As we mentioned last time, we live in image-conscious times. We are defined by the photograph; the captured moment is always more likely to be pictorial than verbal or scripted. Blame YouTube, blame Instagram or Facebook, blame smartphones, blame whoever you like but it’s unlikely to change much. We are governed by image.
Though cosmetic enhancements have made leaps and bounds in both availability and affordability, there can still be a certain stigma attached to those who use them. It’s a conundrum that we’re expected to look great but also age gracefully.
This is particularly true for the male of the species. Women can get away with slightly more, are commended for making subtle adjustments and rarely ridiculed. Men, on the other hand, might be accused of trying too hard or failing to accept the inevitable.
What this leads to is a culture of denial. Only last week we met with a barber who told the tale of a customer who clearly dyed his hair. The barber asked him what product he used only to have the client deny the obvious fact. It’s hard to know how the gentleman was unaware that the barber was staring directly at roots which were a slightly different colour to the rest.
In the world of hair-loss it is something we are all too familiar with. The process of going bald can be traumatic and leave deep psychological scars. More than any other feature or body part, hair can be perceived as a defining characteristic – your crowning glory, your mane.
Those who begin to lose their hair at an early age often find the experience humiliating and instantly ageing. They feel older, uglier and consequently less attractive to potential partners. The media reinforces a lot of negative stereotypes about hair loss and also stigmatises those who seek to address the problem as being vain. They are in a no-win situation.
Wayne Rooney is a particularly high-profile example of this. Unprepared to be bald in his twenties the footballer pursued a couple of hair transplants. Naturally someone with his degree of visibility could not attempt to do this anonymously as many others do, he freely admitted to it. After being under scrutiny for losing his hair, the premiership star was subsequently under the microscope for having done something about it.
As many hair-transplants are only a short to medium-term fix he was probably disappointed to find himself at the centre of attention when his remaining hair started to thin. The problems with being so high-profile and struggling with your image are never helped by snide reporting like this piece in The Sun.
In a few hundred words a newspaper demonstrates why men might prefer to keep their cosmetic enhancements as low-profile as possible. They were at it again a few days ago, speculating that Andros Townsend has had a transplant.
This one piqued our interest somewhat since Andros’ treatment looks far more like Scalp Micropigmentation than a transplant. It’s a look that suits him well.
Naturally it’d be great if he chose to ‘go public’ and, presuming that it is SMP, help to make the process more famous. We have long sought to find a celebrity of any level that we could work with to bring scalp micropigmentation into the mainstream, that search goes on.
It’s a double-edged sword in many respects since we aim to deliver treatments that are so realistic they are not easily spotted, but we also want people to know how successful a solution this is. A huge number of our clients choose to keep their ‘secret’ to themselves and, though we absolutely respect their rights to privacy, it can be frustrating to see a person leave the clinic with a great result knowing that only we’re going to be the only ones who know it’s SMP!
One day perhaps we’ll all be able to talk about our imperfections and what we do in the name of self-improvement. One day Scalp Micropigmentation will be so famous that people will readily accept it as a viable option in the battle against hair loss. One day you’ll know so many men that have fought their hair loss in public that it’ll cease to be of curiosity, it’ll be the norm. Until that day we’ll continue to work in the background, known only to those who’ve done the necessary research, but still changing lives every day!