Some of us wonder what kind of crazy and brilliant ideas are swirling inside Elon Musk’s head. Others are more interested to know what’s happening on top of that dome. Unless you’ve followed his entire career, you probably don’t know that Elon Musk’s hair was once… well, nonexistent. But as his net worth has surged, so have the number of follicles on his head. This begs the question: did Elon Musk have a hair transplant? Find out if Elon Musk’s bald look of yore was intentional or if the brilliant billionaire solved early hair loss with a hair transplant.
Elon Musk Recently Became The World’s Richest Man At Tesla
In the race to be the richest man on the planet, Musk is neck and neck with Jeff Bezos. Fortune reported in February 2021 that the Tesla CEO had clinched the top spot with a net worth of $199.9 billion, while Bezos trailed at $194.2 billion. But in April 2021, Forbes flipped the stats. They put the Amazon CEO at number one with a fortune of $177 billion, and Musk was estimated to be worth $151 billion.
It doesn’t look like Musk is at risk of dropping down the ladder anytime soon. Even when Tesla’s stock reacts poorly to Musk’s controversial tweets and podcast interviews, he remains among the top three spots.
Elon Musk Became Tesla’s CEO Back In 2008
Although Tesla was established in 2003, Musk didn’t join the board of directors until a year later. And it wasn’t until 2008, after co-founder Martin Eberhard was booted from the company, that he took over as CEO and product architect.
The company has thrived under his leadership. Chief among his victories was producing the Roadster—the first all-electric car to run on lithium-ion batteries.
Tesla’s performance as a cutting-edge car manufacturer has literally paid off for Musk. On March 8th, 2011, shares of Tesla were sold at an opening price of $4.92 each. Today, the price hovers at $670 per share. Musk is said to own over 227 million shares or roughly 22.4 percent of the company’s stock.
Elon Musk’s Hair Was Very Different And Was Nearly Bald In 1999 At PayPal
In 1999, Musk and his brother co-founded X.com, an online bank and payment company. The start-up would eventually become PayPal.
Musk was the CEO of PayPal, but his colleagues disagreed with his decision-making. He was ousted from his role while on honeymoon with his first wife. To make matters worse, he was replaced by his colleague and friend Peter Thiel.
However, in 2002, PayPal was acquired by eBay. Musk was still one of the company’s biggest shareholders, and he received nearly $165 million for his stake in the business.
The experience at PayPal foreshadowed a future in which Musk become too scared of taking a holiday.
“The first time I took a week off, the Orbital Sciences rocket exploded and Richard Branson’s rocket exploded,” Musk said in a 2015 interview on Danish television. “In that same week, the second time I took a week off, my rocket exploded. The lesson here is don’t take a week off.”
Looking at Musk’s success today, it’s hard to believe that he’s the same tech CEO who was unceremoniously booted for making unpopular business decisions.
But it’s also hard to believe that he’s the same guy pictured in archives from the dot-com bubble days. Musk barely has any hair! And what’s left is clearly thinning. We wouldn’t say he was certifiably bald, but for being only 30, he was certainly on his way.
Did Elon Musk Have A Hair Transplant?
So what accounts for the lush head of hair that Musk suddenly sports today? Rogaine or medicated hair treatments are within the realm of possibility. A wig is less likely. A Miami-based plastic surgeon told Page Six that it’s “highly, highly likely” that the billionaire went under the knife to solve the problem.
“If you look at his pictures from his PayPal days, when he sold the company [in 2002], he was pretty bald,” said Dr. Jeffrey Epstein, who specializes in hair restoration. “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.”
Epstein referred to it as “the Prince William look” and described Musk as having “significant frontal thinning with recession.”
Hair transplant surgeon Dr. Parsa Mohebi agrees with Epstein. In medical jargon, the Space X founder measures as Class III or IV on the Norwood Scale—a classification system for baldness. Surgery is the only option for treating this level of hair loss.
“It is unlikely that Elon’s hair transformation is due to medication,” wrote Mohebi. “There are two medications often prescribed in order to resolve hair loss and thinning. However, I have known that these drugs are not quite capable of making a transformation as grand as this one.”
Epstein theorizes that Musk restored his hair via follicular unit transplant (FUT) or follicular unit excision (FUE). Both methods require existing hair follicles to be extracted and relocated to bald spots on the head. Musk would have been back to building cars and rockets a week after the procedure.
He added that Musk appears to have had two separate procedures, which can carry a total price of up to $30,000. It’s a jaw-dropping sum to the average guy, but just a drop in the bucket for him. And it was a worthwhile investment, too—experts agree that his results are optimal.
“Overall, since his hair transplant, Elon Musk has a solid hairline, a dense scalp of hair, and no signs of hair loss, thinning, or balding,” Mohebi wrote. “This resulted in him appearing to have a brighter-looking face that is more youthful.”
“Offhand, you wouldn’t know that it was done,” added Epstein. “But when you’re in the business, you know what to look for.”