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With an opinionated presence on social media and fondness for high-profile moves like proposing to buy Twitter (then walking it back), Tesla mogul Elon Musk, currently ranked as the world's richest man, seems to court publicity and controversy, relishing any opportunity to be talked about. But there's one discussion point he probably wishes people would leave alone: His hair.
Namely, photos from years ago show that Musk's scalp was deep in the throes of male pattern baldness. Today, his hair is full as a boy-bander's. That has led many to speculate that he had hair-transplant surgery. Two recent online incidents have brought the discussion back to the fore—one Twitter missive by a writer claiming to be an ex, another a Twitter controversy stoked by Musk himself. Read on to see for yourself.
One Recent Viral Tweet Poked Fun at Elon's Hair
In mid-May, Angela Belcamino, an actress and musician, joked on Twitter that she had been dating Musk but they had broken up.
"Poor Elon and I have officially separated," she wrote. …leading him to multiple hair transplants. Outing himself publicly as a defender of overthowers of democracy was the final draw. Please respect my privacy but not his."
Belcamino was likely trying to sarcastically deflate some of Musk's recent tweets criticizing the Democratic Party. But it's far from the first time Musk's before-and-after photos have resurfaced for discussion, even this summer.
Musk's Trans Comments Caused Renewed Focus on His Hairline
In June, Musk tweeted comments that were interpreted as critical of transgenderism: "We are simultaneously being told that gender differences do not exist and that genders are so profoundly different that irreversible surgery is the only option," he said. "Perhaps someone wiser than me can explain this dichotomy."
In response, Twitter commenters resurfaced Musk's own surgically suggestive before-and-after hair photos. "Cis cis people get more gender-affirming surgery than trans people do," said one. "Imagine wanting to change the way you look on the outside to match more how you feel like you should look but being mad at other people for doing the same," said another.
Musk's hair has been a varied source of controversy through the years, such as in December 2021, when he got a shaved-on-the-sides, long-on-top cut that the internet did not love. Namely: Futurism called "strange," "Macklemore," "terminally divorced," and offered the headline "Yikes." Desus&Mero termed it a "Richard Spencer cut," referring to the neo-Nazi leader who became infamous around the time of Charlottesville white-supremacist rally.
"A Decades-Old Secret"
A writer for Slate speculated that the late 2021 'do was an attempt to hide a "decades-old secret"—that Musk had, and continued to have, hair surgery. During hair transplantation, grafts are taken from the sides and back of the head—areas that are impervious to male-pattern baldness—and implanted at the top to cover spare spots.
Doctors Say Evidence for Transplants Is Clear
Hair-transplant specialists have said that it's pretty clear Musk got hair transplants. One of them was Dr. Jeffrey Epstein in "Page Six." "If you look at his pictures from his PayPal days when he sold the company [in 2002], he was pretty bald," Epstein told. "I mean, he had a class three to a class four (out of seven) hair loss pattern, and he now shows no evidence, at least in the front, of any hair loss… It looks like he had good hair on the back and side of his head, and those are the hairs we use for transplanting." Multiple procedures are often required, and the cost of Musk's surgery has been estimated at $20,000 to $30,000 all told.
Transplant or not, this week, Musk shared a photo of himself and his son with new and matching haircuts. "Thanksgiving last year after watching one too many episodes of 'Vikings,'" he captioned the family photo, adding that he did the cutting himself.