Lil Nas X (and His Weave) Are Normalizing Hair Enhancements for Men

Let's talk about it, shall we?

Lil Nas X

 Lil Nas X

When women dye, cut, or add extensions to their hair, it's considered a normal part of their beauty routines. From quick weaves to elaborate and expensive wigs, the options are endless—and openly talked about. Men, on the other hand, have been on the quieter side when it comes to hair enhancements—but it's 2020, and we've seen a new generation embrace their hair transformations and do it publicly.

"With body-positive messages growing in popularity, men are taking steps to normalize hair treatments and destigmatize what has been very hush hush for years," L.A.-based celebrity hairstylist, Matthew Collins tells Byrdie exclusively. "Celebrities know that the normalization of hair enhancements for so many men, who suffer with very low self-esteem due to baldness, must start with them."

Celebrities know that the normalization of hair enhancements for so many men, who suffer with very low self-esteem due to baldness, must start with them.

Thanks to modern technology, the options for male hair enhancements are on the rise and men could not be happier says Collins.

"The technology has risen and the prices have dropped significantly," Collins shares. "You can have a full head of hair for less money than a great vacation. I have personally seen the confidence boost in friends and it was exponential. Anything that can make someone’s self-esteem grow so much should be normalized by all—especially when it’s almost impossible to tell someone had it done unless you're looking at a before and after picture."

He adds, "Other than offering alternatives for those going bald prematurely, [male hair enhancements] also offered an avenue for men to use their hair as an expression of style."

From visiting hair transplant surgeons to enlisting the help of celebrity hairstylists to make realistic lace front wigs, men are spending major dollars to achieve the hair they’ve always desired—and now, someo of the most-followed men on Instagram are normalizing the conversation. Ahead, we speak with a few of the professionals behind the celebrity male hair enhancements you're seeing on your Instagram feed.

Lil Nas X
Lil Nas

Braided Extensions (Weave)

  • Price: $75-$500
  • How Long It Lasts: One to four weeks

Lil Nas X recently made headlines when he posted a photo showing off his freshly done feed-in braids. “Y’all mind if I wear weave one time,” the "Old Town Road" rapper playfully captioned the photo.  According to the entertainer’s braider Britney Thomas, this won’t be the last time we see Lil Nas X rocking a creative hairstyle. "I love working with Lil Nas X because he’s fun and open to trying new things," Thomas tells Byrdie about the braided extensions that took about an hour to complete.

Revealing she recently got him to try feed-in cornrows for other editorial features, the hairstylist continues, "The only requirement was that it looked as natural as possible."

Tekashi6ix9ine
Tekashi6ix9ine

Custom Wigs

  • Price: $500-$15,000
  • How Long It Lasts: 2-4 Weeks

Tekashi69 will pay any cost for a perfectly colored wig. The flashy rapper recently confessed that he spends a whopping $15,000 on his custom colored lace-front units by celebrity hairstylist, Jonathan Wright.  "He gets paid the most,” the rapper revealed during a recent interview with The Shade Room. “I pay Jonathan $15k every time he comes out."

We caught up with the Houston hairstylist and he confirmed the details. "Yes, he does actually spend that amount each time, and sometimes even more,” Wright shares with Byrdie exclusively. “He gets wigs every two weeks from me."

Aside from getting hair enhancements for self-expression, more men are also being open about the treatments they get to counteract early-onset male pattern baldness. See a few of the most common treatments below.

Tyga
Tyga

Hair Transplants (Treatment Names Vary)

  • Price: $4K-$15K
  • How Long It Lasts: Within one year to 18 months, patients will see the full results.  

No need for speculation because Tyga openly confirmed he also used hair-loss expert Dr. Ziering to repair his receding hairline. The "Ayy Macarena" rapper even advertised his go-to guy on Twitter. "The [plug]. Tellem Tyga sent you," he tweeted in April 2018.

Although the surgeon could not divulge specific details about the exact surgery Tyga underwent, we were able to get some information about hair transplants. 

Commonly sought-out treatments are Follicular Unit Excision and Extraction (FUE) and Follicular Unit Strip Surgery (FUSS), which are some of the most effective and commonly requested types of hair transplants.

"While we perform a full range of non-surgical hair treatments, transplantation is the most common hair loss procedure performed by myself and my team of surgeons. We perform one-a-day in our practices, but it comes in a variety of forms," Dr. Ziering explains to Byrdie.

Transplantation is the most common hair loss procedure performed by myself and my team of surgeons.

According to the hair transplant specialist, choosing between FUE and FUSS narrows down between hair type and type of hair loss, as well as, preference. 

"If a very short hairstyle is preferred, then Follicular Unit Excision and Extraction (FUE) is recommended. This procedure is commonly recommended when a patient does not need as many grafts harvested for their procedure. During an FUE procedure, the back of the head is shaved short and the hair grafts are harvested one-at-a-time. Hair grafts are then transplanted into the recipient sites created by the surgeon. African American men who wear their hair super close to the scalp may prefer this method [to avoid keloid scarring]," Dr. Ziering tells us.

"Microscopic Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUSS), which refers to Strip Harvest Surgery, is the process by which a strip of tissue is removed from the donor zone. It is then placed under a microscope before the follicular units are separated into their naturally occurring groupings," he explains. "Most women prefer FUSS because only a narrow strip across the back of the head is shaved short to remove a strip of tissue, which is slivered and dissected into the individual follicular units of one to four hairs. The incision is then sutured together leaving a very fine, undetectable linear scar that is hidden by your hair."

Tory Lanez
Tory Lanez

Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP)

  • Price: $500-$2,000
  • How Long It Lasts: Within one year to 18 months, patients will see the full results.  

Rapper Tory Lanez also enlisted the help of celebrity hair transplant surgeon, Dr. Craig L. Ziering of Ziering Medical for his hair transformation. In multiple interviews, Lanez shared that he had Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) therapy, a process that injects the patient’s blood into their scalp with the goal to restore hair growth. 

We spoke to Dr. Ziering, and he was able to provide helpful insight into the world of Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP). It's a three-step medical treatment in which a person's own blood is drawn, processed, and injected into the scalp over a series of 4-6 treatments to help induce hair growth. 

"With all patients, we are holistic and offer the supplements, topicals, LED/laser, and injection therapies that will support their best outcome," Dr. Ziering explains to us exclusively about the customized treatment to create a perfect hairline. "We assess on a case by case basis to match each individual patient."

Sharing that the most common feedback he receives from clients is genuine appreciation, Dr. Ziering adds that most of his celebrity clientele comes from word of mouth and referrals.

"We have had a range of high profile patients from athletes and actors, to musicians who have discussed their procedures and showcased their successes," he shares. "Social media is a strong platform for people to directly address their transformations to their audiences."

"Unless you have experienced watching your hairline recede and trying every lotion, potion, camouflage product, or pill to stop it or disguise it, it is very hard to understand how self-conscious a person may feel about their hair loss," he continues. "For most, [male hair enhancements] are a game-changer that offers renewed confidence and an improved sense of well-being and vitality."

For most, [male hair enhancements] are a game-changer that offers renewed confidence and an improved sense of well-being and vitality.

Semi-Permanent Hairpieces

  • Price: $800-$3,800/per piece
  • How Long It Lasts: 4-6 Weeks

Women can get extensions and wear wigs, so why shouldn't men consider a temporary, realistic-looking hairpiece? Toupees and semi-permanent hairpieces often get mocked in pop culture, but lately, there's been buzz that they're making a comeback—and looking so realistic that you wouldn't be able to tell the difference. There have been very few cases where male celebrities or influencers have openly talked about wearing a hairpiece. One such case happened back in 2011, when Seinfeld actor Jason Alexander openly shared his choice to opt for a semi-permanent hair solution when his loyal followers spotted him with a full head of hair, thanks to Farrell Hair Replacement.

"What you see on my head is a really good, semi-permanent hairpiece," Alexander penned in an open letter tweet. "By semi-permanent I mean that I can wear it constantly for weeks at a time if I so choose. I can swim, shower, work out—whatever. It stays on. Or I can take it off any time of any day I choose."

Once a hairpiece is purchased, you should never feel obligated to sign a maintenance contract. As a customer, you should always be free to go elsewhere for regular haircuts and maintenance. You should also avoid any company that insists on holding your second hairpiece in their facility without the option to take it home.

The truth is, semi-permanent attached hairpieces are quite popular in the United States, but for now, not openly discussed by most men with influence. The design process, which requires the purchase of two units (to allow for one to be maintained while the other is being worn), is quite simple as long as you stick to a professional who can guide you through the process.

From rainbow wigs to PRP treatments, let's cheers to normalizing the conversation around male hair enhancements, once and for all.

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