In the light of the recent incident about the death of a 19 year old boy due to a hair transplant surgery from a local salon,Mr Sanket Shah, CEO and Managing Director, Advanced hair Studio (India and Middle East), a pioneer in the hair transplant industry shared his views on the industry and the players in the market.
Mr Shah has brought advanced technologies in the form of various procedures and treatments through Advanced Hair Studio (AHS), spread across nine studios in India. He strongly recommends that people should do a proper research in regards to certification, quality and results, before building their trust on these companies. There are some non-certified companies claiming to offer hair transplant services and tarnishing the image of the key players in the industry. According to him, it is very important for any person to go to a trusted/ certified organization for laser treatments to avoid any adverse effects. The organizations in this field should be responsible to analyse individual hair loss problems and suggest necessary treatment required. Read his interview below:
1. A little about Advanced Hair Studio: Started in 1970s in the United States of America, Advanced Hair Studio (AHS) today is a 45 year old organization. The 2.4 billion dollar company is renowned across the world for the best infrastructure with state of art facilities in Hair Replacement and Hair re-growth industry. AHS launched its operation’s in India in 2007/2008 and offers the same facilities, experience to the Indian customers through its nine studios spread across India – Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad, Ludhiana, Ahmedabad, Pune and Gurgaon with outstanding infrastructure which is larger than life. The company offers two clinical and two cosmetic procedures along with a wide range of products, medications for all hair loss related problems in all these studios.
2. Can you tell us briefly about the hair transplant procedure at AHS ?
At Advanced Hair Studio the hair transplantation procedure is more advanced than the conventional hair transplantation which is prevailing in India. Our clinical hair replacement procedure is called Strand-by-Strand The Ultimate and it is only available at Advanced Hair Studio across the world and is undoubtedly, the world’s latest hair replacement procedure. We perform this method with the world’s most new generation instruments which are imported from our labs from America and Europe. We pick a medical practitioner who has a surgical qualification. We review if they have performed a minimum 1000 to 1500 cases already. Then they need to produce more than 100 before and after images with the clients’ information and contact details and we may verify all of that with the clients and most importantly we look at their skills; hand and eye coordination skills, skills in terms of aesthetics to what not.
3. How much does an average hair transplant surgery cost?
At Advanced Hair Studio we do not have a one-size-fits-all procedure, because hair loss cannot be treated that way; we have 4 different procedures under one roof to address any types of hair loss. We have to first determine what stage of hair loss one is in, and then recommend the appropriate procedure depending on what is needed to achieve the desired result.
4. Can a hair transplant cost a death of a person? (19-year-old boy died due to a failed hair transplant surgery in Chennai) Who should be held responsible?
The answer is ‘No’. First and foremost, to the boy who passed away in Chennai, I would like to convey my condolences to his family. A lot of people in India are trying to cut-corners and are going to private clinics where the doctors are under-qualified and are using outdated instruments. They are not only compromising on the results but also on the safety aspects. Indian Medical Council really needs to put their foot down and ban these private clinics who are compromising on safety and other standards which are extremely important. This is where we always explain loud and clear to our clients that what you are spending in terms of money, is not just for hair; it is for the aesthetics and safety too.
5. What research should people do before going for a surgery?
People need to go to a renowned organization. An organization that has mastered the art of performing this procedure and gives you a guarantee in writing, an organization that takes care of all of the required safety aspects before the procedure, during the procedure, after the procedure and satisfy you with the results.
6. How long is the procedure?
At Advanced Hair Studio, if you undergo Strand-by-Strand The Ultimate procedure it takes anywhere between, in total, 4 to 6 hours to finish this, but you’re not under operation for that long. Putting everything together one has to invest anywhere between 4 and 6 hours.
7. What about ongoing maintenance after the surgery?
Well the biggest catch of hair transplantation is ‘Maintenance’, and that’s what people are not able to understand across the world. if you are in an advanced hair loss condition, hair transplantation cannot save your existing hair and hair transplantation cannot cover the entire scalp. This is where Advanced Laser Therapy (clinical hair replacement procedure) of Advanced Hair Studio and Strand-by-Strand Cosmetic replacement comes into the picture. And 90% of the cases we perform is a combination of two procedures to restore one’s appearance because otherwise people will end up achieving results which is far from satisfactory. At AHS, we explain to our clients the objectives and limitations of the Strand-by-Strand The Ultimate which is a clinical hair replacement procedure and also at the same time explain to them if there is any other procedure required to get the desired outcome.
8. Will a hair transplant procedure hurt?
Our Strand-by-Strand The Ultimate, which is 7 to 8 years more advanced is performed under local anesthesia and we only use instruments which are imported directly from America and Europe so there will be barely any pain, but the hair you get stays with you for the rest of your life.
9. Should young adults undergo hair replacement surgery?
Absolutely! If you go to the right place, it is the safest procedure you can undergo because it is just a daycare procedure. It is performed under local anesthesia and if people use the right instruments which are new generation then there will be barely any pain, but the hair you get stays with you for the rest of your life and transforms your appearance and makes you look 5 years to 10 years younger if it’s supported with procedures like Advanced Laser Therapy and Strand-by-Strand Cosmetic replacement.
10. Is it possible to become a hair donor?
The answer is ‘no’. Humans can donate kidneys and eyes to each other but not their hair follicles because of DNA reasons and if we plant somebody else’s follicle on your scalp, first of all, the follicle will never grow hair but the worst part is you may end up inviting some other health related complications including infections and it is absolutely a no-no’. So if you have a hair loss problem, yes we can extract follicles from the back of your scalp which is called a donor area and plant them wherever required, but we cannot take somebody else’s follicles and plant them on your scalp nor can you donate follicles to a third-party as it is not going to work.
11. What is the degree and background one needs to conduct a hair transplant surgery?
As far as India is concerned, any dermatologist, general surgeons, with the required training and internship and experience and goes without saying a plastic surgeon is allowed to perform hair transplantation. But at Advanced Hair Studio, we do not allow anybody but an individual with M.Ch plastic surgeons qualification with minimum seven years of experience who has performed a minimum 1000 – 1500 procedures, who understands how to use our new generation instruments and has got those required hand and eye co-ordination skills, aesthetics know-how, and the skills to produce something what an artist would produce only then that individual is allowed to come on our panel. it’s quite prestigious from their perspective to make it to our panel and they will have to be consistent with their delivery of results only then they’re allowed to continue and remain on our panel.
12. What is the message you have for all the people who have minimum or no hair?
The message I have for everybody is first-of-all let’s understand that clinical hair replacement procedure or any procedures for hair loss is not ‘dangerous’. Now when you have a hair loss problem, approach the right organisation. So people need to learn there is no point in spending money for the procedures, they need to spend money for the results, and that is exactly what we produce at Advanced Hair Studio.
13. What is the advancement in the Hair transplant Industry today?
Advanced Hair Studio’s procedures are 7 to 8 years more advanced than anything that is available in the market when it comes to hair loss treatments worldwide. As mentioned before, we have world’s latest procedures to be performed by world’s most new generation, sophisticated, accurate and safe instruments which are in the hands of world-class plastic surgeons who have the qualification, experience, and know how to use them and then that procedures are being performed at the world’s largest hair replacement company with written guarantees, this is where you cannot expect or ask for anything better than that.