Immigrants in Beauty: Haideh Hirmand, Celebrity Plastic Surgeon

With all the furor over immigration in recent days, we at Allure had to ask ourselves where we’d be without immigrants. The answer wasn’t pretty. So we reached out to some of the foreign-born talents who have shaped the world of beauty. They opened up to us about growing up in another land and how they define the American dream.

We’re going to feature one of their incredible stories every day for the next week. Today we’re talking to plastic surgeon Haideh Hirmand.

Haideh Hirmand

Hirmand is a clinical assistant professor of surgery at Weill-Cornell Medical College and founder of Haideh Hirmand, MD Aesthetic Plastic Surgery and SkinLabRx Regenerative Medispa in New York City. She is known as a specialist in eye and facial rejuvenation and has pioneered safe eye correction techniques. She teaches surgical and injection techniques across the country, and works with the Women for Women Plastic Surgery Aid program, which provides services by female surgeons for female patients in developing countries.

Birth country: Iran

Arrived in the U.S.: 1979

“I was born in Isfahan, Iran, and moved to this country as a girl. The experience compelled me to re-evaluate the values that one naturally takes for granted. Seeing the juxtaposition between eastern and western cultures broadened my horizons in a profound way at a young age and forced me to ask myself, What do I actually believe and why?

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“Once I got over the initial culture shock and got to talk to friends my age, I realized our similarities were far greater than our differences. We were all young people trying to figure out who we are and where we want to go and what we truly believe in. This was even more profound when I got to college and encountered international students from all over the world—deep down in our nature was a shared humanity.

“Coming from another culture, I had a different perspective on beauty, appearance and the aging process than other med students and, later, colleagues. It afforded me an inclusive view that’s directly influenced the way I approach my practice.

—As told to Jessica Chia

Now, watch a Pakistani mother and daughter duo discuss finding a balance between traditional and modern style: