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UAE men flash their cash to get a bigger moustache
Wafa Issa
The National (Abu Dhabi)
November 05, 2012

Selahattin Tulunay, a Turkish plastic surgeon, says about 50 Arabs seeking hair treatment arrive in Istanbul every day. Kerem Uzel / The National

A craze for moustache implants is sweeping the UAE among men who feel fuller facial hair boosts their confidence.

Arabian Gulf residents have the procedure in Turkey, which has established itself as a leader in the hair implant industry.

Each month about 50 men seek the help of Dr Selahattin Tulunay, a Turkish plastic surgeon, to boost the brush of their moustache.

“Looking better and feeling more confident are the main reasons for that,” Dr Tulunay said. “Most clients are from the UAE and Arabian Peninsula as well as [other] Arabian Gulf countries.”

Patients from the region make up about 50 per cent of his overseas business. Most are businessmen, but Dr Tulunay said some politicians also undergo the procedure to improve their image.

Some patients take him pictures of their ideal moustache.

The average cost of the procedure is up to €4,000 (Dh18,900).

An executive director from India had an implant in Dubai about 18 months ago.

“I always wanted to have a beard. It is attractive,” said the businessman, 42. “I also wanted to have a beard when carrying out the Haj for Islamic reasons. Going to Haj with a beard is a dream come true.”

He tried several types of medication before seeing an online advertisement for facial hair implants.

“I knew you could have hair implants but did not know a moustache was possible,” he said.

He paid about Dh9,000 for the procedure and said he was happy with the result. His facial hair has increased by about 40 per cent.

“My wife says I look better although she does not know I have had an implant,” he said. “I thought she would notice and ask me about the change, but she only thought I have let my beard grow.”

Dr Riad Roomi, a specialist plastic and hair restoration surgeon at the You New Plastic Surgery Clinic, which is affiliated with Vinci Hair Clinic, said moustache implants were not common at his clinic in Dubai.

“There is an average of one patient every month or two,” he said.

His clients are mainly Emiratis, Saudis and Indians. Many want a beard implant.

But Dr Roomi said patients who wanted his help had little or no facial hair because of genetic or hormonal problems.

“Nobody comes in with a normal moustache and wants to add on,” Dr Roomi said.

The cost for a moustache implant in Dubai is about Dh7,000, and up to Dh20,000 for a beard implant.

Dr Roomi said moustaches were still a sign of masculinity, especially among Arabs. He recalled the case of a young Egyptian man from a rural area who sought an implant.

“He had left his home village and came to work in Saudi, as he could no longer live with the pressure of not having a moustache.”

Moustache trends in the UAE come and go
Wafa Issa
The National (Abu Dhabi)
November 05, 2012


In the Arab world, the moustache has historically played an essential role in a man`s composition and shaving it was forbidden

“A moustache for the Arabs is part of manhood. It had a value, even for a small child,” said Dr Ahmed Alomosh, professor of applied sociology at Sharjah University. “It was an important symbol of power and it was a taboo to remove it.

“This concept in Arab culture goes back to thousands of years, even before Islam, when the moustache was one of the main characteristics of a man.

“Not only the moustache was important, but also its size.”

But the region has gone through a transformation and time has changed the concept of what is acceptable.

“With the westernisation of the culture, about four decades ago, the concept changed and it became beautiful not to have a moustache,” Dr Alomosh said. “From a societal point of view, not having a moustache is still a preference for the youth.”

Moustache trends have come and gone in the UAE.

“Before the 1960s, men in the UAE had to have both a beard and a moustache, while in the 1960s and 1970s the beard disappeared while men kept their moustache,” said Dr Hamad bin Sarai, associate professor of history and archaeology at UAE University. “In the 1980s and 1990s men started with not having both.”

Egyptian candidates use their beards to lure votes
Bradley Hope
The National (Abu Dhabi)
April 15, 2012

A woman walks under an electoral banner for the Al-Nour (the largest Salafi political party) in the City of the Dead, known as al-Arafa, in Cairo November 27, 2011. REUTERS.

Just before Khairat Al Shater declared his bid for the presidency, he shaved off his moustache.

It was perhaps the first explicit confirmation of a new era of beard politics dawning in Egypt, where candidates for political office use facial hair to subtly persuade voters of their character.

Mr Al Shater`s gesture has positioned the Islamist as a man who straddles the divide between the moderate members of the Muslim Brotherhood - of which he is the deputy leader - and the more conservative Salafists, who often wear beards without moustaches in the belief that it is what the Prophet Mohammed wore in the 6th and 7th centuries.

Mr Al Shater, a prominent businessman who was arrested several times by the Hosni Mubarak regime for his work with the Muslim Brotherhood, remained as a behind-the-scenes power broker until his candidacy for president. He has now emerged as one of the front-runners in the elections scheduled for next month.

“Khairat Al Shater is a good merchant, a good businessman,” said Mohamed Ashoub, the famed hairdresser and make-up artist for Egyptian cinema who had in the past prepared Mr Mubarak`s hair and make-up for TV appearances. “He knows what sells.”

A follicle-deep analysis of the 23 candidates for the presidency - several of whom may be disqualified pending lawsuits - reveals a spectrum of hairstyles. Mr Ashoub said each candidate`s choice gave hints about their personality.

Omar Suleiman, the former intelligence chief of Mubarak who wears a thin moustache, is “stubborn and mysterious”, he said. Amr Moussa`s longer salt and pepper cut had the air of a “socialite”. The closely trimmed white hair and shaved face of Mohammed Selim Al Awa, an Islamic constitutional scholar, “longs for power”.

And Hazem Salah Abu Ismail, the Salafist lawyer who has by far the longest and whitest beard, wears a “mask of spirituality”, Mr Ashoub said.

Whether Mr Al Shater purposely shaved his moustache to appear more palatable to the Salafist vote is up for debate. When his campaign posters debuted on March 31, an image of Mr Al Shater appeared with a wise grin and hairless upper lip, superimposed over an Egyptian flag. Before that, images showed a thin moustache.

Mr Al Shater did not respond to an inquiry sent to his email address about the trim.

H A Hellyer, a geostrategic analyst in Cairo, said it was “plausibly” a political move.

“Shater may have shaven his moustache to appeal to those Salafis who think to do so is religiously meritorious - even though there exists a difference of opinion among Salafis in general in that respect,” he said.

Sameh El Shahat, an Egyptian who advises on brand identity as the president of the London- and China-based risk consultancy China-I Ltd, said piety is becoming a salient political issue in Egypt and “therefore an important factor in the image of politicians”.

For Egypt`s two largest political parties, religion is “their manifesto and coming across as devout is an important part of their image, if not the most important”, Mr El Shahat said from London.

Striking a chord with voters on a personal level has become vital in the months of campaigning before the presidential elections expected to be held on May 23 and 24. The removal of the Mubarak regime left a “gaping vacuum of public and political identity” to be filled, said Charles Holmes, a consultant at the US-based political risk firm Marcher International who has done extensive work in Egypt.

What is clear is that there will be little time for extensive debate about the political platforms of each candidate, he said. The parliamentary elections that started last November and finished in February showed that candidates could still be successful, even if they were political novices without firm views on the most pressing issues for Egypt. The Salafist Al Nour Party, for instance, won about a quarter of the seats in the elections without a clear agenda.

In some ways, Mr Holmes said, the Islamists have the easiest job when it comes to connecting with voters because of their “ready-made identity”, referring to the use of religious slogans and signs of piety through their appearance.

Saudi Men Spend Fortune on Hair Transplants
UNI (United News of India)
October 14, 2008

Dubai, Oct 14 (UNI) Saudi men spend some 720 million Saudi Riyal (Rs eight billion) every year on hair transplants, with five out of every ten people in the Kingdom undergoing the procedure in their lives. Quoting Dr Muhammed Abu Shwarib, an expert in hair transplantation from Banan Medical Center in Riyadh, Al-Hayat Arabic daily reported that young Saudis regularly visit clinics not only for head hair transplants but for transplants to their chests and eyebrows. Others seek hair for the moustache and beard.

Hair transplants can be done quickly with few side effects. Areas that have undergone transplantation may need to be bandaged overnight, but one can expect to return to normal activities within a day, Al-Hayat daily added. Strenuous activities are to be avoided during the first few days after the surgery, as on rare occasions implants can be ejected from the scalp.

The rate of baldness in the Kingdom is higher than in Europe, something which attributed to the popularity of headwear such as baseball caps and the traditional Arab headdress, as well as the type of water used in washing.

© Copyright 2008. UNI. All rights reserved.


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