Male pattern baldness – also known as androgenetic alopecia – results in a gradual thinning and eventual loss of hair. The thinning often starts at the hairline and recedes from there, resulting in an ‘M’ shape. The crown of the head begins to thin around the same time. The sides of the head are the last areas to be affected.
Some hair restoration surgeons suggest that hair loss in men aged between 21 and 30 is more prevalent than ever before. This may be because puberty is reached at a younger age, people have a high protein diet, or they take artificial testosterone such as steroids. Growth hormones in meat and dairy products may be partly responsible. Other studies suggest that stress could be the root of male hair loss.
Women also suffer from a form of hair loss. Female pattern hair loss does not affect the hairline. Instead, it tends to involve an overall thinning of hair from the roots at the crown. The condition tends to develop at a later stage than male pattern baldness, with 25% of women displaying symptoms by age 49 and more than 50% of women by age 79.
Czech men most likely to lose hair first in Europe
In the USA, male pattern baldness is the cause of 95% of hair loss in men. By the time they reach the age of 35, approximately two-thirds of American men will have experienced some hair loss. A study in the Singapore Medical Journal showed that practically all men aged 80 would show some form of male pattern baldness.
Around 6.5 million men currently suffer from male pattern baldness in the UK. According to a 2021 study, European men are the most likely to have the condition, followed by Afro-Caribbean men.
In Europe, men from the Czech Republic lose their hair earliest, followed by those from Spain, Germany, France and the UK. Men in the USA go bald later than those in the UK, while men in China are the most likely to retain their hair into old age.
Turkey attracts medical tourism for hair transplants and more
Turkey welcomes up to two million medical tourists every year. A large number of those travel for hair transplants, according to Istanbul tourism specialist Ali Caglayan. He insists that people also visit for plastic surgery, dentistry and weight loss treatments, but not in such high numbers.
Istanbul is the top destination in Turkey for such procedures, followed by Ankara and Izmir. Most of those who travel for treatment at hair transplant clinics are from Europe and the Middle East.
Hair transplants in Turkey have become so popular because of the low cost of treatment there — up to 70 per cent less expensive than in other countries. Nevertheless, the treatment is undertaken by highly qualified surgeons who are drawn by the huge demand for hair transplants in the country.
There are several reasons for the lower cost of treatment in Turkey. The cost of living there is lower than in many countries. That means that the clinics have lower rent and overheads, and their wage bills are lower. Those travelling to Turkey will also find that accommodation is quite affordable.
Tax concessions for hair transplant surgeons in Turkey
A considerable contribution to the low cost of treatment in Turkey is the active promotion of medical tourism by the government. No VAT is paid by clinics and hospitals that carry out hair transplants. The same benefit is available for clinics undertaking treatments such as cosmetic dentistry, plastic surgery, or IVF for medical tourists.
To uphold the country’s high standards of care and protect medical tourists, the clinics and hospitals carrying out such procedures must be certified by the Turkish Ministry of Health. Consequently, medical tourists seeking hair transplants in Turkey can look forward to a high standard of care and professionalism.
Turkey ranks first for the sheer volume of hair transplant patients it attracts yearly. However, as hair transplant procedures have become standardized, more surgeons worldwide are performing cases, and other destinations are also becoming prominent. East Europe, Dubai, Jordan and India are a few notable destinations slowly developing a name for hair transplant procedures.