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Breaking The Negative Stigma Surrounding Hair Transplant Surgery

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Becoming the moderator of this popular forum has taught me that no one is safe from shaming. I have had high-profile people message me asking me to delete their posts from over a decade ago. There is this sense of fear, that they would be discovered and viewed and perceived as weak. 

I had one person even say tell me that they were being blackmailed. It's absolutely insane the lengths that we go to, to conceal our surgeries. I used to be the same way. I have my face all over the place. I don't regret it at all. There is NOTHING WRONG WITH HAVING SURGERY! What are your guys thoughts. Will some of you join the fight?

Breaking The Negative Stigma Surrounding Hair Transplant Surgery


I do not provide medical advice, recommendations, all responses are my opinion.

My Hair Transplant Journey

Melvin- Associate Publisher and Forum Moderator for the Hair Transplant Network, the Coalition Hair Loss Learning Center, and the Hair Loss Q&A Blog.

Follow our Social Media Instagram @thehairtransplantnetwork FacebookPintrest, Linkedin and YouTube.

 

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Posted (edited)

I've heard that in some circles, hair transplants are viewed as a status symbol!  I can't remember where I heard this, I think it was a youtube comment.  They said something like some younger guys are wanting insanely dense hairlines so it actually looks like they had a procedure done. 

Just yesterday I told my older brother I was thinking about getting a HT.  He was pretty surprised.  I told him it would be the ballsiest (Most courageous) thing I've ever done.  He replied "the vainest".  I didn't expect that reply.  I guess I view it like how you described it another comment I just read  "...it's simply about keeping what you were born with". 

Exactly!  I just want the hairline that I would have if I didn't have MPB.  I replied to him that I really liked and enjoyed having hair.  (You wrote something similar to this in another thread too Melvin!)  In my 20s and early 30s I enjoyed styling my hair.  Sometimes I would slick back with pomade, or use other products etc. After we talked a few minutes, he seemed to come around a bit and basically supported my decision if I go through with it.  

Honestly I think it's much, much less of a stigma these days than even ten years ago.  So many celebrities and public figures have had them that it's almost dare I say normal, and borderline status symbol territory.   

Edited by MrZennie

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Posted (edited)

I think if there were less shame around having a HT the industry itself would be cleaned up a lot. It's the lack of transparency and "blame the patient" mentality when something goes wrong that seems to allow so much of the shady stuff to go unnoticed/tolerated. Which is why this forum and its advocacy of free speech (allowing patients access to a few amazing docs) is so important. 

Getting a HT is perceived as weak because the most masculine thing a guy can do is not care, and arguably caring about something as superficial as your appearance potentially reveals poor values. I used to work with models and actors and they were all obsessed with their appearance, so much so it used to drive me nuts. I was at times surrounding by some of the most beautiful women I'd ever encountered, and felt absolutely nothing towards them because I couldn't handle another conversation about instagram or couldn't stand looking at another modelling portfolio. Their image was their life, I saw what happened to them once the industry was done with them, and it was such an empty life. 

Interesting enough as much as the guys here obsess about their balding only other men typically commented on my hair - and it was only ever the balding/bald men who focused on it, which might reveal a lot about what others really notice about you.

I've admittedly asked Melvin to delete my threads as well because i don't want the attention nor do I want to have to justify myself to anyone in the future should someone find out I had a HT. I never wanted to join this forum and only did so to try and get help, finding the process humiliating. I've never told anyone in real life I've had surgery and still don't plan on doing so ... it's a private matter, but I also think maybe if i did tell someone in real life maybe most of my concerns with a previous bad surgery could have been addressed and solved a lot sooner, which is why removing the stigma around HT's is a good idea (high five @Melvin-Moderator). 

So is there anything wrong with getting surgery? ABSOLUTELY NOT, especially if it makes you happy and improves your life. I think the only sad thing is if you don't accept yourself in the first place and somehow think hair will make you a better person or solve all your problems. Self improvement is awesome, self obsession is not.

Hopefully Melvin's attempts to turn this place more into a brotherhood of guys helping and supporting one another rather than comparing, criticising and tearing each other down can be realised ...

 

 

Edited by transplantedphil
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Posted (edited)

It's an absurd stigma, and almost sexist, in a weird way.

Women can augment their appearance in a multitude of ways, yet men are seen as weak, or insanely vain for wanting to keep their hair. 

Keep their fucking hair, how is that extreme vanity? It's not like getting a minuscule change, it's literally keeping hair on your head that you have had your whole life. 

Though, I feel like this is changing. The world is becoming more superficial, and as such, more people are opting for all manner of cosmetic changes. Things that seemed crazy, are now becoming normal, and I think this is the case for transplants.

I would also extend this to hair systems. They have even a far-greater stigma than transplants, and are a real, and great option for some people. E.g. people who aren't suited to a transplant, or don't want to get on meds/have surgery.

In the end, we all do these things for ourselves, and that's all that matters. If any of the above make a person happy, they should go for it. We only get one life, why not live it being as confident as you can?

Edited by Greg_Swanson

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I have noticed that this stigma seems to exist almost solely in the English speaking world. I know that French, German's, Spaniards and Italians etc seem to talk about it with pride (which is how it should be). Here in the UK, god forbid you try to do something to improve your appearances as male, you get slaughtered. 

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I am not sure if women plastic surgery isn't stigma tbh, here it seems stigma. But in many cases women surgeries are covered with their clothes and can relatively hide them (or show what they want) from them. 

 

Anyway, I've seen around 5 men who had HT in Cairo. 2 of them were just walking in the street, 2 of them were sitting in front of me waiting for our turn in a Bank, and an old friend of mine.  4 of them I recognized it due to FUT scar, one of them was clearly fresh from FUE surgery

I approached one of them before (surprisingly not my friend) and he was really open about it, embraced it a lot and didn't have that stigma on him at all. Probably because I was clearly balding so he was talking to a fellow "bald" man

Many men don't care about it and open about it tbh. But many women or men who don't suffer it still don't get i. Which put us in bad situations sometimes. You never hear the end of the jokes about our lack of hair at times, or jokes about HT if you do it

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My grandfather was bald and I wanted to be just like him.  Didn't care about transplants.  Then I was hired and have been directly and indirectly involved in the industry since.  Immediately I was told I had to get this done otherwise how could I convince anyone to get transplants. So I did it, and I'm glad. My face has been in guidebooks and in commercials.  No stigma.  

I've met thousands of people along the way. Some amazing work. Superb work always yielded positive comments, "I am glad I did it, "should have done it sooner."

For the patients that came to me that needed help, (unnatural previous work), "I should have never done this."  So, like I've always said, "it is about results."

I think we can all agree, we are a society of "looks."  We get inundated with commercials about beauty products all the time,  Looking younger and fit it's where its at.  Nothing wrong with trying to look younger.  Surgery is part of our world and, if you can afford it, DO IT! Just please, do your research first.

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7 hours ago, Greg_Swanson said:

It's an absurd stigma, and almost sexist, in a weird way.

Women can augment their appearance in a multitude of ways, yet men are seen as weak, or insanely vain for wanting to keep their hair. 

Keep their fucking hair, how is that extreme vanity? It's not like getting a minuscule change, it's literally keeping hair on your head that you have had your whole life. 

Though, I feel like this is changing. The world is becoming more superficial, and as such, more people are opting for all manner of cosmetic changes. Things that seemed crazy, are now becoming normal, and I think this is the case for transplants.

I would also extend this to hair systems. They have even a far-greater stigma than transplants, and are a real, and great option for some people. E.g. people who aren't suited to a transplant, or don't want to get on meds/have surgery.

In the end, we all do these things for ourselves, and that's all that matters. If any of the above make a person happy, they should go for it. We only get one life, why not live it being as confident as you can?

Exactly, it’s ok for women to wear wigs, but heaven forbid a guy wear a hair piece.


I do not provide medical advice, recommendations, all responses are my opinion.

My Hair Transplant Journey

Melvin- Associate Publisher and Forum Moderator for the Hair Transplant Network, the Coalition Hair Loss Learning Center, and the Hair Loss Q&A Blog.

Follow our Social Media Instagram @thehairtransplantnetwork FacebookPintrest, Linkedin and YouTube.

 

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Good topic. 

Altogether, I think the stigma is decreasing. Doctors have told me that 25 years or so ago, patients would try to set up consultations during weird hours of the day and nearly run in and out of the office as to not be spotted anywhere near a hair transplant clinic. I think the fact that the surgery itself has improved so dramatically and people are becoming more open about discussing it online is really breaking down walls. I am always impressed when a patient allows us to use their full face in presentations or even refers acquaintances and colleagues to the office. I find it happening more frequently each year, and it seems to indicate that the stigma is decreasing. 


Dr. Blake Bloxham is recommended by the Hair Transplant Network.

 

 

Hair restoration physician - Feller and Bloxham Hair Transplantation

 

Previously "Future_HT_Doc" or "Blake_Bloxham" - forum co-moderator and editorial assistant for the Hair Transplant Network, Hair Restoration Network, Hair Loss Q&A blog, and Hair Loss Learning Center.

 

Click here to read my previous answers to hair loss and hair restoration questions, editorials, commentaries, and educational articles.

 

Now practicing hair transplant surgery with Coalition hair restoration physician Dr Alan Feller at our New York practice: Feller and Bloxham Hair Transplantation.

 

Please note: my advice does not constitute as medical advice. All medical questions and concerns should be addressed by a personal physician.

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The negative stigma stemmed from those individuals who experienced bad results and felt shamed they made the worst mistake of their life.  In addition, the techniques decades ago were terrible and many times produced horrific results.  The stigma then became that HT surgeons were witch doctors and people who got HTs were nuts!

Having said all that, so much has changed and the industry has come such a long way and is it not amazing how wonderful a truly nice result is and the corresponding transformation it can be to one's appearance?

When I used to wear hair systems, I would at times receive cruel comments and glaring looks of surprise.

Yet when I started receiving the most natural and becoming results from my procedures, I would tell some people that I had work done and then get countless positive and nice compliments.

It has positively changed my life beyond what words can express!...:D


Gillenator

Independent Patient Advocate

I am not a physician and not employed by any doctor/clinic. My opinions are not medical advice, but are my own views which you read at your own risk.

Supporting Physicians:  Dr. Robert True & Dr. Robert Dorin, New York, NY

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I agree, the stigma is improving, but there are still so many men ashamed to admit it. I mean I have at least a few guys message me every week asking me to delete their photos and posts. 

Some have even told me they’ve been ridiculed and blackmailed for it. This didn’t happen 10 years ago, this happening today! I think we need to make a stand. If someone tried to blackmail me about my hair transplant I’d out myself and out the shameful blackmailer as well. Those are the ones who need to be ashamed.


I do not provide medical advice, recommendations, all responses are my opinion.

My Hair Transplant Journey

Melvin- Associate Publisher and Forum Moderator for the Hair Transplant Network, the Coalition Hair Loss Learning Center, and the Hair Loss Q&A Blog.

Follow our Social Media Instagram @thehairtransplantnetwork FacebookPintrest, Linkedin and YouTube.

 

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This thread has been insightful because I realise there are actually a few things at play with the negative stigma;

- "masculinity"; getting a HT is considered a vain thing to do for a man, whereas it can be about self improvement/self respect

- blame the victim mentality; a good result and the doctor is a genius (!), whereas a bad result and the patient has clearly made bad decisions/didn't do enough research. I doubt if it is ever that simple

- public vs private; while there might be cultural differences or even places where it's a status symbol to acquire one, some people simply prefer to remain private about their bodies. Ultimately it has to be a choice, but it is incredibly sad if people are being ridiculed or blackmailed for having one (really?)

I will say on a sidenote I have been impressed by guys that do show their faces like Melvin and Lasercap, and especially the recent guys in the Bloxham videos. It helps you realise there isn't a one size fits all approach to hairlines, and potentially the more open guys become about this stuff the better the industry can become as a whole (because there just might be better things in life to think about besides the funny stuff that grows out of your scalp lol). I think part of the obsession you see on these forums comes from guys who might have started off quite casually wanting to get a HT, only to realise what the industry is really like when they investigate a little further. It's nice there might be a place where we can at least help another 

Real nice topic Melvin. 

 

 

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On 8/27/2019 at 7:21 AM, Melvin-Moderator said:

Becoming the moderator of this popular forum has taught me that no one is safe from shaming. I have had high-profile people message me asking me to delete their posts from over a decade ago. There is this sense of fear, that they would be discovered and viewed and perceived as weak. 

I had one person even say tell me that they were being blackmailed. It's absolutely insane the lengths that we go to, to conceal our surgeries. I used to be the same way. I have my face all over the place. I don't regret it at all. There is NOTHING WRONG WITH HAVING SURGERY! What are your guys thoughts. Will some of you join the fight?

Breaking The Negative Stigma Surrounding Hair Transplant Surgery

Beautiful topic to have a discussion on. Such a sad thing that something which could give one confidence and happiness is frowned upon in most parts of the world. Surprisingly, in India, people are very accepting of the hair transplantation phenomenon. They obviously hide it for vain reasons. They never want to be perceived as bald or just want to erase their bald look forever. Sometimes, it also provides fodder for unnecessary gossip. But amazingly, people here have been extremely supportive of me when I started sharing my pictures and videos. They never judged me or made fun of my choice to go for a cosmetic surgery. We have so many youngsters going in for this here.


Counsellor at Eugenix Hair Sciences

Dr. Arika Bansal & Dr. Pradeep Sethi

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC5crlGyTac2hlU1gHneADzQ

 

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1 hour ago, Gabreille Nelson Mukhia said:

Beautiful topic to have a discussion on. Such a sad thing that something which could give one confidence and happiness is frowned upon in most parts of the world. Surprisingly, in India, people are very accepting of the hair transplantation phenomenon. They obviously hide it for vain reasons. They never want to be perceived as bald or just want to erase their bald look forever. Sometimes, it also provides fodder for unnecessary gossip. But amazingly, people here have been extremely supportive of me when I started sharing my pictures and videos. They never judged me or made fun of my choice to go for a cosmetic surgery. We have so many youngsters going in for this here.

I think if you're honest with people they'll be supportive. You will get the occasional person who is unhappy with their own life who will try and put you down, but for the most part people are curious. I think being honest normalizes hair transplant surgery. 

  • Like 1

I do not provide medical advice, recommendations, all responses are my opinion.

My Hair Transplant Journey

Melvin- Associate Publisher and Forum Moderator for the Hair Transplant Network, the Coalition Hair Loss Learning Center, and the Hair Loss Q&A Blog.

Follow our Social Media Instagram @thehairtransplantnetwork FacebookPintrest, Linkedin and YouTube.

 

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On 8/28/2019 at 9:21 PM, Melvin-Moderator said:

I think if you're honest with people they'll be supportive. You will get the occasional person who is unhappy with their own life who will try and put you down, but for the most part people are curious. I think being honest normalizes hair transplant surgery. 

It is true. When you are honest about your procedure, there is nothing to hide. And thus, nothing for anybody to use against you.


Counsellor at Eugenix Hair Sciences

Dr. Arika Bansal & Dr. Pradeep Sethi

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC5crlGyTac2hlU1gHneADzQ

 

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Posted (edited)
17 minutes ago, Gabreille Nelson Mukhia said:

It is true. When you are honest about your procedure, there is nothing to hide. And thus, nothing for anybody to use against you.

When you are honest about anything in life, you "own it". But that doesnt overcome the general stigma attached to this industry

Edited by transplantedphil
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1 hour ago, transplantedphil said:

When you are honest about anything in life, you "own it". But that doesnt overcome the general stigma attached to this industry

This is true, but I do think things are improving. Public figures being honest about it definitely helps. I mean I think as a society, we should get to the point of treating hair loss like we do braces. No one is going to think someone is vain for getting their teeth fixed, it's a no-brainer. 


I do not provide medical advice, recommendations, all responses are my opinion.

My Hair Transplant Journey

Melvin- Associate Publisher and Forum Moderator for the Hair Transplant Network, the Coalition Hair Loss Learning Center, and the Hair Loss Q&A Blog.

Follow our Social Media Instagram @thehairtransplantnetwork FacebookPintrest, Linkedin and YouTube.

 

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On ‎8‎/‎27‎/‎2019 at 4:33 PM, Melvin-Moderator said:

I agree, the stigma is improving, but there are still so many men ashamed to admit it. I mean I have at least a few guys message me every week asking me to delete their photos and posts. 

Some have even told me they’ve been ridiculed and blackmailed for it. This didn’t happen 10 years ago, this happening today! I think we need to make a stand. If someone tried to blackmail me about my hair transplant I’d out myself and out the shameful blackmailer as well. Those are the ones who need to be ashamed.

 

That is very true...most individuals who have experienced a poor result will not go public and share what happened...that's why it's so important to provide support to the ones who do...these communities need to be a safe place to communicate.

It's also a fact that far more individuals simply surf the online communities for information but do not actively participate.

So we can be grateful for the ones who do share their story and encourage one another in our journeys.

  • Like 1

Gillenator

Independent Patient Advocate

I am not a physician and not employed by any doctor/clinic. My opinions are not medical advice, but are my own views which you read at your own risk.

Supporting Physicians:  Dr. Robert True & Dr. Robert Dorin, New York, NY

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