getting a hair transplant. The clinic creates an unrealistic expectation of success in a prospective patient's mind, which helps the clinic make more money than if they simply told the patient the truth.

Hamilton documented the progressive nature of hair loss in 1951, and Dr. Norwood's studies published in 1973 made similar findings. It was already scientifically well-established that hair loss is progressive, when this brochure was written. There is no excuse for a hair transplant clinic that falsely claims that hair transplants "end a receding hair line". In fact, Norwood's 1973 textbook Hair Transplant Surgery states that hair transplants can actually speed up the process of hair loss in a patient. NONE of the "educational" materials I have seen from the Cleveland Hair Clinic mention this fact, and it was also never disclosed to me during my "consultation". Here Dr. Norwood discusses the existing knowledge, about how hair transplant surgery causes accelerated hair loss:

"...the surgery causes a temporary and possibly permanent loss of existing hair in the recipient areas. This decrease in density of existing hair is apparently the result of the shock of surgery similar to that which occurs in the transplanted hair. The difference, however, is that the hair does not completely regrow. Apparently the surgery causes the hair to go into a premature permanent telogen stage."
Chapter 3: "Patient Selection" p.36-37
excerpt from the textbook Hair Transplant Surgery, O'Tar T. Norwood, MD. 1973, Charles C Thomas, Publisher

This brochure also claims a hair transplant is a "natural solution" to baldness, which is false. Cosmetic surgery is not "natural". Is a face lift "natural"? Is a rhinoplasty (nose job) "natural"? NO. A hair transplant is not any more "natural" than a face-lift is.

This brochure claims that a hair transplant is "The Only Natural Way to Grow Your Own Head of Hair", which implies that a hair transplant can restore a full head of hair (it cannot).

This is false advertising.

A Letter from Cleveland Hair Clinic to a Potential Patient

An example of the Cleveland Hair Clinic "Lowballing" a patient in writing

The following letter was sent to patients at approximately the same time as the above brochure was. This letter claims that "the average hair transplant at Cleveland" will only need two or three procedures. This is evidence of the Cleveland Hair Clinic "lowballing" potential patients. Lowballing is an illegal sales tactic of deliberately underestimating the costs or the amount of surgery that will be required.

It's easier to sell a new client on the idea of 2 or 3 surgeries in the beginning, than it would be if the clinic started out by telling him he will realistically need 6 or 8 surgeries, for example. By "lowballing" and keeping the initial sales estimates unrealistically low, the clinic can get more guys to take that all-important first step.

The "two or three procedures" estimated here in writing would do very little, except commit a man to paying for additional surgeries whether he realized that or not. Once you have your first hair transplant, there is no going back. You are then committed to getting additional surgeries, which (of course) you weren't told about in the original estimate. That is the purpose of Lowballing... to achieve the crucial "first sale", by lowering a guy's resistance to the idea of "multiple surgeries". The most important and hardest sale to make for the clinic is the FIRST sale. After the first sale is made, the patient is forced to continue getting additional hair transplants, until he runs out of money, or donor hair, or patience.

Remember, we are talking about full-size standard plug grafts here, not modern "megasessions" of small grafts. Modern patients might not immediately understand this point. The maximum number of plug grafts per session was 100 grafts, due to their large size. Following the letter, I will show proof that the Cleveland Hair Clinic is deliberately lowballing their estimate here:

Look at Dr. Orentreich's diagram that shows that "four procedures are necessary to completely fill even the smallest area". Remember, we are talking about full-size 5 mm. standard plugs, which required a graft-space worth of "breathing room" between each new graft, to ensure adequate blood supply. So four different sessions were required in an alternating "checkerboard" approach, to allow room between the new grafts, and still eventually fill up an area, no matter how small.

Look at what Dr. Norwood wrote, to tell other doctors how many sessions a patient would require:

"If grafting is to be extensive, as many as ten or more sessions may be required."
Chapter 3: "Patient Selection" p.34

"The more grafts that are done the better the result, so it is better to overestimate the number of grafts that will be required."
Chapter 4: "Organization and Planning" p.38

"In discussing the number of grafts that will be required with patients prior to surgery, the author prefers to overestimate rather than underestimate. Patients after having been given an approximate number seldom agree to get more grafts even if they are needed."
Chapter 4: "Organization and Planning" p.39

"After the initial four procedures, it will appear that there is no more room for grafts. At about six months to a year, when the hair is grown, it will be apparent that many areas will tolerate considerable (sic) more grafting."
Chapter 5: "Procedure" p.64
excerpts from the textbook Hair Transplant Surgery, O'Tar T. Norwood, MD. 1973, Charles C Thomas, Publisher

Keep in mind that 100 plug-grafts per procedure was the maximum session size at this time, unlike the current "mega-sessions" of small grafts. Three sessions of 100 plug grafts will not go very far. (Look at my Results page to see how much coverage 300 punch grafts will yield. It gives very little coverage. And Dr. Puig did NOT follow the recommended pattern of grafts shown in Dr. Orentreich's diagram, when he operated on me.)

To tell a prospective patient that he will only need 2 or 3 sessions to complete their transplant without ever seeing these people in person first, is clear evidence of LOWBALLING by the Cleveland Hair Clinic.

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