A Bald President? Taboos are not Easily Broken

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Being bald is a liability when it come to power in position of work and authority.

We've had no hair-impaired president since Ike! Now after 50 years, things are not about to change any time soon. In a culture that is celebrity saturated and hypercritical of physical attributes, it seems more unlikely than ever that we would elect a bald president. And until recently, we were faced with a number of balding candidates this time around - Fred Thompson, Rudy Giuliani, and John McCain.

"Baldness is a liability of sorts," says James Rosen of FOX news (3-27-07). "We judge men by the choices they make in how they deal with their baldness." He further cites the "Bald Hall of Fame" on http://www.baldrus.com, but as yet, none of our current candidates has been inducted - mercifully. However, he feels that it is not a small issue in presidential politics. Lyndon B. Johnson may have had a "prominent forehead" according to Rosen, but "his hairline was, like his elusive Vietcong adversaries, prone to retreat but never to full surrender."

Authors such as Richard Shenkman (Legends, Lies & Cherished Myths of American History and Presidential Ambition) remind us of the 1960 inception of the television presidency with J.F.K. Traditional values went out the window as Americans, who had based their voting decisions on party affiliation and other traditional criteria, became addicted to images. Conversely, the candidates remade themselves to suit the new visibility created by the media.

It is no surprise that a naked pate ranks high in the list of physical liabilities. Baldness has long been associated with age, lack of sex appeal, and a lack of youthful vigor. However absurd this association may be, such attitudes has spawned a 7 billion dollar per year business in hair-loss treatments and restoration products.

Hair replacement, once a quiet backwater with little connection to the cosmetic enhancement market, is suddenly being propelled onto a larger stage in line with anti-aging trends. According to the National Hair Journal, "suddenly it finds itself part of a burgeoning anti-aging landscape that includes products like Color Camo from Redken Corp., which claims, 'it'll seem like you slowly turned back time,' and Just for Men, whose Rejuvenator products contain 'X-Gray science' to target gray hair.'

The anti-aging crusade is fueling the hair transplantation industry as companies like Bosley are reporting record high consumer demand. It is not surprising. The journal Plastic Surgery Products says that "data recently released by the AACS clearly shows that hair transplantation was the most popular aesthetic surgical procedure among men, overshadowing liposuction by about 250% and blepharoplasty by more than 400%. "Most men will agree that the biggest 'bang' for their aesthetic buck will be the youthful vitality that a full head of hair provides."

The International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery (ISHRS) has compiled its own statistics on consumer attitudes toward hair loss and concludes that 63% of adults would be concerned about noticeable hair loss if they were divorced and had to start dating again. This indicates that hair loss, aging, and a youthful appearance are inextricably linked, adding a psychological dimension to the data of the other studies. Furthermore, in a 2006 study funded by Merck & Co., 57% of the over 2,000 men polled said they would be willing to give up something valuable in exchange for more hair. 21% would be willing to give up their cell phones for a few more locks!

Bosley's statistics show that cosmetic procedures such as hair transplantation are growing rapidly for men (and women). Furthermore, our research in cell-based follicular multiplication (hair cloning) will help to meet this demand in the near future and expand the market to more hair restoration candidates than ever before.

John Ohanesian, President and CEO, states, "While Bosley feels that voters should select candidates based on their qualifications, the company has helped numerous celebrities and politicians deal with image issues and stands ready to continue in that endeavor to help remove hair loss as a focal point of discussion in election campaigns."

About Bosley
Bosley enters its 34th year in surgical hair transplantation in 2008 with over 200,000 procedures performed since 1974 -- the world's most experienced hair restoration expert. Bosley advanced many of the artistic techniques used worldwide today to achieve natural results under the leadership of hair restoration pioneer L. Lee Bosley, M.D. There are eighty-eight locations throughout the U.S., Canada and Mexico.

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