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Seeking Hair Restoration Surgery?

Be sure that a properly trained and licensed physician is responsible for your treatment.


The International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery (ISHRS) is concerned about the growing risk to patients of unlicensed technicians performing substantial aspects of hair restoration surgery. The use of unlicensed technicians to perform aspects of hair restoration surgery, which should only be performed by a properly trained and licensed physician*, places patients at risk of: (i) misdiagnosis; (ii) failure to diagnose hair disorders and related systemic diseases; and (iii) performance of unnecessary or ill-advised surgery all of which jeopardizes patient safety and outcomes. There may also be a risk that unlicensed technicians may not be covered by malpractice insurance.


The ISHRS believes the following aspects of hair restoration surgery should only be performed by a licensed physician*:


  • Preoperative diagnostic evaluation and consultation
  • Surgery planning
  • Surgery execution including:
  • Donor hair harvesting
  • Hairline design
  • Recipient site creation
  • Management of other patient medical issues and possible adverse reactions
  • Post-operative care


To help insure patients have information needed to make informed decisions about who performs their hair restoration surgery, the ISHRS urges potential patients to ask the following questions as well as questions regarding costs, risks, and short and long-term benefits and planning:

Patients Should Ask These Questions:


  • Who will evaluate my hair loss and recommend a course of treatment? What is their education, training, licensure, and experience in treating hair loss?


  • Who will be involved in performing my surgery, what role will they play, and what is their education, training, licensure, and experience performing hair restoration surgery?


  • Will anyone not licensed by the state be making incisions or harvesting grafts during my surgery? If so, please identify this person, explain their specific role and why they are legally permitted to perform it.


  • Is everyone involved in my surgery covered by malpractice insurance?


There is no such thing as "scarless surgery" in hair transplantation.

The ISHRS is concerned about false and exaggerated advertising claims related to hair restoration surgery such as "scarless surgery" or the claim that the surgery can be completely performed by a machine.

The fact is that any incision, whether by machine or by hand, that enters the skin beyond the most superficial of depths causes a scar to form, and there is currently no machine capable or automatically performing all the aspects of the hair restoration surgery. Available technology can only assist trained surgeons performing hair restoration surgery.

Misleading and Improper Messaging

ISHRS Guidelines for Patients Seeking Hair Restoration Surgery

In the interest of patients undergoing hair transplant and other hair restorative procedures, the ISHRS has issued the following recommendations to help protect patients from getting infected with COVID-19 and inform patients of possible modifications that should be expected in their physicians/surgeons’ practices. Where applicable, local governmental instructions regarding the carrying out of hair transplant practice may supersede the recommendations …

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ISHRS Legal Update: Hair Restoration Surgery Should Only Be Performed By Qualified Physicians

On January 31, 2020, the New York State Board for Professional Medical Conduct (the “Board”) issued a Consent Agreement charging Dr. Dennis Daly with committing professional misconduct under N.Y. Educ. Law § 6530(25) for allegedly allowing unqualified and unlicensed individuals to perform a hair transplant procedure at the SNY Surgery Center in 2017. Dr. Daly did not contest the allegations …

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CHICAGO, IL. – September 11, 2019 California Malpractice Lawsuit Involving Delegation of FUE Dismissed By:  Robert Portman, JD and Megan LaSuer, JD, MHA The plaintiff in Stephen McGlinn v. Chaffoo (Case No. 37-2017-00011463-CU-MM-CTL) has voluntarily dismissed his claims against Dr. Richard Chaffoo regarding a hair restoration procedure involving follicular unit excision (FUE) that Mr. McGlinn claimed was improperly performed by unsupervised technicians and …

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  Hair transplant patients around the world are being lured to “black market pirate clinics” operated by technicians with little or no training promising guaranteed results which pose serious risks to unsuspecting men and women seeking help for hair loss.   Many of the illegal clinics have slick websites with testimonials that appear  very professional. However, the reality is that …

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Why Your Hair Restoration Specialist Should Be a Physician

Our everyday observation tells us that the primary function of hair follicles is to produce hair. That’s the function we care about because it has the most immediate and visible benefit to us. Scalp hair is an important cosmetic element in the image we present to others.   When hair follicles stop producing hair, we may seek ways to medically …

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Popular Hair Restoration Technique Updates Name to Reflect Surgical Nature of Procedure

GENEVA, IL. – March 6, 2018. The International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery (ISHRS) announced today that it is updating the terminology of the hair transplantation method known as FUE from Follicular Unit Extraction to Follicular Unit Excision. This change is driven by the need to emphasize the actual surgical aspect of the procedure, especially among patients in countries where …

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Things That Increase Your Risk for Complications After Surgical Hair Restoration You may think of surgical hair restoration as minor surgery compared to major procedures such a hip replacement and organ transplantation. While those and other major surgical procedures are long, complex operations, hair restoration surgery is not major surgery and has proven to be very safe. As with all …

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WARNING ABOUT SOCIETIES UNAFFILIATED WITH THE ISHRS, Especially Those Permissive of the Unlicensed Practice of Medicine

Background: We continue to hear of cases where hair restoration surgery patients were operated on and harmed by non-doctors. Preventing these occurrences is of paramount importance in our public education campaign. We are gratified to learn that some governments and regulators are taking action to curb this dangerous paradigm. For example, prosecutions for the unlicensed practice of medicine by non-doctors is now …

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Consumers face potential of serious risk when unlicensed personnel perform hair restoration surgery   The International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery (ISHRS) issued a consumer alert with a warning that increasing numbers of unlicensed personnel worldwide are performing substantial medical aspects of hair restoration surgery and, in doing so, are putting patients at risk.   Increasing numbers of patients are …

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International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery warns consumers of growing risk    Geneva, IL –  While hair restoration surgery is a booming industry worldwide, the International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery (ISHRS) is concerned about a growing trend putting patients at risk – unlicensed technicians performing substantial aspects of hair restoration surgery.   As with any surgery, a properly trained and licensed …

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