by J. F. Fotrell
Celebrities – especially the men – are getting comfortable with the idea of surgical hair restoration and we are seeing more famous men embracing the concept every day. The truth is that the majority of men will eventually lose hair, so this is nothing to be embarrassed about. But most men don’t have to depend on their appearance to pay their mortgage bill, or to ensure that their career continues. Celebrities find themselves in a unique position in this respect, especially when the world is watching them grow up or grow old.
Celebrity hair loss is becoming an increasingly hot topic in the media. The continuing demands on celebrities to keep their good looks, seems to be of great interest to the tabloids. This is evidenced by the recent interest in the hairlines of stars like John Cleese, Mel Gibson, John Travolta, Kevin Costner, Dennis Miller, Tom Arnold, Johnny Depp, Jude Law, David Beckham and many others.
For example, a Google search for “Mel Gibson hair loss” has almost 50,000 entries. This attests to the amount of attention the media – and the public – are paying to celebrity hair restoration.
Many celebrities don’t mind their hair loss when it comes to their own personal life, but they realize that appearance is paramount in the entertainment industry. Celebs worry that their looks are important to the fans, and they seem to be right.
Chat rooms and fan sites are abuzz with the hair lines of the stars, not to mention the TV, magazines and newspapers which seem to always know when to get a picture at the right (or the wrong) time.
Often celebrities have hair transplant surgery only to satisfy the demands of their careers. Soap Opera stars for instance, need those wonderfully youthful hairlines, something that would not be in such demand with the general aging public. The hair transplant design required by someone in this profession, however, might not be appropriate for the average person.
As a result, actors sometimes need to make some compromises on long-term results in order to achieve short-term career goals.
In order to create the illusion that time has simply stood still for people in the public eye, secrecy is paramount. Cosmetic surgeons for the stars are very meticulous about maintaining privacy, and understanding the special needs of their celebrity patients.
“Though the public tends to perceive celebrities as temperamental and demanding, I have not found that to be the case. Celebrities recognize the importance of cosmetic surgery to their careers and are very pragmatic about having it done – for most it simply goes with their job.” says Robert M. Bernstein M.D., Clinical Professor of Dermatology at Columbia University in New York and founder of Bernstein Medical – Center for Hair Restoration in Manhattan.
Interest in celebrity hair transplants is not just reserved for film and TV stars, but for all kinds of professions in the public eye. Sports celebrities like Tom Brady, politicians, fashion designers, musicians, and now even top business executives recognize the importance of hair to their image.
Busy celebrities often have their PR people or handlers try to discover what their treatment options may be, but often the proper research is not done. After all, PR people are influenced by the media just like the rest of us. The far better route is the more time consuming one, where academic credentials and hospital affiliations are checked and medical publications are reviewed. Without this level of research, the search for a hair transplant surgeon can lead to some pretty bad results.
According to Dr. Robert Bernstein of the Bernstein Medical – Center for Hair Restoration in Manhattan, “Most Celebrities aren’t as concerned with how the process is done; they simply want it to be taken care of. One high profile patient of ours, however, was so curious about the process, that he actually left the surgical chair during his procedure so that he could watch how the graft dissection was done.”
In this very competitive society, youth and beauty are highly coveted bargaining chips.
One without the other can seem to be a considerable handicap. However, in the world of the rich and famous, where ones livelihood depends on physical image the stakes are even higher.
Fortunately, with modern medical breakthroughs, the image that is conveyed by a full, healthy head of hair is something that can be achieved, even by people who are not so genetically fortunate.
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Posted by Robert M. Bernstein M.D.