The quality and cost of transplant procedures have both significantly increased worldwide. But in Turkey, the legend says that you can get a new hairline for a fraction of the cost of a classic US clinic… and for the same quality! So one of our colleagues went for it to find out if it’s too good to be true. Here is his story:
Comfortably relaxed on a table in Izmir, and a surgeon is getting ready to make 5.000 holes in my scalp. A five hours process and I have nobody to talk with except him. But I won’t complain. A surgery that I would’ve paid $15 000 in Los Angeles costs me $2000 here. I went there with a miserable hairline, in the hope of getting an everlasting youth.
I started considering this procedure only a few months ago. Before, I didn’t even pay attention to my hairline. One day I was making some shopping in a grocery store and I suddenly saw on a security camera footage – you know the small TVs in the stores? – someone with some severe bald spots in the hairline: it was the top of my head. That made me realize how bold I was starting to be. Isn’t that funny?
Well it sounds funny but at that exact moment, it wasn’t funny for me at all. So I instantly started my research on the internet. When I say INSTANTLY, I really mean it: I left my shopping immediately and raced into my home to start my research. That’s how I learned about the technique called FUE (Follicular Unit Excision). This technique consists of taking individual hair follicles from the back and/or sides of your scalp and migrating them to the balding areas of your head. It is a life-long process that guarantees very good results.
But there is one downside to this: it’s a high-cost procedure. In Los Angeles clinics, hair transplants costs around $15,000-$25,000. Not so many people can afford it.
After diving into various forums and blogs, I started being fascinated by all these mesmerizing before/after pictures and stories. Thousands of ex-bold guys share their transformations divulging what clinics they chose and what they paid for. I noticed that one country was constantly being cited: Turkey.
Let’s focus on this country. Why do people on these forums keep shedding light on this country? Well, it is very obvious: the low prices. In Turkey, you can get cheap FUE because the wages and overall cost of living are very low. Moreover, the Turkish government is trying hard to make Turkey as the leading country in medical tourism. To achieve this aim, they have significantly reduced the taxes on it. Everything taken together makes the prices of any surgical procedure very low.
Now you are probably wondering: ok good to know but prices are also very low in other countries like Thailand or Mexico. Well, that’s true but Turkish clinics are known for having highly experienced doctors. The doctors made their experience because at the very beginning, surgeries there were much cheaper than in any other country in Europe. A few years ago, the costs were 30% cheaper than what it is today and therefore, it attracted a lot of people. This rise in hair/health tourism led to better doctors, which led to more tourism, which led to better doctors etc.
In Turkey, the medical tourism industry attracts almost 3 million people per year. The most common surgeries performed are either rhinoplasties, dental treatments, or hair transplants. Some Turkish hair clinics have a bad reputation because US surgeons say that they use non-qualified people such as assistants and technicians (not doctors) to make as many surgeries as possible. To counter that, it’s highly recommended to check that the doctor is registered with the ISHRS.
But there you go! I made an exhaustive excavation of reviews on all forums and blogs. I even watched various Youtube videos. And then, suddenly, the idea of getting an FUE procedure in turkey shifted from a risky & crazy idea to a good one. My goal was now to find the less mad option.
To be honest with you, I can’t say that I’ve read all the reviews about every single Turkish clinic, but the reality is that I was in admiration of the before/after photos of a guy. He did his procedure with a clinic called JFSPlanner. That’s the only before/after that, not only shows a rejuvenated hairline but also a whole new man.
I sent several DMs to all these bros’ who underwent a procedure with JFSPlanner to ask about their experience, and they gave a collective opinion: everything was perfect.
It was now high time for me to contact JFSPlanner on their WhatsApp number. I sent some photos of my scalp and pointed out some concerns about my medical history. I was impressed by how fast they replied. It took approximately 5 minutes. They reassured me concerning my medical history and sent me detailed information about the procedure. They also sent a quoted price of $3,000. For this amount, they promise 3 nights in a beautiful hotel, all the transportation, and a translator to guide me through my stay. And of course, you also have to add the price of the round-trip flight to the whole mix which was around $1000. In the end, it looked slightly more expensive compared to most of the super-cheap Turkish clinics (some people on forums are getting FUE for less than $2,000) but it still remains very cheap compared to the USA. I feel that this clinic was a good compromise.
One week after, I gave my answer to JFSPlanner: “I wanna do it !”
I arrived at the Izmir Adnan Menderes Airport and was welcomed by my translator, Busra, and a JFSClinic team member (I don’t remember the name). The driver took my luggage and opened the door of the van… I was simply amazed by it. It was such a luxurious van with a small fridge inside containing various types of snacks and drinks. There even was a TV.
They brought me to the hotel. They promised me a 5-star one, and honestly speaking, I was thinking that it is a lie. But finally, no it wasn’t! I entered my 5-start hotel room located on the fourth floor. The view was amazing and the hotel had a lot of facilities such as a sauna, swimming pool, fitness center, gym, etc.
On the morning of the next day, I had a consultation with my doctor and wanted to get an answer to my question: where will be the hairline located? The hairline represents the biggest part of a successful hair transplant. If you draw it too low or too straight, it looks fake. And on the opposite, if you draw it too high it would be useless.
I had another concern – which is usually the concern of any person undergoing a hair transplant: the donor area. Those thick hairs on the sides and back of the scalp are called the donor area. This is the “budget” for how many grafts you can migrate. The more hairs you use from this area, the greater your chances of improving your hair transplant results. But the only issue is that extracting too much hair from the donor area could lead to the sides or back of your head looking thin or even worst you could get blank spots.
I was given the reassurance by the doctor that there is no over-harvesting and that he would mark a hairline that was acceptable for my age. He starts by creating a hairline, then another hairline a little below. I had to decide between the two. He made a third one between the two while I was hesitating, and I picked this one. He kept asking me again whether I liked it, and then he clipped my hair.
Then I was wheeled into the operation room. It was a small room with my translator and all of the personnel involved in the operation.
The pain level of this procedure was rated an 11 out of 10 in every review I saw. But that was not what I experienced. You only feel a minor sting when the needle of local anesthetic is inserted, but no discomfort follows. You only have the sensation that they are softly poking your head with the tip of a needle.
They took me to the clinic the day after the procedure to replace the bandages and clean the wounds. They cleaned my hair the following day and taught me how to do it myself. I was concerned because I was afraid of wiping out all of the fresh grafts.
When I returned home, I spent a month staying at home and avoiding most social events. You appear worse compared to before the operation throughout this stage. After several weeks, the newborn hairs undergo a process known as “shock loss.” It indicates that the majority of your new hair falls out of your head. It’s predictable yet disheartening: it’s called as the Ugly Duckling period in the reviews. The transplanted follicles are developing and will break through in three, four, or five months. After a year, you will see the real outcomes.
JFSPlanner always stays in touch and frequently wants some news from me. They also request some pictures of my head to be sure that everything is going well. They take the post-operation period very seriously, which is a very good point.
My JFSPlanner review is quite simple: The entire process was perfect. And I would recommend JFSPlanner to all of you guys who want to recreate some life on your scalp!