Hair transplants Turkey

Everything you need to know

Turkey is a land of hazy sunsets, beautiful architecture and sprawling markets. The air hangs heavy with heat, and the food is spicy and full of flavour. It’s obvious why Turkey has been a tourist destination for years – it’s a country bursting with life and potential for adventure. However, Turkey’s popularity as a medical destination has also been skyrocketing, particularly for hair transplants. Around 5000 hair transplant candidates visit Turkey every month.

Being confident in your hair can mean the difference between facing the day with your head held high or not. Many people experience balding as they age and it’s perfectly normal. In fact, 85% of men experience some form of thinning hair by the time they’re 50. However, this can really disrupt the way that some people see themselves. For those people, a hair transplant is certainly an option. A hair transplant works by implanting hair follicles from a donor site on the patient’s body, to the balding spot. From the healthy follicle, new hairs grow.

In terms of hair transplant procedure location, Turkey boasts experienced surgeons and high-tech equipment. This makes it just as attractive as more traditional hair transplant locations such as the US and UK. However, in the US and UK, hair transplant prices are around $10,000 USD. Hair transplant prices in Turkey are far less – around $2,000; a clear difference. This has contributed hugely to Turkey’s reputation as an affordable hair-transplant destination. It has even been covered by news outlets such as the BBC. 

Your options for the best hair transplant clinics in Turkey are nearly endless! You’ll be able to find over 350 in Istanbul alone. As of May 2019, the number of foreigners visiting Turkey has increased to 4 million, so you certainly won’t be alone if you make this medical visit!  

Why Turkey for your transplant?

Let’s delve a bit further into why Turkey may be the right destination for you to get your hair transplant. Beyond the fact that it’s the world’s sixth most popular tourist destination, there are a few factors which make Turkey a fantastic hair transplant destination, too. 

Hair Transplant in Turkey Cost 

In the UK, the cost of a hair transplant can range from £8,000 – £10,000. In the US it’s $6,000 – $30,000 USD. On average in Turkey, a hair transplant costs around £2000 – £3000. The price per individual graft in Turkey is around $1.14 / £0.9 / €0.8.  Depending on how many grafts you need, that’s: 

  • 1,793GBP or 2,000 EUR or USD 2,280 for 2000 grafts 
  • 2,690 GBP or 3,000 EUR or USD 3,420 for 3000 grafts 
  • 4,483 GBP or 5,000 EUR or USD 5,700 for 5000 grafts

These lower hair transplant prices in Turkey are obviously a huge saving, which is why so many people choose this route. Many clinics even offer hair transplant cost estimators, which take into account desired density. Tools such as WhatClinic are also  a great resource for comparing hair transplant prices in Turkey. 

Doctor Skill and Hospital Quality 

Turkey is home to many respected and renowned hair transplant doctors. In addition, the hospitals are run at very high standards. Many are Joint Commission International (JCI) accredited, which means that they are up to international standards for cleanliness, quality of care, safety and technology. Turkey has the third highest amount of JCI accredited hospitals in the world, so you truly are in safe hands! You can find a list of Turkish JCI accredited hospitals here.

In addition, many Turkish hair transplant clinics are also part of the International Association of Hair Restoration Surgery (ISHRS). This professional organisation strives to ensure the highest levels of quality and care for hair transplant patients all over the world. You can check that your Turkish hair transplant doctor is ISHRS approved on their database of partner doctors.

Turkey Medical Holiday Destination

Turkey is very experienced with hosting international travellers who come for medical procedures. This means that many clinics will offer accommodation and airport transfer costs in the price of the transplant. Hair transplants in Turkey are very safe. Think of it as a package holiday, which also includes the surgery you’ve been looking for! Great news. 

The Basics: What are the Different Hair Transplant Options In Turkey 

In Turkey and the rest of the world, there are two main different hair transplant options, called FUE and FUT. Both are effective hair restoration techniques, with a high success rate. 

Many people find themselves asking, how long does a hair transplant in Turkey take? Whether you go with FUE or FUT, the process takes about 8- 10 hours. This includes the consultation and the surgery itself. The longest step is the surgery, which takes 1-3. A second day follow up is required for washing the hair.

Let’s go through some medical lingo to help us understand the procedures: 

  1. “Grafts” refer to any living tissue taken from a donor area. 
  2. “Follicular Units” produce hair, and in a hair transplant are the graft referred to. 
  3. “Number of Hairs” refers to how many hairs a follicular unit contains.

So, what is the difference between FUT and FUE in Turkey? Both begin in the same way; healthy hair grafts are taken from a transplant patient’s “donor area”, which is usually a broad area of hair at the back of the head. These healthy grafts are then placed into tiny incisions in the patient’s scalp. Surgeons must be incredibly precise, ensuring that the new grafts blend seamlessly with the existing hair follicles. In addition, they must distribute them precisely and gently, to ensure maximum hair graft survival. 

Hair transplant surgery is a permanent surgery. The donor site which the hairs are taken from is ensured to have DHT-resistant hair follicles. DHT is the androgen which causes hair loss. Once the follicles are transplanted, they retain their DHT-resistant properties. This means that they will continue to produce hair.

The main difference between FUT and FUE lies in the way that the donor hair is procured. 

FUT 

Follicular Unit Transplant or FUT, involves removing a small cluster of follicular units, in a strip of donor hair. This is usually taken from the back of the scalp. The strip is then dissected into sections. During surgery, channels are opened at the recipient site on the scalp, and the dissected hair sections are implanted in. This is known as the “no shave” hair transplant in Turkey. 

People who choose this option are: 

  • People who do not mind the linear hair transplant surgery scar from the strip being removed
  • Those with low donor hair regions 
  • People who don’t mind slightly longer recovery times

FUE 

Follicular Unit Extraction or FUE, involves extracting the individual hairs from the donor site, using a punch-like tool. These are then transplanted one by one into the recipient site. This is higher precision than FUT. 

FUE is best for: 

  • People with lower donor hair density
  • Those with smaller balding areas 
  • Eyebrow and beard transplants
  • Scarring and burn injuries victims 
  • People who need fast recovery rates 

If you’re more of a visual learner, check out this great hair transplant surgery video on the difference between FUT and FUE: 

So, for many people researching hair transplants in Turkey, the next question is: does hair transplant surgery hurt? The short answer is; no! In surgery, you will be under local anaesthetic, which is injected into the donor and recipient site. This means that the area will be numb for the duration of the procedure. After the surgery, you may feel some pain, however this is managed with painkillers prescribed by the doctors. If you have a normal pain threshold, the discomfort you experience will be quite minimal. 

Great, so that’s the basics down. But how many hair transplants do you need?! You’ll just be taking one trip to Turkey for your hair transplant, as one is enough. However, it is true that if you go to an unlicensed or unprofessional clinic, you may find that the surgery was unsuccessful, requiring you to go for a second round at a licensed clinic. Hair loss which is not stabilised yet may also lead to unsuccessful hair transplant results. Therefore, it’s recommended to wait until baldness has stabilised, before getting hair transplant surgery in Turkey. 

The Pros and Cons of FUE vs FUT

What are the benefits and drawbacks of each method? Both have high success rates, so it’s simply a case of discussing with your medical consultant in Turkey and deciding together which is the right choice for you.  

Check out the handy diagram produced by Hair Guru Agency, below: 

Best Hair Restoration Method: FUE vs. FUT

Planning Your Hair Transplant In Turkey: 

Who Should Get a Hair Transplant in Turkey? 

There are many reasons for wanting a hair transplant in Turkey,  but it’s not the right choice for everyone. What factors go into deciding whether or not you’re eligible for a hair transplant? 

Hair Quality and Thickness 

People with thick and wavy or curly hair in their donor destination are prime hair transplant in Turkey candidates. This is because when the transplant is carried out, less hair will need to be transplanted, and it will provide greater coverage. However, even if your hair is thin, you still may be a candidate, so it’s worth speaking with a professional.  

Reason for Hair Loss 

If the hair loss is due to scarring or burning, androgenic alopecia, traction alopecia, or alopecia marginalis, then you’re considered a perfect hair transplant candidate in Turkey and other places across the world. 

Unfortunately, if you’re experiencing hair loss because of alopecia universalis or totalis, this is not the right option for you in Turkey, or other countries. The nature of this disorder makes the hair supply unhealthy, and so it will not lead to a successful transplant. 

Gender

Can women get hair transplants in Turkey? The answer is yes! There are many resources for female hair transplants in Turkey. Women are just as eligible for hair transplants as men, and the exact same methods will be used. 

Age
Is there an age limit for hair transplants in Turkey? It is recommended that patients wait until they’re 23 – 25 for a hair transplant, as this will give the hair time to settle into a pattern of baldness. This must be stabilized, for the surgery to work.

Illness

If you have Hepatitis A or E, you are still eligible for hair transplant surgery in Turkey. This is because it is not a blood-borne pathogen. 

How Much Hair is Needed? 

Well, this is all up to your doctor in Turkey, who has the final word on how much needs to be transplanted. 

The average patient reportedly has 6000 available grafts, which then must be distributed to give the most effective fullness. We recommend handy online calculators which are a good starting point for figuring out how many grafts you may need. 

The amount of grafts and follicular units is totally individual. It’s important not to over-graft, as this will lead to unnatural looking results.

How Effective is Hair Transplant Surgery in Turkey? 

Overall, anywhere from 10 – 80 % of the transplanted hair will grow back. As with original hair, it will thin over time. However, in general patient satisfaction tends to be very high, though hair transplant results in Turkey vary (just like the rest of the world). Those who have had hair transplant surgery report confidence boosts and increased self-esteem. In some cases, they have mentioned an even less expected outcome … developing a kind of “sixth sense” for which celebrities have had hair transplants themselves. And there are many! Celebrities like Wayne Rooney, Steve Claridge, Louis Walsh and Steve Nesbitt have all had hair successful transplants. Who knew that a side effect of a hair transplant would be a great party trick sixth sense! 

What Will It Look Like: Hair Transplant Before and After

So, what might your hair transplant in Turkey results look like? Check out the library of hair transplant before and after photos, below! We also recommend AEK Hair Clinic’s comprehensive library of pictures which are specifically of hair transplants performed in Turkey. Their library specifies how many grafts were put in for each transplant, too. 

Which Clinic in Turkey is Right For You? 

You have a real plethora of options! WhatClinic is a useful site which lists all hair clinics in Turkey, alongside their packages, user ratings and reviews. Medigo is another great resource, as it lists clinics in Turkey which they have personally assessed and approved. 

To help you find the best hair transplant clinic in Turkey, we’ve pulled together a list of our top 5 recommendations and what they offer.

Medaway Hair Transplant Clinic
This clinic is based in London, with a partner clinic over in Turkey. This means that even when you are back home, you have access to local services.
FUE Hair Transplant Package – £1499. Includes:
  • All surgery fees & hospital costs
  • 3 night hotel stay
  • VIP transfers
  • Maximum number of grafts
  • Online consultations
  • Follow-up Care
DoctorCinik
FUE Hair Transplant Package -£1770 – £2237. Includes:
  • One injection session of Platelet-rich plasma (PRP)
  • All required medicines
  • Consultation in person before & after The operation with Dr. Cinik
  • Airport-Hotel and internal Transfers (Arrival & Departure Day)
  • 2 Nights Hotel 4*-5* (Breakfast included)
  • English speaking staff (available in some other language as well)
  • Follow-up by Dr. Cinik for 1 year
Clinicana 

Hair Transplant Package – EUR 2,000. Includes:
  • Airport, hospital and hotel transfers in Istanbul (flight is not included).
  • Two nights’ accommodation very close to the hospital in Taksim – Istanbul (just 5 minutes walking from the clinic, and 5 minutes from Taksim Square as well). Breakfast, SPA and WIFI are also included.
  • Hair transplant in Acibadem Taksim Hospital (Acibadem is the best medical group in Turkey with 18 hospitals around the country, 7 of them in Istanbul, and with many international medical certificates accredited (JCI-ISO for example).
  • All necessary blood analyses before the operation in the hospital.
  • PRP treatment (treatment with Platelet-Rich Plasma).
  • All necessary medications (pain killers, antibiotics, anti swollen, aspirins) and also shampoo, lotion, a exclusive cotton pillow and a hat to wear after your surgery.
  • Translator during your medical journey (Note: all the doctors speak English very well).
Best Hair Turkey
Price calculated via application form. Includes:
  • Transportation
  •  Accommodation (2 nights) and meals
  •  Hair wash demonstration
  •  Pre-operation consultation
  •  All required medication
  •  Post-op care and consultation
  •  Pre-operation tests
  •  Set of haircare products
Smile Hair Clinic
Prices to be discussed. Includes:
  • Accommodation (2 nights)
  • Baseline examination
  • Hair transplant with maximum or required amount of graft guarantee as long as donor area may allow
  • FUE (Follicular Unit Extraction) with Micromotor
  • Local anesthesia
  • Postoperative examination and control visit
  • Phone numbers for 24/7 accessibility
  • Operating Theatre
  • Hair Transplant Room
  • Pre-operative blood work (HIV, Hepatitis Type B and C)
  • Medications that should be taken after surgery

There are many resources out there and large collections of hair transplant in Turkey reviews, you just have to read them and make sure you find one you trust! 

Flights to Turkey: Getting The Best Deal 

The only thing not generally included in the hair transplant packages is flights to Turkey. However, there are many ways to find cheap deals, to ensure that it doesn’t add too much of an extra cost. If you’re coming from Europe, flights to Turkey tend to be very cheap anyway, with budget airlines flying there. 

If you’re coming over from the Americas or Asia, it will cost a little more. However, it’s a great opportunity to have a holiday! Depending on where you’re from, you may need a visa for Turkey. Remember to check the Turkish e-Visa website for more details before you travel.

There are many great flight price comparison websites out there to help you find the best deal. We recommend Skyscanner or Kayak. They are updated often and feature some fantastic budget deals. 

Things To Consider Before Getting Your  Hair Transplant In Turkey

What should I consider before getting a hair transplant in Turkey? Well, as with any medical destination, there are definitely some risk factors to watch out for. While Turkey has a plethora of experienced, qualified medical professionals, there are of course some people who wish to take advantage of this highly profitable industry. Watch out for:

  • Unlicensed doctors carrying out the treatment 
  • Unaccredited hospitals 
  • Poor aftercare 
  • Lack of access to post-operative medication 

How can you avoid a situation in which you’re taken advantage like this in Turkey? There are a few actions you can take: 

  1. Understand what steps should be taken before, during and after a transplant. If it’s clear that in your consultation something is missing, choose a different clinic. Do your research! And you may just end up with the best hair transplant in Turkey. 
  2. Only accept consultations and surgery performed by a doctor. In some clinics in Turkey, they have the technicians (who are not qualified doctors) complete the consultations and surgeries. This is not standard procedure and you should not go through with it. Instead, find one of the many clinics which will provide you with an actual doctor. 
  3. Use the resources we listed in the “Which Clinic in Turkey is Right For You?” section, such as Medigo and WhatClinic

Overall though, remember that hair transplants in Turkey are very safe. 

You’re Ready! The Procedure – Timeline and Steps 

So, you know why you want a hair transplant in Turkey, what a hair transplant is, who is eligible, which clinic, and got an idea of flight prices. Now it’s time to get the ball rolling. How does it start? Our handy guide below explains the process, step by step. For a video explainer of how hair transplants work in Turkey, check out this resource from the Vera Clinic:

Consultation

It begins with a free consultation, before you arrive in Turkey. This means that you speak with the doctor in Turkey and send them pictures of your scalp, hair loss regions and donor regions. With the information and pictures you provide, the doctor will determine whether or not you’re a suitable candidate for the surgery. 

It’s possible that you will need to run some tests with your dermatologist to discover why your hair loss is happening. It’s best to get this testing completed back home. While it is possible to fly to Turkey and complete the diagnostic test there, you may then find that you’re not eligible for the surgery. While you might choose to turn it into a fun Turkish vacation instead, it’s definitely an avoidable expense!

Where can you get your dermatologist hair loss review? 

Heading to your doctor or dermatologist before you go to Turkey is a wise choice. They’re likely to perform a test which will allow them to determine the underlying cause of your issues. This is done by: 

  1. Blood test – sometimes, hair loss is caused by autoimmune disorders or Lupus. The blood test checks for this.  
  2. Hair analysis – the dermatologist looks at a sample of the hair itself under the microscope. This is to assess the kind of damage, or to look for lice and fungus.  
  3. Scalp biopsy – this is rarely used but involves taking a sample of the scalp and sending it to the lab for testing. 
  4. Densitometry – checks for shrinking hair follicles using a special tool 

Once the reason is established, you’ll know for sure if a hair transplant is right for you. As long as you’re given the OK for a hair transplant, you can then start booking those flights! 

In-Person Consultation

You’ll land in Turkey and then have your first face-to-face consultation with the doctor. The doctor will assess the condition of your scalp and hair in person. This may involve running blood tests and medical screens. The patient’s candidacy for the surgery is re-confirmed. It’s possible that the surgery, which is the next step, may happen that very same day, or the following day.

Surgery

The surgery begins with a nurse accompanying the patient to the operating room. After changing into an operation gown, the patient is then asked to approve the border of their hairline. This is drawn on by the doctor with an alcohol-based pen. Depending on whether it’s an FUE or FUT procedure, the patient’s hair may then be shaved. 

From there, local anaesthetic is injected into the patient’s scalp. This numbs the area and ensures that the patient will not be able to feel the extraction and implantation of the hair follicles. This is applied, thus, to both the donor and recipient regions. 

The hair is then extracted from the donor site using either the FUE or FUT method. 

The extracted hair follicles are separated and placed on a petri dish. A graft can contain 1-4 hairs per unit. Those containing 1 or 2 hairs will look most natural and authentic at the hairline, on the front of the scalp. Those containing 3-4 are put at the back of the scalp. 

Channels for implantation are then created and the extracted hair is carefully inserted. 

Washing

In the first 1-2 days after the surgery, the patient will return to the clinic in Turkey to have their scalp professionally cleaned by the nurses. The scalp will be gently rinsed and then a solution will be applied to remove blood clots and ensure no others form. This is for optimal protection of the hair follicles. 

Recovery 

After the successful surgery in Turkey, patients will have a defined hairline at the front of their scalp. However, it may not look exactly as they imagined at first. Don’t worry! Swelling and scabbing is natural, and the first few days are not likely to look great. It’s very important to follow the surgeon’s aftercare instructions. 

Some basic “Do’s and Don’ts” apply here, though you should always take your own consultant’s knowledge as the most important. We’ve summarised those below for you 

Many people ask, when can I go back to work after a hair transplant surgery in Turkey? Almost immediately! A few days rest is recommended, but you should be fine to go back after that. 

DoDon’t
Sleep at a 45-degree angle. The slight tilt will help. Drink alcohol or take drugs. This is especially true of blood thinning drugs! 
Protect the scalp from sunlight 
Participate in sports or get sweaty 
Refrain from wearing tight collared clothing Use a hairdryer or let your scalp get particularly warm 

Timeline for hair growth

The way your hair looks over time is going to change significantly!

  • In the first three weeks, your hair may begin to fall out. Note, however that this does not mean that the hair follicular units are falling out. These will remain in place and continue to grow hair.  
  • In the first three months, you’ll experience scabbing, acne and redness. The acne can be treated with medication such as serums and antibiotics. It’s nothing to worry about. 
  • Around four to five months in, the pattern of the hair growth becomes clear. This allows patient to be able to predict what the final hair pattern will look like. While the hair at this point may seem brittle or light, it will get thicker and healthier over time. 
  • The growth threshold will be reached after ten months. 
  • The hair will have settled into its final form around twelve months. The hair can be treated like normal hair at this point – with brushing, washing and even dyeing. 

How to Achieve the Best Results From a Hair Transplant in Turkey 

In Turkey, you’ll also be able to find complementary treatments, which will encourage healthy and thick hair. Minoxidil really stimulates hair growth, so purchasing shampoos and lotions which contain this in Turkey is a great idea. In addition, vitamins and supplements specifically aimed at hair growth and health are vital to ensuring you hair has the ingredients. These include Vitamin A, C, D, Iron, Zinc and Protein. Platelet-rich plasma therapy is another way to stimulate hair growth in the transplanted follicles. Some packages in Turkey offer this already as part of the overall treatment.  

Hair Transplant Aftercare and Risks  

As with any surgery, you run a few risks when getting a hair transplant in Turkey. Surgical cuts, though made in a sterile environment, are always susceptible to the risk of infection afterwards. However, statistics show that less than 1% of hair transplant surgeries result in infections. 

If bleeding, itching, swelling, discomfort or burning lasts more than a week, hair transplant patients should definitely go see a professional. 

Proper wound care is vital to avoiding hair transplant surgery side effects. Wound care means: 

  • Not touching the site of the transplant 
  • Not touching or picking the scabs 
  • Following aftercare instructions and using prescribed shampoos and lotions 
  • Avoiding alcohol and smoking, as these hinder the wound healing process. 
  • On day 1-3, saline solution should be sprayed on gauze and wrapped around the scalp to gently protect it 
  • Put appropriate antibiotic medication on the scalp, as recommended by doctors. This may be Polysporin, Bacitracin or Aquaspor 

You may experience bleeding, itching and pain. All of these are normal in the first week. Patients should remember not to touch the site. The bleeding can be treated with light dabbing using sterile gauze. For the itching, gentle washing and antibacterial serums are recommended. While patients may experience some pain, they will be prescribed painkilling medication for this. They can take as prescribed 

Recovery in Turkey – Exploring! 

Combining your hair transplant with a holiday comes highly recommended. You have two different options for going about this. The first is take 7-10 days and spend the first part of the holiday exploring Turkey, and the last part getting the transplant. The second option is to get the transplant and then recover in Turkey. Istanbul is a great place to chill and relax. 

Turkey is the meeting point of Asia and Europe, and it dazzles travellers from all over the world with its history, architecture and vibrant culture. In general, the weather in Turkey is warm and pleasant – perfect for adventuring! 

Whether you’re seeing the sights before or after your procedure, here are our top picks to explore. Remember, if you’re exploring after your surgery, definitely keep your head out of the sun and continue with all necessary aftercare routines. 

  • Antalya: This resort city in Turkey is sun-soaked and provides a stunning mix of beaches and Turkish culture. Check yourself into a luxury hotel for a pre-transplant treat.
Image result for antalya turkey
  • Cappadocia: twisting rock valleys ripple into the distance, as far as the eyes can see. Spectacular hot air balloons rise over the panorama, in a breath-taking and now-world-famous view. This is a view not to be missed, as it is truly unique to Turkey.  
Image result for cappadocia
  •  The Hagia Sofia Museum in Istanbul is one of the most-visited museums in the world. The building is a former church, turned former mosque, turned current museum. A perfect choice for an educational afternoon, you’re sure to get lost in the delights that this museum can offer. 
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  • The Blue Mosque is also referred to as the jewel of Istanbul. Built between 1609 -1616, it was constructed during the rule of Ahmed I. It is still used as a mosque to this day and has also become a very famous tourist attraction. Marvel at the beautiful architecture 
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  • For those with a taste for the finer things in life, a Bosphorus Sunset Cruise on a luxury yacht is definitely a top choice! Avoid the hustle and bustle of the crowded streets of Istanbul with a quiet, calming tour. This could be perfect for those in the recovery phase of their hair transplant in Turkey. The sunset photo opportunities are also unmissable. 
  • Before your hair transplant in Turkey, take advantage of all the beautiful sun, sea, and fun that the country has to offer! With some amazing islands and famous peach ice cream, you should definitely check out a sunken city boat tour from Kas

We hope that this guide has given you an informative insight into getting a hair transplant in Turkey and answered all your questions. Good luck and enjoy!