A couple meet at university, bright and ambitious. They marry and move to Dublin for work. He is a doctor, she is an engineer. 

A surgeon working in cardiothoracics, he loves his work, if not the 70-hour weeks and the increasing bureaucracy he has to deal with. She, meanwhile, having taken maternity leave from her engineering job, finds herself facing an all-or-nothing ultimatum when she tries to return to work on a part-time basis. 

She takes a career break, does a master’s degree in ecommerce and sets up a web design business from their suburban home. He works in public and private practice. The hours don’t get any shorter for either of them. 

A few years later, their family has grown, the recession has hit and, for him, the long hours away from his children are taking a toll. The couple begin to think about alternative ways of making a living.

In the pristine treatment rooms I feel as if I have walked on to a spaceship

They start small, giving Botox injections in their spare bedroom. The business takes off, leaving the neighbours wondering about the number of wary strangers pulling up in their cars outside the couple’s home and coming out again later looking strangely satisfied.

By 2017, he has trained as a hair transplant surgeon and she as a hair transplant technician. They open a clinic in a spacious, light-filled building in the suburbs, offering surgical hair restoration for both men and women, while also continuing to provide anti-wrinkle treatment (Botox to you and me).

The clinic does not do “the frozen look”, however, preferring instead to send clients – all of whom have to be over the age of 25 – back out into the world with a “natural” appearance.

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