Who is Qualified to Do a Hair Transplant?

Doctor Answers 18

Hair transplant success depends on an excellent team

Unlike almost any other cosmetic procedure, an excellent hair transplant requires an excellent team. The surgeon is only part of the equation. I am responsible for hairline design, donor harvesting and closure, and recipient site creation (where the grafts go into). My team is responsible for graft dissection and placement. Having an excellent team is mandatory.

Almost any surgeon/physician can do hair restoration, but as the other physician has answered very few do it well. Looking at one's before and after results can be a testament to one's skills.

Knowing as much about safety regarding when to transplant and when not to is very important. I believe that good judgment must involve both understanding the medical aspects of hair loss (types of hair loss that you can't operate on, medical management, etc.) as well as surgical expertise (artistry and technical skills).

Finally, ethics is key. Too many clinics have hard driving salesmen to push you to do a case that the surgeon might otherwise think is dangerous or inappropriate. Ethical judgment on when not to operate is very important. hope that helps.



p.s.: here is a short video in which i talk about if any physician is trying to get into the field, what he or she should be thinking of regarding all of the above points.

Dallas Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 57 reviews

Who is Qualified to Do a Hair Transplant?

You might think that to be qualified to do a hair transplant you need a particular qualification.

Fact is, as long as you have an MD after your name you can technically perform hair transplants.

Because of the lack of regulation in the "hair transplant industry"  you need to make your decisions very carefully. 

The American College of Surgeons do not recognize hair transplants as a specialty. Therefore you can't become "Board Certified" in that area. 

Hair transplants are something that is learned in addition to what we have become "Board Certified" in such as plastic surgery.

When talking with different clinics, look at the doctors experience, make sure you look at before and after pictures, talk with actual patients and find out about the experience of the technicians that will be assisting the MD.

Jon E. Mendelsohn, MD
Cincinnati Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 119 reviews

Who can do a hair transplant?

Technically, any licensed physician can do a hair transplant.  That's were it gets tricky.  Since anyone can advertise for it, it's imperitive that you find those MOST qualified.  As a physician who is dual fellowship trained in both facial plastic surgery and hair restoration I think this is optimal training.  Hair transplant is more than a technical challenge, but artistry.  Creating a hair restoration plan that will maintain flexibility for the patient and produce an aesthetic and natural result that is lifelong is key.  Other intangibles (Do you like your surgeon? Does he have a kind and considerate staff?) are all important.

John Bitner, MD
Salt Lake City Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 87 reviews

Qualified Hair Transplant Surgeon

Qualifications are determined by experience. Hair transplants are easy to do, but it is difficult to get a good result. Remember, hair loss is progressive. Unfortunately, I have seen many patients who had hair replacement surgery at a young age and subsequently had severe additional hair loss. Without adequate donor area, the final result may be deforming. A qualified surgeon has the experience to estimate the ultimate extent of alopecia.

Richard W. Fleming, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 38 reviews

Any physician can technically do a hair transplant. What...

Any physician can technically do a hair transplant.

What you want to look for is a physician who understands hair loss and can create a natural looking hair line that will last for 10-20 years, not just 2-3. Most patients want to fill in bald areas, but an experienced and trained physician knows that just filling in bald areas will create an unnatural appearance as natural hair loss progresses. Qualified physicians are those that have trained in hair restoration, understand natural hair loss patterns, and will take the time to educate patients on what constitutes a natural hair line.

Unfortunately, some physicians who technically know how to perform hair transplants do not understand hair loss and create hairlines which are not natural.

D.J. Verret, MD
Dallas Facial Plastic Surgeon
3.9 out of 5 stars 14 reviews

Choose Your Doctor Wisely

Any physician is technically permitted to perform a hair transplant, but that doesn't mean that each one offers the same caliber of results. I recommend seeking out a physician who has completed specific training in hair restoration. It's also a good idea to read online testimonials and reviews from past patients and check out before-and-after photos. Presently, the American Board of Medical Specialties doesn't recognize hair restoration as its own specialty, so it's not possible to be "board certified" in hair restoration. But a doctor can complete fellowships, courses, and other types of training in various modalities of hair restoration. Best of luck with your search. 

James N. Romanelli, MD, FACS
Long Island Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 22 reviews

The best hair transplant surgeon

There are several factors that help you find a good hair transplant surgeon:

  • Training - A good hair transplant surgeon should have a proper training in hair restoration by a good center or by a good and experienced hair transplant surgeon. 
  • Certification - There are only two known Boards/certifications that are awarded by exceptional hair transplant surgeons: 1. ABHRS: American Board of Hair Restoration Surgery that requires certain number of years and proof of many successful procedures and the candidate have to pass a written and oral board for it and 2. FISHRS: Fellowship of International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery.  This fellowships is only awarded to a few doctors worldwide who are dedicated to the advancement and science of hair restoration with great track-record for the procedures they have done in past.
  • Experience/Results - Experience with knowledge makes perfect. A good surgeon is able to show the evidence of many before and after hair transplant result
  • Bedside manner - Eventually a good doctor should be able to understand you and your problem and should be able to work with you to come up with a good master plan to achieve your goals

Parsa Mohebi, MD
Beverly Hills Hair Restoration Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Qualified doctor means they have a doctors degree.

Qualified doctor means they have a doctors degree.  Any doctor can do hair transplant surgery as well as brain surgery.   It is about training as well as some artistic aesthetic skills.

Two equally trained doctors in hair transplants surgery does not mean you will have two equal results.

Jae Pak, MD
Los Angeles Hair Restoration Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 90 reviews

Choosing the Right Hair Transplant Surgeon

Any licensed doctor is legally permitted to perform hair transplant procedures, which can make finding a "good" hair transplant surgeon a bit tricky. Typically, the procedure is offered by plastic surgeons, dermatologists, and other doctors who work in aesthetic medicine. When you're doing your research, pay close attention to the doctor's credentials, including how many years he or she has been performing hair transplant surgery. Before-and-after photos of previous patients are also a great resource. If you schedule a consultation, don't be afraid to ask a lot of questions, including how often the doctor performs this procedure. Stick to your gut when evaluating a doctor. If something rubs you the wrong way, keep searching. Best of luck!

Richard Chaffoo, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 21 reviews

Qualifications of a Hair Transplant Surgeon


Excellent hair transplant physicians have developed from a range of different training backgrounds, but the procedure is often done by dermatologists, facial plastic surgeons, and plastic surgeons.  The most important things you should consider when looking for a hair transplantation surgeon are:

1.) Physician’s education: high quality training, board certification, up to date in latest hair transplant techniques.  2.) Experience: Has he/she performed many successful hair transplantations?  3.) Clear communication and rapport:  Do you feel confident that the doctor clearly understands your goals and objectives?   Good luck with your search!

Paul L. Leong, MD, FACS
Pittsburgh Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 46 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.