By Joyce Sunila

For most of my life I had a forehead that extended practically to the top of my head.

I always wore bangs and combed forward from the top of my head. That left a skimpy crown, which made my profile dorky-looking. Whenever I went to a hair salon, the stylist would give me a worrried look. She would walk around me a few times, then ask nervously how I “usually” wore my hair. I could tell she was at a loss. It was mortifying. The haircuts always turned out badly.
If my bangs for some reason got mussed, people would look at me oddly and then look away. It was like being the elephant man. (All right, it wasn’t quite that bad. But it was bad.)

Then it changed. The amazing thing is that I waited until middle age to do something about this painful feature. Finally, one day I was talking to my cousin’s glamorous wife, Sonya. She confided that she’d solved an identical problem with plastic surgery.

Somehow that gave me “permission” to look into a solution, spend the money and undergo the risk (not much of a risk, actually) of hair transplant surgery.

I truly, sincerely wish I’d met Sonya 30 years earlier. My life would have been so much better with a normal hairline. 

Your Patients Need Permission

Many of your patients and prospects are like me in the pre-Sonya days. They’ve got a hampering feature. They chafe against it. They may obsess about it. But they don’t act on it until a friend opens the door for them.

That’s why I always suggest to cosmetic surgeons that once every three or four e-newsletter editions, they publish a candid story from a satisfied patient. A good Sonya story works like a missionary, sent forth to win the world’s salvation. Told with high drama, it has the power to inspire. 

Nothing else you might say about a procedure — how safe it is, how painless, how little downtime it requires, etc — has quite the same persuasive power.

Humans are still primitive creatures, ready to imitate whatever we see the alpha female doing. How else can one explain the fashion world?  When you make the miracle of cosmetic medicine concrete with real patients’ stories, you’re giving women the next best thing to a good friend.

Back it up with some fabulous before-and-after photos, and you’ve just about closed the deal.

Joyce Sunila is the president of Practice Helpers, providing e-newsletters, blogs and social media services to aesthetic practices. You can contact Joyce at [email protected] or visit the Practice Helpers website at