Black Market Awareness Campaign in Hair Transplant


Black Market Awareness of Hair Transplantation | ISHRS

Many hair restoration patients subject themselves to unnecessary risk, and in some cases, permanent harm, by unknowingly having their procedures done by unlicensed techs who illegally perform surgery, rather than licensed and appropriately experienced professionals.

The rogue clinics that facilitate illegal practices have created an expanding black market hair transplant underworld of sorts. Patients around the world are suffering from the unlawful actions of these clinics, which could significantly impair the entire hair transplant industry. Your practice may be the next to see patients injured or scarred at these clinics, some with over-harvested donor areas or impossible to repair aesthetic results.

The ISHRS is initiating this worldwide Black Market Awareness Campaign that can only be effective with your help.

Black market awareness of hair transplantation by ISHRS

The Black Market Awareness Campaign will be centered around member-focused YouTube videos bringing the black market underworld to the public’s attention. It will include media outreach, social media, member engagement, and digital marketing.

The ISHRS seeks to include patient and doctor testimonials addressing the dangers of choosing a practice that illegally utilizes unlicensed technicians.

You can participate in the Black Market Awareness Campaign by providing the ISHRS with one or more of the following in accordance with the Guidelines below:

1. A video of any patient experience you encountered where the expected results were not achieved, or complications occurred, because of the illegal activity.

2. A video of yourself* talking about patients seen in your practice, who were previously treated by unlicensed and untrained technicians, or any statement you wish to share with consumers world-wide.

*At the ISHRS World Congress in Hollywood, there will be a Black Market Awareness Campaign Video Recording Area located at the Loews Hollywood Hotel, in The Annex, 5th Level, Thursday & Friday, 7:30am-5:00 pm. Staff will be available to assist you, and there will be background/backdrops.

3. An email to with any news reports from your local media, documenting problems with hair transplants performed by techs working independently or for companies or other doctors with no relevant experience.

4. Photographs of patients with damaged donor areas or unsightly hairlines performed by unlicensed and untrained technicians.

Guidelines for Participation:

  • In your testimonial, please talk about the experience – but DO NOT name the specific clinic, technician, or patient, as doing so could expose you to liability.
  • Our Committee will be reviewing and selecting qualifying videos and images to be featured on the ISHRS digital channels (social media, website, etc.).
  • For any submissions that include patients’ health information, you must represent and warrant to the ISHRS that you obtained a legally binding consent from the patient to provide the ISHRS with the subject health information for any and all purposes associated with the Awareness Campaign. (Consent form available from the ISHRS)
  • For any submission that includes a picture, or other depiction, revealing the identity of any person, you must obtain, and provide the ISHRS with an executed publicity release, permitting the ISHRS to publish the same, and releasing the ISHRS from any liability arising therefrom. (Release form available from the ISHRS)

Submission Process:

  • Please post your video on a social media platform that you use professionally and use the hashtag #bewareHTblackmarket.
  • Posts may be made on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter.
  • You must use the hashtag when posting your video, image, or comment to allow the ability to be indexed and become searchable/discoverable by other users. If you post the video on YouTube, be sure to include the hashtag in the video description area; otherwise, it will not be connected to the campaign.
  • If you have any questions, please email

Before you post any videos, pictures, or other information regarding a patient or any other person, you must ensure you are not legally or otherwise precluded from doing so. This means considering your legal, ethical, professional, policy, and contractual obligations among others. The ISHRS is not providing you with legal advice in this regard. The ISHRS strongly encourages you to consult with an attorney regarding your legal rights, obligations, and risks.


  • If you are recording a video in your native language, it is beneficial to provide text translation to English. Use simple and direct language, as this initiative is targeted to the general public.
  • Use your strong voice, no music is necessary.
  • Keep your video short; 1-3 minutes is recommended.
  • Record in landscape orientation (horizontal) in Full HD (1080p or better) or 4K.

As part of the Black Market Awareness Campaign, the Committee will review those videos tagged with #bewareHTblackmarket and may share them on the ISHRS YouTube channel and website.

Let’s “Stand Proud and Be Loud” and bring light to this ever growing patient safety concern.

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Dr. Venkataram Mysore was one of the first surgeons to learn hair transplantation in India. He is an expert in FUT and is one of the most respected Hair Transplant experts in the world. He has edited the first Indian textbook on the subject and is the first and only Indian Dermatologist to be made a fellow of the International Society of Hair Restoration Surgeons.