The Dangers of Choosing a Cheap Hair Transplant: Is It Worth the Risk?

  • 19th July 2023
  • 10 min read
Written by Arran Isherwood
Dr Steve Stangoni
Medically reviewed by Dr. Steve Stangoni - GMC No. 7042486 on 27th July 2023
Next review due on 27th July 2024

When it comes to finding a solution for hair loss, cost plays a major role in decision-making. And, in recent years, there has been a noticeable trend of Brits flocking to destinations like Turkey for cheap hair transplants.

The idea of a cheap hair transplant can be tempting, offering a seemingly quick fix at a fraction of the price. But what are the potential risks and drawbacks associated with opting for a cheap hair transplant? And is it really worth it? 


Why do some clinics charge less for hair transplant procedures?

A hair transplant in the UK costs anywhere between £1,000 to £30,000, according to the NHS

Hair transplant procedures can vary significantly in cost, and it's important to understand why some clinics charge less than others, so you can make the best decision when choosing where to go for surgery.

Here are several factors that may contribute to the variation in prices:

  • Location — Clinics situated in areas with lower overhead costs may be able to offer their services at a lower price. For example, Turkey's cost of living is relatively lower than the UK's. And this means lower operating costs for clinics, including rent, utilities, and staff salaries. 
  • Clinic reputation and experience — Another aspect to consider is the reputation and experience of the clinic. Clinics that have been established for a longer time and have built a solid reputation in the field may charge higher fees due to their expertise and track record of successful procedures.
  • Surgeon qualifications and expertise — Surgeons who have undergone extensive training and possess specialised skills and qualifications may charge higher fees for their services. Their experience and knowledge contribute to the quality and success of the procedure.
  • Facilities — The quality of the clinic's facilities can influence the price tag of a hair transplant. Clinics with state-of-the-art equipment and advanced amenities may have higher costs.

To learn more about what can affect the price, read our guide to the cost of a hair transplant at FUE Clinics.


What are the risks of cheap hair transplant procedures?

1. Unnatural hairlines

When it comes to hair transplantation, skilled surgeons who have undergone extensive training and have a successful track record often charge higher fees for their services. They've put in a lot of time and effort to perfect their skills and can deliver quality results.

So clinics offering significantly lower prices may be cutting corners by employing less experienced surgeons, for example. These surgeons may not have the necessary skills to perform hair restoration with precision. As a result, the placement of hair grafts, including the angle, density, and distribution, may not be accurately considered to match the natural growth pattern of the hair. 

Cheaper clinics might also use low-quality hair grafts or resort to harvesting hair from inappropriate areas of the body, like the arms and legs, as extracting grafts from the scalp can be more challenging and time-consuming. Unfortunately, these hairs may not blend in with the hair on the scalp as closely as donor hair on the sides of the head due to different textures, colours, and growth patterns.

Lack of specialised equipment is also a concern, as this is needed to achieve accuracy when placing hair grafts. Without these tools, it becomes extremely challenging for surgeons to create a smooth and natural blend between the newly transplanted and existing hair. As a result, the hairline may appear uneven. 

2. Increased risk of infection 

Cheap hair transplantation clinics may cut costs by operating in outdated facilities. These often lack modern sterilisation techniques, and without these, the surgical environment may become a breeding ground for harmful bacteria. This increases the chances of post-operative infections, which can really slow down healing and affect the overall results of the transplant.

Infections can result in the formation of scars, creating an uneven or bumpy texture. And in severe cases, it may even impact the survival rate of transplanted hair grafts, leading to a lower success rate in terms of hair growth and overall density. 

3. Lack of support and follow-up care

The first few weeks following a hair transplant are super important for achieving the best results. Aftercare and follow-up visits are an absolute must; they help monitor the healing process and ensure everything is going smoothly.

But here's the thing: some cheaper clinics might not have all the necessary resources or expertise to provide comprehensive post-operative care. They might not be able to give you the support and attention you need during this critical recovery period. As a result, the risk of infections can increase, and you might not receive proper guidance on aftercare, which can cause delays in the healing process.

4. A failed hair transplant 

Sometimes, a hair transplant can, unfortunately, go wrong and fall short of your expectations. But this risk is increased when choosing a hair transplant clinic that prioritises keeping the cost down over quality and safety. 

Cheap clinics may overlook the importance of conducting a comprehensive consultation. But this initial assessment is essential for evaluating the extent of hair loss and determining the most suitable approach based on your unique circumstances. 

If a surgeon goes ahead with the transplantation without this, the grafts in the donor area may be poor quality, increasing the possibility of them not taking root properly when extracted and transplanted into balding areas. And if there aren't enough grafts in the donor area needed to cover the recipient area, you may be left with uneven thickness.

A failed hair transplant can really knock your confidence. After all, you had high hopes for the results, and dealing with disappointment can be tough on your emotions.

5. The need for corrective surgery 

It's clear that cheaper clinics increase the risk of a failed hair transplant. And fixing the problem can be tough and expensive. You may need extra procedures, like removing or revising the transplanted hair, to make things right. This could end up costing you more than if you'd initially chosen a reputable clinic that was higher in price.

And the need for corrective surgery is on the rise. According to a recent study by The International Society of Hair Restoration Surgeons (ISHRS), 5.4% of hair transplant patients in 2022 sought treatment to repair previous surgery from another surgeon, up from 4.2% in 2019


What to look for in a hair transplant clinic

Of course, there's always a possibility of side effects when getting a hair transplant, like minimal pain and swelling, but choosing a reputable clinic can really help limit these. 

Affordability is obviously an important factor, but it's crucial to prioritise finding the right clinic that can deliver the best results and provide a smooth experience. 

Here are some things to look out for when picking a hair transplant clinic: 

Ensure they offer a consultation 

It's always a good sign when clinics offer a consultation. This allows you to have a one-on-one conversation with the professionals, discussing your specific needs and whether you're the right candidate for a hair transplant. It's an excellent opportunity to ask questions, address any concerns, and gauge their expertise and level of care provided before, during and after the transplant.

Unlike some cheap clinics that skip the initial consultation to save time and added costs, reputable clinics will thoroughly evaluate the donor hair's characteristics before proceeding with surgery. This ensures it matches the recipient area to achieve a seamless and natural-looking result. 

While some clinics may cut corners by skipping the initial consultation to save time and additional costs, at FUE clinics we pride ourselves on our process. We provide a completely FREE hair restoration consultation, where we meticulously evaluate the donor hair's characteristics before proceeding with surgery. This crucial step ensures a precise match with the recipient area to achieve a seamless and natural-looking result.

Check for before and after pictures

Taking a look at before and after pictures of past patients who have undergone hair transplant procedures at the clinic can provide you with a visual indication of the quality of their work. If you can't find any on the clinic's website, or if they are unwilling to provide them upon request, consider it as a warning sign. 


Read customer reviews

When choosing a clinic, it's important to check out customer reviews and testimonials.

Platforms like Trustpilot can give you valuable insights into the experiences of previous patients, their satisfaction levels, and any concerns they may have expressed. 

Remember to keep in mind that if a clinic has a lot of negative reviews, it could be a sign that it's cheap for a reason. 

To learn more, take a look at our top 10 tips for finding the right hair transplant clinic. 


Choose FUE Clinics for your hair transplant

While they may be more affordable, clinics that prioritise cutting costs over safety and quality aren’t worth the risk. That’s why choosing a reputable clinic like FUE Clinics is a must. You’ll know you’re in safe hands with our skilled professionals who value your well-being.

At FUE Clinics, we offer Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) and Follicular Unit Transfer (FUT) transplantation methods as a treatment for alopecia. These procedures are designed to restore your hair with natural results.

Get in touch with our team of hair transplant specialists today, or take a free online consultation. Or, head over to our FAQs for more information.

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