I love to tell the story of when I was sitting in the audience of a facial plastic surgery conference in San Diego with an esteemed colleague of mine who did not do hair transplants. My colleague said in a haughty way that he could easily tell a hair transplant since they all looked rather fake. I exclaimed that the good ones he could not tell and the bad ones I bet he couldn’t either. He said the bad ones he could definitely tell and that they were very obvious to him. I said the gentleman in front of him was wearing a toupee and the man to the right of him had had a hair transplant in the crown region. He was flabbergasted because he said that there was no way that was the case. They both looked so natural. I begged to differ but I explained that it took me years to be able to see the difference between natural and unnatural results. I explained further that I was not talking about the obviously bad “plugs” of yesteryear but the subtly bad ones that most individuals would pass on the street and never notice. Malcolm Gladwell in his famed book, Outliers, argued that it takes 10,000 hours to be a master of any subject. I would heartily agree in that it takes years before one can truly see when something looks fake or does not and to be an absolute master of the profession. One simply cannot tell a slightly unnatural result when one enters the profession. That is why when I teach my course in St. Louis I try to emphasize the basic rules and guidelines that can keep someone out of trouble and to ensure that the results would be as natural as possible, at least until he acquires enough experience to tell the difference.


Dr Samuel Lam is a board certified hair-transplant surgeon in Dallas, TX. To schedule a consultation please call 972-312-8105, or visit Dr Lam’s hair transplant forum to ask him a question.