The total market for hair restoration treatments has increased 16% since 2016 and it is now a $4.9 billion global industry. Last year alone, over 700,000 procedures were performed worldwide. However, with the return to medical tourism post-COVID-19, there is a rising concern that some of that money is being spent on procedures performed by unlicensed professionals, to the detriment of the patients receiving them. Here’s what you—and your patients—need to know about going to a foreign country for a hair transplant.
Hair restoration is one of Turkey’s fastest-growing industries, and this has led to a surge in illegal hair transplant operations performed by people without medical degrees—in some cases, even taxi drivers are trying to capitalize on the trend. With promises of cheap hair restoration done quickly and out of sight, many people have been tempted to fly to Turkey (and other far-flung destinations like Iran) without first knowing the risks. Black-market hair transplants have a high danger of infection, scarring, unnatural hairlines, and bald spots owing to a depleted donor area. They also suffer from inaccurate graft counts, with some patients getting less than half the number of grafts they’re paying for. You can rescue potential clients from experiencing similar situations through continuous education, offering superior hair restoration options, and marketing those options effectively.
One thing your clinic can do to prevent losing part of your customer base to these far-flung destinations is to open a discussion with them about hair restoration tourism. If they mention it to you, find out their reasons for going overseas for hair restoration. Is it the cheap costs? Was it a false promise that the procedure can be done better? Have they been struggling to get an appointment closer to home? Tempted by exotic locales and low prices, your clients may not know that there are several inherent drawbacks before, during, and after traveling for an aesthetic procedure.
Before: Prior to any procedure, clients will want to research a clinic thoroughly. However discovering the best physician in another country has several obstacles, including the language barrier and the fact that different countries have different, and sometimes looser, regulatory stipulations for who can perform a medical aesthetic procedure and how it can be performed. Another important safety concern is the stress that travel puts on the body when physical stress should typically be avoided before surgery.
During: While many patients cite lower prices as their main reason for hair transplant tourism, traveling for treatment tends to be quite expensive overall. Even if the destination boasts cheap medical fees, the costs of traveling and accommodation usually negate these savings. Futhermore, the greatest cost for the patient is the risk of receiving a poor hair transplant that has a permanent impact on one’s aesthetics and confidence. The prevalence of black-market transplantations puts patients in the hands of poorly trained staff and unhygienic settings where infections and other unexpected trauma may occur.
After: A clinic that has a revolving door of foreign patients isn’t going to offer the same post-procedure support that a local provider will be able to. When it comes to medical aesthetics, that personal touch of customized care from a practitioner who knows you can’t be underestimated.
You can encourage patients who are itching to travel for treatment to stay local instead by offering superior hair restoration delivered by the most trusted technology. Venus Concept offers two state-of-the-art devices for hair transplantation: ARTAS® and NeoGraft®.
ARTAS® makes hair restoration procedures swift and seamless, using Artificial Intelligence (AI) to design the ideal extraction and placement of the hair follicles. The device’s precision and speed work to protect existing hair and maintain a natural appearance for the newly implanted hair. The innovative system leverages state-of-the-art technology to enable accurate and efficient harvesting, recipient site-making, and implantation functionality in one device, using image-guided robotics for precise and repeatable follicular unit dissection. Every year, more providers turn to the superiority of automated FUE, the robotically-assisted FUE technique, and particularly FUE devices augmented with advanced technology. With a record number of ARTAS® procedures performed last year, there’s no denying the popularity of this state-of-the-art hair restoration device.
ARTAS® is ideal for:
With NeoGraft®, the automated system supplants the need for linear grafts by extracting individual hair follicles. The highly specialized pneumatic arm then implants them in the area where more hair growth is desired. The newly implanted hair follicles continue the natural hair growth cycle and results improve each week, with full realization at 9-12 months post-procedure. In both cases, the procedure is minimally invasive, less painful, leaves no linear scarring, and requires very little in terms of recovery or aftercare.
NeoGraft® is ideal for:
With both devices, we offer full clinic support with VERO Hair™, a comprehensive solution for growing your hair restoration business. It includes both our automated and advanced robotic FUE technologies as well as extensive post-sales support tools, including clinical training, marketing, and business development programs, giving you the competitive edge in the expanding hair restoration market. Speak to one of our experts today to see how we can support your success.
Here are a few strategies you can use to bring clients to your clinic for hair restoration:
Emphasize Local: While COVID-19 is ongoing, especially abroad, firm up your clients loyalty in supporting local businesses by tweaking your marketing strategy so it attracts a local clientele. There are multiple ways to do this, like using local business listings, localized SEO, and digital advertising, or by tapping local influencers to boost your reach on social media.
Education Comes First: Your client's may not know the danger of overseas hair transplantation. Don’t be afraid to share the risks with them. It’s not a scare tactic, it’s a public service. At the same time, make sure you’re marketing your clinic’s safe hair restoration offerings on all fronts.
Free Consultations: Consultations are the first step to building a long-term client relationship, and for hair restoration they can be invaluable, especially in attracting female patients for whom hair loss still comes with a social stigma. Speaking to them about their concerns and solutions is a great way to get over any apprehensions they may have about the procedure.
Ready to bring hair restoration to your clinic? Reach out to start the process today.