Mustache transplants: a real thing

(via Boing Boing) Plastic surgeons in Turkey and Paris were both interviewed for an article on KTLA.com, Mustache Transplants on the Rise in the Middle East, to comment on their experience giving people extra hair on their upper lip.

"For some men who look young and junior, they think (a mustache) is a must to look senior ... more professional and wise," [Turkish plastic surgeon Selahattin Tuluany] said. "They think it is prestigious."

Pierre Bouhanna is a Paris-based surgeon who, for the past five years, has been performing increasing numbers of mustache implants. He says the majority of his patients come from the United Arab Emirates, Iran, Lebanon and Turkey, with men traveling to France to have the surgery performed.

"My impression is more and more they want to establish their male aspect," he said. "They want a strong mustache."

Both surgeons use a technique -- follicular unit extraction -- in which groups of hairs are taken from areas of dense hair growth to be implanted in the mustache area.

I'm not totally sure how to process this information.  I mean, I'm already aware how profoundly weird plastic surgery is already[1. Which is not to say that I think there's necessarily something wrong with it, especially when helping a person bring their physical body closer to their self-identity.], but mustaches are a whole new entity of strange that I just wasn't expecting.

For one thing, I didn't know that hair could be transplanted like that.  But for another, I guess facial hair was fixed in my mind as one of those inalienable features of one's own body, a thing one couldn't manipulate in any particular direction.  It literally never occurred to me to think that medical science might some day be capable of altering one's ability to grow facial hair.