Dr. William Rassman: Hair Transplant Legend

William Rassman Book
Dr. William Rassman and Dr. Robert Bernstein’s book: “Hair Loss & Replacement for Dummies”.

Over the years, I have mentioned US hair transplant surgeon Dr. William Rassman a number of times.

Even though he is among the world’s true pioneers in hair transplant surgery, I primarily mention him due to other reasons such as:

  1. His comments on Reddit.
  2. His Balding Blog.
  3. His association with Amplifica.

Dr. William Rassman: A Delayed Bio

I am really impressed at Dr. Rassman’s continued motivation and sharp mind. He must be over 75 years old by now, considering that he got board certified in 1976. And that too after first being involved in heart surgery, and then serving in the US army in Vietnam. Among other highlights:

  • In 1992, Dr. Rassman founded the New Hair Institute (NHI).
  • In 2003, Dr. Rassman received the prestigious Golden Follicle award from the International Society of Hair Restoration Surgeons (ISHRS).
  • In 2008, Dr. William (Bill) Rassman and Dr. Robert (Bob) Bernstein published “Hair Loss and Replacement For Dummies.”
  • In 2002, the same two doctors plus others co-authored a paper on Follicular Extraction (FUE) surgery for hair transplantation. I should note that the invention of FUE hair restoration surgery first occurred in Japan via Dr. Masumi Inaba in the 1980s. The procedure was later popularized and improved upon by Dr. Ray Woods of Australia in the 1990s.
  • Dr. Rassman also has numerous patents to his name, and has been a key factor in many US hair transplant industry trends over the years. Including FUT (strip) megasession surgery.
  • He had a crown hair transplant on himself in the past. See my post on hair transplant surgeons who also had hair transplants.

The reason I wrote this bio today is due to a great new interview of Dr. William Rassman by Dr. Gary Linkov. The video is embedded further below. Thanks to reader “YoYo” for posting the link in the comments to the Amplifica post yesterday.

In the video, Dr. Rassman is pessimistic about hair cloning and hair multiplication. I think he underestimates the potential of companies such as Stemson Therapeutics, OrganTech (Dr. Tsuji), Shiseido. And possibly several other newer South Korean entities.

He gives full credit to Dr. Maksim Plikus, who leads the Amplifica and SCUBE3 research. It is encouraging that Amplifica will keep testing and developing new molecules. In 2024, we will hear more from them about the results of the initial work.

This whole week was full of great YouTube content that had me busy doing updates. I keep hearing that blogging is going to become extinct in the age of video and all the subpar AI content proliferation.

If blogging does go entirely out of fashion, I hope it happens at the same time as a hair loss cure gets realized.

23 thoughts on “Dr. William Rassman: Hair Transplant Legend”

  1. I sometimes think, as unrealistic this sounds, that the leaders of all these companies who try to tackle hairloss, are all completely oblivious or ignorant towards all their contenders.

    It may be intended self-protection or sheer incompetence, I don’t know.

    No criticism towards Dr. Rassman, a true gentleman and pioneer of the field.

    1. If we look at history (Last 20 years), his pessimism is certainly warranted. We have really had nothing but disappointment, and our most exciting innovations tend to fail or simply fade away.

      I am back to being negative and look forward to the day when a big pharma company, like a Pfizer, can develop something like they recently have in treating Alopecia Areata.

        1. My economics teacher always said „you can’t project trends of the future based on past knowledge and experiences“. It can be wildly different. Nobody’s got the crystal ball.

          In the curious case of hairloss two things substantially changed, and only in the last five years.

          A) Fundamental knowledge of hair biology. As stated by several experts in the field (Kemp, Plikus). We only now fully know why and when hair grows or falls out. That was not being known in 1998, 2006 or even 2014. Looking back, it was close to impossible to find a cure in earlier decades. It would have been completely serendipitous.

          B) Funding. Please correct me, but the only true big funding rounds for hairloss startups only started somewhere around 2017, 2018, 2019. Exicure, Stemson, Kintor, later HopeMed, Epibiotech, Amplifica, Pelage. We are talking about 10 million plus. Even Tsuji and Shiseido were severely underfinanced (and failing eventually). Before that there was hardly any money in hairloss research. Intercytex had a couple of 100 K initially (!!!).

          Yes we might still have empty hands (or heads lol) in 10 years time. But the chances are slim.

          1. I have acquaintances that can successfully sell an idea to investors, raise money, and pay themselves a good salary for about 5 years, while the project is in development. Their idea, or their company, eventually runs out of funds and they go find another idea to repeat the process. I trust this has happened a lot in the hair loss industry. I worry that Stemson, Amplifica, etc… isn’t any different.

        2. Admin, maybe you could compile a list of all the the hair loss companies that have dropped by the wayside over the last 20 or 30 odd years? Not for negative reasons, but to put things into perspective for any newbies on here that might be getting their hopes up for some company regarding this wretched condition. Remember NASA RX? I loved his enthusiasm, but it must’ve been a nasty blow when JAKS ultimately bit the dust.

            1. Great list. It is both very funny and incredibly sad at the same time. It’s amazing when you consider all the companies that’ve drifted like corpses under the proverbial bridge over the years. Not to mention all the silly laser hats, PRP injections, ‘natural’ remedies or cosmetic rubbish to boot. And yet here we are about to tick over into 2024 with only the FDA’s two biggies still left standing defiantly on the shelf – after many decades. (At least there’s something.) Oh, and transplants of coarse. That’s if you want to play musical chairs with your remaining DHT strangled follicles as you watch your moth-blown wallet empty into that of a willing surgeon’s pocket, no doubt dreaming of their next skiing holiday with Dr Tsuji in Japan. I’m sure they’ll crack the code one day, but it’s astounding – when you really think about it – that we’re still here speculating on this sh*t. Anyway, cheer up kids, it’s almost Christmas – save the tears for New Years Eve. Always a good time to watch your hair-hopes explode along with all the fireworks.

                  1. WHOA!! That’s sooo crazy! And did you know I live an hour from Toronto (I followed Ohtani news all Friday)—just wild coincidences all around. Great find Admin. Bravo.

      1. But you can’t just solely look at the past and compare it to what the lay of the land is today. Just look at the developments that have been made both in terms of science and technology. Plus more attention and money being funded to the companies we see today doesn’t even compare. We can name at least 7 serious companies that are working towards the betterment of hair loss, what was the best hope we had in the early 2000’s? Intercytex? We have to get with the times and see the hair loss field for what it is, not what it was.

        1. The growth in number of new companies is definitely crazy. But I suspect that Rassman is old school and heard “cure is 10 years away” for a majority of his life. Plus maybe a bit of bias if he is still invested in hair transplant companies and technologies such as ARTAS.

  2. Admin what are your thoughts on stemsons new timeline of human trials starting in 2026? If that does happen when can we expect to get treatment done.

  3. The problem is it’s 2026 for the first trial. Then many months for results to be published. Then another trial. Even if they’re on to something (and I think they are) and it shows positive results we’re probably talking over a decade until even the wealthy could benefit. And that’s without delays. And you know there will be delays.

    1. Isn’t the better question how many trials this would need?

      I mean it’s autologous which has favorable laws in terms of testing, pretty much in every country. OrganTech and TrichoSeeds are supposed to come to market after 2 years from human trial initiation – mind you this is Japan.

      And how long does one phase take Stemson? How long do they observe the hair-growth and hair-development? Is it enough to look at it for 6 months? I don’t know…

      1. Those are better questions. Only time will tell. I do think this is the direction a true cure will go. If they can get there.

        I wish they were doing the trials in a different country, but I guess they have their reasons. Just have to hope there are no delays and things go smoothly.

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