It has taken me 35 years to write this book. That is the power that shame can have over a person. Regardless of the origins of shame, in many ways, it can keep you locked in a box that you fear leaving. We can see that shame and its effects daily in the news. Maybe we don’t give it much thought as it is not you or I who is feeling the shame in those instances, but the fact remains, it’s out there. For example, take a close look at all the sexual abuse that has been recently reported in the news. We see big Hollywood names, politicians, clergy and even faith healers accused of sexual abuse that has spanned years and created shame in the minds of their victims. Many of those stories have something in common. It only took one person to come forward and no longer fear the shame of telling others about what had happened to them. Then, something unique happens – dozens and dozens of other victims suddenly appear out of nowhere telling similar stories, many of which date back decades. Why did they wait so long? What was it they feared? Very often, the answer is simply shame. Shame can have a powerful effect on the mind. Should that shame be revealed, it becomes a real threat on a subconscious level. I believe this threat is genetically wired into us. We fear that shame could cause our tribe to shun us, which would threaten our very survival. In response, we go into automatic mode, working hard to keep it hidden at all costs.
If we could just get ourselves to reveal our shame when we feel it, the burden of fear would disappear. There are many men out there who I have personally spoken to or whose stories I have read who feel an intense sense of shame, even though the crime was not as brutal as sexual abuse. What can make it even worse in their minds is that they actually volunteered and paid for this shame to be foisted upon them. This sense of personal responsibility can be difficult to overcome. The men I’m referring to signed up for the cosmetic procedure known as the hair transplant. Now keep in mind, there certainly are patients who, when well-informed about the limitations of the procedure and under ideal circumstances, could have a perfectly good result. But very often, this is not what happens. Thus, the negative outcome has created thousands upon thousands of men who suffer shame in silence and, even worse, they are unable to warn others.
So, if these men filled with shame were disfigured simply because they did not have all the information, there must have been someone who was responsible. Not only would there have to be someone responsible but there would have to be many responsible. How is it possible that so many could be involved in something that could be creating harm for so many others? The answer is simple – it’s the system we live in today. The capitalist system creates varying degrees of greed, which in turn creates varying levels of how much one is willing to compromise oneself in the hopes of increasing their wealth. Part of compromising oneself means staying silent and joining in with what your peers are doing. As more peers begin to join this group, the larger it becomes and the greater the number becomes of those who could be harmed.
Many consumers fall into the trap of believing we all are very normal, and there are some things we just wouldn’t do, especially causing harm to another person for money. We often apply this assumption to those selling us goods and services every day. Until that one day when we say, “I can’t believe that person did that for money”, we don’t acknowledge this dark side of humanity. That moment is when we know it is possible but, even knowing it, we sometimes forget. Very often, that lesson is something someone else had to learn. The seriousness doesn’t register if it doesn’t happen to us directly.
When it comes to the field of medicine, the thought of being harmed for money becomes even less plausible. We are conditioned from a very young age to believe that authority figures in white coats are there to help us and not harm us. Regardless of how you feel about this, the conditioning has been ingrained in our minds through years of repetition, and it becomes hard to let go of this very strong belief. My suggestion at this point is to be open to the possibility that this belief is not wholly true. There are those individuals with medical degrees and credentials who are willing to risk greatly harming another if they believe they can live the lifestyle that easy money can bring them. I hope this book helps save you from being harmed by those we look to as authority figures. Not only should we as conscientious human beings do no harm to others, but we should also always work to prevent others from doing harm.
Over time, I have become a firm believer that learning from the experience of others is not only the quickest way to reach a higher level of expertise but also one of the best ways to avoid the pain often associated with learning from one’s own experiences. This is easy for me to say now, as I am older and I have made many mistakes, some of which have turned out to be life-altering. As I’ve aged, I’ve become a voracious book reader, and the stories I’ve read have helped me make sense of my life and gain perspective. In turn, I’ve decided to pay it forward. I believe this book, which passes on my knowledge and decades of experience with the hair loss and hair transplant industries, will help you make better, safer decisions. This book is an easy read that touches on what I believe are the most critical points. I hope you enjoy it, and I hope it helps you navigate hair loss in the safest and most productive way. My personal motto is as follows: if I can read one book per week from authors with at least 20 years of experience in a given subject area, I can gain over 1,000 years of experience per year. It beats learning the hard way, that’s for sure. I have been down that road and it’s better to avoid it when possible. Instead, I search for those who have already traveled it, and I advise the same for you.
Also, I would like you to keep one other thing in mind as you read this book. Many professionals in the hair transplant industry are not going to like what I have written here. More than likely, those who strongly dismiss it are perhaps those who are most likely to have engaged in unethical behavior. It seems to be the world we live in today. One can easily see that with our highly charged political atmosphere. In politics, sometimes it’s as simple as taking what your opponent has stated and changing its meaning in the minds of the readers or viewers. Politicians seem to have an uncanny knack for contorting words to suit their own needs. The same applies to marketers, and I have learned that through long years of dealing with them in the hair transplant industry. So, judge for yourself and, of course, know that I don’t equate cosmetic disfigurement at a similar or worse level than sexual abuse. (This would be a statement a marketer could easily use as a weapon to change a narrative and demonize those they feel are a threat.) The point here is this book was written to help others. It also serves to shine a light on marketers who are living a certain high lifestyle due to the wealth earned from this industry. Expect some in the industry to be very vocal in their response. It’s no surprise that they will do or say anything to keep their money coming in, and they’ll stoop as low as creating confusion in the minds of the consumer. Keep this all in mind as you read my story and continue your due diligence as you work towards becoming an informed consumer.
I know many repair patients who’ve endured this procedure. I have spoken to them in person in my home, on the phone and through e-mail correspondence over decades. None were ever able to fully recover from their disfigurement. At best, some were able to reduce the damage and, in turn, stop the uncomfortable stares. Some have described this industry as a disgrace, and sadly, I would have to agree – it is an absolute disgrace.