Tickle your nose
There appears to be something in the coffee that Turkish men are addicted to because, as a nationality, they sport some of the best moustaches in the world. Big, thick Saddam Hussein-type upper lip growth. If facial hair is any indicator of virility, then Turkish men would never need Viagra.
But given they have established an international reputation for their hairy capabilities, the Turks have turned it into an export industry. For many years now, they have been developing a substantial economic niche in hair transplants. So successful has this industry become that they are now spreading further afield and have cultivated a market for moustache transplants.
For patients who feel somewhat inadequate, doctors are now using a follicle-hair extraction technique to remove clusters of hairs from, well, hairy parts of the patient’s body (no, we won’t go there!) and are implanting them to either create a moustache from the beginning or plug any gaps in an otherwise lacklustre effort.
It’s a good money-spinner, too, as patients are willing to pay up to $5000 for a 5-hour operation under local anaesthetic to bolster their beefcake looks. Given the follicly-challenged visitors can stump up real money for the transplant, tourist operators are gouging then even more by building shopping holidays into a growing array of packages.
The incentive for doctors to turn a blind eye to real medical issues is apparent from one veteran of the industry who started two years ago and is now doing 60 a month. That’s real money!
But while the Turks are changing the look of the world bit by bit, things are declining at home. Twenty years ago, 77% of Turkish men sported moustaches but today only 34% do. It seems there is a general trend to adopt Western-style clean-shaven looks.
Acknowledgement: Joe Parkinson, The wall Street Journal. Photo: easymakesmehappy