Unregulated Hair Transplant Clinics

skin necrosis after attending unregulated hair transplant clinic

An increasing number of patients are coming in to see us to correct hair transplants that have been performed poorly. It is disheartening to see these patients. Their suffering affects all our staff from our nurses to our surgeons as we take pride in being able to provide high quality hair transplants. As a result we wanted to write something to increase awareness about going to an unregulated hair transplant clinic.

A Disastrous Case

In the above the picture, the gentleman had his hair transplant two months prior to presenting to The Treatment Rooms’ Doctors. He complained of having the following:

1. A wound on the top of his head.
2. Worried that his transplanted hairs would NOT have thick enough coverage.
3. Soreness at the back of his head and poor skin healing at his extraction site.

One look and our Doctors knew he was in trouble. He was suffering because:

1. The black areas on the top of his head were dead skin. This is skin necrosis and is possibly the worst complication of hair transplant surgery. It occurs when surgery is performed poorly. These areas will eventually scar and no hair will grow there. The chance of hair ever growing there is very slim (1). He may even need a further operation to cut away the dead skin.

2. The transplanted hairs are far too spread out and his eventual result will likely be thin coverage. This did not meet his expectations of a full thick set of hair following a hair transplant. The issue here is likely at the consultation stage of the treatment process.

3. The area at the back of his head, where hair was extracted, is suffering from widespread hair loss (also called shock loss). There is also poor healing where the surgeon has over-extracted hairs from the donor site. This may result in large areas of scarring at the back of the head which will be noticeable.

What happened?

This patient went to a hair transplant clinic that is unregistered and unregulated by the CQC and other professional bodies (e.g. GMC).  He tried to contact his surgeon repeatedly but was refused a consultation and started to have his calls ignored. Upon inspection of the clinic’s website, there was no information on the team or surgeon and their experiences in hair transplant surgery. In addition the clinic itself was not registered under any professional regulatory body so the surgeons could not be held to account if they provided low quality surgical care.

At The Treatment Rooms London, we make it clear, the lines of communication with our surgeons are always open. Doctors and Surgeons ignoring patients can never happen and we were sad to hear this is happening.

The patient was made to pay a certain amount of money up front and then a second amount on top of this as the clinic provided an extra treatment that was not agreed upon. The patient in his own words explained the clinic had “killed my hair”. The clinic that he visited clearly did not answer all his questions prior to having surgery, did not explore his expectations of what could be achieved with a hair transplant and failed to take clear consent for the treatments that were going to be provided.

With this gentleman’s balding pattern it would be very difficult to attain a high density of hair all over the scalp as this would essentially require the surgeon to remove all of his hair at the back of the head. Overpromising results is common in unregulated hair transplant clinics who then go on to perform dangerous transplants that ultimately cause harm to patients as seen in this case.

Be careful of those clinics that are out for the “quick sell” and over promise the result they can achieve for you.

Why is a regulated clinic so important?

Going to a hair transplant clinic that has a Surgeon who is GMC registered and operates in a CQC approved location is incredibly important.

By being GMC-registered, the Surgeon is held to the institution’s high codes of conduct and expectations when it comes to patient care. This means that as a patient, you can feel safe that you are being treated by a Surgeon who is regulated by a larger organisation. Secondly, a hair transplant surgeon can be a member of the British Association of Hair Restoration Surgeons or International Society of Hair Restoration Surgeons– both organisations ensure their members operate and treat under their strict codes of conduct. Check your surgeon is a member of these institutions- you can be assured that you are being seen by someone who values good quality care and practices ethically.

The CQC (Care Quality Commission) is the UK’s independent regulator of all health and social services. They ensure all clinics and hospitals run health services safely and provide patients high quality care. If you visit a clinic that is not regulated by the CQC, be mindful that they may not hold in high regard the same level of precision, safety and quality as would be expected of a CQC-registered clinic.

close up hair transplant doctor

So what next for the patient?

With skin necrosis you need to have it treated immediately. We advised him to go and see his original Surgeon straight away and if they refused to see him then he will need to be admitted to hospital. He will need a further operation to cut out the dead skin and repair the scalp.

His area of skin damage will scar and will not grow any transplanted hair. After it heals he will need to consider how he can conceal the area, for example by combing hair over it. In some cases fat grafting may be considered to make that area amenable to a future hair transplant. However despite this option, the likelihood of permanent scarring and balding is high. This is undoubtedly not what the patient was expecting after agreeing to have treatment for baldness.

Our message to all patients looking to have a hair transplant is:

A hair transplant is not a simple decision and you must think carefully about who will be performing the procedure. The results of a transplant are permanent so you shouldn’t cut corners when choosing a clinic and surgeon. Make sure you have a read of our blog on the 5 considerations you should take before having hair transplant surgery.

Secondly, there are many other treatments apart from hair transplant surgery. Explore all of them so you can be sure you have chosen the best treatment suited to your needs.

If you have been affected by a poorly performed hair transplant and you need advice please don’t hesitate to contact our Doctors. Simply click here and our Doctors will give you a call as soon as they can.


(1) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4536882/

(2) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4212293/

(3) https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/gangrene/

(4) https://www.khaleejtimes.com/news/uae-health/Cheap-hair-transplants-abroad-are-risky-warn-UAE-health-experts

(5) https://www.menshealth.com/uk/style/grooming/a25734373/hair-transplants-complete-guide/

(6) https://www.aa.com.tr/en/health/turkey-top-choice-for-hair-transplants-in-europe/1361995

Read more blogs:

Dermal Fillers and Botox- What Can Go Wrong?

beautician dermal fillers

Beautician Dermal Fillers and Botox®- what can go wrong by having them done by a beauty therapist? There has been a major story circulating in the media recently. A young lady, (Rachel Knappier), had her lip fillers treatment by a beautician in a “Botox® party” and the result was horrifying, (1).

Her lips ballooned up, became painful and her beautician could not manage the problem. It was clear the beautician panicked, advising Rachel to go immediately to A&E. The NHS doesn’t dissolve dermal fillers so the patient ended up having her lips fixed in a clinic like The Treatment Rooms London.

So what went wrong?

  • Going to a Botox® Party is not the best environment for treatment
  • Rachel Knappier should have been given time out to think about lip filler treatment
  • The beautician had no clear management plan for the lip filler complication

Going to a Botox® Party- a bad idea

Going to a “Botox® Party” is NOT a good idea (2). Having Botox® injections or Dermal fillers isn’t like going to get your nails done. Both are medical treatments that should be carried out in a clean environment- ideally in a clinical room. Having Botox® with a group of friends in an unclean environment opens the door for potential complications like infection.

Time to think

Secondly, it seems the Rachel Knappier decided to undergo lip fillers without taking any time to think about the procedure. Having any dermal filler treatment is a considered decision and you must be able to take time to reflect on treatment before choosing to have it (3). This is in line with professional guidance from renowned bodies like the GMC and JCCP.

Could the complication be managed better?

The lip filler complication was likely a result of the beautician incorrectly injecting and placing the filler into Rachel’s lips. Together with a potentially dirty room Rachel risked suffering an infection too. She needed her lip fillers dissolved as the filler was likely pressing on nearby veins and arteries causing her lips to become swollen and painful (4).

The management of the dermal filler complication should have been dealt with by the original beautician instead of sending the patient to A&E following a virtual conversation. Using hyaluronidase, the lip filler can be dissolved quickly resolving her swollen lips (4,5,6,7).


A worse case scenario

At The Treatment Rooms London we worry if something far more dangerous could have happened, for example the patient losing her eyesight. Would the beautician know how to manage these symptoms and prevent blindness? Simply referring to A&E is often not the best course of action as patients who do have visual problems need to go to the nearest Eye Casualty Unit without delay. If you needed to the nearest eye casualty then please click here to find the nearest one to you.

Should beauticians be injecting Botox or Dermal fillers?

This has been hotly debated in the media and government over the last 5 years. A government review by Professor Sir Bruce Keogh, of cosmetic treatments like Botox® and Dermal fillers suggested that there needs to be more regulation and accountability (8). The industry needed a set of standards and training so those who provided Botox® or Dermal fillers practised safely and also knew how to manage complications. This included the suggestion that there should be a professional body that can help oversee practitioners- the Joint Council for Cosmetic Practitioners (JCCP). The JCCP has now been set up and beauticians have been dropped from registering on the JCCP, with the register reserved only for healthcare professionals like Doctors, Dentists and Nurses, (9,10).

At The Treatment Rooms London we welcome more regulation for cosmetic injectables. Practitioners need to promote good practice of providing treatments safely. As with any medical procedure, things can go wrong and there can be complications. This also applies to patients having dermal fillers or Botox®. If beauticians have not been trained in managing complications and knowing emergency medical protocols, then ultimately their patients are at risk (11). However, it is important to note that this should also apply to all healthcare professionals too. Keeping up with the latest in techniques, and treatments is important as it helps keep all patients safe.

So what should you expect before having Botox® or Dermal Fillers?

If you go to a safe, regulated clinic then you should expect the following:

  • A qualified and licensed Doctor providing you a full medical consultation. Assessing your concerns and expectations before treatment.
  • A clean, sterile clinical room.
  • A consent form you read and sign explaining the procedure and any risks
  • Price- the price for Botox® treatment can range from £150-£300, Dermal fillers tend to be priced between £250-£350 per ml that is used. Anything less and you should be wondering how they have cut corners.
  • Take your time to ask any questions- if you needed information on which questions to ask read this blog and it will give you a good base to start from.

lip filler london

If you are interested in knowing more about facial aesthetic treatments, then please contact us by clicking here to book a no obligation consultation. Our Doctors would love to see you in clinic.


(1) https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-leicestershire-46434480

(2) https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-35709989

(3) https://www.jccp.org.uk/PractitionersAndClinics/jccp-cpsa-code-of-practice

(4) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5840246/

(5) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4174919/

(6) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3865975/

(7) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4689510/

(8) https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/review-of-the-regulation-of-cosmetic-interventions

(9) https://www.jccp.org.uk/NewsEvent/changes-to-the-practitioner-register

(10) https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-45118023

(11) https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-21228118

(12) https://www.bbc.co.uk/bbcthree/article/075551b0-d866-45db-ab6a-149ce182d741

(13) https://www.jccp.org.uk/ckfinder/userfiles/files/JCCP%20Press%20Release%2013%20-%20JCCP%20Practitioner%20Register%20DS%2022%2013.pdf

(14) https://www.gmc-uk.org/

(15) https://www.jccp.org.uk/Home


Read more blogs

Katie Price’s Face Thread Lift

kate price beautiful

Katie Price’s face thread lift has been a hot topic recently. Having already used Botox® and Dermal Fillers to help rejuvenate her face, she was looking for a better result and she chose to have thread lift treatment. At The Treatment Rooms in London we have already written about what you should be considering when looking to have a thread lift. And in this blog we wanted to expand on the potential treatments that can be provided when you look to rejuvenate your face. We also reflect on how Katie Price has responded to treatments so far.

If you are looking for facial rejuvenation or a face lift, The Treatment Rooms’ Doctors are able to guide you through the different ways of achieving this. Together with simple skin care regimens all the way up to non-invasive methods of achieving a refreshed look we will make sure you are fully informed on all treatments available to you.

At The Treatment Rooms, our Aesthetic Doctors are able to achieve rejuvenation using Botox®, Dermal Fillers or Thread lifts. They can be used in isolation or in combination.

What is the difference between Botox®, Dermal Fillers and Thread Lifts?

Using Botox® we can perform a mini upper face and neck lift. Using dermal fillers strategically placed in the face we can achieve a subtle, natural face lift. With PDO threads we are able to pull up skin and fat tissue to treat areas of sagging. Together they can make a powerful trio of treatments!

Each treatment can have amazing results but they need to be chosen carefully to suit your needs. Botox® and Dermal fillers can only give you a certain amount of a lift which lasts 6- 12 months. If your face has aged significantly, perhaps these treatments won’t quite meet your expectations. On the other hand, for those looking for a subtle lift, they work very well!

So when should you consider a thread lift?

before and after jowl lift using pdo threads
Jawline contouring using PDO threads

A thread lift is great at pulling up sagging skin and fat. If your jawline has lost its shape and contour from a sagging jowl then a thread lift can help redefine your jaw. Other areas of the face that can be lifted include your eyebrows and cheeks.

Katie Price’s face thread lift aimed to create a similar lift. Using a rule of thumb, a PDO thread lift is able to achieve around 1cm lift in skin and tissue. If you wanted less then your Doctor can tailor your treatment. If you wanted more lift, PDO threads in combination with dermal filler can work well. Should you decide you wanted a drastic face lift then a surgical face lift may be the option for you. However be warned, the downtime can be long with a surgical face lift.

When should you not consider a thread lift?

You should always talk with your Doctor or thread lift specialist prior to having the treatment. If you haven’t had your questions answered then think twice about proceeding with a thread lift. Our Doctors at The Treatment Rooms make sure they go through all your questions thoroughly before planning treatment. Taking time out to think about the procedure is also important as it gives you space to reflect on whether a thread lift is in your best interests. Katie Price has, by her admission, had a number of cosmetic surgeries and continues to strive for more. At The Treatment Rooms, we are hoping she fully considers the available treatments on offer to her and weighs up the pros and cons of each with her Doctors.

Our advice

If you wanted accurate advice on what can be achieved with a face lift and whether it is the right procedure for you- book in to see a Doctor. Our Medical Aesthetic Doctors at The Treatment Rooms London are happy to see and assess your concerns. Click here to contact us today!






Read more blogs! 

Reversing Hair Loss

reversing hair loss mice

The reality of reversing hair loss has become a step closer for the human head! Research carried out by Dr Mayumi Ito has helped to regrow hair in skin that previously was unable to grow any. Work carried out on scar tissue in mice has helped to regrow hair that couldn’t previously grow. This has been done by using knowledge already gained about the iconic Sonic HedgeHog Protein Pathway. You can read the full paper in Nature by clicking here.

In this blog we aim to summarise the key findings and what the research means to hair loss sufferers worldwide.

Background to the research

The Sonic HedgeHog Protein Pathway is a method through which cells can pass messages to each other. One of the messages it signals is to promote hair growth in a developing fetus. Scientists were then able to show that after injecting the Sonic HedgeHog Protein into a mouse’s bald patches, the mouce’s resting hair follicles started to grow hair again (2).

The study generated a lot of optimism around a hair loss cure coming sooner rather than later. However, with concerns around treatment potentially causing some skin cancers any more research was put on halt (3).

So what is the latest news?

Dr Ito and her team from the NYU School of Medicine, have just released a paper based on some very interesting research around the Sonic HedgeHog Protein. They tested the Sonic HedgeHog Protein on skin that could not grow hair after the hair follicles and skin tissue had been damaged. By using the protein they were able to improve wound healing but also spark renewed hair follicle and hair shaft growth- thereby reversing hair loss! And importantly, they were also able to do this without increasing the risk of skin cancers too.

Our results show that stimulating fibroblasts through the Sonic Hedgehog Pathway can trigger hair growth not previously seen in wound healing. Dr Mayumi Ito

With 50% of men suffering from hair loss by 50, the potential for treatments to reverse hair loss in areas that are completely bald is good news.  The research sheds more light on why hair doesn’t grow in ageing skin. It also gives us more information on why men and women bald in the first place. By understanding how we can reverse hair loss, we gain more knowledge on what causes it in the first place.

For those who have suffered injuries or burns this is also interesting research. The skin after suffering trauma or a burns, tends not to regrow hair. This happens because the hair follicles are damaged. Now the Sonic HedgeHog Protein can regrow hair in similarly damaged skin, this can be used in future to help regrow hair in skin that has previously been burnt or scarred.

So what’s the future?

Right now the research still needs to be developed. It offers new information on how balding happens and what we can do to reverse hair loss. Currently, the only method of reversing hair loss in areas that are completely bald is a hair transplant. If you wanted to find out more about which treatments you would benefit most from, please don’t hesitate to contact our Surgeons today- click here.


(1) https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-018-07142-9

(2) https://www.jci.org/articles/view/7691


(4) https://med.nyu.edu/cellbiology/faculty/secondary-faculty/mayumi-ito

(5) https://www.hairlosscure2020.com/category/mayumi-ito/

(6) https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/11/181128082747.htm

(7) https://nyulangone.org/press-releases/researchers-regrow-hair-on-wounded-skin

(8) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9768360


Read more blogs!

NHS Hair Transplants

NHS Hair Transplants

NHS hair transplants were funded by NICE many years ago but now they are unfortunately not. The NHS may in exceptional cases fund some transplants for example if a patient has been affected by burns. So what are your options when it comes to tackling hair loss and looking for a hair transplant?

Looking to have a hair transplant is a tricky process, after all it is surgery and you need to make a careful, informed decision. Looking for the right hair transplant clinic is one of the points we address in this short blog. Before deciding to have a hair transplant, it is important to find out why you are losing hair.

Speak with a hair loss specialist or your GP

One of your first port of calls would be to get in contact either with a hair loss doctor (click here for The Treatment Rooms’ Doctors), a trichologist or your GP. Hair loss can be sudden or take a long time to occur and finding the cause will determine the treatment you have. Your doctor should be able to carry out simple tests before advising you on what treatment you would benefit from. There are many causes for hair loss such as:

One of the reasons the NHS does not fund for hair transplants is that hair loss is commonly a process associated with ageing. Only in exceptional cases for example patients affected by burns would NICE consider funding a hair transplant.  This would need to go through specialised funding applications that take a long time. More than often these applications are rejected and this leaves a patient with no other option but to look for a hair transplant clinic themselves.

Can you have Transgender Hair Transplants on the NHS?

Increasingly, at The Treatment Rooms London we are seeing a number of transgender patients looking to have a more masculine or feminine hairline following their transition. As hair transplants are not funded by the NHS for gender transition patients the only option would be to look for private clinics who are able to perform the surgery.

Searching for hair transplant clinics

The NHS website recommends going through the CQC register to find a hair transplant clinic suitable for you. However, finding a clinic is actually quite simple. Finding the RIGHT clinic is difficult. As covered in our previous blog, “5 considerations before having hair transplant surgery“, you must make a fully informed decision.

A simple Google search will give you some hair transplant clinics, but take note of whether their Surgeons are regulated by the GMC and CQC. These 2 bodies help to ensure you are being treated safely by Hair Transplant Surgeons.

Hair Transplants at The Treatment Rooms London

The Treatment Rooms London is a clinic that is dedicated to advanced aesthetic procedures, particularly Hair Transplantation. It works to the stringent ethical and clinical codes of conduct outlined by the British Association of Hair Restoration Surgeons, CQC and GMC. If you wanted to book in for a consultation to explore your hair loss then please contact us today by clicking here.