|Man with huge mustache illustration|
There is a growing trend in the Middle East, for men to undergo a procedure to obtain a perfect mustache, according to reports.
Thick, handsome mustaches have always been very popular with people throughout the Middle East, as a symbol of male virility, wisdom and maturity.
However, not all mustaches are created equal, and in recent years, a growing number of Middle Eastern men have been going under the knife to get the perfect mustache.
Turkish plastic surgeon, Selahattin Tulunay, said that the number of mustache implants he performed has exploded in recent years.
Now, he is performing 50 to 60 procedures per month. Patients come mostly from the Middle East and travel to Turkey as medical tourists.
He said that his patients generally want thick mustaches, as they feel that they make them look mature and dignified.
"For some men who are young and junior, they think mustaches are needed to make them look more professional and prudent," he said. "They think it's prestige."
Pierre Bouhanna is a Paris-based surgeon, who over the past five years, has been conducting an increasing number of mustache implants. He said that most of his patients come from the United Arab Emirates, Iran, Lebanon and Turkey, with some men traveling to France, to have the surgery performed.
"My impression is that they increasingly want to establish their masculine aspect," he said. "They want a strong mustache."
Both surgeons use a technique called FUE, in which groups of hairs are taken from areas of dense hair growth to be implanted in the mustache.
Bouhanna said that patients generally were aged between 30 and 50 years, and were able to fly home the day after having the procedure done, which costs about $7,000. It is performed under local anesthesia.
They are able to wash the next day, have to refrain from shaving for 15 days, and could expect to see the full results after six months.