I was reading several blogs today as I always do. I find it so interesting how my opinion of blogs and the online community has changed since my journey of hair loss began. After my bad hair transplant, I turned to the internet to do research and find good clinics. The online hair loss forums absolutely helped me – much like the articles which I am writing will help you! However, I want to talk about the underside or the inside scoop on the online sites which have threads, open discussion, people writing etc.
1) They are a good beginning resource to get knowledge about hair loss. Unfortunately, the information is everywhere so you have to spend a lot of time searching for specific information – which is why I have tried and am trying to build a one-stop-shop and overview of the important info you need to know about hair loss.
Here’s what I did not know before which I know now. Almost all the sites you go to which has “Neutral reviews” by the online community are not really neutral at all. What do I mean?
Simply: someone owns that site and is trying to make money off of it. I don’t blame them – god bless capitalism – but the reality is that this taints the information you read.
Here’s how it works.
1) In Ontario for example the Ontario College of Physicians does not allow any clinic in hair transplants to post about their Doctors, have stories about them and give opinions from clients. We can show B& photos but that’s the extent of it. The most common question I get is “I tried to do research on your clinic but there’s no information on the clinic on the hair loss forums. This is not by accident! We are not legally allowed to! However, just because we’re not on there does not mean we are not one of the best clinics going and just because a clinic is on there does not mean they’re actually good or any good at all.
2) In order for any clinic to post on these sites they have to be a “member”. What does that mean? I.e. any clinic has to PAY to be ON the Site to ADVERTISE. This means that in order for our clinic to post on these sites we would have to pay. We recently looked into it about a year ago and they loved the work we were doing; however, because there was a local clinic posting and paying to be on the site, they told us that they did not want to have us on the site at the moment because it would be conflicting for the other local clinic already paying.
WAIT A SECOND. So if our work is better (which it is). If we are more honest. Ethical. Do the right thing for our patients. Which means we should be the choice for those seeking a great clinic in Ontario, dare I say Eastern Canada and Central Canada and parts of the USA because some schmoe who does ok work is paying, we’re not allowed? How is this fair? Is this unbias? Exactly.
What happens when you are on these sites. No one – I mean no one – who is on these sites knows anyone outside of the online communities roaring and cheering of the doctors who are on these sites – which means that they support those clinics paying to be members of these sites because other competitors are not allowed to post on them.
I can see any one of these sites reading this and saying “That is not true, any patient can post!”. However, here’s the problem. 1) Our patients are not legally allowed to post! If they do and the Ontario College of Physicians sees it they can levy heavy penalties on our clinic and Doctor (to the point of revoking his ability to practice medicine). 2) The sites are very biased and will always say the same thing and cheerlead the guys they have seen and supported on these sites.
Now, is this to say that these sites are not good resources? They are! They are good resources for information. However, like anything on the internet, there needs to be an understanding of how these sites come to be and at the end of the day – they are not neutral, they are BIAS, and they are what they are. Ways to make money :D
The only way to really know who is really good is to look at the before and after photos and videos of clinics. Our photos are all in natural lighting, same camera, no tricks, no gimmicks no anything. The before and after photos on our site – including Hair Transplants, Laser Light Therapy, and any other product are all taken truthfully and honestly. I know because if they were not I would not work here :D
So be careful what you read and judge based upon what sounds true and makes sense. Even question what I am writing (although everything I am writing is true is still my opinion) as you need to gauge everything from your own opinion, read the wealth of knowledge and make an informed decision based upon what you SEE, not what other people tell you – especially some website where they don’t tell you that clinics pay to be on them.
There’s my rant for the day.