Raisin’ Hair

Foiling genetics with new surgical technology.

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Will new-sown dome (right) bear fruit?

When I was a boy, my dad told me that three things are inevitable in our family: death, taxes, and male pattern baldness. Like most sons, I’m forever trying to prove him wrong. That’s why, 30 years later, I decided to get a hair transplant.

But not any old hair transplant. Certainly not one like my buddy Brad’s — he wound up with unsightly clumps sprouting from his scalp. Nor one like friend John’s, which led to days of suffering: “The anesthesia made my face swell up like Quasimodo,” he says.

I ended up in the Miami offices of Dr. Jeffrey Epstein, who uses a technique so new, he says, that fewer than 100 doctors offer it nationwide. Even better, Epstein uses a tool that greatly reduces pain and swelling.

After I settle into a comfy chair (and the Valium kicks in), Epstein carves a thin, hairy chunk of scalp from the back of my head. Technicians then dissect out hundreds of hair follicles — which look like tiny lumps of skin surrounded by rings of fat — each capable of growing up to four hairs.

Next, Epstein pricks my noggin with a high-tech wand that delivers a precise amount of anesthesia. I barely feel a thing when he takes jeweler’s forceps and begins implanting the follicles one by one like daisies. Over 5 hours, Epstein implants some 1,923 follicles that should generate 4,483 new hairs.

Only question left: Will it work? I’ll know in five months, as the new follicles settle in. Firsthand will monitor my beezer for a few issues to see what happens. So will my dad.