Worth Every Dime: Columnist Joel Stein Shares His Bosley Experience in GQ Magazine

Humor Columnist Joel Stein recounts his hair transplant procedure with Bosley Medical in the latest issue of GQ Magazine (January 2015 issue). Read the full article.

Like many people, TIME columnist Joel Stein believed that considering a hair transplant procedure was a sign of male vanity. He used Minoxidil, but only experienced a slight improvement in his hairline from continued use. He wanted a more effective solution to his hair loss, so he consulted with his wife and close friends before making the decision to move forward with a hair transplant procedure.

Originally Stein believed that losing his hair wouldn’t have any noticeable impact on his daily life since he was already in a committed, long-term relationship. “What I soon realized though, was that I wasn’t just balding. I was balding in a particularly bad way: from the front, in a backward march to the top of my head.” He stated that losing the hair in the front of his head was difficult to disguise, and despite his best efforts to find a hair style that would camouflage the thinning, he was unable to get good results.

Stein had his consultation and surgery at Bosley’s headquarters in Beverly Hills, CA. His physician Dr. Suddleson recommended a 1,600 graft Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) procedure. The night before his scheduled surgery, Stein began to feel anxious about having the procedure. “I had that fight-or-flight adrenaline spike that reduces your peripheral vision and makes everything super-focused,” he recalls. “I didn’t want to be known as the guy with bad plugs. My freak-out was so intense and annoying that Cassandra (my wife) suggested I call and postpone.”

Despite his initial fears, Stein proceeded with his scheduled hair transplant surgery, noting that “it was, by far, the easiest medical procedure I’ve ever been through.”

Now, about a year later, he is very pleased with his Bosley results. “It was kind of like magic – just from sitting in a chair for a few hours, I suddenly had my hair back”.

Read the full article at GQ.com

See more before and after photos of hair transplant patients in the Bosley Interactive Gallery.


Related Articles:

Comparing Hair Transplantation Methods – FUE & FUT

Why Hair Transplantation?

Choosing a Hair Transplant Physician

Comparing Hair Transplantation Methods – FUE & FUT

The main difference between of a hair transplant procedure and any other hair restoration solution is the permanence and results. A hair transplant procedure provides results that look and feel so natural, no one should be able to tell if one has had the procedure done. Recent advances in medical technology have not only made the dream of restoring ones hair a reality, but made the dream of natural-looking results the presumed norm.

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Today, hair transplant physicians are able to make use of different techniques to extract and transplant large numbers of hair follicles (follicular units). There are two primary techniques for hair transplantation currently in use. The FUE (Follicular Unit Extraction) and the FUT (Follicular Unit Transplantation) methods. They differ primarily in the way hair follicles are extracted from the donor area.

Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUT)

The FUT process involves removing a small strip of tissue from the back of the head, from which the donor hair follicles will be extracted. The hair follicles are harvested from the strip by a skilled clinical team before being individually transplanted to the recipient areas. In most cases, and especially cases of advanced hair loss, FUT is the preferred method because it allows the physician to fully utilize the scalp area to deliver results consistent with patient expectations. FUT typically allows for the greatest number of grafts to be transplanted in a single session.

Pain Management

Some patients report higher levels of discomfort with FUT procedures compared to FUE due the potential swelling in the area where the strip of tissue was removed, but both methods have a very manageable recovery period and pain medication can be prescribed by your physician if needed. Both techniques of hair transplantation are relatively simple. Hair transplantation procedures are outpatient surgeries with some patients going back to work as soon as the very next day.


The FUT strip extraction method typically results in a very narrow linear scar in the back of the head (typically 1mm in diameter or less in size). Since the scar is very thin, it’s easily concealed by all but the shortest of haircut styles. A short to moderate crop setting on most clippers is sufficient to conceal the scar for the majority of patients, and over time the scar will become less noticeable as it fades.


The industry norm for pricing is on a per-graft basis. This allows each individual to pay for only what they need and receive in number of grafts, and not a flat rate that in the end may cost you more. The per-graft cost of a FUT procedure is generally lower than that of a FUE procedure. Lately however, in response to the rising popularity of the FUE technique, many hair transplantation clinics have started lowering the per graft cost on FUE procedures, so that the cost difference between the two types of procedure are not as much as most people think. The costs of medical procedures always vary by patients’ conditions, needs and objectives. For the most accurate assessment of your hair loss and the associated cost of your hair restoration, you will need to speak to a physician.

Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE)

In an FUE hair transplantation, each follicular unit is individually taken directly from the scalp with no strip of tissue being removed. Hair follicles are removed in a random fashion and the result is less density in the donor area that many say is not even noticeable. This is the main difference between FUE & FUT. Since follicles are removed one at a time, fewer follicles can be harvested during a typical session, making FUE a better option to restore hair in smaller cases (number of grafts) compared to the traditional FUT method. FUE is constantly evolving and what was once utilized for only smaller cases is now being utilized for larger and larger cases. Some people that prefer the FUE method may have the option of splitting their procedure into two days in order to complete their recommended transplantation goals.

Pain Management

With no stitches required and no linear scar left to heal, FUE procedures do have a faster healing time and less post-procedure discomfort compared to the traditional FUT procedure.


Since FUE procedures involve removing hairs individually from the scalp, there is no linear scar left behind. However, there will be tiny 1mm in diameter or less puncture marks that tend to heal by themselves after scabbing-over in the days following the procedure. These tiny wounds typically heal within three to seven days.


Since the physician must remove each hair follicle individually, the time-sensitive nature of an FUE procedure typically makes it more expensive than an FUT procedure. As stated earlier, FUE technology is improving as well as gaining popularity and many hair restoration practices (including Bosley) have started to lower the cost per graft price for FUE procedures. Nowadays, the cost difference between a FUE and a FUT procedures is less disparate.

Choosing a Hair Transplant Method

During your initial consultation, the physician will determine which transplantation method is best for you based on your hair loss classification, the size of the thinning area, quality and quantity of your available donor hair. Schedule a consultation today and determine which hair transplantation method is best for you.


Learn More

Why Hair Transplantation?

Hair Loss Treatment for Men & Women

Bosley Hair Restoration Options


Are You a Good Candidate for Hair Transplant Surgery?

Just like we tend to take our youth and health for granted, most of us assume that our shapely eyebrows and full heads of hair will stay with us for the rest of our lives. The truth is that many people will experience hair loss due to a variety of causes such as simple genetics, aging, or other lifestyle factors, during their lifetime.

Fortunately, advances in medical science have made it possible for eligible patients of hair loss, especially hereditary hair loss, i.e. male and female pattern baldness, to undergo hair transplant surgery to restore lost hair and regain their youthful appearance.

Is hair transplantation right for you? With a number of factors that influence candidacy, having a clear understanding of the procedure will help you and your consulting physician make the appropriate determination.

What is Hair Transplantation?

Hair transplantation surgery has been around for over 60 years. Traditional hair transplantation (also known as Follicular Unit Transplant) involves the removal of a narrow strip of hair from an area of the head (usually the back of the head) and transplanting these hair follicles onto the thinning and bald areas of the head. The hair follicles harvested from the donor area are resistant to the hormone Dihydrotestosterone (DHT), which is the hormone most responsible for progressive hair loss. When transplanted, these follicles will continue to grow naturally.

The hair transplant procedure is typically performed under local anesthesia, making it a pretty simple outpatient procedure. Many Bosley patients return to work the next day. Depending on the extent of the hair loss and amount of grafts to be transplanted, the procedure can take anywhere from four to eight hours.

Are There Any Risks or Side Effects?

As with any surgical procedure, undergoing hair transplant surgery comes with a minor risk of infection and bleeding. Some patients report minor discomfort due to swelling in the transplant area, but this is easily managed with medication and cold compresses from your hair transplant physician and usually passes quickly. Some patients may experience inflammation or infection of the hair follicles around the time new hair begins to grow, most often as a result of ingrown hairs. Aside from the normal swelling and minor discomfort, there are no known side effects from the procedure.

What Makes a Good Hair Transplant Candidate?

Most people can undergo a hair transplant procedure with no problems, but there are a few traits that physicians look for in patients before recommending the procedure. Here are a few things your doctor will discuss with you during your consultation to determine your candidacy for hair transplant surgery.


Technically a person can undergo a hair transplant at any age, but there are some precautions that must be considered for very young people looking to restore their hairline. “We’re very, very careful in patients under the age of 18. We want them to be fully mature, we want to see what the pattern is evolving into” notes Dr. David Deutsch of Bosley Medical Beverly Hills. “The most important thing is to make sure that the patient has proper expectations about what their hair loss is going to be in the future. A lot of young patients want a very low hairline just like it was when they were kids, and that’s not going to be realistic.”

Younger patients have immature hair loss, which means their hair loss will continue to progress as they age. Having a hair transplant too early may require multiple procedures in the future to maintain natural looking results as the hair loss continues to progress over time. Patients over the age of 30 are the best candidates as their hair loss pattern has been well established and the hair transplant is more likely to stay natural looking over the years.

Health Conditions

Before considering any type of surgical procedure, patients must first be healthy enough to undergo a medical procedure and have a heathy immune system. Serious medical conditions should be treated and resolved before surgery to reduce the risk of complications post-procedure. If you have a chronic health condition like diabetes or are prescribed medications that may adversely affect your results (like blood thinners), be sure to discuss your situation with your hair transplant surgeon so a customized treatment plan can be created for you.


Making healthy lifestyle choices like eating a balanced diet, exercising often, and avoiding stress not only help us feel better, but are also key factors in the success of a hair transplant. Making healthy choices every day boosts your immune system which means less recovery time, less swelling, and a lower risk of infection for hair transplant patients. Keep your body in top condition by staying hydrated, eating a balanced diet, and getting enough sleep each night.

Hair Loss Classification

Another important factor for hair transplant candidacy is the severity of the hair loss, or the amount of donor hair that is available to transplant to thinning areas of the head. With the most severe hair loss classifications (Class 3 on the Ludwig Scale for women and Class 7 on the Norwood Scale for men), the amount of donor hair available will determine the results that can be expected from a hair transplant procedure. Consult a Bosley counselor to get an idea of your hair loss classification and if you would like more details about your hair restoration options.

Commitment to Aftercare

Your commitment to following the aftercare instructions from your physician is one of the most important factors that will predict the success of your hair transplant procedure. Following the aftercare instructions correctly will reduce your risk of infection, reduce your recovery time, and keep discomfort to a minimum. Once your scalp has fully recovered from the outpatient procedure, in a few months’ time you’ll be able to enjoy the hair transplant results. The transplanted hairs will grow naturally, just like the rest of your hair.

Next Steps

Follow these steps to assess your candidacy for a hair transplant procedure:

1) Conduct preliminary research to understand what hair transplant surgery entails and make a personal assessment of your hair loss situation using the Norwood Scale for men or the Ludwig scale for women.

2) Speak to your family doctor to rule out any underlying medical conditions or medications that may be contributing to your hair loss. Make sure your immune system is not compromised and you are cleared to undergo an out-patient cosmetic procedure.

3) Schedule a free consultation with a Bosley counselor or/and hair transplant physician to review your overall health, the nature of your hair loss, the speed at which you are losing your hair, and the results you can expect after your procedure.

It’s important that you work with your hair transplant physician to set realistic expectations about what results you expect from your procedure. A typical hair transplant takes a few hours to perform and several months to show positive results. Depending on the extent of your hair loss and your desired results, you may need more than one procedure. Have an open discussion with your surgeon to make an informed decision. Contact a Bosley office to schedule a free consultation to discuss your hair restoration options.

Learn More:

Hair Transplant FAQs

Healthy Hair Tips

Choosing a Hair Transplant Physician

Common Household Items That May Cause Hair Loss

Every household likely uses a variety of items containing chemicals for cleaning and gardening. Some of these chemicals can cause some health issues, including hair loss if ingested or in some cases, on contact. Heavy metals or heavy toxins like lead, mercury, iron, and copper can be found in paints, electrical work, arts and crafts, or any other activity that may create metal fillings. Common household pesticides can contain arsenic or formaldehyde, which can also affect your overall health and the health of your hair.


In order to prevent accidental ingestion, it is important to always keep any toxins stored away from pets and children and to always take the proper precautions when using harsh chemicals. If you think you may have ingested a toxic material, call your local poison control center or emergency center for information. Most toxins can extremely dangerous, even in small quantities. If you think your hair loss is caused by chemical ingestion or toxic contact, we suggest that you seek your physician to identify the causes and possible treatments.

If you find that hair loss persists even after you lay off these chemicals, there is a good chance that your hair loss is hereditary, stress related or is a symptom of another ailment. Your doctor should be able to provide a diagnosis on what is causing your hair loss.

Bosley has been the leader in hair restoration since 1974. We treat men and women, from all over the world, who suffer from progressive hair loss. To find out which treatment option is right for you, request a FREE guide to hair restoration  or schedule a free, private consultation with Bosley today.  During this consultation, a Bosley counselor and/or physician can help you understand your hair loss and the available treatment options.

Bosley Donates to Breast Cancer Research Foundation In Support of Breast Cancer Awareness

One of Bosley’s core values is to give back to our communities by participating in Good Works projects.  For the month of October, Bosley contributed a portion of our revenue off procedures to the fight against breast cancer.

Bosley would like to thank entire team for their efforts in meeting our goal and donating $30,000 to Breast Cancer Research Foundation, in support of breast cancer research and awareness.


Armen Markarian, CEO, Rob Spurrell, COO & Dr. Ken Washenik, Chief Medical Director, present Bosley’s donation to Breast Cancer Research Foundation (October 2014)