Hair practices can be lucrative, but smarts and know-how are essential for sustainability.
This is part 2 in a 2-part series.
Part 1: Starting a Hair Practice
Big spenders are not always big winners in hair practices. That’s because hair practices can be lucrative or draining, according to Dr. Linkov.
“You have to know your market, where you’re located and how much you can charge. Similar to Botox, with hair you can charge per area or per unit,” he says. “You have to decide what kind of machinery you want to use. Certain devices are very expensive.”
Some physicians think that if they buy expensive equipment and hire technicians, they don’t need to know all there is to know about hair.
“They find patients and get technicians to do the entire surgery. The patient doesn’t really know any better,” Dr. Linkov says.
But that’s not a sustainable solution.
In addition, allowing a technician to do such things as hair follicle extraction can land physicians in hot water.
“There has been a crackdown in the U.S. on who should be performing the actual follicular unit extraction (FUE) procedure because technically it’s surgery,” Dr. Linkov says.
Proper training on hair loss and treatment allows physicians to better determine if adding it to their practice fits their skillsets and interests. Dr. Linkov suggests providers have hands-on training with experts in the field, attend meeting sessions on hair, read relevant books, and keep up with the science.
“Then you can start to offer basic consultations and find some technicians. You can learn a lot from technicians who have been doing this for many years, too,” Dr. Linkov says. “The bottom line is, you don’t need to spend a lot of money to start a hair practice. You have to be smart about it and know what you’re doing.”
People often don’t know that hair loss is best treated early, and it’s the dermatologist’s job to educate them, according to Dr. Roberts.
“Explain to your patients why they don’t want to wait,” she says. “It is early intervention that is going to stop the hair loss and regrow hair.”
People often don’t think to mention their hair concerns during physician consultations. Aesthetic physicians and their extenders should ask every patient about their hair.
“People are not going to bring it up. But when you ask them how their hair is doing and if they’re having any problems or hair loss, most will say their hair is getting a little thinner. Boom! That’s your hair patient,” Dr. Roberts says.
Other tips for getting hair patients in the door, according to Dr. Roberts, include:
Even if they don’t want to be on social media, many patients will agree to doing a video testimonial that providers can share with patients who come to the office.
Importantly, setting realistic patient expectations is important, according to Dr. Linkov.
“Hair takes time to grow. People need to be patient. We judge a transplant result at about a year after surgery,” he says.
Finally, build a strong team. Most providers will find it necessary to have technicians on their team because hair transplantation can be a lengthy process. Providers should find good technicians and be hands-on throughout the process, according to Dr. Linkov.