What’s up with comic book legend Stan Lee’s hairline? I’ve been watching a show he hosts on History Channel and his hairline is bugging me. Is it a flap or something? It looks like there’s a white line right around the edge of it. It’s a very unusual shape, but if it was a flap wouldn’t the color on top be the same as on the sides? I guess he could dye it though. What do you think?
Years ago, there were a variety of surgeries that produced many deformities in people that wanted to get hair. They were courageous enough to “lead the pack” of people getting hair transplants, but the worst of the deformities were the old plugs (pencil size grouping of hairs put into corn rows that looked like doll’s hair).
Since I entered the hair restoration field 20 year ago, I have treated many men who had these procedures in the 1950s – 1990s. Most of these men sought a fix-it solution, with the two most effective being:
- Excision of the grafts where the hair in these big plugs was removed and then divided into follicular units and then re-transplanted
- Camouflage the plugs with natural hair placed in front to hide and bury the grafts if the plugs were high on the head
Fortunately, many of the old plugs did not have even a 50% survival of the hairs, so the impact was benefited from the poor techniques of those original transplants. Despite this, the skin from the transplanted grafts lived, creating a cobblestone effect on the scalp that added to the ‘dolls head’ deformities. These unfortunate pioneer recipients of hair transplants suffered ridicule by everyone — their friends talked behind their backs, and those who were in the public eye were tagged with not-so-pleasant names. One celebrity that comes to mind told me that comedians were very cruel with their jokes about his hair plugs. In the first 10 years of my practice in this business, I performed hair restoration repairs on many men, making great friends along the way, including this one particular celebrity whose nightmare ended after the transplants grew.
Based on some photos I’ve seen using Google Image Search, I believe that Stan Lee had some corrective surgery to fix what might have been the old type of plugs. There’s a high-resolution photo here. The scar in front on the left side and the imbalance between the two sides suggest this to me. If I were to see him and could find enough hair still present, I would excise the plugs that remain and rebuild a new hairline in the normal position. With his white hair, this should be relatively easy.