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Hair Docs Respond to the Proposed "Follicle-Tax" on Transplants

"There's a new 'price' on your head... "  --Dr. B.



GENEVA, IL. –  The International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery (ISHRS) – the world's leading medical authority on hair loss and hair restoration – today issued a statement in response to the federal government's proposed tax on cosmetic surgical procedures in order to help offset the massive cost of health care reform.

The ISHRS believes the 10 percent tax on cosmetic surgery, including elective cosmetic procedures such as hair transplants, would unfairly hurt a disproportionate number of working and middle-class men and women who seek help for hair loss to improve their self-esteem and their competitive edge in today's tough job market.

"We know from previous research that the median income level of people undergoing hair restoration surgery is $69,700.00," said Edwin Epstein, MD, president of the ISHRS. "Clearly, it's not just the wealthiest men and women getting hair transplants, but average, hard-working people who are tired of suffering from hair loss. This type of tax is simply bad medicine and would hurt millions of people who undergo cosmetic procedures for personal and professional reasons."

The ISHRS has found that the desire for more hair is still strong, even in tough economic times. In a recent online consumer survey conducted by the ISHRS, 59.8 percent of people who were asked whether they would rather have more hair, more money or more friends chose more hair. Specifically, slightly more women (64.2 percent) than men (59.1 percent) indicated they wanted more hair than more money or friends.

An estimated 80 million American men and women suffer from male or female pattern hair loss. Since hair is universally viewed as a sign of youth and vitality, hair loss can cause a diminished sense of self-esteem and poor self-image that can significantly impact one's overall quality of life.

Founded in 1993, the ISHRS is a non-profit medical association dedicated to the advancement of the art and science of hair restoration. With a membership of over 750 physicians worldwide, the ISHRS provides continuing medical education to physicians specializing in hair loss and restoration surgery and serves as a resource for the public on the latest medical and surgical hair restoration treatments for hair loss. For more information and to locate a physician, visit

Editor's Note: The survey referenced above was made available on the ISHRS website to visitors interested in participating in the Hair Transplant Challenge Survey (HTCS). Data collection began in late May of 2008 and continued through January of 2009. As of January 2009, 1,878 respondents had participated in the survey and provided valid responses. A sample size of 1,878 has a margin of error of about +/- 2.3% at the 95% confidence level. For a full reprint of the HTCS report, visit

Will the "Follicle-Tax" on Cosmetic Surgery affect the follically-challenged?

Many times, elective hair transplant, eyelash transplants and other procedures are performed for reconstructive reasons (after burns, injury or birth defects, for example), and are rarely, if ever, covered by insurance.  Additionally, the recent increases in the number of patients seeking financing for their procedures tells us that cosmetic surgery is not simply for the rich, famous or vain.  Board-certified hair restoration physicians know that hair loss can be a psychologically-devastating condition. As a member of the American Academy of Cosmetic Surgery, I'm fearful that should this segment of the bill become law, patients will be less likely to seek the procedures they need to restore their appearance and their confidence.  --Dr. B.

American Academy of Cosmetic Surgery Opposes Cosmetic Surgery Tax

CHICAGO, Nov. 19 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- As negotiators on Capitol Hill try to find ways to fund a health care overhaul, a 5% tax on cosmetic surgery has been introduced on Nov. 18 as part of the Senate's proposed health reform bill, introduced by US Senator Harry Reid (D-NV). The American Academy of Cosmetic Surgery strongly opposes such taxes and urges legislators to consider the following points:

  • A tax on elective cosmetic procedures is an unreliable, risky revenue source that has no proven record of raising projected revenues.
  • The difficulty of defining elective vs. medically-necessary cosmetic surgery. There is a blurry line between what procedures are considered medically-necessary and those that are elective.
  • Retention of highly-skilled physicians is at risk. Physicians face many challenges in operating their practices on a day-to-day basis. Turning them into tax-collectors is an additional burden on these doctors.
  • Cosmetic surgery is not a specialty for only the wealthy or the vain. In fact, the median income for those electing to have cosmetic surgery is dropping.
  • Despite the fact that more men are seeking cosmetic procedures than ever, the largest portion of patients are still working women, who would be unfairly targeted by such taxes.
  • A large portion of those being taxed would be the baby-boomer generation. And as this age group continues to age, the more interest will be generated in cosmetic procedures. It is important to note that the age bracket are most likely to vote in elections is the same as those who are electing to have cosmetic procedures.

"Activating a cosmetic surgery tax is not the solution to funding a health care overhaul," states AACS Immediate Past President Dr. Steven Hopping. "While it appears that this is currently a serious consideration, this idea concerns us."

Such a tax has been proposed in numerous states over the years and rejected after examining the feasibility. The only state to approve such a tax has been New Jersey, which has failed to realize proposed profits from the bill and faces opposition from the same legislators who approved it in the first place.

"Implementing such a bill would be a bad idea for patients and physicians," Hopping said.

To speak with a cosmetic surgeon on this topic or to obtain additional information please visit the AACS website at

The American Academy of Cosmetic Surgery is a professional medical society whose members are dedicated to patient safety and physician education in cosmetic surgery. Most members of the AACS are dermatologic surgeons, facial plastic surgeons, head and neck surgeons, general surgeons, oral and maxillofacial surgeons, plastic surgeons, hair transplant surgeons or ocular plastic surgeons - all of whom specialize in cosmetic surgery. AACS is an organization that represents all cosmetic surgeons in the American Medical Association through its seat in the AMA House of Delegates.

SOURCE American Academy of Cosmetic Surgery

Dr. Bauman contributes Eyelash Transplant Chapter for "Hair Transplantation" text (Avram/Rogers)

Soon to be released in 2010, "Hair Transplantation" by Avram/Rogers contains Dr. Alan Bauman's chapter on Eyelash Transplantation. The eleven page chapter includes the History of Eyelash Transplants, Patient Selection, Eyelid Anatomy, Eyelash Transplant Methods, Eyelash Transplant Pre-Op, Eyelash Transplant Post-Op, Eyelash Maintenance, and more. The chapter includes 13 photos, including before & afters, several charts and diagrams. For more info visit For eyelash transplant training, DVDs, Videos, Webinars, etc., email

Missed yesterday's LIVE hair transplant of @mediocrefilms? Watch the first video...

Thank you to all who watched, called-in, chatted, tweeted, posted, etc. Thank you to Spencer Kobren (The Bald Truth) for hosting the Live Chat, and thank you to everyone behind the scenes (that's you, Bob!) and my staff for a 110% effort for making Greg's procedure a complete success from start to finish. I couldn't do it without you guys!

Live Hair Transplant Surgery via Webcam Nov 4th 11am-3pm ET

Agassi admits hair was a wig

LONDON (AFP) – Former tennis star Andre Agassi has admitted the lion mane-style hairstyle he sported during the 1990s was actually a wig, in extracts from his autobiography published in British newspapers Saturday.

Agassi said he wore a hairpiece held together with pins in his first Grand Slam final, the 1990 French Open final, and blamed his concerns that it would fall apart for losing the match to Andres Gomez.

Before the match he prayed "not for victory, but that my hairpiece would not fall off", he writes...

"During the warming-up training before play I prayed. Not for victory, but that my hairpiece would not fall off.

"With each leap, I imagine it falling into the sand. I imagine millions of spectators move closer to their TV sets, their eyes widening and, in dozens of dialects and languages, ask how Andre Agassi's hair has fallen from his head."

Read more..

A vivid emotional description of how one can be affected by hair loss and artificial hair restoration, like wigs and weaves.  Andre suffered from male pattern hair loss before the advent of FDA-approved Propecia and modern medical treatments that help men and women prevent hair loss and restore their own living and growing hair.