Tom Hanks Hair Transplant

You know what they say: you can’t go wrong with a Tom Hanks movie. With so many cult classics under his belt, he’s a personification of the ultimate Hollywood icon. And for most of his career, Tom’s hair has been the focal point of little attention. Still, it hasn’t stopped the rumour mill about his alleged hair transplant.

While his hair looks much the same now, it did go through some changes, especially in the early 2000s. Because the changes were so subtle, they kind of flew under the radar for a long time. But now it’s time to take a closer look and find out if there’s any truth to Tom Hanks’ hair transplant gossip.

Who Is Tom Hanks?

Born on 9 July 1956 in California, Tom Hanks is an American actor who is widely known for his diverse range of acting roles. From playing the heroic commander of the Apollo 13 crew, Jim Lovell, to the physically and intellectually disabled, Forrest Gump, he’s masterful at evoking empathy for his characters and does it all with careful precision.

Tom Hanks

Initially, comedy is what Tom Hanks was mainly known for because of his roles in the films Splash, Bachelor Party, The Man with One Red Shoe, Volunteers, The Money Pit, Nothing in Common, Sleepless in Seattle, etc. Philadelphia, however, was a turning point of sorts, with the film grossing over $200 million, garnering a lot of critical praise for Hanks and winning him his first Academy Award for Best Actor.

It was then followed by other mega-blockbusters, such as Forrest Gump (which won him his second Academy Award), Apollo 13, Saving Private Ryan, You’ve Got Mail, Toy Story, and Catch Me If You Can, among many others. His recent role as Colonel Parker in Elvis also received much praise, including from the ex-wife of Elvis himself, Priscilla Presley. He’s currently working on the film Here, which is expected to be released this year.

Tom Hanks’ Hair Journey

Tom Hanks’ hair has seen both good and bad days over the years, mainly owing to his commitment to his roles.

Tom Hanks Curly Hair

Naturally, Tom Hanks has beautifully curly hair. During the early days of his career, you can see his luxuriously ample mop. His hair would usually be long enough to cover most of his forehead, so it was difficult to get a good look at the overall outline of his hairline, but even then, it seemed to be fairly high up. However, the overall outline of his hairline could be seen far more clearly after he cut his hair short for Forrest Gump.

Tom Hanks curly hair
Tom Hanks’ curly hair in 1989 vs buzzcut in 1994/Image credit (L) – photo by Alan Light1989 Tom Hanks, Cropped by Longevita, CC BY 2.0 (R) – lakesbuttaTomHanksForrestGump94, Cropped by Longevita, CC BY-SA 3.0

Tom Hanks Long Hair

Per Contact Music, Tom Hanks is quoted saying, “…the truth is my hair cannot be long and flowing; genetically, it doesn’t do that. It’s a bush.”

Tom Hanks long hair
Tom Hanks with long hair

And if you’re wondering what made Tom’s hair so long and flowy in the Da Vinci code, according to the actor, they had thought about putting a wig at first. But because it would have taken a lot of time, he eventually decided to go to some people who knew about “hair chemistry,” and that’s what worked out for him.

Tom Hanks’ hair colour is naturally dark, although he’s going for the more silver fox look now with salt and pepper hair.

Did Tom Hanks Grow His Hair For Cast Away?

Tom Hanks actually did grow out both his scalp and beard hair for his role in the film Cast Away, as per IMDb Trivia. In fact, there was a year-long break in the production so Tom could look the part by losing around 50 pounds and growing his hair out.

The premise of the film was that Chuck Noland, a FedEx executive, ends up getting stranded on an island all alone for 4 years, where he obviously doesn’t have access to any hair grooming devices. So, Tom Hanks’ hair in Cast Away was his own in all its curly (yet straggly) glory.

Has Tom Hanks Lost His Hair?

In the early 2000s, it did look like Tom Hanks was experiencing hair loss, which could probably have been the result of androgenetic alopecia or pattern baldness. It’s the most common cause of hair loss in men, which results in the shrinking or miniaturisation of the hair follicles, leading to baldness.

Tom Hanks hair in 2001
Tom Hanks’ hair loss in 2001

The reason why it’s called “pattern” alopecia is that it progresses in a distinct pattern. As the hairline recedes, it starts to form an “M” shape. The front of the scalp can start to thin out, and you can also start losing hair in the crown area.

Norwood scale

Now, when Tom cut his hair short, the “M” shape of his hairline was quite visible. There was a small patch of hair at the front and centre, but the temple areas were far behind. One could almost expect the bald spots to be clearly visible in the years to come. However, in Tom Hanks’ case, that didn’t really happen. His hairline was always quite high, but it didn’t move farther back.

Has Tom Hanks Had A Hair Transplant?

It’s possible that Tom Hanks might have had a hair transplant in the 2000s. Looking at his photos, there’s a small yet noticeable change in its overall outline, which might hint at the possibility of this surgery.

Tom Hanks hair before and after
Tom Hanks’ hairline in 2001 vs 2002

In 2001, his hairline looked relatively higher up than it did in 2002, especially the area around the temples. By 2007, the sharp angle between the front tuft of his hair and the sides of his hair had also smoothed out a little, and his hair looked quite dense. So, it’s possible that he had another surgery to improve the overall density.

Tom Hanks second alleged hair transplant
Tom Hanks’ hairline in 2004 vs 2007

Which Technique Was Used For Tom Hanks’ Hair Transplant?

If Tom Hanks’ hair implants were actually done, and that too in the early 2000s, it’s more likely that his surgery was performed using the FUT or Follicular Unit Transplant technique. In this, a strip of skin is cut out from the back of the head – the donor area – from which hair follicles are then extracted and harvested for transplantation.

FUT hair transplant

This surgery requires stitches to close the surgical wound back up. Since its recovery is relatively difficult to the latest FUE or Follicular Unit Extraction technique and it can leave a more prominent linear scar at the back, the popularity of the FUT technique has waned over the years.

FUE hair transplant technique

The FUE technique was published back in 2002, and it’s often preferred because it doesn’t require cutting the skin out from the back of the head; its scars are also less prominent, and recovery is easier.

Tom Hanks Hair Transplant Before After

Here’s a look at the alleged Tom Hanks’ hair transplant before and after photos.

Tom Hanks rumoured hair transplant
Tom Hanks’ hair in 1994 vs 2007/Image credit (L) – Alan Light1989 Tom Hanks, Cropped by Longevita, CC BY 2.0
Tom Hanks hair then vs now
Tom Hanks’ hair in 2001 vs 2023


Tom Hanks’ hair transplant rumours don’t seem to be entirely untrue, although since the actor himself hasn’t said anything about it, we can only speculate. On the other hand, the possibility of Tom Hanks’ hairpiece also seems unlikely since there are no telltale signs of him having worn a wig (no glue, changing hair density, a hairline that’s too straight, etc.).

There are many other examples of celebrity hair transplants where the celebrity in question has been quite open about their hair loss struggles. But since getting a transplantation surgery is a very personal decision, it’s up to the person whether or not they want to talk about it.

In the US, hair transplants these days can cost around $7,000 on average. If you’re looking for a more affordable alternative, you can consider getting a hair transplant in Turkey, where the surgery is around $2,000 to $3,000. But before anything, if you’re experiencing hair loss, you must consult an experienced medical professional for a proper diagnosis and treatment plan.

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