Hair Transplants Abroad - In Most Cases, You Get What You Pay For

While The Turkish Society of Plastic Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeons and The International Alliance of Hair Restorations Surgeons (IAHRS) have both issued warnings to hair transplant consumers about the countless illegal hair transplant mills popping up in Turkey, many young hair loss patients are still willing to risk their health and their looks on the promise of an inexpensive hair loss fix. IAHRS accepted member Marc Dauer, M.D. discusses his impressions after meeting three young men who have just undergone surgery at one these Turkish hair transplant mills.

Marc Dauer, MD: In discussing younger patients that I'm seeing coming in wanting hair transplants. The other thing I'm seeing is are people that have had hair transplants elsewhere, and I see these guys in their early 20s that have had 3,000 grafts harvested to create a 15-year-old hairline. I just was in Europe, and I got off the plane, and I saw three buddies all together that had literally just flown in from Turkey to their hometown in another city in Europe, and I went up to them, and they all had just clearly had FUE like the day prior, and I asked them, "Where'd you get your get hair done?" They said they went to Turkey, and again, I'm not implying that all hair transplants in Turkey are doing this kind of work because I'm sure there are great surgeons in Turkey as well, but these three guys that I happened to see all had the exact same hairline, and I could tell they were really young guys and they were destined to have a severe form of hair loss. 

And the problem is is that everyone has a finite amount of donor supply that can range anywhere from five to 10,000 follicles. It's typically a little bit less if you're starting with FUE than FUT, and by using up a substantial amount of that donor supply at a very young age to create a super-aggressive hairline, you're setting yourself up in the future to run out of grafts to keep up with the continuing loss that will occur over time. And we've all seen these guys in their older years that had the older hair transplants with super-aggressive hairlines, and then massive vacant space in the mid-scalp and in the vertex behind, and it just looks like it's a dead giveaway.

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The International Alliance of Hair Restoration Surgeons is a consumer organization that selectively screens skilled and ethical hair transplant surgeons. The IAHRS does not offer an open membership policy to doctors practicing hair transplatation, and is the only group that recognizes that all surgeons are not equal in their skill and technique. Its elite membership seeks to represent the best in the discipline, the true leaders in the field of surgical hair restoration.