Cartography of Hair:y_less Masculinities. A Comparison between the Islamic Republic of Iran and the Republic of Turkey

The growing cultural enthusiasm for cosmetic surgery and the techno-medical modification of the body have long since reached men’s world, and thus, medicalized masculinities. Among the top five cosmetic procedures most frequently chosen by men are laser hair removal in the category of cosmetic minimally invasive procedures and hair transplantations in the category of cosmetic surgical procedures. Turkey and Iran, the two countries emerging as world’s health tourism destinations around the globe, have not remained indifferent to the increasing interest in cosmetic surgery in particular for hair transplant procedures tailored towards men. Considering its location, Turkey’s health tourism appeals to men medical tourists from both the West and the Middle East. Iran, following Turkey, emerges to have the second largest market share in the Middle East.

With a special emphasis on the somatechnics of male hair removal and transplantation practices, this project analyses men’s hair care by drawing a cartography of male body hair removal and hair transplantation norms and practices in the Islamic Republic of Iran and the Republic of Turkey. The comparative perspective between these practices in Iran and Turkey is therefore important in order to work out country-specific socio-cultural differences and influences coming from different currents thus also empowerment strategies despite cultural proximity and habits in the field of beauty, body care and (medicalized) masculinities.


hair:y_less masculinities is a sub-project of “Iran and Beyond – Breaking the Ground for Sustainable Scholarly Collaboration (IRSSC)”. It is led by one of the Co-PIs of the IRSSC project, Dr. Melike Şahinol, who is Senior Research Fellow and head of research field “Human, Medicine and Society” at the Orient-Institut Istanbul.
Burak Taşdizen is Research Associate in the research field “Human, Medicine and Society” within hair:y_less masculinities and coordinator of IRSSC.


“Hair:y_less Masculinities” is part of Max Weber Foundation’s Knowledge Unbound, and is funded by German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF).

You can find more information on our project website: