Category Archives: Hair Transplant Turkey

Top 10 Hair Transplant Clinics in Turkey

Turkey Hair Transplant
Turkey hair transplant patients in a Turkish Airlines flight.

Top 10 Hair Transplant Clinics in Turkey

I do not believe in any kind of lists that rank the top 10 hair transplant surgeons or clinics in a country. However, this has become a major and effective marketing tool for numerous clinics.

This week, I got two Google Alerts about new articles related to “the top 10 hair transplant clinics in Turkey” in 2024. Considering that Turkey’s hair transplant industry was valued at $2 billion in 2022, this is perhaps not so surprising.

However, most foreign patients who go to Turkey (or Türkiye) for a hair restoration procedure tend to come from nearby Europe or the Middle East. Asian customers have also grown in importance in recent years.

But both the two articles I saw this week were published in US newspapers:

  1. Wisconsin State Journal.
  2. Saint Louis Post Dispatch.

Considering the massive hair transplant costs differences between developed and developing countries, it is not surprising that people from rich countries often travel abroad to get their hair restored. However, Turkey is not a developing country. Yet the price of a hair transplant in Turkey is comparable to that in any poor country with much cheaper labor costs. A bit surprising.

In any event, the reason I wrote this post is because the two top 10 lists of Turkish hair transplant clinics got published on the same day (December 14, 2023). And the two URLs I posted above have the same marketing agency name (“brandavestudios”) encompassed.

However, the names of the top 10 clinics vary:

Wisconsin State Journal List (sponsored article, provided content by United Press):

  • Hermest Hair Clinic.
  • Nimclinic.
  • HLC Clinic.
  • Asmed Clinic.
  • AHD Clinic.
  • Pekiner Clinic.
  • Cosmedica Clinic.
  • Medical Hair Clinic.
  • Dr. Serkan Aygin Clinic.
  • Smile Hair Clinic.

Saint Louis Post Dispatch List (sponsored article, provided content by United Press):

  • Medart Hair Clinic.
  • Dr. Serkan Aygin Hair Clinic.
  • Smile Hair Clinic.
  • Sapphire Hair Clinic.
  • Buk Clinic.
  • Cosmedica.
  • HLC Clinic.
  • Dr. Ozlem Bicer.
  • Dr. Resul Yaman.
  • Vera Clinic.

So the surgeons or clinics that appear on both lists are as follows:

  1. HLC  Clinic.
  2. Cosmedica.
  3. Dr. Serkan Aygin Hair Clinic.
  4. Smile Hair Clinic.

A October 2023 sponsored article in the Hindustan Times on the top 10 hair transplant clinics in Turkey had 9 of the 10 names being the same as in the first list above.

Of course a clinic being on all of these lists does not indicate anything other than their being able to afford such sponsorships. The same goes for press releases that any of use can purchase too.

Do your Research

As I have mentioned in several past blog posts, please do thorough research before going to get a hair transplant in a foreign country. See my past gruesome warning about a hair transplant gone wrong.

Some of the surgeons and clinics in Turkey are truly world class. However, large numbers of patients go to unknown unproven back-alley type places in Istanbul or Ankara and get severely damaged.

Just a week ago, “The Irish Times” newspaper had a crazy article titled:

Fighting baldness: ‘We’ve stopped repairing transplants from Turkey. They’re so badly mutilated“.

The below quote is from a well known local Irish hair transplant surgeon:

“The transplants coming back from Turkey are so bad now that I’ve actually stopped repairing them. They’re so badly mutilated.”

Some of the Turkish clinics have massive social media followings. For example, “Hair of Istanbul” has over 4 million followers on Instagram. Cosmedica and Smile Clinic both have over 1 million followers. Vera Clinic has 400,000 followers. Of course many businesses can easily purchase followers and artificially increase their relevance.

In contrast, Bosley Medical (US) only has 19,000 Instagram followers. This in spite of being the most well known hair restoration center in the US since its founding in 1974. They currently have 25 surgery centers across the US.

Hair Transplant Industry in Turkey Worth $2 Billion in 2022

Turkey Hair Transplant

Turkey hair transplant patients in a Turkish Airlines flight.The most frequent automatic news alerts from Google that I have received over the past ten years are about hair transplants in Turkey. Most of these articles still refrain from using the country’s new name “Türkiye”. I will use both in this post.

I almost renamed this post to “Turkish Hairlines” after reading the following quote in a recent Forbes article on hair transplants in Turkey:

“The national flag carrier Turkish Airlines is jokingly called “Turkish Hairlines” and the (Istanbul) airport is plastered with hair transplant advertisements.”

A video on TikTok that showed this phenomenon in a Turkish Airlines airplane went viral in 2022.

Turkish Hair Transplant Industry Worth $2 Billion

According to TRT World, the Turkish Health Tourism Association head recently announced that:

The Turkish hair transplant tourism industry was worth $2 billion in 2022. Moreover, one million patients from abroad received hair transplants in Türkiye in 2022.

The above numbers are probably estimated and have a wide error margin. However, there is no doubt that Turkey has become the global epicenter for hair transplant related cosmetic tourism.

$2,000 Hair Transplants in Turkey

If we go by the above data, the average cost of a hair transplant in Türkiye would then come out to be $2,000 per procedure. Extremely cheap by western standards, even if each transplant only consists of 1,000 to 2,000 grafts on average.

The one million hair transplant patient count estimate just in Turkey clearly indicates that the ISHRS global data is wildly off. The organization estimates their global hair transplant total (703,000 in 2021) based on member surveys that are then extrapolated. My gut feeling is that the Turkish number is a lot closer to the truth.

Now the Japanese and Africans are Coming

When it comes to hair transplant tourism, Türkiye has always benefited from its proximity to Europe and the Middle East. The cost of a hair transplant in Türkiye is less than half what you would find in Western Europe or Dubai. More surprisingly, in recent years, hair loss sufferers from as far away as Japan and sub-Saharan Africa have started to come to Turkey.

  • An increasing number of Japanese patients have started getting hair transplants in Türkiye per Nikkei, benefitting from a favorable exchange rate due to the weak Turkish Lira. According to one person quoted in the article: “The price of a hair transplant in Istanbul is one-sixth of that in Japan and one-half of that in South Korea.”
  • A recent article in the Jersusalem Post covered how Turkey is becoming the go-to destination for Israelis desiring hair restoration procedures. Among the reasons cited included affordability, medical expertise, advanced technology and safety measures. Besides the low cost, all of these will significantly vary depending on clinic of course.
  • Another recent article in Essence covered a clinic where 30 percent of patients were from Africa. Note that the kinkier and curlier African hair necessitates going to a surgeon who is experienced in transplanting that type of ethnic scalp hair grafts.

Unfortunately, the tremendous mostly positive publicity for Turkey’s low-cost hair transplant tourism industry has also resulted in hundreds of subpar unregistered hair restoration clinics in Turkey. In a similar manner to what you see in India where both good and bad quality proliferates rapidly. Make sure to read my posts on hair transplant abroad and hair transplant gone wrong.

Quality Clinics

Do note that there are dozens of quality clinics in Türkiye. Some of them impress me tremendously with what they show on social media. Some have plenty of great reviews, but also seem like factories with numerous physicians moving along at breakneck speed.

Some of the work that impressed me include this recent video from ASMED and Dr. Koray Erdogan. Another surgeon named Dr. Emrah Çinik has a large online following and stellar reviews. Almost all the well known surgeons seem to operate in Istanbul. Several lesser known ones are based in Ankara, but I am not mentioning them here for now.

Among the larger clinics with many surgeons, “Hair of Istanbul” has over 4 million followers on Instagram. Cosmedica and Smile Clinic both have over 1 million followers. Vera Clinic has 400,000 followers. Do note that many businesses can easily purchase followers and artificially increase their importance.

All the reputable surgeons should be able to perform the more popular follicular unit extraction (FUE) procedure. Some may still offer the strip (FUT) procedure depending on patient request and suitability,

Thousands of Unmonitored Hair Transplant Clinics in Türkiye

Suppose 1 million foreigners really do get a hair transplant in Türkiye each year; and suppose that each hair transplant clinic in the country performs a crazy high 1,000 procedures per year; you would then still have 1,000 hair restoration clinics being present in the country. Most likely there are at least several thousand hair transplant clinics in Türkiye. And I would not be surprised if the majority are unmonitored and maybe even unregistered.

Even more surprising:

  • On the ISHRS website, there are currently only 16 Turkish surgeons listed as members. Note that the ISHRS has around 1,000 hair transplant surgeon members from across the world. So it is not that hard to get on their list.
  • On the IAHRS website, there are currently 6 Turkish surgeons listed as members.
  • The Turkish society of Hair Restoration Surgeons was supposedly established on March 1st, 2020. However, I do not see any website for the organization that lists surgeon member names.

So it is absolutely imperative that you conduct thorough research before going to Turkey for a hair transplant. Even if most of the 1 million people who go there each year fail do so and take a major gamble with their long-term appearance. Do not do what GQ writer Alex Hawkins did (even if he got lucky and ended up satisfied):

“I flew to Turkey and visited a clinic where a vaguely mysterious doctor cut 4,250 holes in my head.