By Emina Karamanovski

The other day an older gentlemen came for a consultation. He wanted to restore hair not because he wanted to look younger nor because he needed to boost his self-esteem but he was simply tired of having to protect his head from sun. He was tired of having to wear a cap while playing with his grandchildren in the pool. He was tired from seeing his dermatologist on a regular basis and worried about skin spots on his head.

Shortly after I got involved working in hair transplantation, I learned that we have different needs and desires and not to ever judge or assume how others feel about something.  One of the very first patients I worked on was a 74-year-old gentleman who wanted to feel the wind in his hair. Another patient who surprised me with the reason for hair restoration was a gentleman who wore a hair system. Although he achieved an acceptable look, he felt that his social life was suffering because he could not leisurely accept an invitation to a pool party or a sailing trip with friends. In order to keep his artificial hair looking presentable, he needed equipment, privacy and was always worried his “secret” would be uncovered. Similarly, a lady that wore a wig then had hair transplant with us, was happy to share that it was thrilling to fill her husband’s hand in her hair – something she had not felt in over 20 years!

People seeking hair restoration are still perceived as those motivated by vanity. It is unfortunate that most of the aesthetic procedures are socially accepted but hair restoration is still somewhat a taboo.  Hair transplantation gives back more than mere aesthetic improvement. It gives back protection for cold in the winter or sun in the summer. It gives back freedom to enjoy life at its fullest.