Cosmena AB
Dragarbrunnsgatan 36C
75320, Uppsala, Sweden


Hair Transplants

The Hair transplant is one of the five most popular cosmetic procedures in men. Increasingly, it is gaining popularity in women as well.

In patients with extensive baldness, it may be the only treatment option available and a permanent solution. On this page, we will present the various types of hair transplants, their complications and risks, the road to recovery, and financial considerations.

Currently, more than 735,000 individuals undergo hair transplantation each year across the globe. According to the International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery (ISHRS), the market size of hair transplantation crossed USD 6.5 billion in the year 2019. The main reason cited by patients for undergoing hair transplantation was social/dating, followed by career/professional, according to a consensus report by ISHRS.

At Cosmena you have the option to utilize our comparison of the most prominent Hair transplant clinics in both the UK and abroad.


Hair Transplants in Turkey

Heard about Turkish hair transplants and wondering what the fuss is all about? Here is our comparison with only Turkish clinics with locations in Istanbul, Ankara and Izmir.


Hair transplants in the UK

Don’t want to leave the land of bangers and mash for your hair troubles? No worries fam, we got ya covered. In this comparison you will find only Clinics with locations in the UK.

The Best Hair Transplant Clinics 2021

What is a hair transplant?

Hair loss is one of the most common cosmetic conditions affecting both men and women. The causes are myriad and discussed in detail in the coming sections. In simple words, hair transplant is the process of taking hair follicles from a donor area and implanting them on a recipient site.

A hair transplant is an autologous procedure, meaning the person’s own hair is used, avoiding the risks of severe foreign body reactions and graft rejection. The use of punch hair transplant in the 1950’s served as the basis for the modern methods of hair transplantation. Significant progress was made in the 1990s to fine-tune the techniques.

Currently, more than 735,000 individuals undergo hair transplantation each year across the globe. According to the International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery (ISHRS), the market size of hair transplantation crossed USD 6.5 billion in the year 2019. The main reason cited by patients for undergoing hair transplantation was social/dating, followed by career/professional, according to a consensus report by ISHRS.

A related procedure is a hairline lowering surgery, which is sometimes used as an alternative to hair transplant in patients with a high frontal hairline or hairline recession. It is not a type of hair transplant procedure and involves excising part of the forehead skin to lower the hairline.

Transplant methods

The hair transplant techniques have come a long way since their first introduction in the 1950’s. Currently, the most commonly used surgical methods are follicle unit transplant (FUT) and follicle unit extraction (FUE). FUE is the newer method of the two and is increasingly the current standard for hair transplantation. Hair transplant is a specialized procedure and is required to be performed by a qualified physician only. Most hair transplant surgeons have a background in dermatology or plastic surgery.

Differences between surgery for men and women

Hair loss is common in men, affecting up to 80% of men by the age of 50 years. It is less common in women but still prevalent, with half of all women showing some evidence of hair loss by the same age.

Causes of hair loss in men vs women

In men, androgenetic alopecia (male-pattern baldness) is the most common cause of hair loss. Dihydrotestosterone (DHT) is the hormone responsible for hair loss in androgenetic alopecia. Other causes of hair loss include alopecia areata (bald spots), thyroid disorders, nutritional deficiencies, drugs, and scalp infections, etc. Genetics are known to play an important role in male pattern baldness, with up to 80% of men with androgenetic alopecia having a history of hair loss in their father. 

In women, too, pattern baldness is the most common cause, but the pattern of hair loss in male and female-pattern baldness is different (see below). Other causes include traction alopecia, autoimmune conditions like lupus and alopecia areata, infections, etc. Frontal-fibrosing alopecia is an inflammatory process more common in post-menopausal women. Genetic predisposition is thought to play a role in female pattern baldness too, but the association is less clear.

The pattern of hair loss differs between men and women. In men, receding hairline is the main feature of androgenetic alopecia. In contrast, women experience generalized hair thinning, with a widening of the part being a common initial presentation.

Hair transplants for men vs for women

Regarding the site of hair transplant, the scalp is the most common one in both genders with the beard being the next common site in men and the eyebrows in women. According to ISHRS, 79% of hair transplants in women are on the scalp and 15% on the eyebrows. There is no significant difference regarding donor site selection and the actual transplant procedure between men and women.

Donor and Recipient areas of transplant

An ideal donor site should have enough follicle density to appear reasonably full after the required number of follicles are harvested.

Generally, it is recommended that the post-harvest follicle density of the donor site should not be less than 1/mm2. Otherwise, noticeable thinning may result.The back of the head is the most commonly selected donor area, as the hair here is resistant to the effects of DHT. This site is the preferred donor area for both genders. In men with severe balding (Norwood 6 or 7), this is usually the only hair-bearing area left on the scalp. Hair from this area can be implanted on the frontal areas of the scalp or other areas of the body like the beard or eyebrows.

If the primary donor area is not sufficient to provide the required number of hair follicles, as can happen in cases of extensive baldness, additional donor areas are selected. Body hair can be transplanted into the scalp with good results. Hair from the beard, the back or thighs, etc. can be harvested and implanted on the scalp. The body hair may differ in color and texture from scalp hair and this should be kept in mind when using body hair as a donor area for scalp transplant.

Recipient area for hair transplant

The Scalp is the most common site on which the harvested hair is implanted. In men, a receding hairline is the most common pattern of hair loss, and reconstruction of the frontotemporal hairline is the most common indication of hair restoration surgery. According to ISHRS, 89% of hair transplants in men are done on the scalp, 4% on the beard, and 3% on the eyebrows. Occasionally, some men may decide to do a hair transplant on their chest.

Risks and side effects

Hair transplant is a fairly safe procedure. Being an invasive procedure, however, the risk of adverse effects is always there. A summary of the short-term and long-term risks is provided here. Click here for a detailed article on the subject.

Short term adverse effects include:

Long term complications include:

Hair transplant month by month

Booking consultation and planning: On your first visit, the surgeon will have an assessment of the extent of your hair loss and the suitability of the donor and recipient areas. An estimate of the number of grafts required will also be made.

The surgery: Surgery may be done in one or more sessions, depending on the extent of baldness. Each session can take from 2 to 6 hours. The procedure is done under local anesthesia or a nerve block.

The first month: The first week after transplantation is crucial as the newly transplanted follicles take a few days to engraft.Slight pain and swelling are expected for the first 3-4 days. Mild bleeding may also occur. Scabs will start forming during this time as well. Your doctor may advise a saline spray to avoid drying and excessive scab formation. You will receive instructions regarding sleeping and washing of the hair. Generally, avoid sleeping on your stomach if you have done a frontal hair transplant as this can damage the newly implanted hair. The scalp can be washed after the first few days but baby shampoo should be used and avoid picking scabs and excessive rinsing.

2-3 months: The newly implanted hair would have fallen off towards the end of the first month. This is normal. During the second and 3rd months, your recipient area will appear bald.

4-5 months:  New hair growth from the implanted follicles may be noticed by the 4th month. The initially slow hair growth gathers pace by the 5th month.

6-7 months: At this time, you would have had 3-4 post-op checkups.The hairline would appear fuller and significant hair growth would have occurred.

8-9 months: The changes after the 6 months are incremental. Your hairline would have mostly been covered by now.

10-11 months: With enough growth, you will be able to style your hair naturally.

12 months: This will likely include the final checkup with your surgeon. For most people, the hair growth is complete by this time.


Hair transplant can appear a costly endeavor. Many patients who have undergone successful hair transplants, however, consider the money well spent as the changed looks boost their confidence.

Broadly, the costs of a transplant can be divided into direct charges of the procedure and additional costs including travel expenses and days off work.

Regarding the direct charges, the cost of a hair transplant can vary greatly from GBP 1000 to 30,000. Most clinics charge per graft unit. This makes the number of grafts the main determinant of cost. The number of grafts required depends on the extent of hair loss.

Minor adjustment to the hairline may require as little as 500 grafts while more extensive coverage from temple to temple can take 2000 or more grafts. A full head transplant can require more than 6000 grafts. On average, an early receding hairline (Norwood scale 2) requiring 500-800 grafts will cost £ 1000 to 4000.

In comparison, a similar transplant would cost on average USD 1500 in Turkey. Wide variations exist among clinics in the UK with the average cost per graft ranging from £2,5 to £5.  Typically it’s less than half the cost per graft per procedure in Turkey or between £0,9 – 2£ per graft .

Finally, being a cosmetic procedure, hair transplant is not available on the NHS and is not covered by most private insurers.

Surgery – Domestic vs Abroad

Turkey is one of the top destinations among European health tourists. Before Covid-19, in 2018, more than 700,000 medical tourists visited the country.

The cause is mainly that the cost of a hair restoration procedure in private clinics in the UK can be significantly higher than that offered in Turkey. The benefits of doing a hair transplant in Turkey include:

Doing a hair transplant surgery abroad is cost-effective but requires some considerations: