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3D Printing Could Offer New Hair Loss Solution
by April Maguire
Hair loss is one of the most widespread problems in the world. While it can be difficult to live with hair loss under any circumstances, people who suffer from various types of alopecia can have a particularly trying time. With alopecia areata, the body's own immune system mistakenly attacks hair follicles, rendering them incapable of creating new hairs. Similarly, cicatricial alopecia leaves the hair follicles destroyed and replaced with scar tissue.
Not surprisingly, alopecia sufferers report a dramatically decreased quality of life. With alopecia, going out into public can become an incredibly stressful experience, causing many sufferers to avoid social interactions.
Even though there are solutions on the market, they tend to be inadequate in one way or another. Hair plugs or grafts are often noticeable, drawing even more attention to the problem. And wigs, especially of the mass-produced variety, often look stiff and unnatural. Fortunately, however, alopecia sufferers may have a new solution, thanks at least in part to 3D printing.
Creating Custom Prosthetics
Based in Bologna, Italy, Cesare Ragazzi Laboratories has been developing a new remedy for alopecia sufferers and other people dealing with hair loss. With their innovate approach, CRLab creates custom-made, 3D-printed scalps that serve as the basis for a new type of prosthetic. Once completed, the prosthetic is worn on top of the patient's head, providing the illusion of a full, natural head of hair.
While this approach is still relatively new, it has already received a major endorsement from Dr. Alan J. Bauman, who recently spoke highly of the invention at the International Alopecia Conference. Bauman is considered an expert in the field of hair loss solutions, and since the late 90s he has treated more than 17,000 patients from his practice in Boca Raton, Florida.
CRLab’s inventive process starts with patients undergoing a 3D mapping of their skull. Additionally, the technicians take a cast of the patient's head and document areas where hair loss is prominent. Next, the technicians create a 3D printing of the scalp and skull, which is then used as the mold for a polymeric base that will form the foundation of the prosthetic. Once the polymer foundation has been formed, the technicians set individual hairs into it, giving a natural, customized look to each and every patient.
Solutions like the CRL System offer alopecia sufferers and others dealing with hair loss a concrete solution to their problem. While other remedies are either unnatural-looking or only sporadically effective, the system from Cesare Ragazzi Laboratories allows patients to live a full, active lifestyle.
If you or someone you know would like to learn more about hair loss and how to treat it, please feel free to schedule a consultation or contact one of our representatives today!