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5 things you need to know about getting a hair transplant procedure

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Losing your hair is quite a common thing for many people as they get older. In the past there has been very little that could be done about it, and in the more recent past it was only the rich and famous that could afford to have it done. But things are changing and more and more people are winding back the clock by bringing back the hairline of their younger selves

Before you embark on your hair transplant journey it is well worth doing a little research to make sure you are well prepared for what will happen.

It is a surgical procedure, but it isn’t really surgery

The general principle of hair implants is simple. Hair follicles are surgically removed from the donor site, and implanted in the recipient site that has suffered hair loss. From this perspective it is surgical in nature, but it is carried out under local anaesthetic meaning the patient is awake and conscious the whole time. This carries far less risks than putting someone under general anaesthetic, yet the patient will feel nothing.

The usual technique, known as Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) is minimally invasive, almost bloodless and is considered to be ‘non-surgical’. Together with the patient the doctor will locate a donor site in agreement with the client. Prior to the transplant the hairs need to be shaved down to around 1-2 mm in length, and once the anaesthetic has taken effect they are ready to be moved.

A small tool that looks a little like a punch is looped over the follicular unit and pushed into the skin just enough to allow removal with a small pair of forceps. Each unit contains 1 to 5 hours and is laid to one side to await implantation in the new location.

Small incisions are the made and the units inserted one and time, and will be done thousands of times so that the new growth will be dense enough to look natural.

Once healed it can have huge impact on your confidence

Hair loss is fairly common in men, less common in women, but for both it can have a huge impact on your emotional well being. After the procedure has finished healing and started to grow, it can really boost your confidence and change your look completely to how you looked 10, 20 or 30 years ago.

There are a number of celebrities who have undergone the procedure, and before and after photographs are easy to see across the internet. Check out the results for yourself and imagine how it would look on you.

It can be expensive in Europe and the US

It can be expensive, but it doesn’t need to be if you choose to go abroad for the procedure. For example, in Turkey some of the best hair transplant surgeons from around the world are flocking to Istanbul to set up hair transplant clinics with the latest modern techniques.

And yet it costs so much less than in other countries. This doesn’t mean there is any loss of quality, in fact it is far from it. There is a wide list of low cost hair transplant clinics in different countries that are worth looking into. The best clinics are regulated, and the procedures carried out in brand new accredited hospitals. Yet the price of the procedure will often come in under €2,500 compared with around  €12,500 in the UK, and as much as €25,000 in the US.

This is mostly down to the currency exchange rate, the Turkish Lira does not perform well against the euro, dollar or sterling. Add this to the fact that salaries and running costs are cheaper in Turkey, and as the world centre of excellence is in Istanbul and the competition is fierce. The price is simply a lot more affordable for people.

You can be treated to a 5 star stay as a client

Not only is the price lower in Turkey, but the patient care is second to none. And all the extras are included. For example during the days you are there, you will be chauffeured to and from the airport and appointments. You’ll also stay in a 5* hotel, and allocated an interpreter to look after you and answer the questions you may have. Some people decide to turn it into an extended holiday.

The transplanted hair is permanent, but it has to be the right treatment for you

Hair implants is the only permanent and effective treatment for baldness. But the timing and treatment has to be right. If you notice that you are suffering from hair loss the first thing you should do is visit a dermatologist, to make sure it is clear what the cause is.

Also the symptoms need to have stabilised, this is rare in the under 25’s so it may be that other treatments are more appropriate initially before progressing to implant. This way you can be sure to get the best results.

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BDC 301 February 2023