The Puig Medical Group distributed this deceptive booklet to patients under the pretense of "educating" them. By deliberately misleading patients with promotional material, the Puig Medical Group put their own profits ahead of the well-being of their patients.
Examples of false claims and deceptive statements found in this booklet:
- Suggesting that a hair transplant can result in a "full head of hair", which is physically impossible.
- That "most men have an overabundance" of donor supply.
- That hair transplant patients will be able to style their hair almost any way that they want to.
- That a disfiguring scalp reduction surgery is a "minor procedure" that will "give a more natural result."
- That hair transplants are a "natural solution" to hair loss; there is nothing "natural" about cosmetic surgery.
Dr. Puig already had 21 years of experience as a hair transplant surgeon, when this booklet was written. Based on the amount of misinformation and deceptive statements this booklet contains, my opinion is that the Puig Medical Group was deliberately misleading patients, in order to maximize their profits.
Any statements I make on this website are my opinion.
Note that I present ALL the pages of the booklet. I don't skip over anything, and I don't just 'cherry-pick' only the negative.
Below is the cover, along with the first page of the booklet, which is a transparent page with an illustration of a man transforming from a person with a full head of hair into a totally bald person. This drawing shows the natural process of balding. But when you turn the page to begin reading the booklet, the transparent page "flips" and the picture changes into one where a totally bald man transforms into a person with a thick full head of hair.
This illustration deliberately creates the false premise from the very beginning, that a totally bald man can use hair transplantation to reverse the process of balding and regain a thick, full head of hair. We will see this false premise repeated again, later in the booklet.
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 totally bald man to regain a thick, full head of hair from a hair transplant. "Specialty" papers like this transparent sheet will cost extra at the printer, so it was a deliberate decision by the Puig Medical Group to create this deceptive page.
The dramatic "before and after" results shown in this illustration are IMPOSSIBLE with a hair transplant.
WHY is the Puig Medical Group creating this false premise in the minds of potential patients? Because building false hopes in patients is good for boosting sales.
(These first three images have been reduced in size to fit "3 across". The booklet is actually approximately 8 x 8 inches in size.)
The next page falsely claims that a hair transplant is a "complete correction" that will result in a full head of hair; According to the booklet, hair transplants will "cover balding areas" with "maximum results".
This page also suggests that hair loss is socially unacceptable, which is inappropriate for a medical clinic to tell patients.
At the bottom of the page it states that the purpose of this booklet is to give patients "all the information" a patient would need regarding hair transplants, and that the staff is not going to "try to sell" them on the surgery. Baloney! This booklet was created to sell surgeries, not "educate patients". This misleading booklet can't even tell the truth about it's own purpose!
(Note: All highlights, underlining and arrows were done by this website to draw your attention to misleading phrases and deceptive statements, and are not part of the original booklet).
This next page has a "patient testimonial" with the false claim that a hair transplant will result in a full head of hair. Even if the patient is actually responsible for this false statement, it is irresponsible and misleading for the Puig Medical Group to print it.
Only one page before this, the clinic claimed that they "will not try to sell you on hair transplantation, only explain how it works".
The following page makes the false claim that most men have an "overabundance" of donor hair available to transplant. This is completely untrue. It is universally recognized that one of the major shortcomings of hair transplantation is the limited amount of donor supply each person has. There isn't nearly enough donor hair for a totally bald man to regain full coverage from a hair transplant. The truth is that the vast majority of hair transplant patients run out of donor hair before they meet their goals. This is an important point! Potential patients need to understand the limitations of the donor supply, so that they can make an informed decision about the surgery.
Yet here is the Puig Medical Group LYING that there is an "overabundance" of donor hair, in the same booklet that shows patients talking about regaining "full heads of hair" from a hair transplant.
This page also claims that hair in the donor area is "genetically coded to last a lifetime" which is also false. Most men with hair loss will also suffer from age-related thinning of the hair in the donor area. Look at the donor area on an elderly man; it is usually quite thin. So it is misleading to claim that donor hair is "genetically coded to last a lifetime". But if the Puig Medical Group told the truth about age-related hair loss in the "permanent" donor area, that wouldn't be good for sales.
What is the following page supposed to show? Which person is supposed to have a hair transplant? Where are the facts?
Didn't this booklet claim it was going to educate us about hair transplants and "give us all the facts"? Where is the "educational" material?
This next page claims that a hair transplant will give you the ability to style your hair "just about any way you wish". Anyone who has gotten a hair transplant during this period of time will know this is bullshit. When you get a hair transplant (especially the crude transplants being advertised here) your styling choices are usually VERY limited, and any styling is done in an attempt to conceal your transplant as much as possible. Sure, you can style your hair "just about any way you wish", but the truth is that your hair will probably look like crap if you don't do a combover and tack it down with hair spray.
Puig Medical Group also states that a hair transplant can "thicken up thinning areas so no one need ever know you're losing your hair". This is utter bullshit. A hair transplant does not prevent future hair loss, so getting a hair transplant can't possibly prevent other people from "ever knowing" that a patient is losing their hair. It's another false claim intended to con a reluctant prospect into the surgical chair.
The following page shows a "patient testimonial" that his hair transplant "completely solved" his "baldness problem". Even if the patient is responsible for making this misleading claim, it is irresponsible and deceptive for the Puig Medical Group to print it.
This next page states that scalp reductions will help create a "natural head of hair". This is false and misleading; A "natural" head of hair is not marked by massive scarring, which scalp reductions create. It's a LIE is to claim that scalp reductions look natural, when they result in long, serious scars on top of your head.
It is also misleading to call a scalp reduction a "minor office surgical procedure". A scalp reduction is an INVASIVE SURGERY where sections of bald scalp are cut out, and the remaining scalp is stretched up and sutured together. Your scalp is anchored to your skull. A scalp reduction requires applying vigorous physical force to cut the bald scalp away, and then stretch the scalp together to close the gap. It's a serious surgery that creates massive scarring in the patient's scalp.
The following page shows an illustration of a patient going from almost complete baldness at his consultation, to having a full head of hair, with the "final result eight months to one year later". This is COMPLETELY MISLEADING, as nobody could realistically expect to go from almost complete baldness to a full head of hair in only eight months to a year.
First of all, hair transplants cannot restore a full head of hair on a man with extensive baldness, yet this "sample patient" has restored everything, including his crown. The clinic is also deliberately misleading patients here about the amount of time necessary to see results. It is impossible to transplant an entire scalp in a single surgery. Since there is a necessary waiting time between surgeries, and the hair goes into a three month dormant phase before beginning to grow, nobody could regain an entire head of transplanted hair in "eight to twelve months". IMPOSSIBLE!!! How can patients be expected to make an "informed decision" about this surgery when they have been lied to repeatedly?
This page also refers to a hair transplant "duplicating nature's original hair patterns as closely as possible". If you don't know what line grafts are, look at the illustration carefully. There are Line Grafts (drawn) in between the round grafts. Line grafts (also known as "slot grafts") are laid out in a concentric ring pattern in this illustration. Of course hair does not grow in a pattern like this naturally, so this claim of "duplicating nature" is bullshit.
The booklet also claims that virtually anybody can get a hair transplant, and that the biggest factor in a hair transplant being a success is the experience of the clinic (and not the characteristics of the patient himself). This is also misleading. The unique characteristics of the patient are equally important to the level of success they can expect. It is important that a prospective patient is told right away that different patients will have widely varying levels of success. But that's not so good for business, so that is kept "hush-hush" here.
Then it is stated "You know you have a problem or you wouldn't have requested this material". Here's Dr. Puig stooping to humiliation, in order to try to "close" on a sale. Would a legitimate physician try to tell a self-concious patient that their hair loss is a "problem"? Maybe the balding men who don't get cosmetic surgery "don't know they have a problem"?
Didn't this booklet begin by claiming that the clinic would not try to pressure anyone into a hair transplant? Clearly they did not actually mean that.
For more information on the "Parting of the Red Sea" effect, and the serious problems with Scalp Reductions and Scalp Lifts, see the section of my website dedicated to discussing the pitfalls of these procedures.
The following page shows the Cleveland Hair Centers/Puig Medical Group "empire", the largest hair transplant franchise in the U.S. during this time this booklet was written.
In my opinion, their willingness to lie to patients was the key to their expansion.
The following page is an insert included along with the booklet. It calls a hairline transplanted using Line Grafts "The Most Natural Hairline That Is Virtually Undetectable!"
The amount of PURE HYPE on this page is sickening, coming from a medical practice.
Surgical techniques may evolve and change, but the definition of "undetectable" does not change over time.
A hair transplant can't honestly be called "undetectable" if
- it requires hair spray to keep it tacked into place
- it requires any amount of "combover" to achieve coverage or conceal grafts
- it can be detected as a hair transplant by someone running their hands through your hair
- it can be detected as a hair transplant when it is wet or disheveled
- a barber can tell which hairs are grafted and which are not
It is false advertising to call these hair transplants "undetectable" when they cannot fulfill these simple criteria.
Talk about "overselling" the surgery!LINE GRAFTING is an obsolete type of grafting, that was abandoned years later by many doctors because it was NOT undetectable!
Two Letters from the Puig Medical Group
The following letters from the Puig Medical Group were being sent out to potential patients at the same time as the booklet we just viewed, and are more examples of the Puig Medical Group deliberately lying to patients.
The first letter calls a hair transplant "the only NATURAL solution to baldness". But there is nothing "natural" about cosmetic surgery. A hair transplant is a "NATURAL solution to baldness" as much as a "tummy tuck" is a natural solution to obesity. And hair transplants do not stop the progression of hair loss, so they are not the "solution" to baldness.
This letter also claims hair transplants will restore a "full head of hair". It is physically impossible for a hair transplant to restore a full head of hair. Hair transplants can only move hair from the back to the front, they do not create any new hair. But creating false hopes in potential patients is good for business.
This letter also claims that the hair transplant will be "non-detectible" even though the clinic uses crude techniques like Line Grafts, Minigrafts and scalp reductions. RUBBISH!
Here is a follow-up letter, which claims that a hair transplant is the "solution to baldness" and says that a hair transplant will "eliminate your hair loss problem". Hair transplants do not prevent future hair loss, so it is a LIE to claim that hair transplants "eliminate a hair loss problem". Hair loss will still be a problem for patients AFTER a hair transplant, despite the lies in this letter.
This letter says a hair transplant will let you "look like yourself again... and, more importantly, feel like the real you again." This is coming from the same clinic that claimed "Our staff will not try to sell you on hair transplantation, only explain how it works."