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  • If you haven’t heard already, you must be living in a cave. John Travolta has had his hair redone. Lately, he has been sighted wearing wigs and hair maintenance doesn’t come cheap. Even the most basic operation costs about a good few thousand a year to maintain. Unfortunately for this charming actor, it has come to this. He must be suffering a case of male pattern baldness and his billionaire living like a trillionaire status has got to change. I guess everyone has their moments.

    Now, interestingly enough, charming and lovable actor Tom Hanks seems to be in the same boat. And unfortunately for him, his ship is sailing. Having won an Oscar award more than once, it’s not surprising to find that he was a presenter at the 79th Oscars on February 25, 2007. He has sure come a long way, and so has his hair. Tom Hanks, Hair Loss, RestorationStarting in 1989, from a photo taken from the movie ‘The Burbs,’ possibly one of his lesser known movies, his hair was already undergoing some serious receding. It looked like he was heading straight for baldness within five years. Somehow, though, his hair remained mysteriously intact in the same “receding” look for the next 16 years. This, of course, is not a normal pattern of baldness which accelerates after a few years.

    This pattern continued, and by the time we get to ‘Apollo 13’ in 1995, Tom looks like his hair has receded slightly more. We’re starting to see more of his scalp. In ‘You’ve Got Mail’ in 1998, it is obvious his hair has changed. More of his scalp is present and the little hair that is sort of covering the front is flattened out. From a photo of him from the movie ‘The Da Vinci Code’ in 2006, if there were any doubts about his hair, it is manifested here as confirmed. His hairline has dramatically receded, and the little bit of hair that used to be in the front is now completely absent. His forehead looks remarkably shinier as well. But, there’s a catch. There’s always a catch. If we think about it, is Tom Hanks hiding something maybe? He looks pretty good for someone who is supposedly going through male pattern baldness. If we look carefully at a picture from 2004, we see that his hairline has receded, as it should be doing when someone is aging. However, by 2006, that means there should be less hair. But is there? There’s actually a little more hair! So, looks like we have a hair transplant winner! Now we might already know that some celebrities like to get their hair redone because they don’t want to look bald, but we don’t know exactly how it is done or why baldness strikes in some men and not in others.

    Apparently male pattern baldness happens because the male in question has genetically inherited the trait. And contrary to popular belief, it does not only come from the mother’s side of the family. It can come from both sides of the family. The procedure begins with calming the patient by way of a neck massage or a pill for relaxation. Doctors often choose to use The Wand, a computer guided anesthetic device. Then the doctor removes the donor strips, or the places where he has chosen to take hair from and donate to the head. The incisions are closed while new ones are made where the new hair is supposed to go. These recipient sites are called micrografts and there are several different kinds of grafts a patient can get. For example, punch grafts are round grafts that usually contain about 10 to 15 hairs. Mini-grafts are grafts much smaller in size, containing about 2 to 4 hairs. Micro-grafts are tiny grafts containing 1 to 2 hairs. Slit grafts are thin grafts containing 4 to 10 hairs each. Strip grafts are long, thin grafts containing 30 to 40 hairs.

    Healing takes a few months and it might take up to two years before final results will be visible. The amount of coverage needed depends on color and texture of the hair. Then after the procedure, maintenance takes place. About 3-4 times a month, the patient comes back to get hair washed or repositioned depending upon if hair started to grow under the skin or not. This costs at least $250 a month. The scalp grows some hair and the skin itself sheds as part of the normal body’s replacement function. And as mentioned before, maintenance after a successful procedure costs about $3,000 a year.

    Money should not be an issue for Tom Hanks. The real issue, however, is how much his fans like his new look. I don’t know about what the majority population thinks, but I do know some fans are objecting to this new hair. They say it actually makes him look bad, especially his appearance on ‘The Da Vinci Code.’ Others believe that his hair has taken some ups and downs in his career. Personally, I like his hair when it’s not curly and so I favor his look in ‘You’ve Got Mail.’ In general, I think his hair looks great. I especially like his younger days, but I mean, for how he looks in his age, it’s well done. But the vote is up to the rest of you to decide. There might still be hope for the other actors such as Ben Affleck and Mel Gibson.


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