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 stop 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.
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 in combination, are able to 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. The treatment can also encourage new hair regrowth.
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 is unknown, though Belgravia’s specialists find that the best results tend to occur when these drugs are used in tandem.
Belgravia clients who choose this non-surgical option are normally offered additional hair growth booster products to further enhance their hair’s recovery. These range from in-clinic therapeutic treatment sessions to home-use LLLT and highly-targeted nutritional support with a specially added DHT-lowering botanical extract via Belgravia’s premium food supplement for healthy hair growth, Hair Vitalics for Men.
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, it would also need an ongoing course of male pattern hair loss treatment to help in preventing baldness.
The Belgravia Centre is the leader in hair loss treatment in the UK, with two clinics based in Central London. If you are worried about hair loss you can arrange a free consultation with a hair loss expert or complete our Online Consultation Form from anywhere in the UK or the rest of the world. View our Hair Loss Success Stories, which are the largest collection of such success stories in the world and demonstrate the levels of success that so many of Belgravia’s patients achieve. You can also phone 020 7730 6666 any time for our hair loss helpline or to arrange a free consultation.