Measuring 6 feet 3, with chiseled pecs and a bushy beard, George seemed like a model of manliness. Yet two years ago the 47-year-old Virginia businessman (who declined to give his full name to protect his privacy) decided he didn't look quite macho enough. So he went to see Dr. Jeffrey Epstein, a Miami hair-restoration surgeon, to have 3,000 hair follicles ripped from his scalp and transplanted into his face, chest and belly. He wasn't satisfied. So a year later he returned to get an additional 2,400 grafts done. "I could still have another surgery and not be completely covered," says George today. "I'm very pleased, but 2,400 grafts is not a very hairy chest."If you want to alter your appearance to appear more manly, don't do it like a sissy. Do it some traditional 'retrosexual' way -- like weight lifting, chopping wood, fist fighting, going to war, chain-smoking, or suffering an industrial accident. I know lots of people who have plenty of body hair, and it doesn't make them look especially manly. A surfeit of hair pales in comparison to a scar, or a lost digit or two.
George's quest for maximum hirsuteness isn't as unusual as it may sound. He's part of a growing group of "retrosexuals"—men who shun metrosexuality, with its often feminine esthetic, in favor of old-school masculinity. Cosmetic and hair-transplant surgeons on both coasts report increases in patients seeking a more rugged look: hairier chests and beards, squarer chins, more angular jaw lines. Dr. Paul Nassif, a well-known Beverly Hills plastic surgeon, has noticed the change in the photos patients bring in to show him their ideal image. A few years ago "they were bringing in a pretty-boy look," he says. Now, though, the requests are different: " 'Give me a big, strong, manlier chin'," he says...
On the cosmetic front, some surgeons say that men are also asserting their manliness through rhinoplasty, or nose jobs, asking for a more pronounced proboscis. Among them is Mike Love, 20, of Arizona. Last year he underwent surgery to pare down what he considered an oversize snout and to achieve "facial harmony," as he puts it. But what he ended up with, he says, was "too small, almost feminine." So Love now has a second surgery scheduled for November. He's much happier with the new version of his nose that he's been promised. "It looks more masculine," he says. "It's much more suited for my face." Unless, of course, the next fad to sweep in causes him to reconsider.
If you're one of those who wants to get that 'manly look,' drop me an E-mail. I'll be glad to sell you some of my back hair -- or just chop off one of your fingers. Whatever it takes to help you impress the girl of your dreams.