British men travel to Turkey for hair transplant
Written by Hair Transplant Surgeon Ali Emre Karadeniz
Publish Date: 25.02.2020
Having a hair transplant in Turkey is very popular among British men suffering from hair loss. Why do British men travel to Turkey and get a hair transplant instead of transplanting hair in the UK?
39% of "hair transplant Turkey" searches on Google worldwide are from the United Kingdom according to Google Ads. United States comes second with 13.4% share. Even these two numbers alone show the high demand of men living in the UK to get a hair transplant in Turkey.
Moreover, this trend continues to increase every year. The graph below shows the growth of the UK users' interest in searching for "hair transplant turkey" over the years. The numbers indicate the yearly search volumes from the UK on Google.
What about the cities in the UK? London, Birmingham, Manchester and Liverpool rank first in search volume. But almost all the cities in the UK are demanding that service. This Google search trend is in parallel with the actual number of hair transplant operations performed in Turkey, especially in Istanbul.
What is a hair transplant?
A hair transplant is the surgical solution to hair loss and it is the best solution to achieve a satisfying and natural result. Basically some of your existing hairs are removed from the back of your head and they are transferred to the recipient area that is balding. The body part that supplies hairs are called donor area, the body part that gets the hair is called the recipient area. Yes, the transplanted hair is your own hair and you are your own donor. It is not possible to use someone else's hair in a hair transplant surgery. Your donor area should have a sufficient density and it must be away from areas that are affected by baldness.
Hair transplant surgery does not create new hairs, the total number of hairs on the head remain the same after a hair transplant. The hairs that are removed from the donor area are permanently moved to the recipient area. That means they are permanently moved to another location, they will not grow back at the donor area, they will grow at the recipient area.
A hair transplant procedure usually takes a full day, that is 8-9 hours, and it is completed in a single session. Sometimes a second or third consecutive session may be necessary if a lot of hairs will be transplanted to the patient. The majority of hair transplant procedures are performed under local anaesthesia which means that a hair transplant is mostly a painless procedure.
Why hair transplant in Istanbul?
It's not surprising for residents of Istanbul to see foreigners who had a recent hair transplantation with a bandage on their head. Every year, thousands of "health tourists" come to visit this city for a quality and cheap hair transplant. Their goal is to get back the hair they lost. We don't know how much they can get what they expect, but the interest of health tourists in Turkey and Istanbul is not diminishing.
Turkey has become the center of hair transplants and there's a well-established system in Turkey about hair transplantation for almost a decade. Turkey is definitely the number one destination for hair transplantation in the world and there are mainly two reasons for that. The first reason is that there is a significant amount of experience about hair transplantation in terms of both medical quality and service quality. The second reason is that prices are very low with respect to Europe and United States. That means you can get high quality hair transplants with relatively low prices.
The most popular city of Turkey in terms of hair transplant is Istanbul. Although there are hair transplant clinics in Antalya, Izmir, Ankara, Trabzon and other cities as well, the majority of hair transplant clinics are in Istanbul since Istanbul is the largest city of Turkey by far.
Istanbul ranked as the 8th most visited city in the world in 2019 with 13.4 million tourists, it is one of the most popular tourist destinations. If you haven't seen Istanbul yet, having a hair transplant in Istanbul can be considered as a good opportunity.
There are flights to Istanbul from many cities of the United Kingdom including London (Gatwick, Heathrow, Luton and Stansted Airports), Aberdeen, Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Glasgow, Manchester and Newcastle with reasonable prices. This makes Istanbul a very easy city to travel.
It's that simple and is done by thousands of people every year. Let's dive deeper into the subject.
Hair Transplant Medical Quality Level In Turkey
Although there are some poor and unprofessional hair transplantation clinics in Turkey – which you should avoid – there are also quality hair transplant clinics in Turkey.
Almost every hair transplant clinic on earth claims that they are the best. But it is not enough for a clinic to claim that it is good; it needs evidence to support this claim. You should check the doctor's background, education and experience. ABHRS (American Board of Hair Restoration Surgery) is the only accreditation board in the world in the field of hair restoration surgery. Beware of the unlicenced clinics, do your homework and find a Board Certified expert in Turkey. You can also check the ISHRS database (The International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery) for a doctor. ISHRS is a global non-profit medical association and the leading authority on hair loss treatment and restoration.
To summarize; there are well-educated, experienced and reputable hair transplant doctors in Turkey. It will be useful for you to research where you will have your hair transplant operation and it will be worth your time.
Hair Transplant Service Quality Level
To overcome the difficulty of going to another country to have a hair transplant, clinics in Turkey offer some packages. These packages vary depending on the clinic and the treatment that you're going to get, but most of the packages include hotel costs and airport pickup service. Packages does not contain travel costs to Turkey since travel costs will vary greatly depending on where the patient will come from and the date of travel.
The process works roughly as follows: You get on the plane, fly to Turkey, a private driver takes you from the airport in Istanbul, they put you in a hotel, you rest one night, the next day they transplant your hair, you rest one night again, you get on the plane and come back to your country. There can be one or two additional nights depending on the treatment you get. These can differ from clinic to clinic, therefore be sure to ask all the services the clinics provide.
Therefore, it is very understandable why people are going to Turkey to have a hair transplant especially when you consider the hair transplant prices in the UK.
Hair Transplant Cost In Turkey
One of the most important reasons why British men prefer Turkey to have a hair transplant is the prices in Turkey. The difference between Turkey and the UK is really too much when it comes to the costs of a hair transplant. It's almost one-to-ten for equivalent treatments.
The cost of a hair transplant operation can be as much as £20,000 in UK depending on the treatment, number of sessions and number of grafts. Since cost of labor for both surgeons and technicians are much lower in Turkey compared to the UK, having a hair transplant in Turkey can cost you much lower even combined with the flight and accommodation costs. The average FUE hair transplant cost (which is the most popular hair transplantation technique) in Turkey usually ranges between £1000 and £3000 including the hotel costs in Turkey depending on the clinic, treatment you get, number of sessions and number of grafts transplanted.
Hair transplant is a permanent change to your body, therefore do not choose a clinic just because it is the cheapest, it is best to make your decision after you have done enough research on the clinic.
There are many hair related transplantation services like FUE hair transplant, FUT hair transplant, beard transplant, eyebrow transplant, unshaven hair transplant, afro hair transplant (yes, it is a special case, and there are only a few experts on this subject) and body hair transplant.
Hair transplantation generally seems like a topic about men, but women can have hair transplants too. However, hair loss in women is more sophisticated than in men. Also eyebrow transplantation can be done for patients, the grafts can be harvested without visible shaving and the transplanted area can be camouflaged using large framed eyeglasses for up to two weeks.
Turkey has become a country that stands out in the hair transplant field as a result of affordable costs and the expertise on hair transplant surgery. Candidates can make research about clinics that offer hair restoration surgery, have a consultation with the clinic, the consultation may be an online consultation. But you must check for the expertise of the clinic on whichever service you'd like to get.
Written By Dr. Ali Emre Karadeniz, MD, PhD
Ali Emre Karadeniz, MD (Dr. K) is the only American Board of Hair Restoration Surgery Certified Turkish plastic surgeon. He has performed over 2000 hair operations. He is an active member of the International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery (ISHRS). Her performs hair restoration surgery at AEK Hair Clinic in Istanbul, Turkey.