Popular TV shows such as TLC’s ‘Body Parts’ are intriguing audiences when it comes to the world of anaplastologists. Anaplastologists create prosthetic body parts for all sorts of medical conditions. Well, the truth is, prosthetics are also used in a way you may not expect: hair loss.
Whether facing hair loss due to genetics, an autoimmune disorder, scarring or other causes many clients come to me at Transitions Hair Solutions fearing they have lost a part of themselves. This loss can leave even the most resilient person feeling insecure and depressed. While embracing their conditions, people still want to have the same freedoms and normalcy they once had. Hair and scalp prosthetics can be a great solution because they can almost exactly mimic a client’s previous or desired hair.
At Transitions Hair Solutions, we work closely with a company in Italy called Cesare Ragazzi Laboratories to provide high quality personalized hair and scalp prosthetics. The thirty-nine-step process starts off at a certified center where we have an in-person consultation. I look to see if the client is a good candidate for a hair and scalp prosthetic and if there are any potential alternatives. For example, someone may first want to try a trichology treatment to stimulate hair growth on their scalp instead. Understanding a client’s personal goal is helpful in deciding which path to take.
Once we agree to move forward with a hair and scalp prosthetic, we have a fitting appointment. During the fitting, we take measurements of the scalp and create a mold which is a fiberglass impression of the head. We then take a 3D scan of the clients head to get exact dimensions of the head, We also go over scalp color, hair type, hair texture, hair density, length and other specifications, including a patch test. A patch test is used to ensure there are no allergic reactions to the adhesive or the prosthetic. Scalp type, such as oiliness or dryness, is taken into consideration when choosing which adhesive to use. Using adhesive allows the client to enjoy the functionality and benefits of the prosthetic for three to six weeks straight.
In Italy, a twelve-week production process begins. Utilizing 3D technology starting with the 3D scan of the client’s head at our center sent to Italy electronically, in the past we created a plaster cast of the client’s head, which is then 3D printed in Italy to create a precise base to shape the prosthetic. They continue the process by mixing the medical grade polymer, which is anti-fungal and anti-bacterial; an important part in maintaining the health of the client’s scalp. Additional steps include sourcing the hair, blending the hair, hand injecting the hair, and quality control.
All hair sourced are virgin “ponytail” hair, which means it is unprocessed hair where the cuticle has remained intact allowing for an endless amount of styling opportunities. From highlights to lowlights, and everything in between, we can easily style the prosthetic to the client’s desires.
At around twelve weeks, we receive the completed hair and scalp prosthetic, and the client returns for the application. The fiberglass mold is used to double check measurements, then a medical adhesive, which has been dermatologically tested, is applied around the perimeter of the client’s coverage area as well as the perimeter of the prosthetic.
For maintenance, the prosthetic can be treated as a regular head of hair. You can shampoo and condition the hair, style it as you please and also engage in sports or any activity desired. After three to six weeks, we remove and sanitize the prosthetic and then reapply it.
It’s truly amazing to have science and technology work together with the beauty industry to create something like this for people who have hair loss. There's no shame in replacing your hair if you are losing it; especially if it makes you feel whole again. It’s not just hair, it is part of your confidence, personality, and lifestyle. It is, after all, a part of you. I can always be reached with any questions at TransitionsHairSolutions.com
WRITTEN BYDanielle Marzella