Men's salons are changing the stigma around toupees one amazing transformation at a time
Toupees have gone from being the punchline of a joke to a celebrated form a self care.
Toupees are often used as the punchline to a joke in most media, shown as a desperately kept secret that will inevitably become exposed after a gust of wind, thus conveying just how pathetic the wearer is. Cue laughter.
However, take a look at any of the thousand of incredible transformations on TikTok, and you’ll see that hairpieces have made a comeback. Men of all ages and ethnicities nervously approach the barber’s chair, allow glue to be painted onto their freshly shaved head, and have a patch of perfectly matching hair placed on so well you’d never know it was fake.
The result is not only five, 10, even 20 years taken off the clock, but a newfound confidence that radiates off the screen. Indeed, these men are transformed.
Many salons, such as Prism Elites in Los Angeles, adopted the word “hair system” to avoid the negative associations with toupees. As Josh Williams, the man behind Prism Elites’ countless viral TikToks, can attest, there is still a major stigma surrounding them. Though most comments are highly supportive, some folks are either convinced toupees remain as artificial looking as they were some odd years ago, or they believe men should embrace their baldness to appear more masculine.
But judging from the incredible makeovers on their account (like the one below), there have undeniably been major advancements in the industry. Many of these “after” images look so natural you instantly forget what these men looked like before.
@prismelites What do you guys think of his new look? #hairreplacement #hairsystem #beforeafter #beforeandafter #transformation #hairtransformation #hairtrends ♬ About Damn Time
Plus, it almost goes without saying that beauty standards —for both men and women—come and go. Bald men might be commonly perceived as more attractive now, but that wasn’t the case only a few short years ago. And it most assuredly won’t be the case forever.
More to the point, there isn’t a one-size-fits all approach when it comes to looking and feeling our best. It’s clear from the way these men light up at seeing their new selves that having a head full of hair unlocks something for them. There’s an assuredness that comes through the screen. And seeing that moment really doesn’t get old.
@phildoeshair We offer mens hair replacement services in Manhattan, and invite you to schedule a consult with us if youre interested in receiving this service! Text our salon at 6233774247. New system service cost $950 reapplication monthly $260. #hairsystem #nonsurgicalhairreplacement #hairreplacement #nyc ♬ Montero x The Hub - Jude
There’s also the unspoken, outdated rule still lingering in society that grooming and caring for one’s appearance is considered feminine. Sports? Sure. Salons? Are you kidding, real men don’t do that. As Gregory Brown, founder and director of the Green Psychiatry Center told Mashable, "[men] think that if they're taking time for self-care, they're losing productivity, time from work. And that goes against what society tells us is masculine."
That’s what makes the simple act of proudly, publicly—sometimes virally—getting a toupee so revolutionary. It reflects a huge cultural mindset shift towards normalizing self care for men, which can lead to a more well-rounded mental and emotional state.
@prismelites We see you Luis! 🔥🔥🔥 #hairreplacement #hairsystems #hairsystem #beforeandafter #beforeafter #transformation #transformationchallenge #hairtransformation #hairtok #toupeetok #hairtransformations #transformations #crazytransformation #hairtrends #viraltransformation ♬ Drank in My Cup (Instrumental)
Of course confidence can be manifested from within, but sometimes allowing it to come from looking good is an amazing form of grace we can give ourselves. This is something many women know firsthand, and it’s great that both innovation and social media’s knack for spreading awareness are helping men find comfort in that fact as well.