Beauty Tourism Trap

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Turkey, Hair we Come!

Once there was just tourism. Everybody knew what that meant: travel, vacation, holidays, downtime etc. But look up the term today, and you will find phrases such as Domestic tourism, International tourism, Outbound Tourism (no, I don't get it either!), Business tourism, Adventure tourism, Wildlife tourism, Medical tourism, Wellness Tourism and even Beauty Tourism, competing for your hard-earned cash. And it is the latter that I am talking about today.

Suppose Medical tourism combines much-needed health procedures with a chance to see a bit of the world, and Wellness tourism is about exotic mud applications and steam rooms in far-flung climes. In that case, Beauty tourism is their more cosmopolitan younger sibling. It offers you the chance to travel, recharge the batteries, and come back as a slightly enhanced version of yourself.

 

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And why go abroad to have such cosmetic procedures and personal enhancements done (although the term enhancement does sound a bit Blade Runner-esque)? Cost. It is as simple as that. Clinics from the middle-east to south-east Asia to Africa have prices that are rarely matched in Europe or America.

If the far east has become the go-to destination for all manner of beauty treatments and Africa is the best option for hair braiding techniques, it is to Turkey that many are looking for procedures such as microblading (not actually a compact and bijou ice-skating rink) eyesight correction and increasingly for hair, beard and even eyebrow transplants for men.

Let's face it, we are proud of having a good head of hair, but sadly our genetic make-up means that as we age, it is likely that our once lustrous barnets will thin and grey, at a rate that we have no control over. Greying can be easily dealt with, thinning, not so much.

This is why such beauty tourism packages and the chance to re-sow the seeds and regrow our hair is so attractive a proposition. After all, there is only so much clever combing, carefully applied product and jauntily angled hats that a person can endure.

Such transplant packages usually follow similar lines. A short (3-day stay) in a higher-end hotel, transport between the airport, hotel and medical facility and a painless, 6-8 hour procedure in a hygienic, high-tech hospital environment. The rest of the time is spent in preparation and aftercare, and you will be given a pack of special shampoos and treatments to ease you through the post-replanting stage.

And once you are comfortable and happy with your new crop of hair, then you can indulge in a regular holiday and show off your new locks posing by the pool… and you will… the confidence kick you will get when you get your first look in the mirror of your younger-looking self with have you walking on air...perhaps even water, hence the pool.

There used to be an argument that opting for such procedures was a sign of vanity or ego; why not, I say. Who doesn't want to look their best? Eye correction, nail bars, implants, pedicures, fake tans... they are all part and parcel of modern life now, so who can blame a boy for wanting his hair back? But...at what cost!

 

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