Should You Go To Turkey for a Hair Transplant

Turkey has undoubtedly grown as a tourism destination in recent years and ranks 6th as the most visited country. One niche that has equally grown is medical tourism to the country. These include cosmetic procedures like hair transplant surgeries. 

Indeed, Turkey comes up a lot when researching hair transplants online, which will naturally pique your interest. But should you book your ticket to Turkey just yet?

Let’s explore the idea.

Why Is Turkey Popular For Hair Transplants?

So, first things first. For Turkey to get thousands of hair transplant patients, something must be in the offing. 

One thing that stands out is the multiple nationalities that visit Turkey for health and cosmetic procedures. Turkey gets patients from all over the world, including Europe, the U.S., and other developed countries that are not lacking in these services. 


The main thing is cost. 

Needless to say, hair transplants don’t come cheap. Being cosmetic procedures, insurance companies do not over them, so you pay the entire cost out of pocket. And these costs can be limiting. 

One thing that stands out with Turkey is the low costs for hair transplants and most other cosmetic procedures. 

There are several reasons for this.

The first is that the cost of living in Turkey is relatively lower than in other developed countries. As such, salaries and overheads are lower, making it possible for clinics to charge lower fees for transplants and other cosmetic procedures. 

Another reason is black market clinics. First, there are numerous legitimate, licensed, board-certified surgeons in Turkey. However, the country has also seen an increase in black-market cosmetic clinics. These are unlicensed, meaning they do not comply or operate with the industry standards. More worrying is that some are run by inadequately trained hair transplant surgeons, including some with no medical training at all. 

This means the pre-operative tests might not be carried out properly, if at all. It also means you cannot ascertain who will conduct the surgical procedure. Non-surgeons will charge much lower costs for the procedure, but the outcome is a bit of a gamble. 

Another reason for the low costs is numbers. The International Society of Hair Restorative Surgery (ISHRS) likens some Turkish clinics to assembly lines. There is little need for medical training as people are just trained to carry out transplants. These include Syrian refugees and taxi drivers! 

The years of training, adherence to surgical standards, and the thoroughness demanded to conduct a proper hair transplant are negated as the goal is to complete as many transplants as possible. 

With a hair mill churning transplants with constant low overheads, the low prices become possible. So are the chances of infections, scarring, unnatural hair lines, and misaligned hair angles. Sadly, if you have to have the surgery re-done or treat a severe infection in the U.S., you lose the cost savings you had made. 

Lastly, some of the low costs are simply false marketing. This happens by overstating the number of grafts needed, which artificially increases the total cost.   

So your decision should not begin and end with the cost. Let’s look at some advantages and disadvantages of getting a hair transplant in Turkey. 

Disadvantages of Having a Hair Transplant in Turkey

Your decision on a hair transplant destination will be premature if you do not evaluate both sides of the equation: the advantages and the disadvantages. 

Some drawbacks of getting hair transplant surgery in Turkey include the following. 

Overharvesting the Donor Site

There are two main bits in a transplant. The first is the recipient site. This is the portion of your head that has undergone hair loss and is due for a transplant. 

The second is the donor site. The safe donor zone is the area that sticks out at the back of your head and the spot from ear to ear. These are the safe donor zones as they have healthy hair follicles and are typically resistant to Androgenic Alopecia. 

Additionally, because of the position of the safe zone, the donor site can easily be covered with existing hair as you heal. In this region, an individual has 4,000 to 6,000 hairs, though the typical range is from 2,000 to 8,000 hair follicles. Hair is harvested from this portion and transplanted on the thinning area. 

Hairs removed outside the safe zone are always at risk for hair loss, meaning they don’t guarantee a permanent solution once transplanted. 

A common error that happens in Turkey is overharvesting. A typical transplant in the country features 4,000 grafts. While most patients’ hair can support these many grafts, it’s different for everyone. Overharvesting hair leaves the patient at risk for balding and permanent hair loss in the donor area, which fixes one problem but creates another. 

Harvesting outside the safe zone also gives you hairs that might not thrive after transplanting, leaving you with less-than-optimal results. 

Too Much Density

If you are struggling with hair loss, it’s natural to think that density is a good thing, and the more, the better. Well, not really. 

A transplant should follow your existing hair’s natural pattern. Overcrowding hair grafts in one area leads to an unnatural appearance that is not as attractive as you would want it to be. 

Even worse, overcrowded grafts can increase your likelihood of scarring, infections, and graft necrosis. 

Necrosis occurs when too many follicles are jam-packed in one spot. When this happens, your hair and scalp are denied the adequate spacing required to get enough blood supply and survive after a transplant. 

As a result, the transplanted hair follicles die off instead of growing. This can cause a condition called graft necrosis. Necrosis can leave scarring that makes it impossible for hair to grow. This leaves you in a worse position than you began with.

Poor Hairline Design

Besides finding the proper density, reputable surgeons also map out a natural, attractive hairline that frames your face perfectly. This is a special skill that helps maintain a masculine look for men and a delicate, feminine look for women. 

Similarly, for men, a hairline reconstruction with inadequate temple hair construction leaves you with a cap look, where you look like you are wearing a baseball cap or a plug. 

You might lack this benefit when you get a hair transplant in Turkey. Another common error in Turkey is a curve and downward slope on the hairline, which leaves men with a more feminine look. 

Wrong Graft Angles and Direction

We charge what we do at Philadelphia Hair Restoration because we meticulously transplant each follicle, being careful of the direction and angle. This takes a good number of man-hours, focus, and expertise. 

Every individual’s hair follows intricate growth patterns, and hair on different sections might sprout from different angles. If you implant follicles in the wrong direction or angles, the transplanted hair grows out of step and doesn’t blend in as it should. 

When executed correctly, a transplant shouldn’t look any different from the rest of your hair. You don’t always get this in Turkey. 

Minimal Follow-Up care

Going to Turkey for a hair transplant means you either book your accommodation or take a hair transplant package with accommodation involved. If you book the former, you are paying accommodation and living expenses out of pocket, so you must return home soon after the transplant. With the latter, you leave once you exhaust the days in your package. 

Unfortunately, having to leave the country sometimes interferes with the aftercare. Aftercare is critical after transplant because it allows the surgeon to assess the results and spot and mitigate potential problems. Without this, you might not heal as expected, and this might affect the transplant itself, yielding undesirable results.

False Expectations

A patient with unrealistic expectations is a poor candidate for a hair transplant. 

The results you get from a transplant depend on numerous factors, including your overall health and the extent of your hair loss. Reputable hair transplant surgeons will emphasize this and tell you what is realistically possible. 

Unscrupulous hair transplant clinics in Turkey will not tell you this. Instead, they will oversell the expected results, only for you to be disappointed later. But by then, you will be back home with little or no understanding of the country’s laws. 

This is sometimes malicious, and at times, it’s a language barrier issue. 

Advantages of Getting a Hair Transplant in Turkey

It’s not all doom and gloom in Turkey. Here are some upsides to getting a new head of hair in Turkey. 

Low Costs

Hair transplant costs in Turkey are significantly more affordable than in many other developed countries. 

Here is a look at the charges of a hair transplant per graft. Keep in mind that a typical transplant requires at least 2,000 grafts. 

Poland: $2.82 

Italy $2.56

France $2.43

Russia $2.28

Malaysia $2.27

Brazil $2.08

Thailand $2.87

Germany $3.6

U.S. $6.8

Canada $8.7

Ireland $3.9

Argentina $1.92

South Africa $1.97

Hungary $1.82

Ukraine $1.75

India $1.67

When you compare the above with the $0.69 to $1.2 per graft in Turkey, the potential cost savings are mouthwatering. 

You Can Get Friendly Packages

If you can find a reputable clinic with a well-qualified surgeon, you can get a good package with several treatments. This means you travel, undergo multiple procedures, recuperate in a beautiful country, and return home looking and feeling your best. 

Note that this solely depends on identifying a licensed, reputable facility.

You can also arrive a couple of days earlier and enjoy the marvelous tourist destination, taste the meals, enjoy the sights and sounds, and immerse yourself in the rich Turkish culture. 

Finding a Reputable Hair Transplant Facility

The question begs: how do you identify a reputable facility in Turkey? Here are some pointers. 

Ask For Credentials

Asking for training and areas of specialization is one thing, but it’s not as helpful if you do not know what these credentials amount to in a foreign country and can establish legitimacy. 

A better way would be to consult with surgeons or clinics registered with bodies like the Turkish Medical Association and the International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery

Years of Experience

Once you have the names of a few surgeons from the above step, you can reach out to find out more, specifically, years of experience and their field of expertise. 

For example, if you are African-American, find out if the doctor in question has experience with Afro-type hair transplants. Afro hair has curling roots, posing challenges with harvesting and transplanting. So you want a hair transplant surgeon who is well conversant with this hair type. 

Check out their Reviews

Search the different clinics and surgeons online for reviews. Do this on their sites and social media as well as other resources. Independent sites are better at providing unbiased, unpaid-for reviews. 

Also, read any news articles and literature concerning your clinics of interest. Steer clear of clinics that are mentioned adversely or have pending malpractice lawsuits. 

Number of Patients per Day

A hair transplant is an intricate process that requires maximum attention. Clinics with too many patients per day and a few attendants might be running an assembly-type facility, which is dangerous. 

Opt for clinics with a healthy patient-to-surgeon and technician ratio. You are better guaranteed to receive adequate attention, that the procedure will be conducted meticulously, and that you will get good post-operative care. All these factors ensure fewer complications and a natural-looking, long-lasting transplant. 

Not Big on Gambling?

The truth is that there are numerous top-notch hair transplant facilities and surgeons in Turkey. The dicey part lies in finding them. 

If you are not much of a gambler, you want to take the uncertainty out of the process and go to a trusted, reputable clinic right here in Philadelphia. 

We have 18 years of experience in hair transplants, world-class technology, a sterile, safe, and private environment, and transparent billing with financing available. 

If that does not impress you, we also offer a free consultation so you can discuss all your concerns and get a price quotation. Just what the doctor ordered. Call us today!

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