A woeful start to the new year for US President Donald Trump also incorporated something of a hair loss
mystery as revelations made in a book by writer Michael Wolff hit the headlines.
Wolff often using quotes from former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon made a number of claims about the POTUS in his new book Fire and Fury, none more trivial or apparently mirth-provoking to the press than the news that Trump’s own daughter often mocks his bizarre hairstyle
What is scalp reduction surgery?
Wolff claims that Ivanka Trump regularly makes fun of her father’s comb-overs and delights in describing the mechanics of his hairstyle to her friends. Wolff described this as: “an absolutely clean pate a contained island after scalp reduction surgery
surrounded by a furry circle of hair around the sides and front, from which all ends are drawn up to meet in the center and then swept back and secured by a stiffening spray.”
This latest description of what exactly is going on with The Donald's hair adds to the initial information regarding his scalp reduction surgery, which was first made public during his divorce from first wife, Ivana.
The burning question on the lips of many, following this revelation, was: what is scalp reduction surgery?
The answer lies in a fairly stomach-churning technique from the ’90s that is also known as flap surgery that was sometimes used by men with a receding hairline
caused by the genetic hair loss condition male pattern baldness
. Most men today can manage and improve their hair lost to MPB with a hair loss treatment course
that can reduce shedding and encourage regrowth.
But a few decades ago and in extreme cases, men had been known to seek out the skills of a certain type of surgeon who could open the scalp and stretch the area of skin that could still produce hair over the area that was bald.
Flap surgery is certainly not for the squeamish and involves the insertion of a balloon-like device during the operation which helps to expand the skin so that it can be stretched and pulled into place. It also typically involves a strip of skin up to 5cm wide being removed from the head.
Before last week’s news, countless column inches had already been devoted to Trump’s hair
and about whether or not he uses some kind of toupee something that the President refutes, even going to such lengths as to ask rally attendees and TV show host Jimmy Fallon to tug at his strangely coloured locks. This colour, according to Wolff's story regarding Ivanka's alleged indiscretions, is the result of the famously impatient Republican using Just For Men hair dye but never waiting the full allotted development time.
Prior to Trump’s election, some writers suggested that having a head of hair (or at least appearing to have one) may ultimately be to his advantage
during the voting as only five of America’s 44 presidents had been noticeably balding. Often accused of being excessively vain, it is perhaps not surprising that Trump appears to have gone to such extreme lengths to try and preserve his hair.
Sense of self-esteem
The line between vanity and self-esteem is a thin one though few men could be accused of particularly vainglorious behaviour in wanting to reverse genetic hairloss. Men frequently comment upon how their sense of masculinity
is dented when they start to lose their hair and many quite rightly wish to change this.
Hair thinning in men can usually be effectively addressed with a tailored hair loss treatment course which will typically make use of two clinically-proven drugs finasteride 1mg and minoxidil which, when used alone or in combination, are known to encourage hair growth and inhibit production of the hormone dihydrotestosterone, or DHT
. This testosterone by-product causes gradually thinning hair and/or a receding hairline in men with an active genetic predisposition.
Despite being 71 years of age - over the recommended upper age limit for which it is medically suitable - Donald Trump is understood to use finasteride 1mg
after his doctor revealed this information to the press
. Whether or not he also uses high strength minoxidil
- the only other MHRA licensed and FDA approved male hair loss treatment - is unknown.
Additional hair growth supporting products
can also be used alongside these and range from home-use LLLT
to highly-targeted nutritional support, such as the one-a-day Hair Vitalics for Men
which contains a proprietary blend of vitamins, minerals, amino acids and botanicals, including biotin, zinc and selenium for the maintenance of normal healthy hair growth.
Men today would likely find it hard to track down an abundance of surgeons willing to perform a scalp reduction operation to treat hair loss partly because of the proven efficacy of modern drugs and also because hair transplant techniques (which are very different to scalp reductions) have vastly improved over the past few decades.
Additionally, all flap surgery really does is change the placement of the hairline; as with a hair transplant operation, where the person has an active case of androgenetic alopecia, an ongoing course of male pattern hair loss treatment would also be necessary to help in preventing baldness