Medicalised Masculinities in Turkey and Iran: Eigensinn of Hair in Hair Transplantation

Journal Article, Somatechnics, with Melike Şahinol, 2021.

LINK ︎︎︎

Growing cultural enthusiasm for cosmetic surgery and the techno-medical modification of the body have had a considerable impact on men in recent years making it the driving force behind the medicalisation of masculinities.1 Among the top five cosmetic procedures most frequently chosen by men are laser hair removal in the category of cosmetic minimally invasive procedures and hair transplantation in the category of cosmetic surgical procedures.2 Turkey is the world’s leading destination for medical services and a leading country of medical tourism. Its beauty tourism is particularly noteworthy making the country attractive for ‘demand-oriented’ and ‘wish-fulfilling’ cosmetic procedures for the West, the Middle East as well as locals. With a special emphasis on the somatechnics of shaping men’s hair, this article analyses the currents of hair transplantation practices and after-care in shaping masculinities in Turkey and its regional competitor Iran. By building on the existing literature, we extend the discussion on male haircare with hair as the bios as part of emerging socio-bio-technical entities.

Keywords: hair transplantation, Turkey, Iran, medicalised masculinities, biomedicalisation

1. Syzmczak, Julia E. and Peter Conrad (2006), ‘Medicalizing the aging male body: Andropause and baldness’ in Dana Rosenfeld and Christopher A. Faircloth (eds.), Medicalized Masculinities, Philadelphia: Temple University Press, pp. 89–111.

2. American Society of Plastic Surgeons (2019), ‘2018 Plastic Surgery Statistics Report’ [online], available from:, accessed 22 July 2020.

“Medicalised Masculinities in Turkey and Iran: The Eigensinn of Hair in Hair Transplantation”, with Melike Şahinol in Somatechnics 11 (1), pp. 48 — 67. doi: 10.3366/soma.2021.0339. 2021.

This work was supported by the large-scale ‘Knowledge Unbound: Internationalisation, Networking, Innovation in and by the Max Weber Stiftung’ research project, funded by German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF).

For detailed information on the project, please visit: ︎︎︎