Friday, October 2, 2009

What's that at the back?

Recently, a reader pointed out an interesting patch of sparse hair at the back of Bill Shatner's head visible in the 2002 DVD documentary Mind Meld - Secrets Behind the Voyage of a Lifetime (see here for more on Mind Meld and buy here).

So just what is that strange bald patch in a part of the head that even in Bill Shatner's case, is likely still covered with his own real hair?

Was it a source site from which hair follicles were extracted and "plugged" into the rest of his head (a common procedure in hair transplants) to replenish areas where transplanted follicles had fallen out? Or is it an area that was left untouched by surgery?

We simply don't know...

Now, finally some more general analysis of the "Denny Crane look":

Bill Shatner in July 2000,
still wearing a tight-fitting weave or hairpiece.

William Shatner, we believe, ended his "TJ Curly" weave or hairpiece use between 19th July and 7th September 2000. Incidentally, this is the same time that he began seriously seeing what was to become his fourth wife Liz. A connection? Very likely. After the tragic death of his third wife Nerine a year earlier, perhaps a new hairstyle to impress a new girlfriend (and we don't mean that frivolously in any way) seemed like the logical choice - a way to spruce up to impress a new lady. And why not?

Bill Shatner with his future wife Liz in early September 2000,
following what was likely an expensive hair transplant.

To see more on how we came upon the above dates, look at the middle of the page in the Getty Image sequence here.

UPDATE: A reader asks, if the above is the case, then how come Shats appeared to return to the toup during 2006 (and possibly in a few other instances too)?

That's an interesting question. Perhaps the new style needed some tuning-up and so Bill Shatner decided to very briefly resort to a hairpiece again. In the above picture, Shats is very likely wearing a piece on top of his plugs. And as another reader points out, surgical work could be undertaken, perhaps in stages, while a toup concealed the entire effort. As to whether it's a hair transplant (plugs) or a new kind of toup, that remains an open question...

Disclaimer: we have uploaded two watermarked Getty Images in this post - we're uncertain if the company's watermarked images are freely available or not. Nonetheless, if Getty asks us to take them down, we will certainly do so.


  1. I think this timeline may be correct. I remember reading a magazine interview with Shatner in 2001, in which he made fun of david letterman's hair. Must have been sweet revenge for shat who received over a decade's worth of toupee jokes at his expense. Having his own hair at last might have provided him the confidence to attack letterman

  2. So if he had a transplant, it's possible that this post from August was incorrect and he wasn't wearing a toup at all?
    Looking at this next pic, it may be just his regular hair grown out a bit more.

  3. Aren't large scale hair transplants done in stages? Having one massive hair transplant with less than two months recovery time before being photographed in public seems odd, though maybe not impossible. Could he have had the work done in stages during the spring/summer of 2000 and when he needed to make a public appearance during that time, just slap on the toup for a few hours before taking it off at home?

  4. I continue to be amazed by what I stumble upon on the Net. I am glad I stumbled upon your site. Very well done research.

  5. Some good closeup pics of Shat's hair
    Click "view image only" at the bottom of the page.

  6. For many years, it was Nimoy who was authentic and Shatner who had to resort to artificial enhancements. Now, ironically, both Shatner and Nimoy have real hair, but only one of them has real teeth.

    1. I know you posted this years ago but I am glad someone else noticed Leonard's teeth. They look scary and make him sound strange.

  7. If you take a look at this video from 2008 and pause it at around 8-9 seconds in, you'll see a lateral scar in the same location as in the 2002 video. This may not have been a tricophytic incision so the hair would not grow out of the scar on its own.

  8. That's a full cap now that the Shat wears - no way there'd be enough natural hair left by now to transplant from to completely cover the scalp, impossible!...

  9. The majority of the work in Shatner's case was begun almost 10 years ago. Elton John had successful transplants done and he did not have much hair left. Go to
    Look through some of the pictures there. If you still think that's a full toupee Shat is wearing, then you are probably beyond help.


    no, full toup alright - maginify and the lace base is visible here as are the hair knots at the base. I'd say it's getting a little ratty looking here to quote Rob Justman, and he's in need of a new one!

  11. yep - you are beyond help. Shatner obviously chooses the latest toupees that have scars on their bases.

  12. Let's keep the tone civil...this is only a Shatner toupee website, after all! -ST

  13. yeah, you're right. To get exasperated with someone over such a subject as this is pretty funny.

  14. I doubt he has enough hair left to transplant. That back of the head shot looks as if its the line between the remnant hair and the total "helmet" toupee he wears in different styles, fuller and thinner.

    And Elton John wears a wig - his transplants were too sparse.

  15. Nice post mate, keep up the great work, just shared this with my friendz hair transplant Malaysia

  16. It is frustrating when science (this site) doesn't have all the answers. That's why I turn to religion, as a member of The First Church of Shatnerology (