The Bald Truth behind the American Hair Loss Association
09th July 2014
The American Hair Loss Association claims to be the only American national, non-profit charity dedicated to educating the public, healthcare professionals, mainstream media and legislators about the emotionally devastating condition of hair loss.
Committed to the prevention and treatment of hair loss, the AHLA says it is dedicated to supporting research that will ultimately treat and cure those who suffer from this silent epidemic. The AHLA recognizes that hair loss of any kind is a serious, life altering disorder and states that is understands "just how crippling this disease of the spirit can be to many who suffer with it".
While the American Hair Loss Association claims to be aware of many ethical practitioners and treatment providers in this field, they also recognize the vulnerability of the hair loss sufferer. For this reason, the AHLA has been created in part to act as an advocate for, and to protect all those with this disease from questionable hair loss practitioners and treatment marketers.
In their own words:
The American Hair Loss Association is committed to educating and improving the lives of all those affected by hair loss. It is our goal to create public awareness of this devastating disease of the spirit, and to legitimize hair loss of all forms in the eyes of our medical community, the media and society as a whole. We recognize that hair loss is not only a complex medical condition, but one that affects every aspect of the hair loss sufferer's life. For this reason we are dedicated to providing resources and support to those who are actively researching effective treatments and to those who are committed to fighting this emotionally devastating disorder
The American Hair Loss Association provides educational resources to dermatologists and to all healthcare professionals interested in treating and educating hair loss sufferers, and is the authoritative source of information for people with hair loss and for the health care professionals who care for them. The AHLA is an active and prominent educator in the field of hair loss and all alopecia disorders.
Did you detect a hint of scepticism?
I struggle to understand how any organization can claim to act solely in the best interest of patients, and the industry as a whole, when they charge a surgeon a fee for membership. This fee gets the surgeon an advert on the AHLA website. Hardly selfless is it? Furthermore, the plot thickens. In order to be an AHLA member, you must already be a member if the ISHRS, another paid-for privilege. The ISHRS used to publish its membership costs online, but they have since been removed from its website.
So in other words to become a highly recommended surgeon, sold to clients on the basis of ethical conduct, you simply pay two annual fees - one to the ISHRS and another to the AHLA. I do not understand how paying a fee makes you an ethical operator.
If you continue to doubt their commercial intentions, remember that the AHLA President and Founder is a well-known man named Spencer Kobren. Spencer happens to be the author of an international bestseller, and the Founder of another commercial enterprise, The Bald Truth.
None of this means that the American Hair Loss Association isn't a great advocate for the industry - clearly entities can be commercial in nature and still operate in an ethical manner - but it does raise a few questions about transparency. If membership is a paid-for affair, and recommendation and implied integrity is part of the deal, this should be made clearer to consumers who rely on this information to make informed decisions.
For more information please visit their website at www.americanhairloss.org