Hair loss can be an unfortunate fact of life for millions of people, and while some may come to terms with their loss of locks, others find it much harder to adjust.
As a result, hair loss treatments have remained in high demand and technological improvements now offer better choices. From less invasive technology used for hair implants, including U-FUE and 3D hair follicle technology, to the stunning realism of wigs, check out some examples of how technology is revolutionizing hair loss solutions.
Hair transplant innovations have continued through the years, especially with the introduction of Follicular Unit Extraction technology (FUE). FUE today is a big improvement over earlier follicular unit transplantation, which required taking entire strips of skin from the back of the head and cutting them into separate sections for replacement around the thinning areas of the head—a painful and scarring experience.
FUE, however, simply requires the harvesting of a single hair follicle—one at a time—from an area of healthy growth. The hair follicles are then relocated where they’re most needed, a useful option for receding hairlines. Scarring with FUE is minimal and in most cases, it’s completely painless. What’s more, the follicle is never out of the skin for long, which reduces the chance of damage to the follicle —a huge advantage.For those with thinning hair across the entirety of the scalp, FUE may not be the best bet. This is where U-FUE, DHI and 3D printing technologies come into play. U-FUE uses similar techniques to FUE, but with more expert surgeons, this can be done without the need for shaving the hair completely.
DHI is the process of Direct Hair Implants through the use of a Choi Implanter Pen. This piece of equipment has helped reduce trauma to the scalp in countless patients, with minimal pain and better potential of a successful graft. It can take longer, but when don’t correctly, the results are worth the wait.
The Future of Transplants
3D Printing of hair transplants is relatively new, but the potential is huge for patients who may not have enough hair available for other methods. In theory, 3D printing would require a digital map of a person’s scalp in order to determine where the cells and components would need to be placed. Through precision printing, follicles could be printed for implantation using bio-ink. Bio-printing is already being tested, but is not ready for consumers yet.
Meanwhile, scientists at UCLA have successfully activated the body’s stem cells in order to stimulate hair growth. GNN reported that the eye-opening research is still in preclinical trials, untested on humans.
Wig technology has improved by leaps and bounds over the years with hair prosthetics being designed as custom-made wigs to specifically suit each individual patient.
Prosthetics come with countless measurements to ensure the hair is well-fitting and each piece is designed for comfort and protection from the elements. Patients who opt for hair prosthesis tend to have become bald due to a medical condition, and wish to regain the ability to protect themselves from the sun and keep warm in the winter. The material tends to be hypo-allergenic and soft to the touch for optimal comfort.
Hair loss can be devastating for many, but with today’s technology—and the promise of future developments—people have more and better options than ever before.