Turquoise sea, palm trees and sun, a tropical holiday and a new head of hair at a low price can sound too good to be true for those suffering from hair loss. In reality, does the result match the promise? Cheap or “low cost” hair implants, in particular in Thailand and the Middle East, are becoming more and more frequent, yet these non-standardised transplant methods carry many risks.

In this article we give you the information you need to ask the right questions and help you make an informed choice in the treatment of hair loss.

Cheap Hair Transplant

What is a “low cost” hair transplant?

These are non-standardised follicle graft interventions (ie the processes and practices do not respect any pre-established global protocol, both in regards to the qualification of personnel and the extraction and implantation tools, the level of graft distribution, patient monitoring, etc), carried out abroad, at an attractive cost. Some countries have specialised in this niche: Thailand and further afield, Turkey, Hungary and Tunisia. Large clinics, or “mega centres” dedicated to hair implants have been created and agreements made with airlines and hotels to offer “all-inclusive stays”. The package seems so appealing that patients forget some of the essential aspects inherent in any transplant and the desired result.

6 reasons to beware

1. It is not an expert doctor who manages the transplant, from the first follicle extracted to the last implanted.

Most commonly, they are “technicians”, without any medical training, who do the procedure. Typically, there are several of them at a time, in order to reduce the time of the procedure. 

→ Why is this a problem?
Because there is a real lack of medical expertise and supervision. In addition, the fact that the extraction and then the implantation are performed by several people at the same time compromises the symmetrical and harmonious result across the entire head of the patient.

2. The tools used to extract and implant follicles are more aggressive.

Automation (the use of an electric punch for example) is often used as it saves time and therefore saves money. But when it comes to aesthetic medical procedures, is “saving money” really reasonable? However, it is the principle of “low cost”. Thus, during a “low cost” hair transplant, it is common to use motorised punches whose diameter often exceeds a millimetre. Result: the extraction is certainly faster but also more aggressive.

→ Why is this a problem?
Extraction must be gentle and imperceptible on the donor area. A punch whose diameter is too wide leaves visible traces (scarring) on the scalp, especially noticeable with short hair. This unsightly result is accentuated by the rotating head of the mechanical extractors which creates a micro-traumatism at the point of extraction.

3. The angle of penetration of the rotating heads is not always identical to that of the axis of the hair under the skin.

→ Why is this a problem?
This shift often results in the section of the bulb or part of it. However, if the base of a hair contained in a follicle of three hairs is cut, this causes an irreversible consequence: this hair will never grow back. The immediate impression of density is then in reality only a decoy. Once the small hair has fallen in the days following surgery, the hair follicles cut during extraction will not produce the expected number of hairs and the rate of regrowth will be much lower than expected.

Aggressive extraction and implantation = compromised regrowth.
If a transplant is poorly managed, 20 to 60% of the re-implanted hair will not grow back.

4. Mismanagement of the donor area

Conscious of the consequences of these aggressive extractions on the rate of regrowth, the clinics encourage patients to opt for a greater number of hairs in order to “compensate” for this shortfall, whereas this is sometimes not necessary. This fact reflects, among other things, the relative management of the donor area in the context of “low cost” transplants.

→ Why is the management of the donor area essential?
Good management of the donor area is essential because future transplants may be needed, especially when the patient is young, and this valuable capital is exhaustible. Contrary to what we sometimes hear today, the donor area does not regenerate. Avoid extraction techniques that mistreat the donor area and especially that harvest hair that the patient may not need! 

groDonor area after low cost hair transplant.

5. The “low cost” hair restoration clinics voluntarily encourage their future patients to evaluate the price of a transplant according to the number of hairs implanted.

The patient, who has often drawn on his savings for this all important hair transplant, makes a quick calculation and the advantage, compared to the prices offered in his own country, seems, at first glance, obvious.

→ Why is this a problem?
This way of proceeding is perverse because it bases the comparison on the total number of hairs implanted, however with follicle survival rates as low as 40%, it’s a false economy. The race towards several thousand extra hairs hides the true nature of the proposed procedure – aggressive techniques and serious damage to the donor area. Patients forget to ask the right questions and then go hunting for the best price. In addition, as the hair is offered individually, the clinics have every interest in “selling” a maximum, even when it is not necessary, thereby spoiling the donor area without valid reason.

6. The method of implantation is the same as in FUT or classic FUE.

Incisions or slits using sharp objects (a blade, a scalpel and sometimes even the tip of a pair of scissors) are made on the scalp, to insert the grafts forceps.

→ Why is this a problem?
It is difficult to create density because you can not implant the grafts really close to each other. Unfortunately due to the incisions that, when healing, often leave an unsightly “orange peel” appearance on the skin.

The 6 questions to ask yourself when choosing a hair transplant solution

1. Is the extraction method gentle (for my scalp, for my follicles) and does it not leave visible traces (scars)?
2. With regard to the implantation method, are the grafts implanted without trauma or with prior incisions and forceps?
3. Who will do my transplant, from the first follicle extracted to the last follicle implanted, a single expert doctor or technician(s)?
4. Will the end result be perfectly natural, dense and durable?
5. How do I manage follow-up appointments? And what if retouching is needed?
6. After a “low cost” transplant, will my donor area allow me to perform other interventions if my baldness evolves?

So many questions that must be asked before venturing into a “cheap” hair transplant. A hair transplant is a medical procedure that requires precise and meticulous know-how, demanding and continuous training, and an artistic sense.

So we invite you, when considering hair transplant options, to ask lots of questions, so you have the information you need in order to make an enlightened decision.


Why choose microsurgery direct implantation technique?

Our microsurgery, using direct implantation, hair transplant is considered the most delicate hair transplant technique available. 100% natural results are guaranteed. Life changing results in a single day.

1. Procedures are performed from start to finish by a Doctor, not technicians. Our certified Gro doctors have been trained to ensure consistency and quality.

2. Minimum handling of hair follicles results in high survival rate;
– achieving constantly over 95% survival rate vs industry rates that fluctuate between 50-90%
– need for less donor hairs (this is paramount as only the surviving hair is worth paying for)

3. Refined technique – the most delicate hair transplant method
 - no scalpels
 - no stitches
 - virtually pain free
 - no detectable scarring
 - short recovery time (you may even return to work the next day)

4. Our clinics are the only hair transplant clinics in Australia that use HypoThermosolTM in our hair transplants, sustaining the survival rate of the hairs up to 100%.

5. Natural results GUARANTEED. Implantation of the hair follicles happens with a special tool, which allows our doctor to control the angle, direction and depth of the implanted hair unlike any other hair transplant technique.


Click here to see our before & after photo gallery.

Take The First Step – Book A Consultation

For personalised information and an accurate quote, the first step is to book a consultation with a hair growth specialist in our Brisbane clinicGold Coast clinic, Perth clinicSydney clinic or Melbourne clinic. During your private consultation, a correct diagnosis for your hair loss will be given and the opportunity to discuss the various treatment options.

Simply click on one of the buttons below to book a consultation or ask a question. Alternatively, you can call us on 1300 787 563.