Middle Eastern men are the world’s biggest losers - of hair!

Published August 13th, 2016 - 11:29 GMT

Spot the well-dressed dude checking in at Hamad International Airport, head wrapped in miles of medical gauze. At Dubai International, a man with a bandaged scalp sips coffee near his gate. Another duo with cotton-dressed domes wait for baggage in Ataturk International. The UAE and Turkey are emerging as medical Meccas for hair transplants. What's behind the buzz?

Baldness is more likely in Arab Gulf states than in other parts of the world, so says a report released by The National. "Dubai specialists" quoted in the paper claim that 60% of men in the UAE could expect to experience hair loss, compared to a global average of 40%.

Most men take their locks for granted -- that is, until they're gone. So while their hairlines shrink, what's growing is a trend towards expensive (and painful!) dermatological treatments from "permanent make-up" to hair transplants. High-visibility clients like Salman Khan, Elon Musk, Wayne Rooney and David Beckham proudly sport "plugs". Al Bawaba takes a look at what it's all about!
 

 

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head shave at Hajj

About 60% of men in the UAE will experience some sort of hair loss in their lifetime, say Dubai specialists, while the global average is 40%, according to a report in The National. And they're not talking about Hajj head shaves.

Mao Tse Tung

Compare that to Asian and European baldies who number just 35% says Dr. Dimitrios Ziakas, an expert in the field from Direct Hair Implantation at the Al Borj Medical Centre in Dubai. The doc knows his way around faulty follicles; he's performed more than 3,000 hair transplants. Clearly, Chairman Mao was not a patient.

bald man in shower

It’s not the water says “Dubai’s Hair Doctor”, Mike Ryan. Newbies to the Gulf frequently complain of unusual hair loss within months of arrival and blame desalinated water, which can dry skin and hair. Dry hair can turn brittle, but it doesn't stop growing.

Hair loss in women

The bald fact is that most men (and - increasingly - women!) in the Middle East suffer some degree of hair loss, which may be due to the region's extreme weather and air pollution. The National survey showed 66% of women report thinned hair, with many expats saying it happened since they moved here.

Arab headscarves

Blame your choice of head covering or your shampoo, but science says the major factors behind male pattern baldness are genetics, climate, stress and poor diet. For women, experts cite 50 possible reasons, which in this region include hot weather and poor diet.

dehydrated Arab man

Vitamin deficiencies (particularly B12 and D), low iron, and stress can accelerate hair loss. So can simple dehydration. Beware chlorine, present in low levels in desalinated water and of course swimming pools, which can damage hair cuticles, but not necessarily halt new growth.

hair transplant sideburns

It's inevitable that hair transplant clinics will sprout up where most needed, and the Middle East is becoming a medical Mecca for head and facial hair procedures. The same techniques to augment head hair are applied to create lusher beards and chest hair!

hair transplant

What is a hair transplant? It's surgery that moves hair you already have to fill an area with thin or no hair. "Donor" hair can also be used! Doctors have been doing these transplants in the US since the 1950s. The procedure is usually performed in a doc's office using local anesthetic.

hair transplant

There are two types of hair-transplant methods. A follicular unit transplantation - also called strip method harvesting - is surgery that transplants hair from a 3" - 4" strip of skin from the back of the head to the bald area. The skin around the harvest site is then stitched close, becoming invisible.

hair implants

Another method is follicular unit extraction, where hairs are taken one-by-one with a 0.8 - 1.4 mm punch-like tool without cutting the skin. This involves nearly no recovery time, the patient can be back at work the next day.

hair implants

Follicular unit implants require 5 - 7 sessions, each lasting between 4 and 12 hours, depending upon the area to be filled. Natural hair growth is seen within three to six months. Prices start at around $5,000, and treatment is priced per graft. Follicular unit transplantation is often a one-stop process with higher costs and longer recovery.

beard transplant

Both techniques are used to restore beards, mustaches, sideburns and eyebrows. Success rates are high. Regrowth from hair transplanted from the back of the head, behind the ears, chest or belly is usually permanent.

knitted beard

As with any kind of surgery, transplants have some risks, including bleeding and infection. There’s also the chance for scarring and unnatural-looking new hair growth. So do what many MENA men do, and slap on a (revealing) baseball cap! Or you might chose the safest option, and go with a knitted "cure".

head shave at Hajj
Mao Tse Tung
bald man in shower
Hair loss in women
Arab headscarves
dehydrated Arab man
hair transplant sideburns
hair transplant
hair transplant
hair implants
hair implants
beard transplant
knitted beard
head shave at Hajj
About 60% of men in the UAE will experience some sort of hair loss in their lifetime, say Dubai specialists, while the global average is 40%, according to a report in The National. And they're not talking about Hajj head shaves.
Mao Tse Tung
Compare that to Asian and European baldies who number just 35% says Dr. Dimitrios Ziakas, an expert in the field from Direct Hair Implantation at the Al Borj Medical Centre in Dubai. The doc knows his way around faulty follicles; he's performed more than 3,000 hair transplants. Clearly, Chairman Mao was not a patient.
bald man in shower
It’s not the water says “Dubai’s Hair Doctor”, Mike Ryan. Newbies to the Gulf frequently complain of unusual hair loss within months of arrival and blame desalinated water, which can dry skin and hair. Dry hair can turn brittle, but it doesn't stop growing.
Hair loss in women
The bald fact is that most men (and - increasingly - women!) in the Middle East suffer some degree of hair loss, which may be due to the region's extreme weather and air pollution. The National survey showed 66% of women report thinned hair, with many expats saying it happened since they moved here.
Arab headscarves
Blame your choice of head covering or your shampoo, but science says the major factors behind male pattern baldness are genetics, climate, stress and poor diet. For women, experts cite 50 possible reasons, which in this region include hot weather and poor diet.
dehydrated Arab man
Vitamin deficiencies (particularly B12 and D), low iron, and stress can accelerate hair loss. So can simple dehydration. Beware chlorine, present in low levels in desalinated water and of course swimming pools, which can damage hair cuticles, but not necessarily halt new growth.
hair transplant sideburns
It's inevitable that hair transplant clinics will sprout up where most needed, and the Middle East is becoming a medical Mecca for head and facial hair procedures. The same techniques to augment head hair are applied to create lusher beards and chest hair!
hair transplant
What is a hair transplant? It's surgery that moves hair you already have to fill an area with thin or no hair. "Donor" hair can also be used! Doctors have been doing these transplants in the US since the 1950s. The procedure is usually performed in a doc's office using local anesthetic.
hair transplant
There are two types of hair-transplant methods. A follicular unit transplantation - also called strip method harvesting - is surgery that transplants hair from a 3" - 4" strip of skin from the back of the head to the bald area. The skin around the harvest site is then stitched close, becoming invisible.
hair implants
Another method is follicular unit extraction, where hairs are taken one-by-one with a 0.8 - 1.4 mm punch-like tool without cutting the skin. This involves nearly no recovery time, the patient can be back at work the next day.
hair implants
Follicular unit implants require 5 - 7 sessions, each lasting between 4 and 12 hours, depending upon the area to be filled. Natural hair growth is seen within three to six months. Prices start at around $5,000, and treatment is priced per graft. Follicular unit transplantation is often a one-stop process with higher costs and longer recovery.
beard transplant
Both techniques are used to restore beards, mustaches, sideburns and eyebrows. Success rates are high. Regrowth from hair transplanted from the back of the head, behind the ears, chest or belly is usually permanent.
knitted beard
As with any kind of surgery, transplants have some risks, including bleeding and infection. There’s also the chance for scarring and unnatural-looking new hair growth. So do what many MENA men do, and slap on a (revealing) baseball cap! Or you might chose the safest option, and go with a knitted "cure".