Misleading marketing in hair restoration

The following is a message from the ISHRS: 

The International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery (ISHRS) is serious about protecting the public.  One of their latest initiatives in this regard is the publication of guidelines for its membership about Misleading and Inappropriate Messaging on physicians’ websites and marketing materials.

The ISHRS encourages its members to only include website and marketing messaging to the public that will augment their understanding and knowledge of the causes and scientifically proven therapies for hair loss.  

Guidelines have been established to help members avoid what can be universally considered as misleading or unacceptable messages. 

The following are considered misleading or inappropriate

We have encouraged ISHRS members to review their websites and marketing materials to assure that these infractions are not included.  Members of the public who are seeking professional services from a hair restoration surgeon should consider these terms as “red flags”.  If they are used in a doctor’s marketing material or website, the consumer should beware.

False Statements and Copyright Infringement

  • Including inaccurate credentials.  E.g., claiming ABHRS (American Board of Hair Restoration Surgery) Diplomate status or FISHRS (Fellow of the International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery) status when the individual has not earned this designation, or claiming inaccurate expertise in hair restoration surgery* Members should not mislead the public with regard to their qualifications. Reference to Board Certification should be specific to the Certification that has been achieved. Those who have the passed the American or International Board of Hair Restoration Surgery examination have agreed to refer to themselves as ‘Diplomates’ of the ABHRS or IBHRS and to not refer to themselves as Board Certified in Hair Restoration.
  • Using other physicians’ before & after photos as their own
  • Violating copyright of others with photos or text
  • Using ISHRS Members Only logo inappropriately, e.g., when they are not a full Member
  • Using Fellows Only Logo inappropriately, e.g., when they are not designated as a Fellow status of the ISHRS
  • Using the ISHRS Logo.  Note:  nobody except the ISHRS is allowed to use the official ISHRS Logo

Inappropriate Use of Staff

  • Evidence of unlicensed, non-physicians performing surgical procedures

Inappropriate, Misleading, Inaccurate Terminology

  • “Scarless surgery”
  • “No incision”
  • “No touch”
  • “No cutting”
  • “Cloning”
  • “Hair multiplication”
  • “Non-invasive”
  • “Eliminates the need for additional procedures”
  • “Pain free”