So, you’re considering a Turkish hair transplant over one in the UK. On this page, you’ll find everything you need to know about foreign vs UK clinics, hair transplants, and what to be wary of.
First Thing’s First: What Are Hair Transplants?
Put simply, hair transplants are a surgical procedure where hair is taken from an area of high density and re-implanted into an area of low density. Hair transplantation can be carried out across the world. All that is needed is a qualified medical doctor and a clinic.
Surgeons call the “high density” site your “donor area”. In all men, and many women, the donor site is located at the back of your scalp. This is why hair transplant companies across the world, will ask you to send pictures of the back of your head (as well as your area of hair loss) when making a quote.
Hair transplants can come in all different shapes and sizes, from a simple crown thickening to full on hairline reshaping. As you can see above, the aim is to make people’s hair look thicker, fuller, and more youthful than before.
There are many different hair transplants available in the UK. Most clinics, including Harley Street Hair Transplant Clinics, favour modern methods called Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) and Direct Hair Implantation (DHI).
Hair Transplant Cost
So, what are the costs of hair transplants? Well, the price can vary depending on a number of factors, namely:
- the severity of balding
- expertise of the surgeon
- where your procedure is performed
- the cost per graft.
In the UK, an FUE hair transplant for 2,000 grafts will typically cost you between £3,000 and £8,000, depending on the clinic and who is performing your surgery. However, if you look at the prices of clinics abroad, then you may see a vast variation in price.
For reference, here is is what a 1,800 to 2,000 graft case looks like. For this sort of surgery (FUE), our clinic will usually charge £3,999.
Like the UK, European countries and Turkey also offer hair transplants and, in many cases, they do appear to be cheaper than British clinics. For the same procedure stated above, some clinics will even manage to give you a hair transplant for between £1,500 to £2,000.
Getting a Hair Transplant: UK vs Foreign Clinics
One of the hardest things about having a hair transplant is deciding where you want to go for your surgery. The main question many of our patients ask is: should I stay in the UK for my surgery, or go abroad?
The low price tag offered abroad can often be enticing for patients, with many not knowing why hair transplants in the UK are more expensive, when compared to Turkish hair transplant clinics.
After all, how hard can it be to transplant some hair follicles from an area of high density to low density? Especially given that most clinics operate on a cost-per-graft basis.
However, hair transplant costs are not as simple as a “cost-per-graft”. If you’re looking for the best hair transplant possible, there are many other factors you should be considering aside from the cost. Namely, these are:
- Who is performing your hair transplant?
- Where is your hair transplant being performed?
- What hair transplant method is being offered to you?
- Does the hair transplant company seem reputable?
If you look on any popular hair transplant forums, or social media groups, you’ll see that all the leading hair transplant clinics abroad charge similar rates to UK clinics. So, unless you want a holiday, or can be certain that a qualified doctor is performing your surgery, a UK hair transplant is often a safer option.
What Makes a High Quality Hair Transplant?
There are a number of different elements that separate a high quality hair transplant from a poor, slap-dash job. As with any hair transplant clinic, you should always be asking for as many patient before-and-after pictures as possible.
The best way to gauge the legitimacy of a company is through the results that they show. Of course, the more patient cases they’re willing to show you, the better! On these pictures, be sure to ask yourself the following questions:
- Even Hairline – how has the surgeon styled out the new hairline after the hair transplant? Does it look realistic? Is it too high or too low? Do the hairs on the new hairline match the hairs of the previous hairline?
- Even Crown Thickening – does the crown area look thick enough to be realistic? Can I tell where the patient was previously bald?
- Even Donor Extraction – does the donor area look patchy after the surgery? can I even tell that 2,000-3,000 hairs have been extracted?
- Choosing High Quality Donor Hairs – does the transplanted hair look similar to the previously existing hairs?
At Harley Street Hair Transplant Clinics, we’re happy to show you a vast array of our before and after results. It’s only fair that patients know what they’re in for!
We’re also committed to being a transparent company. If you really wanted, we’re happy to show you pictures of our clinics. Simply get in touch with us through the contact us form on our website.
How Can I Assess the Legitimacy of a Hair Transplant Clinic?
Whether you’re thinking about a hair transplant in Turkey or the UK, it’s always nice to know how other people have responded to their surgeries and time spent in the clinic you’re considering.
One way to assess this is through online forums. Two of the most popular hair transplant forums are:
Another fantastic place to consult is TrustPilot. Click here to see our TrustPilot reviews!
Foreign Hair Transplant Procedures: What to Look For with Medical Tourism
Before we get into Turkish hair transplant clinics, it’s important to state that we’re not trying to persuade you from choosing one company over another. This article is designed to be an informative article that outlines some of the risks with going for a hair transplant surgery abroad.
Medical tourism is a huge industry in some foreign countries like Turkey, Eastern Europe, and even Mexico. Put simply, medical tourism is where patients travel abroad for a medical procedure.
Often, this is because medical services are cheaper when compared to the prices in the UK, Western Europe, and America. In these countries, procedures may be cheaper because doctors do not charge as much and the cost of living is lower.
One of the most popular destinations for medical tourism is Turkey. As well as cosmetic and dental surgeries, hair transplant surgery is incredibly popular. There are a number of reasons for this.
Nowadays there is less social stigma around getting a hair transplant. Many people see a hair transplant as no different to dental veneers, medical liposuction, or a breast augmentation.
Historically, Turkey has been the epicentre for these sorts of procedure and so it is likely that a Turkish hair transplant clinic will be recommended to you over a British clinic.
If you know someone who has had a hair transplant in Turkey and thinking of getting one yourself, your friend will likely state how cheap and easy it was when compared to a UK clinic.
Like with any other UK company, a Turkish clinic will likely converse over email, or WhatsApp, offer you a free consultation, and enable you to book your transplant.
Poor Results from SOME Turkish hair transplants
Across the globe there are some fantastic hair transplant surgeons. You don’t have to go to Britain or the US for a good hair transplant. However, if hair transplants are not performed in clean clinics by experienced surgeons, then cases like this can happen.
These images are not included to suggest that this will happen if you go to any foreign clinic. Instead, they are designed to encourage you to do plenty of research BEFORE you go for your surgery.
Poor Hairlines (Patient 1&2)
This gentleman (patient 1) was drawn in by the cheap price tag of a Turkish clinic. As you can see above, too few donor grafts have been used to reshape this patient’s hairline, leaving a poor, thin-looking result.
If you look closely, the donor hairs look remarkably different from his existing (previous hairline). Unfortunately, our clinic was not able to do anything for this gentleman.
Here is patient 2. This gentian came to us looking for a second surgery to correct the poor result from the first hair transplant he got abroad.
For patients with darker hair, it is of paramount importance that the surgeon uses enough donor grafts to provide a full looking result.
Although the hairline looks to be in good shape, and equally measured, too few grafts have been used leaving it noticeable that he has had a (BAD) hair transplant.
Poor Crown Thickening (Patient 3)
Patient 3 went to a foreign clinic looking for a surgery that would fix his severe balding in his crown area. In return, he got a hair transplant result that would not only didn’t fix his crown, but prevented him from doing anything to fix his hairline in the future
Had this gentleman gone to a more reputable clinic for his hair transplant, he would have been more likely to have a second procedure and, thus, gain a better result.
Uneven Donor Extraction (Patient 3)
When your hair follicles are used as donor grafts for hair follicles, they need to be extracted evenly across the back and sides of your scalp. Of course, once they are taken, they will not grow back where they were originally placed. This makes it a vital part of a surgeons job: to produce minimal scars and any signs that a surgery has even take place.
As you can see in the second image, the patient’s donor area has been over extracted, leaving him unable to have any more hair transplants in the future. More than likely, he will be left with visible scars for the rest of his life.
Turkish Hair Transplant Clinics: the other Negatives to Look Out For
Whilst a hair transplant abroad may be cheaper abroad than in Britain, or Western Europe, there are a number of things to consider if you’re thinking of going abroad.
One of the most pressing issues related to medical tourism is the spreading of multi-drug resistant (MDR) bacteria. In a 2018 study of 110,000 patients who went abroad for medical procedures, 3,985 (3.5%) came back to their home country with a positive MDR culture.
MDR organisms can not only harm the results of your hair transplant, in many cases that can pose a severe threat to your life. When visiting a foreign clinic for your hair transplant, you should always be aware of the medical risk of spreading antibiotic-resilient infections across the globe.
Another problem with a small number of foreign clinics is the potential for catching infectious disease. During a hair transplant, your surgeon will use an implanter pen and other medical apparatus to perform your procedure. Not to mention, a hair transplant does produce a small amount of blood
In another country with less stringent health standards, you may be exposing yourself to wound infections, bloodstream infections, donor-derived infections, and diseases such as hepatitis B, hepatitis C, HIV.
At Harley Street Hair Transplant Clinics, you can rest assured that all of our surgical procedures are carried out in CQC compliant clinics with GMC registered doctors. The upmost emphasis is placed upon cleanliness and minimising exposure to infectious disease.
Quality of Care
Another factor that is difficult to gauge with a non-UK clinic is the Quality of care you’re going to get. Until you get to your clinic on the day of your surgery, it is unclear as to whether you will have a qualified doctor, or a technician, performing your surgery.
Although this may not sound bad, you should always ask for a qualified doctor as they have more experience, a higher qualification, and are likely to offer a better result. You should definitely be wary if you see a company working on a “conveyor belt” system where a doctor is only supervising technicians.
Furthermore, with a foreign clinic, you may be increasing the chances of miscommunication between clinic and client. There are many different types of hair transplant – hairline, crown, beard, eyebrow – and you may be less likely to find yourself in a sticky situation with a UK clinic.
With a UK clinic, you’re also less likely to incur any hidden costs with your hair transplant. Most UK clinics, including Harley Street Hair Transplant Clinics, will only ask for two payments: the initial deposit and the remainder of your quotation. We will never ask for further travel, or accommodation, costs that were not stated in our initial quote.
If you’re travelling abroad, flying after surgery can increase the risk for blood clots and even deep vein thrombosis. For people who have had a hair transplant surgery, we recommend you do not get a flight home until your initial 14 day recovery period has passed. This should reduce the chances of a blood flow issue, or blood clot, after your surgery.
Proposed Treatment Method
Most clinics across the world today offer a hair transplant method called Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE), or a derivative called Direct Hair Implantation (DHI). In both cases, these hair transplants are minimally invasive and do not leave any lifelong scars after surgery.
If a foreign clinic recommends a process called Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUT), you should immediately be wary. Sometimes called the “strip method”, FUT looks to take incise a strip of skin with your donor hairs on, leaving a nasty scar for the rest of your life. FUT should only be used in the most severe cases of balding. Otherwise, avoid any clinic offering this at all costs!
Drawing Some Conclusions About Hair Transplants
There is no such thing as a “best hair transplant clinic” or “best country for hair transplants”. There are qualified surgeons across the globe that perform outstanding surgeries every single day.
However, there are some clinics outside of the UK that will not be able to competently solve your hair loss issues. In some cases, poor surgeons and technicians will even make some patients’ lives worse, preventing them from having further surgeries and even send them home with infections.
So, if you’re mainly concerned with hair transplant costs, the key message to take away is “you get what you pay for”. The more you pay for a hair transplant, the less likely you are going to receive a low quality surgery and you are more likely you are going to be able to have another surgery in the future.