GravestoneWe’re constantly hearing horror stories about unscrupulous hair transplant operations that go wrong, but this report is especially tragic: a 22 year-old medical student in Chennai, India called Santosh Josebeen, worried about his minor baldness, checked into a hair ‘clinic’ called Advanced Robotics Hair Transplant Centre, and spent 73,000 Rupees (roughly $1,070) on transplant treatment.

In reality, the business was only registered as a hair salon, had no sterile area or operation theatre, and the ten-hour procedure went horribly wrong when the patient lapsed into a fever and died three days later. At the time of writing, both doctors involved are on the run.

No laughing matter

Hair loss is as much of a physical and psychological problem in India as it is in the West, but with an added twist. As a commentator on the story points out: “In India, young men with receding hair are always made fun of and film and TV comedy shows too show them as a comedy to make fun of.”

Couple that with the rather laissez-faire regulation of clinics in that part of the world, and you have a recipe for trouble.

Let the buyer beware

Moral of the story: wherever you are in the world, it’s vital that you check, double-check and then triple-check the credentials of hair clinics available to you before you take the next step. Professional clinics are more than used to being given the third degree by prospective clients, because they’re aware of what the client is about to go through and how much they’re willing to pay.

You are completely within your rights to scrutinise the clinic’s credentials, ask to see examples of previous work, and even ask for contact details of former clients for an expert opinion. This article in WebMD is the best we’ve come across if you need a thorough checklist of what you need to know before committing yourself to a hair loss procedure.

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By Ian Watson

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