Cosmetic surgery has been on the rise for a number of years. Predominantly seen as a concern for women, it seems that men are now feeling the pressure to look younger and thinner in the workplace, too. Is this the Don Draper effect? Platinum Resident looks into the growth in cosmetic surgery among men…
WORDS: Trish Lesslie
He could be the most dapper man ever to set foot in a boardroom. Don Draper, the lead character in the ground-breaking TV series Mad Men, may have disappeared from our screens but it seems high-powered businessmen the world over are still keen to emulate his iconic, chiselled features.
Top cosmetic doctors in the UK have seen a surge in enquiries from men from across the globe seeking to tweak their features into a better version of what nature has given them.
From eyelifts, nose jobs and liposuction to hair transplants, Botox and cosmetic dentistry, the world’s elite males are requesting aesthetic procedures in London’s clinics and surgeries like never before. Leading consultant plastic surgeon Rajiv Grover has seen the number of men consulting him over the past three years rise by a whopping 50 per cent. It’s an increase that’s echoed in waiting rooms up and down Harley Street and beyond.
Dr Sach Mohan, co-founder at Revere Clinics, which specialise in non-surgical procedures such as Botox and fillers, has seen a dramatic shift in the profile of his patients. ‘About ten years ago “metrosexual men” started to seek cosmetic enhancements in significant numbers and the rise in male patients is still dramatic today,’ says Mohan, who estimates that a third of his patients are now male. ‘They come from around the globe and now in ever larger numbers.’
The doctors who treat them say these men are being driven to the scalpel, needle and other cosmetic treatments by a desire to look younger and stay ahead in the workplace. ‘We live in an era of “facial discrimination” where youth, stamina and vitality are valued in the workplace,’ says Mr Grover. ‘Men who come and see me are keen to look good but definitely don’t want to look as if they’ve had anything done. They feel young inside and they want the exterior to match how they feel.’
About ten years ago “metrosexual men” started to seek cosmetic enhancements in significant numbers and the rise in male patients is still dramatic today
‘The quest for a youthful look is noticeable among men as well as women in the City, where anything and everything is done to hang on to your job,’ adds Mohan. ‘Men also have treatments at certain milestones in their lives – when they marry, hit 40 or when they’re looking for a new job.’
‘Many of my male patients tell me that success at work isn’t just about experience anymore,’ adds top cosmetic dentist Dr Uchenna Okoye. ‘With younger colleagues snapping at their heels they also need to look the part. They have to compete with men from places such as the US too, where investing in yourself is the norm.’
Dr Okoye says she has seen an increase of over 50% in male patients in their mid-40s and above in recent years, with many of them travelling from overseas, especially Dubai, Ghana and Nigeria.‘In the recession we were surprised by the number of top tier men investing in their smiles. But first impressions count and they recognise that appearance and looking youthful matters,’ says Okoye, who also offers Botox and fillers at her London clinic.
‘My mantra is to make my patients “look like themselves but better”,’ she adds. ‘Most of them would never admit to any facial rejuvenation but many opt for Botox and love that it appears on their bill as “dental services”.’
Whitening and invisible braces are the key cosmetic dental services men request at Okoye’s clinic. Her customers are requesting dazzling white smiles like those of David Beckham and Tom Cruise and veneers are popular too. ‘I see a lot of worn and chipped teeth as increased stress often means more grinding. The shorter your teeth, the more ageing it looks, so one of the commonest treatments is lengthening teeth with veneers,’ says Okoye.
Dr Tracy Mountford says skin tightening ultrasound treatments and fat-freezing body contouring are a firm favourite with male patients at her award-winning clinics. ‘A big factor when they make a decision is whether a treatment will deliver longlasting, high-quality results with no down time,’ she says. ‘Ultherapy firms, sculpts and lifts the face, giving natural results with a refreshed look, while Coolsculpting offers permanent results to problem areas such as double chins, abdomens and moobs offering long term results with no downtime.’
Ultherapy firms, sculpts and lifts the face, giving natural results with a refreshed look, while Coolsculpting offers permanent results to problem areas such as double chins, abdomens and moobs offering long term results with no downtime
The amount of downtime isn’t the only consideration, though. Dr Grant Hamlet has seen a huge rise in men requesting Vaser Lipo Sculpting, a precision liposuction technique that can leave patients bruised and swollen for weeks. But for many it’s a price worth paying. ‘Vaser allows the sculpting of the six pack and other muscle groups for high muscular definition,’ explains Dr Hamlet. ‘With this procedure we can also enhance muscles in arms through fat transfer and address other problem areas such as double chins.’
Dr Hamlet has also seen a surge in male chest reshaping and reduction – or ginecomastia surgery to give it it’s medical term. ‘As men are becoming more aware that something can be done about this area, they’re seeking treatment in greater numbers,’ says Hamlet, whose male clients range in age from their twenties to their sixties and travel to him from Europe, China and the Middle East.
Hamlet knows better than most the benefits of cosmetic surgery, having had Vaser surgery himself. ‘It changed my life for the better,’ he says. If you get given the body you desired for so long you want to look after it the best you can.’
There’s also a greater acceptance of male cosmetic procedures in the air thanks to high-profile celebrities including Wayne Rooney and James Nesbitt openly discussing their hair transplants.
‘When a sporting hero such as Boris Becker admits to a facelift, it goes a long way to banishing the taboo against considering cosmetic surgery,’ says Grover. Which all points towards even more prospective Don Drapers heading towards Harley Street waiting rooms in the coming years.
Facial Surgery: Mr Rajiv Grover
A former president of the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, he has a global reputation for natural-looking results, whether they be on nose jobs, eyelifts or facelifts.
Cosmetic dentistry: Dr Uchenna Okoye
Don’t be surprised if you see a celebrity or two in her waiting room. From veneers to orthodontics, Dr Okoye’s luxurious London Smiling clinic is the go-to place for the perfect smile.
Injectibles: Dr Tracy Mountford
The Cosmetic Skin Clinics she founded have won more awards than you could shake a syringe at. Her ability to create subtle yet effective changes with fillers and Botox is the stuff of legend.
Body sculpting: Dr Grant Hamlet
The official European trainer for Vaser Lipo Sculpture, the South African surgeon is one of the most experienced and talented practitioners of the procedure in the UK.
Hair transplant: Dr Bessam Farjo
Recognised as one of the world’s leading lights in hair restoration medicine, he’s performed over 6,500 transplant procedures and given over 25,000 consultations in a career spanning more than 20 years.