The hair transplant industry has been filled with unscrupulous, unethical and deceitful hair transplant surgeon/clinics. Thankfully, the industry has been cleaned up with the advent of the internet and hair loss forums like the hair restoration network. However, a recent video report exposed China's hair transplant industry and the details are shocking!
Undercover Report Beijing News
China is the country with the largest population on earth, so it is no surprise that an estimated 250 million people suffer from hair loss in China. Naturally, with so many hair loss sufferers the hair transplant industry in China is growing leaps and bounds and business is booming. The Beijing news channel went undercover to uncover the truth behind the so-called hair transplant surgeons in China.
Shocking Details Revealed
The undercover report revealed that in the Capitol students were provided two days of supposed training before they were assured that they were qualified to perform hair transplants on patients. The students were briefly taught about the hair transplantation on how it works before practicing on silicone sheets.
The students were asked to outline the shape of a beard or eyebrow, then instructed to pierce tiny holes with needles, and then instructed to insert hair follicles into the holes. After a few hours of training and completing the assignment on silicone, students were moved to another room to practice on a real-life patient.
The patient a man in his 30's received a local anesthetic and injected by students who had been trained for a few hours. After the patient was anesthetized, or at least one would hope- the students begun harvesting hair follicles from the sides and back of his scalp. At one point during the video, a so-called teacher tells the undercover reporter that the students are lucky to have a volunteer, otherwise, they would be practicing on each other.
China's Profitable Hair Transplant Industry
The workshop costs 7,800 yuan or $1,140 dollars for a two-day course, even though it is advertised as three. Many of the students acquire basic and limited skills from these workshops, but still go on to perform hair transplant surgery at beauty salons, spas, and other unlicensed facilities. Unfortunately, this underground unregulated industry has continued to grow each year, because of the limitless potential of profit.
In fact, last year China's hair transplant industry generated over 10 billion yuan. Needless to say, with such a profitable industry it seems the problems are only going to get worse. Insiders expect the market to grow exponentially in the next three years, projecting an estimated 100 billion yuan. That's right those figures would eclipse any other hair loss or hair transplant industry in sheer revenue alone.
Luckily, this report has gone viral on social media, a microblogging platform called Weibo has a hashtag that translates to "undercover reporter receives a three-day crash course" which has been viewed over 230 million times as of Tuesday. Many are commenting and claiming that this sort of malpractice is no different than killing people for money.
The reports are disgusting, but unfortunately not shocking. Sadly, the hair transplant industry is largely unregulated in most of the world. Even in first-world nations little to no regulation exists.
The only place where the industry can be regulated is online. Thankfully, websites like the hair restoration network exist, so patients have a platform to interact with one another and share their reviews and knowledge. Without websites like this, the hair transplant industry would be a lot different worldwide.