Full Guide To Getting a Hair Transplant in Korea
A hair transplant is the most safe and effective way to reverse the effects of permanent hair loss. The technique involves extracting hair from the back of the patient's head (the donor region) and implanting it to the balding spots of the patient's head (the recipient region).
The effectiveness of the procedure has increased dramatically over the past few decades to the point where the results look natural and donor area scarring is minimal. Much of the improvements to hair transplantation have been made in South Korea, where doctors perform 10s of thousands of hair transplants every year. And because of the strong emphasis on aesthetics in Korean culture, doctors in South Korea boast some of the best visual outcomes in the world. For these reasons, and because of affordable pricing, South Korea is a destination for hair transplantation for men and women worldwide.
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- What Is A Hair Transplant?
- Hair Transplant in Korea
- Hair Transplant Techniques in Korea
- Benefits of Hair Transplants in South Korea
- Before And After Pictures of Hair Transplant in Korea
- Best Hair Transplant Clinics in Korea
- Hair Transplant Trip to South Korea
- Frequently Asked Questions
Hair transplant techniques can be divided into two categories, based on the extraction method: Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) and Follicular Unit Transplant (FUT). FUE is known as the "point method" where each hair follicle is individually removed from the donor region and FUT is known as the "strip method" where a strip of scalp is removed and individual hairs are removed from the strip. Both methods boast a high survivability rate of the implanted hair, though FUT traditionally has a high survivability rate, due to differences in the extraction techniques.
What Is A Hair Transplant?
The main difference between the two methods is the scarring. FUT leaves a slight linear scar across the donor region. This can be visible if the patient likes to wear their hair short. Because follicles are extracted individually during FUE, doctors are able to spread out the extraction and as a result, spread out the scarring. Additionally, the scar from each follicle extraction with FUE is relatively small and difficult to see. Patients who have sufficient donor region density and who wish to wear their hair short usually prefer the FUE method. The extraction usually takes around three to four hours depending on the number of follicles.
After the extraction process is complete, the follicles are then implanted into the recipient region, one at a time. The implantation process is the same regardless of how the follicles are extracted. While follicles are extracted, nurses take each follicle and load them into insertion devices, similar to syringes. Each syringe is labeled with the number of hairs in the follicle. During the implantation phase of the surgery, the doctor will carefully implant each follicle into the recipient region based on the hairline design and the number of hairs in each follicle, with the three-hair follicles being placed towards the back of the recipient region, and the one-hair follicles being placed toward the front. The implantation process takes around two to three hours, depending on the number of follicles.
With hair loss treatment, hair transplant is a popular cosmetic procedure in Korea, and there are many clinics and hospitals that offer the service. The most common method in Korea is the Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) method, which is considered to be less invasive and less painful than other methods. If you are interested, we also have an article specifically expalining about "Hair Transplant Gone Wrong".
Hair Transplant in Korea
Quality hair transplant in Korea is considered to be very high, due to the expertise and experience of the surgeons, as well as the use of advanced technology and techniques. Many Korean clinics also use advanced equipment to enhance precision, speed and overall results.
Hair Transplant Techniques in Korea
We describe each method in more detail below:
1. FUE (Follicular Unit Extraction)
FUE, the "point method", involves extracting each follicle from the donor region, one follicle at a time. A special tool is used to surround the follicle and then punch into the scalp to extract it. Each follicle is removed, one at a time, and placed into a chemical solution until the entire extraction process is complete. After the extraction is finished, the doctor carefully implants each follicle in the right location and direction of the desired hairline. As previously mentioned, FUE allows for less visible scarring and patients who undergo FUE are able to wear their hair shorter than if they were to choose FUT.
FUT, the "strip method", involves cutting out a strip of scalp from the donor region. After the strip is removed, the doctor will suture the donor region. A skilled doctor will suture together both the dermal and subdermal layers. The suturing of both layers of skin reduces the likelihood of larger linear scarring. With the extracted strip, medical staff will individually cut out each follicle and load them into implantation syringes. Due to the greater ease of cutting full follicles from the strip, versus the individual punches with FUE, the FUT method tends to allow for greater follicle survival.
2. FUT(Follicular Unit Transplant)
South Korea has one of the most advanced medical systems in the world. In Korea, hair transplant is considered a highly specialized field and many clinics and hospitals have highly trained surgeons and use advanced technology to ensure precision and natural looking results.
Benefits of Hair Transplant in South Korea
The cost of hair transplant in Korea can vary depending on the clinic, the method used, and the number of hairs transplanted, but it is generally considered to be more affordable than in other countries. Compared to other nations, like the US, hair transplants in South Korea are relatively affordable. A $30,000 hair transplant in the US could cost around $9000 in South Korea.
1. Hair Transplant Cost
Korea has a reputation for providing high-quality medical services. Clinics in Korea are known for high levels of patient care and service. They offer comprehensive consultations before and the procedure to ensure that the patient’s goals and expectations are met.
2. High-Quality Results
While there are some countries like Turkey or Thailand known for hair transplants with more affordable prices, one of the main downsides of a cheap hair transplant is that the quality of the surgery may not be as high as that offered by more expensive South Korean clinics.
Clinics that offer very low prices may use less experienced surgeons, older technology, or lower quality materials, which can lead to less satisfactory results. Additionally, some clinics that offer cheap operations may not have the same level of hygiene or sterilization, also use unethical practices such as over-harvesting or over-implanting hair follicles, which can lead to unnatural looking results or other complications in both donor area and transplanted area. Especially, random uneven extraction in donor areas will lead to a horrible result that can never be fixed.
Post-operative care and follow-up services are also one of the reasons patients would be satisfied with the results.
Before And After Pictures of Hair Transplant in KoreaHere are some before and after pictures of hair transplant in Korea
Hair transplant for women is becoming increasingly popular in Korea, and many clinics and hospitals now offer the procedure for female patients.
1. Hair Transplants For Women
Women have different hair loss patterns than men, therefore hair transplant for women may require a more customized approach. The surgeons will take into account the patient’s unique hair characteristics, such as hair density and hair caliber, in order to create a natural-looking result. Whether or not the surgeons have sufficient experience is very important.
Androgenetic alopecia, also known as male pattern baldness, is a very common condition that affects many men in Korea, like any other countries in the world. You can easily notice a lot of people are suffering from typical male pattern baldness if you walk around or take public transportation in Korea. As a result, hair transplant for men is a super popular procedure in Korea.
2. Hair Transplant for Men
It’s important to research and choose a reputable clinic and surgeon. Patients should look for before and after photos, reviews and testimonials, and see if the clinic is certified or affiliated with any reputable organizations. It’s also a good idea to schedule a consultation with the surgeon to discuss your goals, expectations, and the overall process of the procedure.
Best Hair Transplant Clinics in Korea
Also it’s worth to note that like in any other country, there are some clinics that may not have the same level of expertise of use of technology, so it’s important to do your own research and be mindful.
Maxwell Hair Clinic is one of Korea’s most widely known and well respected clinics, founded by world-renowned hair restoration innovator surgeon Doctor Noh Yoon-woo in 2007. On average, 3 hair transplants are performed every day in Maxwell Hair Clinic. Patients from all over the world come to Korea to do hair transplant at Maxwell Hair Clinic.
1. Maxwell Hair Clinic
Surgeons are highly skilled with many decades of experience working on all types of ethnicities and scalp types, they offer comprehensive international patient services by having an internal professional international team. They are especially famous for minmizing hair transplant scars. All surgeons and staffs are fully bilingual and can communicate with international patients in English.
Find more info about Maxwell Hair Clinic on their official website or reach out to Maxwell Hair Clinic on WhatsApp with any questions you might have.
Overall, Korea is a great destination for hair transplant medical tourism, with a wide range of medical services available and a high standard of care. Patients can expect to receive high-quality hair transplant results from experienced professionals using advanced technology.
Hair Transplant Trip to South Korea
1. Pick your clinic
There are several reputable hair transplant clinics in Seoul, South Korea's capital city. You can read more about them HERE.
2. Get an online consultation
Once you have picked the clinic you wish to work with, you can fill out their consultation form and go through the consultation process. After submitting your photos and reviewing the recommendations of the doctor, you can move on to the next step.
3. Reserve your surgery date and pay a deposit
Once you have settled your travel plans, you can pick a date for your surgery. Most clinics will ask that you pay a 10% deposit to reserve your surgery date.
4. Come to South Korea and undergo treatment
Travel to South Korea and visit the clinic for your in-person consultation. This is usually the day before your surgery. But in most of the clinics in Seoul like Maxwell Hair Clinic, they do 1-day hair transplant, you will come in the morning, start the consultation, you will finish everything by the end of the day, and enjoy couple days of travelling in Seoul. Transplant surgeries usually last anywhere from 5 to 8 hours, depending on the amount of hair to transplant. After your procedure is complete, you will be given medication and some post-operative care information. You can go back to your accommodation and relax for the day.
5. The day after surgery, complete your follow up appointment
At the "day after" follow up appointment, the doctor will check your donor and recipient regions to ensure there are no infections or other issues. You will also have your hair washed by clinic staff. If you received an FUE transplant, this will be the last required appointment with the clinic.
6. If FUT, return to your clinic after 7 to 14 days for stitch removal
If you received an FUT transplant, you will most likely need to return 7 to 14 days later for stitch removal. If you received an FUE transplant, you will not need to return to the clinic after your next-day follow up.
7. Carefully wash your hair for one month
For the next 2 to 4 weeks, based on the doctor's instructions, you will need to take care to wash your hair gently. Most clinics will recommend you purchase some foaming shampoo, to increase survivability of the transplanted hair. The soap should be lightly dabbed on your hair and then gently washed out. After a month passes, you can resume washing your hair as you would normally.
8. After one month, the implanted hair will most likely fall out
It is perfectly normal and common for the implanted hair to fall out after 4 weeks. This is because the follicles have taken root and new hairs are growing. The existing hair will separate from the follicle and new hair will grow in its place.
9. After around one year, you should see most of the results of the transplant
You will see the hair growing within one to two months after the surgery, with the full effect of the transplant showing one to two years after the transplant.