Things I wish I knew better about Hair Transplant in Turkey - Part II.
Prevalence of Hair Transplant Agenices in Turkey
Hair Transplant Agencies are know for:
- Customer service/support
- Digital Marketing, Influencer Marketing
- Online advertising on Social Media, Instagram, Facebook, PPC Advertising
- Sales taken over by these agencies
- Very responsive before and less responsive in case something goes wrong after the hair transplant
Hair transplant agencies are Marketing/Sales/Organizational Institutions which are different from the actual hair transplant clinic. Hair transplant agencies are often located in different countries than Turkey.
Nowadays you can find at least one partnering agency of a bigger Turkish hair transplant clinic in almost every European nation. By doing that, agencies manage to appeal more trustful and presentable towards local customers of different European nationalities.
Agencies were originally developed to drive “traffic” in form of new clients to big Turkish hair transplant clinics. Turkish hair transplant agencies are known for focusing on quantity instead of quality. That´s the reason why they like to cooperate with particular Turkish clinics in the “package zone (low-price zone)”.
Agencies - Very smooth until something goes wrong with your Hair Transplant
Have you already had hair transplant agency experience? In case you have, this will sound familiar to you. Agencies like to be super-responsive prior to your hair transplant and ready to answer all of your questions. They realized that most of the patients keeps asking pretty much the same questions over and over prior to their surgery.
Friendly and Happy to help Customer Service
- Ready to answer your questions prior to your surgery
- Not qualified enough to talk about hair transplants
- Trained on sales and marketing
- Can´t provide a good solution in case things go wrong post-op
Here is the problem…
Agencies like to keep things smooth no matter what. They act like nothing bad has ever happened to their clients. They talk like their clinics in Turkey only produce one great result after another.
Once something goes bad with the hair transplant of any of their clients they do the following. They either stop responding so swiftly as they used to, have no response at all, or keep telling their clients that everything will be fine after 12 months. Although it´s true that a fully grown hair transplant result can be visible around +/- 12 months. It doesn´t mean something “magically” will happen after 12 months if your result around the 10th month is nothing like you expected.
They start phasing themselves out of the conversation once their clients aren´t satisfied. They hope that eventually unhappy customers will forget about “small” issues like improper graft placement, unnaturally looking hairline, over-harvested donor area etc. and move on with their life.
What Hair Transplant Agencies can´t do!
Hair Transplant Experience with the HT Agency
Getting a hair transplant via a hair transplant agency is nothing like an online/live consultation with a hair transplant doctor or his advisor. Somebody who talks to patients about a detailed hair transplant planning, surgery details, donor area management and medication. Hair transplant agencies don´t have such extensive knowledge on hair transplants, unfortunately. Many of their clients are made to believe it´s not even important to discuss it prior to their hair transplant. Their clients are made to believe that the clinic performing hair transplants for the agency knows what it is doing and great results are almost automatic!
Unfortunately this is not true and plenty things may not go as planned during your hair transplant if you don´t plan it properly. Solely accepting an offer of 3500 grafts FUE from a hair transplant agency without deeper consideration is foolish. Every patient is different. Different guys have better/worse starting conditions prior to their hair transplant. Some have better donor area and more suitable hair characteristics for a hair transplant while other guys are only below average hair transplant candidates. Hair transplant agencies rarely speak about that with their patients.
Hair Transplant Experience with the HT Doctor
On the other hand, a hair transplant doctor is more likely to also mention the risks of a hair transplant and potential limitations in case his patients are not willing to get on medication first e.g Finasteride (Propecia). He is also more likely to properly measure your donor area (safe zone) and better estimate the “safe number of grafts” which can be extracted without over-harvesting/damaging your donor area long-term.
Hair Transplant Agencies accepting non-hair transplant candidates to begin with
Poor hair transplant expertise of agencies makes them routinely accept bad/not very suitable hair transplant candidates. Such candidate are more likely to end up with an over-harvested donor area, low density result, and are more likely to be unsatisfied in general. It´s partly caused by delusional way of marketing which promotes great results for every guy automatically!
Hair transplant agencies don´t care whether their patients are/are willing to take medication. Agencies like to offer their patients their own overpriced topical anti-hair loss formulations and shampoos instead. Patients who are not on medication and/or aren´t willing to take medication after their hair transplant are more likely to be unhappy with their results long-term because their hair loss will progress further.
In order to keep running their business smoothly and avoid having empty operation rooms with their staff ready, hair transplant agencies can sometimes get greedy and accept patients with not only unstable hair loss but also guys with very poor donor area density as well as young guys with plenty of balding potential in the future.
All of this results in many unhappy clients coming from Turkish hair transplant clinics on a regular basis.
Doing a proper hair transplant research can help you avoid this happening to you.
Before and after results are not the only important thing you need to look at prior to your hair transplant decesion
As a relatively unknown hair transplant clinic you don´t have a big reputation. In such case you can actually get away with cheating/misleading patients without almost any consequences. Editing, retouching and photoshoping before and after results is not uncommon by some of the low-cost hair transplant clinics in Turkey incl. agencies.
You should be very careful about blindly trusting in low quality/low resolution/blurry before and after results – especially if they´re not detailed enough. Usually the more detailed the photos are, the more reliable they can be considered.
Turkish Hair Transplant Clinics and Guarantee Certificates - how much can you rely upon them?
Unfortunately, since getting a hair transplant is not like buying a TV you can not just magically replace a broken hair transplant like a damaged screen.
Let´s talk about 3 main scenarios when hair transplants don´t go as planned and what patients with a guarantee certificate can do about it:
Scenario 1: (Over-harvested donor area)
Over-harvested donor area is very common for some Turkish hair transplant clinics. It occurs because clinics harvest way too many hair follicles per session via FUE. It can be especially noticeable on guys with thinner hair – guys with average donor area density. Another reason for over-harvesting is non-homogeneous donor area management. Homogeneous donor area management assures, that grafts will be extracted from the whole expanded donor area surface (sides and back). Non-homogeneous extraction focuses only on a particular portion of the donor area while trying to harvest as many hair follicles as possible from it.
What can the hair transplant clinic do, if you complain about this while holding your guarantee certificate in your hand? Unfortunately they can´t undo the damage on your donor. Normally they only offer you a free scalp micropigmentation to mask their mistake.
Scenario 2: (Low density)
Extracted number of grafts on paper don´t equal the number of grafts which grew back after 12 months.
In such case patients pay for a higher number of grafts than they actually get. It can be caused due to a high transection rate by the graft extraction as a result of extracting fast and improperly. Low density results can be also caused by graft splitting (artificially inflating the graft numbers) and thus leaving the patient with a decreased hair per graft average ratio. In such case patient maybe gets the number of grafts he was promised, but each of his implanted grafts produces now only 1-2 hairs on average because the vast majority of the extracted grafts had been split into single grafts for example.
What can a hair transplant clinic do, if you complain about low density/poor hair regrowth after 12 months? How will the guarantee certificate help?
Normally these clinics offer dissatisfied patients a free hair transplant to add more hair density. Even if the free offer is on the table, not every patient accepts it. Some patients simply decide to go to a different/more capable hair transplant doctor for their second try, because they don´t trust their 1st doctor/clinic anymore.
Scenario 3: (Improper graft placement)
Implanted hair density looks fine and number of extracted grafts corresponds with the number of implants. What´s the issue then? Well, sometimes it happens that your new hair don´t grow under similar angles as your native hair does, as a result of improper placement. You can see it best when you buzz your hair very short (1cm – 1,5cm). The hair either don´t blend properly or the hairline appears too “thick” and robust because of multiple hair follicles had been implanted there.
Once your hair grows long enough to be styled, you realize it starts pointing in different directions which makes it obviously harder to style.
What can a hair transplant clinic do for you in such case by presenting them their guarantee certificate? Most of the quantity-oriented hair transplant clinics in Turkey unfortunately won´t do anything about it. Such clinics rarely do proper hair transplant repairs because they can´t make much money with repairs. Repairs are also very time consuming procedures and require multiple sessions to be done.
A solid guarantee certificate should guarantee the patient a full repair of improperly placed grafts. Full repair means extracting improperly placed follicles in 1st session, wait for the recipient area to heal (usually 2-6 weeks), coming over for the 2nd session and extracting + implanting new hair follicles onto the – now already “repaired” recipient area.
Complications with Hairline Repairs if things go wrong
Sometimes repairs can be prolonged onto 3 sessions and more – in case some of the extracted hair during the 1st repair session grows back and needs to be extracted again (this is not totally uncommon – especially by extracting large follicular units).
Such FUE hairline repairs mean a lot of work, low earning potential and that´s why many hair transplant clinics in Turkey don´t want to do them at all. Have you noticed that most of the Turkish clinics only like to do virgin hair transplants on virgin donor areas?
To avoid getting a poorly designed hairline in any of the Turkish hair transplant clinics, make sure you research after doctors who are also known for performing correct repair cases. Repair cases are normally to be found in their hair transplant before and after galleries.