A Hair-Raising Experience

Syracuse New Times

The first publicly owned hair transplant in American history

A few weeks ago, I announced that I’d be visiting the Great Doctor Kim, who operates an amazing, new (to this area) anti-baldness machine. Good to my word, I have since consulted the Harvard-educated healer and his crackerjack staff at the Natural Face Center in East Syracuse. Suddenly, my future looks shiny and bright.

Empowered by an outpouring of reader support (I’ve already raised $10 toward the procedure!), I’ll soon be sprouting the first publicly owned hair transplant in American history.

Everyone has locks and locks of questions, so let’s get to them:

Q: What the ^%$?, Jeff? You’re already incredibly handsome and manly as a bald individual. Why change?

A: Because this isn’t about me. As society becomes increasingly sensitive to various cultures and groups, one glaring exception remains. It’s still acceptable to mock male pattern baldness. My desire is to send a message to the afflicted: Alopecia hereditaria is no longer a curse or a disease — it’s a choice.

Q: You believe that, as a bald man, you’ve been treated unfairly by society?

A: Absolutely. A few years ago I attended the Great New York State Fair twice in the same day, once as a bald individual, the other time wearing a wig. Guess which “Jeff” attracted more members of the opposite sex? Received a more upbeat tarot card reading? And guess which Jeff was treated like a three-legged llama with mites? Do I have to draw you a follicle map?

Q: What makes Dr. Kim’s technique special?

A: Previous hair transplantation involved harvesting clumps or strips from the back of the head and embedding them on top like dead nuisance rodents. Dr. Kim and his totally awesome NeoGraft machine harvest individual follicles, thereby eliminating unsightly bare patches and allowing for a precise, pleasing restoration of the hairline. Only local anesthesia is required, and perhaps a Valium. Maybe a quart of gin. A wheelbarrow full of medical marijuana would not be unthinkable. Six hours later, it will be done, and my life will begin anew.

Q: Can hair from other parts of your body, such as the Zone of Mystery, be used?

A: In theory, yes, but Dr. Kim won’t do it. After scrounging around the back of my head, he concluded that he can harvest up to 1,000 follicles. Twice that number would be ideal, so I’ll still be a trifle exposed on top, but at least helicopters will stop trying to land there.

Q: How much will the procedure cost, and how will you pay for it?

A: The fee is $8,500, but don’t worry. It won’t come out of my pocket. Already my FundRazr campaign (expires May 28) has raised $5 (Thanks, Todd!), plus Terri in Dr. Kim’s office donated $5. To close the $8,490 gap, I’m offering readers a remarkable opportunity: to personally own one or more of my replanted follicles.

Q: How will that work?

A: A friend suggested that if you can buy naming rights to a star, why not sell ownership of harvested follicles? So that’s what we’re doing. For just $8.50, you can own one of my relocated follicles. You’ll receive a beautiful email certificate that includes a map showing the location of “your” follicle — or follicles if you want to make a bigger dent.

Q: Can I purchase follicles now?

A: Currently we are accepting only orders, but no money. Email to [email protected] and tell me how many follicles you want. Act fast. Supplies are limited.

Q: What if someone reneges on their pledge?

A: Unwise. The NeoGraft is a hand-held, modified vacuum system and drilling punch. Under the expert guidance of Dr. Kim, it’s a tool for good. But imagine if the NeoGraft were to fall into the hands of a large, semi-anesthetized patient who had just been informed, mid-procedure, that some donations didn’t materialize, so now his 1,000-follicle hair transplant must be abandoned at, say, follicle No. 378. Would such a person — delirious from anxiety, half-crazed with scalp inflammation — be expected to follow the NeoGraft operating manual to the letter during the heated collections process? Please bare in mind that bald people have feelings, and some of those feelings are not healthy.


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