Hair-transplant treatment and procedures have come out of the Dark Ages and offer scientifically and medically sound alternatives to baldness, according to Dr. Robert Leonard. The founder and chief surgeon of Leonard Hair Transplant Associates in Cranston has six other offices, including five in Massachusetts and one in Salem, N.H.
He discusses common misconceptions of hair loss and why his business and the industry as a whole are growing.
PBN: How did you get your start in this field and why did you choose it?
LEONARD: My wife and I met in medical school and during my internship year I was introduced to Dr. C.T. Chambers, who had the second-largest hair-transplant practice in the United States. It turns out Dr. Chambers is Greek and that’s my heritage so we had an instantaneous bond. However, I wanted to become an OB-GYN. I told that to Dr. Chambers and he said, “Don’t do that. Let me train you and you will become a rich doctor.” I said no. I started a five-year residency in [obstetrics and gynecology] in Toledo, Ohio. My wife was pregnant with my first child and I saw every other woman in Toledo except my wife. And I said, this is not the kind of lifestyle I wanted, so I called Dr. Chambers, left my residency, which is a huge risk, and starting training with him. ... My first office for hair-transplant work was in Providence.
PBN: You blog, write a newsletter and use YouTube, Twitter and other social media. You even snagged the domain name hairdr.com for your website. How do you approach self-promotion and what has helped enhance your reputation the most?
LEONARD: Taking good care of my patients, that’s No. 1. With hair loss especially it’s an almost pathologically private situation. Men don’t tell anybody they’re having their hair restored. I have thousands of very happy patients (but) I have to advertise. If I cut back on advertising my phone stops ringing because I have very little word of mouth, my patients don’t tell anybody they’ve had the service.