If you’re reading this article, then there is a good chance that you’ve been considering ways to tackle your struggle against hair loss. Well, here’s the good news: there are more options than ever. Thanks to numerous medical breakthroughs, hair transplants are now more effective, painless and accessible than ever before. In fact, one of the main questions for those now considering a hair transplant is not whether to do it, but where to do it.
The UK has a thriving industry of premium clinics with some of the best track records around. However, other locations around the world have also become reputable hubs for hair transplant surgery. Perhaps the most popular of these with British patients is Turkey – more specifically, Istanbul. With more than 350 clinics in the city, a generally cheaper price range, and some high profile celebrity endorsements (Calum Best opted for Turkey when he decided to go for surgery), Istanbul is now an excellent option.
So, where to go: the UK or Turkey? Well, we’ve done the research for you. Here are the main factors we identified that are worth keeping in mind as you make your decision.
Aside from Europe, Turkey and the US boast some of the best hair transplant clinics in the world. So if you’re going to head abroad, they are the best options. Of course, traveling to the US is a costly trip, especially from the UK. On the other hand, Turkey is now very accessible via 3-4 hour flights from London – many of which are operated by low-cost airlines – and even rail trips for those who prefer not to fly. In fact, plenty of customers have chosen to add their hair transplant onto the end of a holiday in the region. And why not? An affordable break in the sun, eating your fair share of Turkish meze between dips in the Black Sea and then, to top it off, you find an answer to the hair loss question that’s been bugging you for longer than you care to mention. The postcard practically writes itself! Istanbul might sound far-flung, but it’s not as distant as you think.
The UK has established itself as a hub for hair transplants largely thanks to the global reputation of its healthcare system. The quality and trustworthiness of a surgeon in the UK is ensured by their membership with organisations like GMC (General Medical Council), BAHRS (British Association Of Hair Restoration Surgery) and IAHRS (International Alliance Of Hair Restoration Surgeons). But with more than 350 clinics now offering hair transplants in Istanbul alone, this competition has driven Turkish clinics to greatly increase their level of care and professionalism. In fact, it’s common for Turkish doctors to have trained at some of the best centres in the UK before starting their clinics. When choosing a clinic, look for its association with official bodies like TTB (The Turkish Medical Association) and ISAPS (The International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery).
Many customers see the considerably lower prices at Turkish clinics in comparison to the UK as a tell-tale sign of low quality, and therefore something that should be avoided. While this is generally good advice – cut-price hair transplants should always be treated with an air of suspicion – it ignores the fact that Turkey has a much lower cost of living than the UK. As a result, the salaries of experienced medical professionals and use of medical facilities is also lower and this brings the overall price of a hair transplant down. This means you can secure a procedure of the same standard as the UK’s finest clinics, but for a more affordable price. However, once you’ve factored in the cost of travel, accommodation and expenses associated with going abroad, it’s worth examining how much you are actually saving in the end.
When it comes to additional care, before and after surgery, the advantages of getting a hair transplant in the UK are tenfold. Most of the UK’s top clinics insist on face to face consultations before surgery, which help the patient – you – figure out which is the right treatment plan for their goals. Then, once the surgery is done, so begins the aftercare, a crucial part of the process. UK clinics will offer a high level of aftercare and many even offer complimentary post-op check ups. Of course, if you’re travelling to Turkey for this procedure, it’s a little harder to do your consultations or aftercare in person. However, the best Turkish clinics have found clever ways around this. Many include accommodation in their package, usually a hotel near the clinic, which means the customer can visit the doctor for a discussion before the procedure and determine the ideal hairline. Afterwards, many of them offer aftercare guidance and reassurance sessions via phone and video call. It isn’t quite the same as in-person, but it ensures that no customers are left feeling isolated or confused afterwards.
Really and truly, when it comes to deciding between the UK and Turkey, there’s no right option: only a right option for you. Whichever country you opt for, the important thing is deciding on a clinic that will listen to your needs and offer a quality procedure. That’s where we come in. At Manual, we’ve done the hard-work, verifying and partnering with trusted hair transplant clinics both in the UK and Turkey. The options are dizzying; the search doesn’t have to be.