GENEVA, IL. – November 20, 2009. The International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery (ISHRS) – the world’s leading medical authority on hair loss and hair restoration – today issued a statement in response to the U.S. Senate’s proposed health care reform bill that would include a 5% tax on elective cosmetic procedures to help offset the massive cost of health care reform.
The ISHRS believes the 5% tax on cosmetic surgery, including elective cosmetic procedures such as hair transplants, would unfairly hurt a disproportionate number of working and middle-class men and women who seek help for hair loss to improve their self-esteem and their competitive edge in today’s tough job market.
“We know from previous research that the median income level of people undergoing hair restoration surgery is $69,700,” said Edwin Epstein, MD, president of the ISHRS. “Clearly, it’s not just the wealthiest men and women getting hair transplants, but average, hard-working people who see this as an investment in themselves and their futures. This type of tax is simply bad medicine and would hurt millions of people who undergo cosmetic procedures for personal and professional reasons.”
The ISHRS has found that the desire for more hair is still strong, even in tough economic times. In a recent online consumer survey conducted by the ISHRS, 59.8 percent of people who were asked whether they would rather have more hair, more money or more friends chose more hair. Specifically, slightly more women (64.2 percent) than men (59.1 percent) indicated they wanted more hair than more money or friends.
An estimated 80 million American men and women suffer from male or female pattern hair loss. Since hair is universally viewed as a sign of youth and vitality, hair loss can cause a diminished sense of self-esteem and poor self-image that can significantly impact one’s overall quality of life.
Founded in 1993, the ISHRS is a non-profit medical association dedicated to the advancement of the art and science of hair restoration. With a membership of over 750 physicians worldwide, the ISHRS provides continuing medical education to physicians specializing in hair loss and restoration surgery and serves as a resource for the public on the latest medical and surgical hair restoration treatments for hair loss. For more information and to locate a physician, visit www.ishrs.org.
Editor’s Note: The survey referenced above was made available on the ISHRS website to visitors interested in participating in the Hair Transplant Challenge Survey (HTCS). Data collection began in late May of 2008 and continued through January of 2009. As of January 2009, 1,878 respondents had participated in the survey and provided valid responses. A sample size of 1,878 has a margin of error of about +/- 2.3% at the 95% confidence level. For a full reprint of the HTCS report, visit Hair Restoration Surgery Statistics.