Donald Trump Suspected in (Hair) Cover-Up By Bernard Arocha, MD on June 09, 2016

Combovers Only Fool the Person Looking in the Mirror


Google “Donald Trump hair” and you will get more than 67 million results. For decades, late-night talk show hosts, reporters, and commentators have made wisecracks about his unique hairstyle. Trump has even made it an issue from the campaign stage, inviting supporters to confirm – by touch – that his hair is real.

Real as it may be, let’s face it: The Donald isn’t fooling anybody by hiding his hairline. We don’t want to shame Mr. Trump or anyone else for doing whatever they can to feel confident and comfortable. But the combover is a clumsy cover-up.

At Arocha Hair Restoration, we consider the hairline as an art form – not something to be covered up or concealed. Dr. Bernard Arocha, a Diplomate of the American Board of Hair Restoration Surgery and a Fellow of the International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery, the American Academy of Cosmetic Surgery, and the American Society of Hair Restoration Surgery, presented, “The Hairline” at the 20th Annual Orlando Live Surgery Workshop Meeting of the International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery. In this presentation, Dr. Arocha discusses the function of the hairline and the social, scientific, and artistic factors that contribute to successful hair transplant results.

The goal is always to achieve a natural, undetectable result that functions today and for the long-term - 10, 20, or 30 years down the road.

We suspect that when someone with a combover looks in the mirror, they imagine that their hair resembles Justin Timberlake, David Beckham and others who have followed the lead of Mad Men character Don Draper by sporting a side-part with their hair swept over and back. But what the rest of the world sees is an effort to hide the obvious.

Mr. Trump’s style is rather involved, and in fact, it bears a resemblance to a patented process of concealing partial baldness. What? You didn’t know the combover is patented? Neither did we before writing this post! Here is the description of U.S. Patent No. 4,022,227:

“The method here disclosed uses the remaining hair around the bald area on a person's head. The hair in this area must be extra long to cover the bald area. Generally the hair should be about 3 to 4 inches long.

To use the method of this invention, the hair around the bald area is divided into equal portions, generally three such sections will be used. The sections of hair used by this method generally will be to include equal sections on each side of the head and a third section on the back of the head.

The hair to be used as covering is brushed over the bald area in alternating folds using hair spray to hold the hair in place. The uppermost section can be styled to the person's personal taste.”

Sources in Trump’s staff have said he combs it forward from the back, then folds it back and sprays it to stay -- lots of spray. Add in Trump’s changing and sometimes unnatural colors and his hair sometimes takes the appearance of spun sugar, as in cotton candy. Or a form of tussock grass, as is satirized in a Norwegian video claiming to have found the source of his hair. Whatever the procedure he follows, Trump says it takes so much time that he will change the style if he is elected president.

A close examination shows that Trump isn’t employing his hairstyle to cover up a loss of hair or bald spot. But there is plenty of speculation that Trump’s “fold-over” is a cover up – perhaps for a “flap” procedure from decades ago that pulled hair-bearing skin over bald areas. At one time this major surgical procedure might have seemed state-of-the-art. But the reality is that it generally left serious and noticeable scarring, and even a “knot” where the flap was twisted into place. In many cases the result was poor and unnatural positioning; in rare cases the movement was so severe that the ears were pulled out of place.

Flap surgery, along with early hair plug surgery, could result in covering bald and thinning spots, but these methods usually left telltale signs. Hair grew in unnatural directions. Plugs were thick and patchy.

Fortunately, flap surgery was long ago abandoned and hair restoration generally has come a long way.

Today surgeons like Dr. Bernardino Arocha use advanced techniques such as follicular unit extraction and follicular unit transplantation to result in artistic hair restoration. In follicular unit extraction, hair follicles are removed from donor sites in a way that leaves barely noticeable scarring. Use of the ARTAS® Robotic System produces precise and accurate results. Follicular unit transplantation uses more donor units, which are processed carefully under a microscope to ensure the highest percentages of subsequent growth.

Dr. Arocha deliberately uses the word “artistic” to describe his work. Just as an artist carefully considers the angle and direction of a brush stroke, Dr. Arocha carefully places each hair follicle in a specific place and at a studied angle, resulting in hair that lies naturally. (And ears stay in their original position!)

We never want to make fun of anyone’s appearance. We understand that everyone wants their hair to look natural. Unlike Mr. Trump, most who are experiencing hair loss don’t want the attention that “unique” hairstyles bring. But no one should need to resort to strangely configured hairstyles. Today there are even revision hair transplant techniques that can help patients who are dissatisfied with earlier and less successful techniques.

Dr. Arocha’s goal is to use the latest and best techniques to give patients custom-designed results that meet and exceed their expectations.

To schedule a no obligation, complimentary hair restoration consultation, call Arocha Hair Restoration at 888-723-4247.

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Arocha Hair Restoration

Since 2002, Bernardino A. Arocha, M.D. has been transforming lives through the power of hair restoration. With an artistic approach and a variety of procedures available, Arocha Hair Restoration has a track record of providing stunning results. Dr. Arocha is affiliated with prominent organizations with memberships that include:

  • Diplomate, American Board of Hair Restoration Surgery (ABHRS)
  • Fellow, International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery (ISHRS)
  • American Society of Hair Restoration Surgery (ASHRS)
  • American Academy of Cosmetic Surgery (AACS)

If you're ready for a full head of hair, we invite you to contact us with our form or call us at (713) 526-4247.

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