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The Rise Of Hair Transplant Clinics In Turkey Most people have limited knowledge on the hair transplant treatments available and for those that do, the cost of a hair transplant is unaffordable

By Shirish Jajoo

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

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Whether you are male or female, experiencing hair loss at some stage of life is common. In fact, male pattern baldness affects up to half of all men by the age of 50 and globally 1 in 4 women suffer from hair loss.

Despite this fact, hair transplant surgery to address hair loss is much less common. Most people have limited knowledge on the hair transplant treatments available and for those that do, the cost of a hair transplant in European countries such as the UK can reach £30,000, making it unaffordable for many. Medical tourism in countries like Turkey has paved the way for hair transplant procedures to become accessible, however finding a trustworthy hair transplant surgeon imperative. The history of hair transplants in Turkey has not been smooth sailing, leaving many sceptical.

In cases where hair transplant clinics have used fake reviews and left patients disappointed with their results, affordable clinics in Istanbul became seen as risky places for a procedure. However, over the past decade hair transplants in Turkey have become increasingly popular and Turkish clinics offer specialist procedures with affordable all-inclusive packages.

While there is a black market for hair transplant operations in Turkey, the standard of legitimate and trustworthy hair transplant clinics in Turkey is excellent. Government incentives and the overwhelming competition for hair transplant procedures have forced many hair transplant clinics in Turkey to specialise and improve their craft in order to stay in business. As a result, Turkey has become the home of innovations in the hair transplant industry; one of the surgeons at the forefront of these innovations is Dr Serkan Aygin.

Finding the right surgeon

Dr Aygin is one of the doctors who has raised the bar for hair transplant surgeons in Turkey. It comes as a surprise to some that despite being based in the affordable medical tourism hub of Istanbul, he is acclaimed for his advancements in the industry globally. He has been performing hair transplant procedures for over 25 years and was granted the award for the "Best Hair Transplant Surgeon' by the independent organisation European Awards of Medicine in 2019. He also received the award for the "Best Medical Tourism Facility' at the 8th Health Tourism awards organized by La Razon in Spain in 2019.

What does a hair transplant involve?

Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) and Direct Hair Implantation (DHI) are the two most popular methods used in hair transplantation. The key difference between the two is the FUE technique involves making the recipient sites before implanting the grafts, whereas, the DHI method simultaneously performs site creation and graft placement using a Choi Implanter Pen allowing full control of depth, direction and angle of placement of each hair graft.

Both methods achieve natural results, but your doctor should determine which transplantation method is best, based on your hair loss classification, the size of the thinning area, quality and quantity of donor areas.

Dr Aygin has developed two key innovations: the Sapphire FUE method and Soft anaesthesia. The Sapphire FUE technique uses sapphire blades which allows for smaller incisions during the operation, and faster healing when compared to traditional blades. While Soft anaesthesia does away with needles, making surgery pain-free. Both methods have revolutionised the hair transplant industry.

Why travel to Turkey for a hair transplant?

Turkish hair transplant clinics offer hair transplant procedures for as little as £3,000. Price, however, is not the underlying factor in determining why Turkey is preferred for hair transplant operations. Many patients are attracted to having a hair transplant in Turkey by the experienced hair transplant surgeons. Having become specialists in hair restoration, medical teams in Turkey can carry out hair transplant procedures with extreme precision.

Turkey is also recognised globally for the long-term studies that have been carried out on hair loss. With around 500 long-established clinics and hospitals performing hair transplantation, surgeons have garnered recognition from increasing patient referrals.

There are several factors why clinics in Turkey can offer hair transplants for as little as £3,000:

The Turkish economy: With the euro, dollar and pound working out as 9.64 TRY, 7.93 TRY and 10.63 TRY, respectively, foreign visitors benefit from the cost savings from currency exchange.

Costs of living: The cost of living in Turkey is significantly lower than the US, the UK and many countries in Western Europe.

Affordable qualified labour: Every hair transplant surgeon in Turkey has to abide by strict medical controls which require them to obtain a qualification if they are participating in surgery.

Travelling for plastic surgery has become a welcome norm and with the rise of world-class surgeons operating in more affordable economies, we are likely to see a continued increase in people travelling to a hair clinic in Turkey for their surgery. This could lead to an interesting shift in perceptions of how much hair transplant surgery should cost globally and clinics will be judged by what they can offer as opposed to where they are based.

Shirish Jajoo

Blogger, Traveller, Social Media Advisor

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