Hair And Eyebrow Restorations Have Become The Most Requested Procedures According To Experts

Focused on the pursuit of excellence and balancing many facets of the visual sciences, aesthetics and surgery, Dr. Shalini Kapoor MD, CM is a practicing board-certified Oculoplastic and Hair Restoration surgeon who brings two decades of training and education to the field of medical and surgical aesthetics. Dr. Kapoor has since gone on to become an award-winning, internationally published research scholar and speaker, active patient advocate and a highly sought after expert in her field. Here, Haute Beauty by Haute Living caught up with the esteemed surgeon who dishes on her most memorable patient reaction, the most requested procedures and the future of her field. 
Dr. Shalini Kapoor
Photo courtesy of Dr. Shalini Kapoor

My greatest achievement…

Becoming the first doctor and surgeon in my family.  Interestingly, I come from a family of teachers, a profession which I feel is one of the noblest in the world. It’s in my blood, so it’s natural that I would love being able to combine teaching with medicine and surgery. The ability to marry my two passions in my day to day work is my greatest achievement and source of joy.

The future of my field is…

Stem cell therapy and hair follicle cloning. Research in hair restoration therapy is happening at a lightning pace. Over the last couple of decades, we have already evolved from transplanting bulky clusters of hair grafts (hair plugs) in the ’80s to modern times where very tiny individual hair grafts can be implanted (FUE).

We are now heading into a new era where regenerative therapies, via stem cells and cloning (by implanting cellular components into a balding area to grow a brand new follicle), will one day become the mainstay of hair restoration.

Even currently we are already using PRP (platelet-rich plasma) with the addition of regenerative components (such as autologous micro fat and extracellular matrix materials) that produce growth factors to stimulate and enhance hair follicles to regenerate hair growth.

The future is definitely “hair”.

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The biggest misconception about my field is…

I feel a huge misconception in the aesthetic plastics field, is that this class of surgery is something appealing only to a superficial sense of self and that it encourages a world that judges you just based on looks.

I would have to disagree with this view, especially pertaining to the field of hair transplant surgery, where restoring hair in a patient becomes a truly positive life-altering experience for them. I’ve had patients cry tears of relief and happiness when they describe looking in the mirror seeing their new hair that has all grown in. It’s astounding how losing one’s hair deeply impacts someone’s self-confidence. I delved head-on into this field after seeing what a positive transformative experience hair restoration has had on my patients. I have family and close friends (male and female) who have started to lose their hair, whether from androgenic alopecia or health issues and have personally seen how hair loss has negatively affected their sense of self. I feel Blessed to be in a field where I can help be a part of something very meaningful, to be able to help patients bring back their confidence and self-esteem.

My most requested procedures are…

Hair and Eyebrow Restoration procedures now make up the majority of my practice. Other requested procedures are Upper and Lower Eyelid Blepharoplasty and Facial Injectables such as BOTOX and Hyaluronic Acid fillers (under eye fillers, lip and cheek augmentation).

What surgical advancements are you most excited about?

We have made so many amazing advances in the field of hair transplant surgery. I am so excited to be offering hair restoration using a minimally invasive, breakthrough technique called follicular unit extraction (FUE), where we extract individual hair follicles (grafts) from the back of the head for implantation into other parts of the scalp (such as the hairline, temporal scalp, and crown) or into eyebrows or beard areas. I offer the most advanced, cutting edge technology using a handpiece that makes a minuscule circular punch incision surrounding each individual hair follicle, and then these follicles are removed using very gentle suction. Once the desired number of hair follicles are extracted, these donor hair grafts are then implanted in much the same manner as the traditional strip surgery. The amazing advantage of FUE restoration is that it is truly minimally invasive, and it doesn’t result in a linear scar compared to the traditional method. Patients can wear the shortest hairstyles confidently after surgery. My patients who have had the traditional surgery in the past tell me that the FUE method is a “breeze” and a much more comfortable, relaxing procedure. I’ve had excellent results and my patients are thrilled.

What are you best known for?

Being a board-certified Oculoplastic surgeon, I have an intimate understanding of eyelid, eyebrow, mid-cheek and forehead complex anatomy. Because of this unique background, I am well known for Eyebrow Restoration as well as aesthetic Upper and Lower Eyelid Blepharoplasty.

The field of Hair and Eyebrow Restoration came very naturally to me because I’ve always loved performing detailed work with my hands. OculoPlastics gave me great background training in minute surgery to successfully perform all aspects of hair transplant surgery.

I am also well known for global facial rejuvenation using multiple modalities [consisting of Lasers, Light, Radiofrequency (RF) and Injectables (BOTOX and Hyaluronic Acid fillers)] used synergistically to achieve a very natural, beautiful and youthful look.

What is your most memorable patient reaction?

I will never forget a very young lady who came to me with her family for a consultation:

The girl had previously experienced a tragic event where she had been pushed by someone onto a moving subway platform. As a result, she sustained multiple injuries to her face and subsequently had to undergo multiple facial plastic surgeries. The surgeries had been successful, however, she had lost her eyebrows as a result. She told me the loss of her eyebrows embarrassed her so much that she would paint them on every day before going to school. She was made fun of constantly, and she decided to come to me to see if I could help her.

We proceeded with a plan for her to undergo Eyebrow Restoration with me. I first created the shape of natural eyebrows with a surgical marker. Follicles were then extracted from a small window at the back of her head using the FUE technique, and we were able to implant the follicles successfully into the eyebrow areas. Just viewing the final implanted eyebrows in the mirror made the patient and her father so happy that they burst into tears. Most people would never realize the impact eyebrows make until they are gone, as they show expression and frame the eyes and face.

Moments and experiences like this, when one can positively impact a patient’s sense of self, and change their life for the better, is truly a blessing and makes my work and calling extremely rewarding.

What sets my practice apart is…

My dedication to providing personalized, compassionate patient care, while focusing on the highest level of treatment safety and efficacy, using the most cutting edge technology out there.

My aim always is to work closely with my patients to create a customized treatment plan that best fits their unique needs and goals, and to take time to listen and educate them thoroughly regarding their specific issues and management.

Being easily accessible to my patients is very important to me, and I always give my cellphone number to patients to be contacted anytime, day or night, to address issues, questions or concerns. I have also always made myself available via house calls for years, long before “concierge medicine” was a trend.

Patient advocacy is truly what sets me apart as I will truly fight for my patients. A lot of the time, patients don’t know how to navigate the health care system and don’t know how to ask questions. My goal is to help validate and empower my patients. I’m currently writing a self-help book for patients that enables patients to get the best care from their doctors. It’s called “Doctor, I Have a Voice”. Indeed, my patients can always count on me.

What I love most about my profession is…

The opportunity to connect with my patients and make a profound positive difference in their lives which comes with this profession is what I am most grateful for.

Being a physician for more than 20 years has given me the ability to empathize and help my patients through any problem, even illness and life challenges, to connect with them, to truly listen and understand them, beyond a “chief complaint”. To be able to use my abilities and talents to help improve the lives of others, to restore confidence and help improve their physical condition through my profession, and to be able to be an advocate for my patients, is my greatest achievement and Blessing.

Career defining procedure?

Peri-ocular Rejuvenation:

This includes the combination of procedures I use around the eye area (eyelids, eyebrows, forehead, and mid cheek structures) to rejuvenate the face.

The eyes and eyebrows are certainly the controls of facial expression, and what draws a person to and frames the face. This is also the first place that easily begins to show age.

Addressing needs with one or a combination of procedures from eyelid blepharoplasty to a brow lift or eyebrow hair restoration, and then synergistically combining surgery with fillers, neuromodulators, lasers, RF and light technologies has been my career-defining rejuvenation protocol.

What new services are you excited to offer?

I am very excited to offer comprehensive and advanced Hair and Eyebrow Restoration services using minimally invasive and precise FUE techniques, with no sutures or linear scars, making the procedure simpler, faster, more efficient and more natural than traditional hair transplant methods.

I also offer unique services that can help females with hair loss, using both surgical and non-surgical hair restoration methods (such as PRP, platelet-rich plasma, and regenerative medicine techniques).

There are now so many wonderful options that there is no need to live with thinning hair or lose confidence!

Featured image courtesy of Instagram.com