By Amber Slater
Mark A. Mandel, M.D., celebrated plastic surgeon and chemist, has turned his attention to creating a hair care line as a means of funding the education of deserving college-bound youth. One hundred percent of the profits from Mandel Beauty Products, which consists of a shampoo, conditioner and glossing serum trio, funnel into his scholarship program, the Foundation for the Advancement of College Education, or F.A.C.E.
The importance of education was instilled in Mandel at an early age, when his mother, Sarah Mandel, became one of the first female principals in New York City. After completing high school at the Bronx High School of Science, he matriculated at Colgate University, where he was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa as a junior.
A student of chemistry, Mandel recalled his program of study as “exceedingly difficult, but it gave me the ability not to give up on any project.”
Mandel earned his M.D. from New York University Medical School and received his surgery training at Case Western Reserve Medical School and University Hospitals. He has authored investigations and conducted research on subjects ranging from cleft lip repair to hand reconstruction and is the author of Sculpture: A Man’s Guide to Plastic Surgery (Paperjacks, 1988), which has influenced many common practices in plastic surgery today. Currently practicing in Beverly Hills, California, Mandel functions as a neutral expert on severe injury cases and advises treatment for severe injuries.
Upon reflecting on his professional life, Mandel stated, “I have been very fortunate in my career, and now I’d like to give back to my community.”
Concerned with cutbacks in state and federal aid for education and the resulting repercussions in the worldwide realm of academia, Mandel turned his attention to creating a scholarship fund and began brainstorming methods of funding.
“I realized I might as well start at the top, with shampoo,” he quipped.
Mandel’s hair care line, beyond helping to fund the higher education of scholarship recipients, are all paraben, sulfate, and formaldehyde-free, resulting in products that he calls “ecologically correct with a philanthropic message.”
According to the F.A.C.E. website, scholarship qualifiers must demonstrate eligibility for the Federal Pell Grant Program as well as “academic excellence, leadership skills and a commitment to their communities.” The first round of $5,000 scholarships were awarded to six students in 2012. In years to come, Mandel hopes to increase sales of his hair care line in order to double the scholarship amount.
“We need to keep America in the forefront as far as intellectual property,” he explained. “We can only do that through education.”
Amber Slater is a senior at McDaniel College majoring in English and Spanish. McDaniel College is home of the Delta of Maryland Chapter of Phi Beta Kappa.