The US resident, Niko, challenged himself. He fulfilled his old dream and visited Istanbul to get a hair transplant.
At 46 years of age, the US citizen, Niko, did what many men of his age think about but hesitate to do. For long, Niko didn't want to admit that the prospect of losing his hair worried him either, even to himself. But looking in the mirror once again, he recently realized it was evident that he had indeed started to lose some of his hair. For Niko, it seemed like it was time to act.
Firstly, he was trying to find hair transplant options in the USA. However, the prices were too high. Then, Niko started to consider hair transplant clinics in Turkey but he didn’t know which one to pick. This summer, Niko contacted Bookimed, the international medical tourism platform, which helps people from all over the world find the right clinic for their needs. And in July, he flew to Turkey for his hair transplant surgery. Now, a resident of Maryland is sure that he has made the right choice.
How Niko Kept a Secret about His Hair Transplant in Turkey
“Niko, My God, what's wrong with you? What have you done with your hair? Are you crazy?" That is how Niko's family greeted him when he arrived from the airport and entered the room with his brother-in-law Marky. Both have shaved their heads as part of hair transplant surgery in Turkey. It was a secret that the primary purpose of the trip to Turkey was not to visit Istanbul, but to have a hair transplant operation. Only Marky's wife and Niko's sister knew about their plan to have a hair transplant in Turkey. Men had strictly ordered them to keep silent, and women didn't disappoint them. Niko smiled in response to all the family's questions. Well…to be honest, they have got used to surprises. He is known to spring on them for all these years. He's the one who can secretly buy tickets to the Bahamas and tell the whole family that they're going on vacation on a cruise just one day before departure. He's the one who doesn't let the guests in if they are 10 minutes late for the party. That's the way Niko is; a bit impulsive and, in a way, adventurous. When he was young, he wanted to move out of his parents' house as he was afraid to offend them ("What if they think I'm trying to avoid living with them?"). So he quietly bought and furnished a two-bedroom condo for himself in a nearby city. "I have a surprise for you," he told his parents. He brought them to his new home and successfully "formalized" the move to a new place. It seems like the hair transplant "surprise" has struck parents no less than purchasing a new home. "Why did you do that? You are crazy!" his father repeated. "Dad, next time we will go to Turkey to get a hair transplant together. This time it will be your turn to get new hair…all expenses paid", Niko teases his father. But his dad just brushes away. "I am not crazy like you, son".
According to the UK's National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), androgenetic alopecia affects 30% of men under 30 and 80% of men over 70. Many are philosophical about this problem. Only a few give zest to their flaw by shaving their heads like Bruce Willis. But most mature men who start to lose their hair are silent in their worries and embarrassed to talk about it. That's how Niko felt when he noticed that he had begun to have a receding hairline. Well...everything seems to be ok but anyway…something is wrong.
And again…the parents with their direct jokes: "Niko, you seem to have less and less hair each year! Niko, you're getting older!" On the other hand, his brother-in-law, Marky, did not hide his problem and discussed it on any occasion. "Niko, let's do a hair transplant surgery together! Let's do it in California!" – Marky suggested it somehow. But the prices for hair transplant operations in the United States were exorbitant: FUE operation costs ranged between $6,000-$15,000. Even the tattoo-masking service for baldness costs $2,500-$4,000.
Niko before a hair transplant operation
And then, Niko started to do research. In the end, he found the international service for searching for medical solutions, Bookimed. He was offered two hair transplant clinics in Turkey. The prices were surprisingly a fraction of the cost in the US. Ultimately, Niko chose Adem and Havva Medical Center. The Bookimed medical coordinator, Dr. Hassan Jabbar, provided comprehensive information about the service and quickly answered all questions. And the price for a hair replacement in Turkey, together with hotel accommodation, was only $1,800, instead of $6,000-$15,000 in the USA.
Niko’s Hair Transplant Story Begins in Istanbul
Marky at Hagia Sophia in Istanbul
Before the trip, Niko and Marky worried a little about future hair transplant experience because they didn't know what they would face in a distant foreign country. "It is good that we didn't know how everything would turn out before my hair transplant story," says Niko. "Otherwise, we would not be that pleasantly surprised. The hair transplant clinic in Turkey impressed us: nice, clean, and modern. Both doctors and t nurses were very helpful and friendly with us. We stayed at the Ibis hotel near the medical center, which is very convenient. But we didn't even have to walk anywhere, as the clinic provided a private taxi with a personal driver — Zafar. This service has been already included in the hair implantation price. The driver was humble, punctual, and despite his mature age, he always amazed us with overflowing energy. A few of the staff spoke English, but we had an excellent interpreter, Mariam, who was always ready to help. Most of all, what made the trip even worthwhile was how the people heartily welcomed us in Turkey."
In addition to that, Istanbul is striking: splendid, bright, colorful, impressive with legendary mosques and cobbled streets. Like a city from fairytales. "I am glad that I was able to visit it, and it became a part of my hair transplant story. But we didn't have that much spare time. I will definitely come back here," Niko says.
Marky discovering Istanbul
After the procedure, Niko said that he was first worried about how to appear in public with the head bandage on his head after a hair transplant experience. But when walking around Istanbul, he and Marky were pleasantly surprised to find dozens, if not hundreds of people with the same special after-hair transplant bandage. They even made some friends with other men as they shared hair transplant stories. As it turned out, Turkey has already established itself as a kind of "Mecca for bald people." Many local clinics specialized in hair transplant operations, and they manage them very well.
"A huge number of US patients are now coming to Turkey for a hair transplant. In my observation, 80-90% of US and Canadian citizens who want a hair transplant procedure go to Istanbul and Antalya. The rest go to Mexico," says Bookimed coordinator Hassan Jabbar.
In fact, people from all over the world go to Turkey to fix their hair. For example, Niko's cousin (he is from Ethiopia) also had a similar service in Turkey. According to him, specialized Turkish clinics are now going to open in Ethiopia.
During one of their walks in Istanbul, Niko and Marko met a man who also experienced a hair transplant. Unlike them, the man told them that he paid $2,000, and this cost did not include a hotel. "You need to be careful when choosing a clinic," Niko explains, "and it's not just about the price. It is important to check out the clinic's reputation, have some understanding of the procedure. Most importantly, be attentive in picking a doctor who will carry out the procedure, and don't be afraid to ask questions. It will help you to get the best results."
Niko and Marky had hair transplant surgery with the FUE (Follicular Unit Extraction) method. It is a low-traumatic procedure that does not leave scars. During this procedure, doctors transplant hair grafts (transplant hair grafts (a bunch of follicles)) from the back of the head or other parts of the patient's body.
Сalm, be calm!
Dr. Ertan Lazoglu, one of the most experienced hair surgeons of the clinic, performed Niko’s FUE hair transplant in Turkey. He has been working for more than 10 years in this field. Before the procedure, Niko had his head completely shaved. "You need to be prepared for that at the beginning, and you will have even less hair than before. You should have seen the face of my brother-in-law when he found out about the shaving. He had an important meeting scheduled upon his return to the United States. "By the way, when the doctor started to shave my head, I noticed that the situation was much more serious than it seemed at first glance. The problem areas hidden by hair were revealed. It was another sign that I made the right decision," says Niko. "The operation took 7 hours with a lunch break. The most painful part of the whole procedure was an anesthetic injection."
Days later, when the hair was just starting to grow back, Niko looked in the mirror and liked the result. But after 23 days, the change was no longer that noticeable – "I've learned that the transplanted hairs grow back much slower than the existing ones. In fact, some of the implanted hairs may fall out, and this is normal. You can evaluate the outcome only in 2-3 months. So it is extremely important to be patient", Niko explains. He is optimistic and confident that his relatives and friends will be impressed by his new look". Do I feel happier now? Yes, definitely. First and foremost, from the fact that I visited Istanbul, this city made an unforgettable impression. Secondly, I'm glad that I got over my fears and went through this procedure. I am sure that doctors have done their job well and that I will have great hair," smiles Niko. In any case, he is not worried about the result: the clinic provides a lifetime guarantee for its work, and if any problems occur, it is ready to address them. It is set in the agreement.
8 and 17 days after hair transplant
But Niko still does not have a definite answer as to why he needed a hair transplant experience. "Many people ask me: "Why? Why have you done that? You didn't have such a serious problem". The most difficult thing for me is to explain it to my 12-year-old daughter and my 8-year-old son. I don't want them to think that I did this procedure out of vanity. Usually, I say that I did it because of curiosity – I wanted to try what it is, to see how I would look after the procedure. I also think that it was a kind of challenge for me. I'm not going to lie, whether I acknowledge it or not, I believe deep down, I worry about the prospect of losing my hair," admits Niko. "It could also have to do with the unsolicited and jovial comments I have received from family members. Let's see what else they will joke about once I get a full set of hair in a few months," Niko laughs. And he adds: "For me, the hair transplant experience was worth every cent spent. And if necessary, I am ready to repeat it".
Marky and Niko in Adem and Havva Clinic