ISHRS Response to Senate Bill on Vanity Tax

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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.



About the ISHRS
The International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery (ISHRS) is a global non-profit medical association and the leading authority on hair loss treatment and restoration with more than 1,100 members throughout 70 countries worldwide. Above all, the ISHRS is dedicated to achieving excellence in patient outcomes by promoting the highest standards of medical practice, medical ethics, and research in the medical hair restoration industry. The ISHRS also provides continuing medical education to physicians specializing in hair transplant surgery and is committed to delivering the latest information on medical and surgical treatments to consumers suffering from hair loss, and most commonly from androgenetic alopecia–male pattern baldness and female pattern hair loss. It was founded in 1993 as the first international society to promote continuing quality improvement and education for professionals in the field of hair restoration surgery. For more information and to locate a physician, visit


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