Middle Eastern Men Are Getting Mustache Implants to Make Themselves Look Manlier [UPDATE]

Movember may be over, but for mustachioed men around the world, facial-hair-themed festivities are a year-round affair.

Sadly, some stache-challenged individuals are prevented from joining their fellow men in hirsute celebration for the simple fact that their bodies are unable to produce sufficient upper-lip plumage. This is sadder still in the Middle East, where many consider the size of one's mustache to go hand in hand with the size of one's social status.

It's for that reason that some Arab men have taken to pursuing a cosmetic solution for their follicular ills: Mustache implants.

"For some men who look young and junior, they think [a mustache] is a must to look senior...more professional and wise," says Turkish plastic surgeon Selahattin Tulunay, who claims to perform between 50 and 60 mustache implants a month, mostly on medical tourists from Middle Eastern countries.

Others in the cosmetic surgery field have also reported seeing a marked increase in the number of patients looking to have their soup strainer rebrushed.

"My impression is more and more they want to establish their male aspect," Paris-based surgeon Pierre Bouhanna told CNN. "They want a strong mustache."

Mustache-based masculinity doesn't come cheap, however: According to Bouhanna, the one-time procedure, which takes approximately six months to produce results, will set wouldbe eyebrow-misplacers back some $7,000.

UPDATE: Daniel Lawlor, the man photographed above after winning Best Freestyle Moustache at the National Beard and Moustache Championships, writes in with the following clarification:

I just want to make it clear that this is NOT AN IMPLANT!! It's all real and I find the idea of surgical supplementation of one's upper lip hair to be a bit disingenuous, at best, though I do understand the desire to showcase one's masculinity via his moustache.

[photo via AP]