For those who find themselves in long-term need for a hair loss solution, such as individuals with alopecia or cancer survivors like a recent blogger at A Head of Our Time who took chemotherapy drug Taxotere and found that her drug-induced hair loss was irreversible, there are options besides daily donning a wig for the rest of their lives.
“I have no doubt that, had I been told that Taxotere had a chance of permanent baldness, I would have selected Taxol. I know this because I have notes asking four different doctors the difference between the two. And I was told that the main difference was the inconvenience of getting the Taxol more often. This inconvenience is nothing compared to forty years of wearing a hot, itchy wig,” wrote the blogger.
“I made choices based on the information given. Choice. Choice is what makes us human, male or female….”
Westchester Magazine features one choice that these individuals suffering from hair loss now have, a non-surgical hair replacement option that uses 3D print technology.
Twenty-two hair-restoration specialists in the United States work with Cesare Ragazzi Laboratories in Bologna, Italy, to create beautiful, realistic hair prosthesis using the CNC 3D Printed Hair System. It is currently the only non-surgical hair-replacement technology of its kind. The magazine interviews Flora Fuentes, owner and president of Unique Hair Concepts in Ardsley, New York, one those practitioners in the United States.
“Designing a CNC 3D hair and scalp prosthesis begins with a private consultation during which I sit down with a client and understand their needs and expectations,” Fuentes told Westchester Magazine. “Next, I take parameters. This means that I create a ‘scalp map’ of the area of hair loss and a plaster-of-Paris mold. In addition, the client’s hair samples are collected so that the laboratory can match the client’s hair texture, curl, hair denier, and color.”
Fuentes explains that using these parameters using 3D Printing Cam Scan technology the laboratory in Bologna is able to create a prosthetic scalp, which is an accurate scalp replica for each individual client. The CNC is made with biomedical materials that are hypoallergenic and safe for even very sensitive scalps, such as burn victims. The laboratory uses the hair samples to make sure that the high quality natural human hair that is injected strand by strand into the prosthesis matches the client’s actual hair. The CNC is then shipped from Italy back to the hair-restoration center where it is secured to the client’s scalp.
Fuentes says that hair weaves require strong hair for the weave to be attached to and many alopecia sufferers cannot meet this requirement. In comparison, the CNC is attached to the scalp using a dermatologist-tested fixing agent or medical adhesive. Adhering the prosthesis does not require cutting or shaving existing hair, and securing it with a medical adhesive gives clients the ability to live normal physically active lives with a secure head of hair that can be washed and styled and worn 24/7 with monthly visits to the center for reapplication of the prosthesis. The CNC typically lasts 12 to 18 months.
The blogger says that the CNC is a wonderful non-surgical option for those who might have considered hair transplant surgery but for various reasons find the surgery is not an option. Hair transplant surgery requires “donor hair” for transplanting to areas where there is hair loss. For many women specifically this is not a viable option. It is not an option at all for those suffering from hair loss due to autoimmune conditions such as alopecia areata, totalis, and universalis, or scarring alopecias.