Hair Transplant Pioneer Dr. Norman Orentreich passes away at 96

It was sad news for the hair transplant industry that the physician associated with the advent of modern hair transplantation passed away on January 23, 2019 at the age of 96.

In the 1950’s a young dermatologist named Norman Orentreich, tried an experiment: transplanting hair from the back of the head to the scalp. And lo, the transplanted hair grew.

Thanks in part to his discovery, a multibillion-dollar global hair transplant industry now exists to provide long-term relief for receding hairlines. His breakthrough also established him as a maverick in cosmetic medicine and a magnet for media coverage.

Dr. Orentreich, went on to establish a very successful dermatology practice in the upper east side of Manhattan that attracted many celebrities including Cary Grant, Frank Sinatra, Truman Capote and Andy Warhol.

Helen Gurley Brown, the editor of Cosmopolitan magazine, once described Dr. Orentreich’s treatments as insider beauty secrets.Dr. Orentreich even helped devise a beauty counter “Clinique Computer,” a device using algorithms to determine a customer’s skin type.

Clinique quickly became a department store blockbuster. Its best-selling product, Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion, was based on one of Dr. Orentreich’s formulas, and buying it at a beauty counter became a rite of passage for many teenage girls. It was the second multibillion-dollar market that he had a hand in advancing.

Today his legacy continues at Orentreich Medical Group led by his children Drs. David and Catherine Orentreich.