Pakistan Hair Transplant Industry Expands to Serve Both Locals and Tourists
Men spend $1.2 billion each year on hair restoration surgeries, and concerns about hair loss aren’t limited to the West.
In fact, the hair transplant industry is booming in Pakistan, Business Insider reported Nov. 10.
“In Pakistan, hair is synonymous with virility to the point that even some Taliban fighters buy ointments to give their long locks and beards a lustrous finish,” the article explains.
“Hair is like our weapon against society,” comments 30-something Mohammad Shahid, who decided to undergo hair transplantation after his cousin had a successful procedure.
Even women fear hair loss, especially since it can interfere with the arranged marriages that are still common in Pakistan.
“One of my clients had lost a lot of hair and two or three marriage proposals did not mature,” one surgeon told BI. “After [the transplant], she came to give me the invitation to her wedding.”
There are now approximately 120 hair transplant clinics in the country, which covers about 300,000 square miles. Dr. Humayun Mohmand, who was one of the first surgeons to offer hair transplants in Pakistan, says he’s conducted 8,000 operations since 2006 — about 1,000 a year — compared to only 1,000 in the previous five years combined.
Hair Transplant Tourism
The lure of these clinics is even expanding beyond Pakistan’s borders.
Tourists, or people visiting family in Pakistan, often take advantage of the low prices offered in the country.
“The operation generally costs from $400-$1,000, with some top clinics charging up to $6,000 — a fraction of what it costs in the West,” the BI article observes. In the United States, a hair transplant may cost between $4,000 and $15,000, depending on how many grafts are needed.
However, like all medical tourists, those wishing to become more hirsute should weigh the licensing requirements and procedure quality levels carefully when considering a discounted procedure abroad. A hair surgeon’s level of experience can have a significant impact on the procedure’s success.
“Hair transplant surgery has improved tremendously in the last few years thanks to the volume of research on modern hair restoration devices and techniques,” says Parsa Mohebi, MD, Parsa Mohebi Hair Restoration. “Despite this, we still see patients coming to us to repair outdated hair restorations done overseas. Many people try to save money by traveling to other countries to get a more affordable hair restoration, but what they don’t consider is the costs involved with a repair procedure, as well as the irreversible damage a botched transplant could cause to their permanent hair reserve. This is not something that can be fixed, even here in America.”