Surgeons in Turkey are seeing a spike in the number of men seeking facial hair transplants, according to newspaper reports.
Since moustache and beard implants were introduced in 2000, Istanbul-based specialist Selahattin Tulunay said the procedure has grown to about 25 per cent of his workload.
"Thick hair is a status symbol, and a sign of strength and virility," said the doctor, adding that Arabs, mostly from the Gulf countries make up the majority of his customers.
"Both in Turkey and in Arab countries facial hair is associated with masculinity and its lack can cause social difficulties," Dr Tulunay told British newspaper The Guardian.
"In Turkish there is a word for it: kose - baldness of the face - and it is usually not considered a good thing. Businessmen come to me to get beard and moustache implants because they say that business partners do not take them seriously if they don't sport facial hair."
Hair transplant travel packages attract about 50 Arab tourists to Turkey each day, said a travel agent specialising in the follicle tours.
They cost about STG1400 ($A2192) and include medical and overnight costs incurred during the four days that the procedure usually takes.