Hair transplant: The complete guide from A to Z

hair transplant hair implant abroad 1
Written by Erika

In this guide, we provide answers to the most common questions asked by people considering a hair transplant. We give you an overview of how the procedure works, the results you can expect and what you need to pay attention to in order to minimise the risks associated with hair transplants.

BestClinic.co. uk provides information about hair transplants, and helps you book hair treatment with the best clinics in Turkey.

What is a hair transplant?

A hair transplant is a minimally invasive outpatient surgical procedure that can permanently restore hair in men and women suffering from partial baldness by transplanting new follicles into balding or thinning areas. This is also known as a hair implant or hair transplant.

Who can benefit from a hair transplant?

A hair transplant may be recommended to anyone suffering from partial baldness due to male pattern baldness (androgenic alopecia), female pattern baldness, receding hairline, traction alopecia or head trauma. A hair transplant can offer eligible candidates a permanent, natural-looking solution.

The procedure is not recommended for people suffering from diffuse hair loss (chronic telogen effluvium), spot baldness (alopecia areata), or for those with insufficient hair in the donor area. Surgery is also not recommended for people under the age of 25, as it is difficult to assess the long-term stability of the donor’s hair and the extent of future hair loss.

See also: Price of a male hair transplant in Turkey

Where are hair transplants carried out?

Hair transplants are generally carried out in Turkey and Tunisia. Over time, these countries have become specialists in the field, with a wave of foreigners flocking to the 2 countries every year in search of the perfect haircut.

How is a hair transplant carried out?

There are two treatment methods used by hair transplant surgeons today: Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) and Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUT).

The FUT method: Follicular Unit Transplantation

  • The traditional technique, developed in the 1950s, involves a surgeon taking a strip of skin from the donor area (usually the back of the patient’s head) under local anaesthetic, dividing it into smaller grafts and then implanting them into the recipient sites.
  • With this method, the patient has a permanent scar where the scalp was removed, and the recovery time is around 2 weeks.

The FUE method: Follicular Unit Extraction

  • Increasingly popular because it is much less invasive and has minimal downtime, the FUE method involves a surgeon manually removing individual hair follicles from a donor area under local anaesthetic, then grafting them to the appropriate locations to achieve a natural, uniform appearance.
  • With this technique, the donor area is usually shaved (although some surgeons use the technique without shaving), and healing takes place in less than 5 days.

Read our report on shaving-free hair transplants in Turkey

What is a graft?

A graft is a piece of living tissue that is surgically moved from one part of the body to another. After being placed in the target area, a new blood connection will develop to supply the bulb.

Hair follicles naturally develop in groups of 1 to 4 hairs, called follicular units. Surgeons specialising in FUE hair transplantation will endeavour to harvest and transplant the hairs in their natural groupings in order to promote uniform hair growth. The surgeon will harvest each follicular unit (graft) with a hollow needle between 0.6 mm and 1.0 mm in diameter. The surgeon will then use microblades (“Sapphire” blades leave no scar) and fine needles to insert the grafts into the target areas, orienting the grafts in a consistent pattern for a natural look and density.

Hair transplant abroad with Sapphire treatment

How long does a hair transplant take?

The length of the procedure itself varies depending on the number of hair transplants required and the size of the surgical team, but is typically between 4 and 8 hours. As the operation is performed under local anaesthetic, the patient is fully awake and can read, watch television, have conversations, eat, etc. during this period.

See also: Price of a female hair transplant in Turkey

Immediately after the operation, patients can walk around and resume most of their normal daily activities. The transplanted area will be swollen and tender for 3 to 5 days, but patients can return to work within 2 to 3 days of the hair transplant. There will usually be some redness and crusting for 10 to 14 days after the procedure.

Some patients may require the hair transplant to be performed in several sessions, a few months apart, to achieve the desired result. This can be determined by the surgeon before the operation.

What results can I expect from a hair transplant?

In the first 2 to 3 weeks following the hair transplant, all the transplanted hair will fall out. This is known as “shock loss” and is the normal result of trauma to the displaced hair follicles. Some patients may also lose hair in areas not affected by the transplant, which is temporary and normal.

Within 6-8 weeks of surgery, 85-95% of the transplanted follicles should begin to produce new hair growth, with more hair and thicker growth after each growth cycle (each growth cycle is approximately 6 weeks, depending on the individual). Although results are visible after six months, the hair transplant will be fully completed twelve months after the procedure.

For optimal results, patients are encouraged to carefully follow the surgeon’s instructions for post-operative care, including protecting the area from sun exposure, not scratching the scalp and washing regularly to avoid scabbing around the hair shaft. Most surgeons also recommend keeping alcohol and tobacco consumption to a minimum in the weeks following the operation, as these can contribute to poor graft survival.

See also: Hair transplants for stars

Is a single hair transplant enough to obtain full coverage?

Up to 5,000 grafts are usually harvested in a single session. A single graft is generally designed to be a stand-alone procedure, but a second procedure can improve the results of the first. Patients usually decide to have a second hair transplant in order to achieve greater density or better coverage. It is estimated that one in two people undergo a second operation one year after the first.

What are the risks of a hair transplant?

Hair transplantation is a simple, minimally invasive and relatively low-risk medical procedure. However, as with any surgical procedure, there are potential risks and side effects, which may include bleeding, infection, swelling of the scalp and/or forehead, scarring and uneven hair growth. Over 95% of hair transplant patients have no post-operative problems.

In order to minimise post-operative complications, patients are advised to choose an experienced hair transplant surgeon and to follow all recommended care. Most surgeons prescribe antibiotics or anti-inflammatories to prevent infection after the operation and recommend wearing bandage pads to reduce scalp sensitivity.

Are there other areas of the body where hair transplants can be performed?

Yes, hair transplants can be performed on the beard, eyebrows, eyelashes, chest, abdomen and pubic area. Hair transplants can also be used to fill in scars.

For a facial or body hair transplant, the surgeon will need to assess the consistency of the hair in the recipient area and match it to an area of the body with a suitable donor site to achieve the most natural look possible.

How much does a hair transplant cost?

The cost of a hair transplant depends on the number of grafts required for each individual and where the procedure is performed. The difference in cost between countries is generally due to differences in the cost of living and the cost of labour, rather than quality.

Below are the average prices between countries for a 2000-graft hair transplant using the FUE method in a quality hospital.

Also read: How much does a hair transplant abroad cost?

I want a hair transplant – What’s the next step?

You’ve come to the right place! At BestClinic.co.uk, your health and happiness are our top priorities, and we intend to prove it to you.

The next step is to contact us for a free consultation, during which we will determine your goals and eligibility for the procedure. We’ll ask for photos of your head so that our medical experts can recommend the number of grafts needed to achieve a natural look. Then, once you’ve decided where you’d like to have your hair transplanted, we’ll work to get you the best possible price at the best hair transplant centres in the world.

Who we are

With BestClinic.co.uk you can be sure of getting the best quality at the most affordable prices.

We are an independent company that knows the market inside out and we offer you complete transparency because, unlike other medical tourism platforms, we work for you and not for the hospitals. We only show you hospitals that we have carefully selected on the basis of strict quality criteria, so you don’t have to sift through huge amounts of information to find the best hospital for your treatment.

Whichever hospital or treatment you choose, we’ll be with you every step of the way: when you book, when you visit the hospital and during your recovery. And all free of charge.

Still undecided?

Do you still have questions? Are you wondering whether a hair transplant is the right solution for you? Is your donor area sufficient? Is total coverage of the skull possible? How many grafts do you need?

Enjoy a FREE evaluation!

On request and
with no obligation on your part.

100% free consultation. We analyse your situation, your needs and your expectations. And we estimate the budget required for : Flight + Hotel + Taxi + Treatment.

At all times, you retain complete control over the process. Total peace of mind.

Disclaimer: The information contained in this guide is for educational purposes only and is not a substitute for medical advice. Always consult your doctor before starting any treatment.

About the author

Erika

My name is Erika. After more than 10 years conducting medical research, I have chosen to devote myself to scientific and medical writing since 2018. I have developed expertise covering various fields, such as cosmetic, dental, bariatric and eye surgery. This new direction allows me to share my knowledge.

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