Phase 1 Hair Transplant Assistant Training (from Dr. Lam's book, Hair Transplant 360)

One thing that I am very proud of is that my team at the Lam Institute for Hair Restoration has developed training of assistants worldwide.  We do this through our textbook, Hair Transplant 360, volume 2, which is the first ever book for hair-transplant assistants and in our course, Hair Transplant Workshop, in St. Louis, every year.  In this short blog article, I will discuss with you Phase 1 of Phase 2 training that is presented in the book and also at the course.

Phase 1 Training relates to training technicians in the art of hair transplant assistant work using only foam models.  When starting with foam models, the risk of damaging precious hair of a real patient is obviously reduced to zero.  Surgeons can also use Phase 1 Training to interview potential candidates for assistant work and thereby gauge a prospective individual’s hand-eye coordination and dexterity very quickly during the initial interview process.  Also, the ability to correct one’s work can be undertaken with immediacy.

There are two parts to Phase 1 Training.  The first part is testing and evaluating for graft dissection, and the second component is testing and training for graft placement.  Testing for graft dissection requires foam cut from a block of foam used to separate toes after a pedicure, which is then dissected using standard hair-transplant equipment.  The candidate is evaluated on how uniform and smooth the slivers and grafts are as well as how undamaged they are after each cut.  Corrective maneuvers are instructed with each pass of the blade.  In this way, a newbie can become more proficient at the art of dissection before ever touching a patient.

The second part of Phase 1 training uses a foam head covered with modeling clay and then covered again with a swimmer’s cap.  The dissected foam (fake grafts) is then inserted into small slits (recipient sites) in the swimmer’s cap.  The new assistant is tested for his or her ability to insert the grafts effortlessly and atraumatically.  We believe as being pioneers in training assistants in their task at being better that we are leading the way for quality control internationally for assistants in hair restoration.