Hollywood's High "Man"-tenance: Male Cosmetic Surgery on the Rise

Hollywood's High "Man"-tenance -Illustration by David Galletly - H 2017
Illustration By David Galletly

The number of men getting procedures — from hair transplants to neck lifts — has increased by 53 percent from 2011 to 2015, even as one Beverly Hills plastic surgeon says, "Men are wimps when it comes to this stuff."

In an awards season that The Hollywood Reporter has dubbed #OscarsSoMale for the under-representation of female nominees, it may be interesting to note the (increasing) presence of Hollywood men in another area as well: Males are going under the needle and knife for cosmetic enhancement like never before. According to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, the number of men having procedures increased 53 percent from 2011 to 2015.

Gabriel Chiu of Beverly Hills Plastic Surgery notes that "about 25 percent of my patients are men, and that percentage is growing." With awards season in full swing, Chiu's office is packed: "The face, eyes and hair really come into play for my male clients' red-carpet appearances." Most are looking for chiseled jawlines (dermal fillers, from $500; no downtime), fewer wrinkles or crow's-feet (Botox, from $500; no downtime) and filled-in hairlines (transplants, from $15,000; one week downtime).

Doctors' offices are undergoing their own transformations. "I looked around and all of a sudden there were a ton of men," says Grant Stevens, chairman of the USC Division of Aesthetic Surgery. He says more than 40 percent of his patients are male, including Hollywood executives, actors and athletes who demand anonymity. In November 2014, Stevens opened Marina ManLand in Marina del Rey, a masculine haven with leather chairs, sports memorabilia, flat-screen TVs and treatment rooms named Bear's Lair, Dog House and Lion's Den.

"Guys immediately feel at ease," he says.

This is one area where the gender gap penalizes men. Cosmetic procedures tend to cost more for men, says Beverly Hills dermatologist Tess Mauricio: "Their surgeries take longer due to their size — they tend to have a larger body mass with more prominent features and body parts than women." Although men's skin is thicker and thus less prone to wrinkling and sagging, it doesn't respond as well to fillers; deeper hair follicles and roots mean men require more laser hair-removal treatments, and each is more painful. "Men are wimps when it comes to this stuff — they don't want the downtime or the pain," says Stevens.

His most requested treatment is CoolSculpting (from $2,000; no downtime), which reduces fat on love handles by subjecting it to cool temperatures for an hour. More invasive procedures include neck lifts (from $13,000; one to two weeks downtime), eye surgeries (from $4,500; five to seven days downtime) and "man boob" liposuction (from $6,000; one week downtime), which has tripled in four years, says Stevens.

Mauricio is pioneering a treatment said to increase penis size (and reportedly help hair growth over six months): autologous lipocyte micronized injection, or ALMI (from $3,500; no downtime), a 45-minute, outpatient fat-injection procedure.

Other halves figure heavily in this rising trend, "When a man accompanies his wife or girlfriend," Stevens says, "she'll point to the skin under his neck or bags under his eyes and ask me how to get rid of it." But that quickly gives way to male vanity, Chiu notes: "Guys go from taking their wives or girlfriends in, to joining them for nonsurgical procedures to now seeking out cosmetic surgery on their own."

This story first appeared in the Feb. 17 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.