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A cross-gender crisis from Como to Karachi

BUSINESS success can be attributed to, among other things, establishing a niche and building market recognition of a reputable product.

And Perth-based hair transplant specialist Dr Jennifer Martinick isn’t one to disagree with that break-down

According to Dr Martinick – who is exporting her skills to Asia – changing consumer attitudes, cultural nuances and international recognition of her expertise has resulted in massive demand for her expertise at home and abroad. At the same time her work has attracted the attention of major US pharmaceutical companies.

Beginning her professional life as a rural GP, Dr Martinick has specialised in hair restoration for 27 years and is one of a small band of high-profile international hair loss specialists.

Dr Martinick says she is also one of just three women in the world specialising in the field of hair loss treatment and transplants.

She has pioneered several hair transplant techniques, most of which can be likened to a skin graft, and travels to Asia to train other doctors in the diagnosis and treatment of hair loss.

Skills transfer agreements take her to Mumbai, the Indian centre of Bollywood, and to Pakistan, where she performs procedures in a clinic in the upper-class Karachi suburb of Clifton.

Demand for Dr Martinick’s services comes from throughout Australia, Asia and the Middle East and she regularly travels interstate and internationally to train doctors, lecture and consult with patients.

Dr Martinick said the market was growing, despite the stigma associated with hair loss and hair transplants.

In recent years there has been an increase in the number of patients seeking medical help for the treatment of hair loss, she says.

“Fifty per cent of women and 70 per cent of men suffer from hair loss,” Dr Martinick said.

“With women, for example, half is due to genetic hair loss and the other half is due to other factors such as stress, anemia, thyroid function or chronic malnutrition.

“The patients find hair loss incredibly distressing.

“In the last 10 years there are more patients coming in saying: ‘Doctor, I’m losing my hair, can you help?’

“Today’s patient is much more savvy and if GPs can’t help they go to the snake oil merchants.”

Dr Martinick said that she had been approached by major multinational pharmaceutical companies interested in leveraging her expertise.

“Pharmaceuticals companies are looking for researchers to look into aspects of hair loss intervention, including approaches to activate, accelerate and improve hair growth,” she said.

Dr Martinick, who is president of the Australasian Society of Hair Restoration Surgeons, said the successful treatment of hair loss was predominantly concerned with proper diagnosis and that ultimately through her work she would like to raise the profile of the problem of hair loss in the medical community.

“I would like to use my position at ASHRS to assist doctors to improve problems associated with hair loss,” she said. “I want hair loss to be treated properly and to train doctors to treat patients properly.”

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