When considering a hair transplant, one destination immediately springs to mind.
When considering a hair transplant, one destination immediately springs to mind. Turkey has long been known for its expertise in the field and its esteemed cosmetic surgery clinics, with appealing prices and luxury accommodation to boot. And, given its warm, sunny climate, pristine beaches and intriguing cities to uncover, it’s perhaps unsurprising that medical tourism to the nation is growing rapidly by the year.
Once upon a time, male pattern baldness was considered an affliction with no solution, and although a number of lotions and potions promising to restore and accelerate growth have come to market over the years, none have been able to offer quite the dramatic results many men – and women – hope for.
Currently, it’s estimated that around 80 per cent of men will be affected by hair loss in some form over their lifetime, with 25 to 30 per cent facing the issue before they even reach the age of 30. So, when the hair transplant procedure first began to garner attention back in the early 2000s, with Wayne Rooney one of the first celebrities seen sporting the results of his own secret jaunt to Turkey to go under the knife, it stands to reason that for many men, it was the revelation they’d been waiting for.
Fast forward to today, and hair transplantation techniques have come a long way, with Hollywood icon John Travolta, British comedian Jimmy Carr and international music legend Elton John all known to have undergone the procedure, with stunning results.
If you’re one of the many men who are facing early onset hair loss, male pattern baldness or alopecia, and are tempted to join the club when it comes to restoring your natural tresses to their former glory, then here’s everything you need to know about getting a hair transplant in Turkey.
What exactly is a hair transplant?
So, first things first – what exactly is a hair transplant? Essentially, it’s a surgical procedure that involves the removal or ‘harvesting’ of hair follicles from one part of the body, referred to as the ‘donor site’ – and transplanting them onto the target area, which is most commonly the crown or the hairline.
Hair transplant techniques
There are two different hair transplant techniques commonly used in Turkey – ‘FUT’ and ‘FUE’. The former is called follicular unit transplantation, and sees the surgeon remove a strip of scalp skin from the back of a head using a scalpel before separating it into small sections before implanting.
In follicular unit extraction (FUE), meanwhile, hair follicles are removed from the back of the head using tiny hole-punch incisions. Then, tiny holes are made with a blade or needle in the recipient area of the scalp, with individual hairs then meticulously placed inside them. The treatment may involve transplanting many thousands of hairs in one procedure.
Hair transplant stages
If you’ve decided to go ahead with getting a hair transplant in Turkey, then you’ll be led through a series of stages, starting with your initial consultation. Here, you’ll meet with your consultant to discuss your current situation and your expectations from the transplant procedure, and be walked through the different techniques available and the results you can expect. You’ll also undergo a few ‘pre-op’ tests to ensure that it’s safe for you to go ahead.
On the day of your procedure, the initial donor graft extraction will take place, and the harvested skin and follicles will then be carefully preserved until the donor area is ready for implantation. Implantation itself typically takes around four to five areas, although this can vary depending on the size of the target area.
Once you’re done, you’ll be provided with the necessary post-op care to ensure you recover well, and will be advised on the correct aftercare procedures to follow yourself to ensure the best possible results and to prevent infection. This includes regular washing of both the donor and implantation areas and avoiding unnecessary touching, scratching and exposure to direct sunlight.
Your surgeon will also schedule a follow up appointment to check up on you and see how the graft is healing.
How safe is getting a hair transplant in Turkey?
Travelling to Istanbul, Ankara or another Turkish city to undergo a hair transplant procedure can be a great way to get the results you’re hoping for and enjoy a short break in a new place while you recover – but be sure to research your short-listed clinics thoroughly before you travel to ensure you’re making the best choice. Look for highly experienced surgeons who can provide evidence of their work, and be sure to look into any relevant registrations and certifications. Thankfully, there are some wonderful clinics in Turkey that offer excellent expertise and a five-star experience from start to finish, so don’t be afraid to shop around.
When is hair transplant not recommended?
The hair transplant procedure is a relatively simple one and is suitable for most candidates, but those with chronic health issues such as heart disease, diabetes or organ failure may not. Be sure to consult with your GP before you book your package to discuss whether it’s the right choice for you.
Do hair transplants last forever?
The success rate of your hair transplant will depend on how well you follow the aftercare advice you’re given – but generally speaking, you can expect to see new and natural hair growth from around the six month mark, with your restored locks lasting a lifetime.