In this article, we will look at:
- What is artificial hair implant?
- Eligibility for artificial hair implant
- Artificial hair implant procedure
- Risks and side effects of hair implant procedure
- Advantages of artificial hair implant procedure
- How many biofibers can be implanted in a session
- Pre & post treatment guidelines
- Recovery from artificial hair implant procedure
- Cost of artificial hair implant procedure
- Results of artificial hair implant procedure
- More hair treatment-related topics
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Artificial Hair Implant - An Overview
Artificial or synthetic hair implantation procedure is performed by qualified and seasoned physicians using hair implant devices.
The materials used for producing the synthetic hair are biocompatible and made of artificial fiber. They are more durable and stronger than natural hair. Each strand of artificial hair has a knot at the end. The surgeon using special implanters inserts each strand of hair one by one under the anesthetized scalp and hooks the knots deep into the scalp fascia.
This is an outpatient procedure and involves a light surgery. The patient can resume normal day to day activities immediately after the surgery.
The bio-compatible artificial hair is available in different lengths (from 16 cm up to 45 cm), shades (21 colours), and shapes (straight, wavy, curly), and is undetectable from natural hair.
The hairs can be washed and brushed like normal hair, though special shampoos and hair care products are required for maintaining these synthetic hairs.
Am I eligible for artificial/synthetic hair implant procedure?
You are an eligible candidate for the artificial/synthetic hair implant procedure if:
- you have limited donor area or you have exhausted the donor area for hair transplant procedures.
- you do not wish to undergo hair transplant procedures because you will have to wait for a few months for the hair to grow. In other words, you wish to see instant results.
- you do not suffer from sensitive skin or scalp problems, HIV, hepatitis, uncontrolled diabetes, asthma, heart problems, autoimmune diseases, hypertension, or high blood pressure and are not taking blood-thinners or beta-blockers.
- you have extremely low-density hair on the scalp or are completely bald.
Depending on your medical condition, hair implant can be performed at any age.
How is the hair implant procedure performed?
Prior to a session of full hair implant procedure, the doctor will first perform a fiber compatibility test, a month before the actual implant session. A 100 artificial hairs will be inserted on the area of baldness on your head. You will be under observation for nearly a month for allergic reactions. If there are no allergic reactions, the doctor will recommend that you undergo the full procedure.
After the full implant procedure, you have to visit the clinic every month to have your scalp cleaned, failing which sebum plugs (colorless and tiny bumps) may develop at the base of the implanted hairs, which can further lead to infection, inflammation, and even cysts.
An artificial hair implant procedure entails the following:
- At the outset, the doctor uses local anesthesia to anesthetize your scalp.
- Using an automatic hair implant device, the doctor then implants the hair strands one by one into the scalp. The hair implant device inserts and hooks the knot at the end of each strand inside the scalp fascia.
- The process of implanting continues till a proper hair density is achieved.
- After completing the implantation, the doctor will cleanse your scalp with a disinfectant.
Are there any risks or side effects of artificial hair implant?
Artificial hair implant procedure has its own risks and disadvantages such as:
- Your immune system may completely reject the artificial/synthetic hair since at the end of the day they are ‘foreign bodies.’
- There could be allergic reactions after the procedure.
- Around 30% of the synthetic hair breaks off every year and so you will need re-implants every year to maintain the aesthetic look.
- Regular hair cleaning is required since there are chances of sebum plug formation at the base of the hair fibers. If the cleaning is not done, infection or inflammation may occur and even cysts may develop. You will need to visit the clinic every month for the cleaning.
- An itch on the scalp can be a problem for you, as you will need to tolerate the temptation to scratch. Scratching can dislodge the artificial hairs in the location of the itch.
Regular re-implants every year can lead you to have a severely scarred scalp.
- You have to use special shampoos and hair products for maintaining the synthetic hair.
- Immediately after the procedure, you need to treat your hair with care, as abrupt manoeuvres can dislodge the freshly implanted hair.
- There is a probability of the procedure destroying the surrounding native hairs in the long run. This is not a risk factor if the area is completely bald.
- Repeated implants may result in destroying hair follicles, which are gradually replaced by scar tissue, leading to cicatricial alopecia.
- Continuous reimplants can lead to poor blood circulation which can not only prevent the growth of hair but may also decrease the surviving rate of existing hair.
- Some patients complain of a migraine-like headache the day after the procedure.
- Though not verified, cancer is a long-term risk of artificial hair implantation.
What are the advantages of artificial/synthetic hair implantation?
The advantages of synthetic hair implant include:
- A simple, quick, and painless procedure.
- Natural aesthetic results in a matter of hours. Patients experience immediate, improved appearance and do not have to wait for the hair to grow, like as in hair transplantation cases.
- High hair density in a couple of hours.
- An outpatient procedure which allows you to get back to your active lifestyle immediately after the implant.
- A good option for patients with a limited donor area for hair transplant.
- A highly affordable procedure.
- Can be performed alone and also in combination with other procedures. It can also be stopped at any time.
How many biofibers of artificial hair can be implanted in a single session?
Depending on the area of baldness, up to 2000 synthetic hairs can be implanted in a single session.
How long will it take to recover from an artificial/synthetic hair implant procedure?
There is no downtime after a hair implantation procedure. You can go back to your active lifestyle immediately after the procedure.
Are there any pre and post-treatment guidelines for artificial/synthetic hair implant?
As part of the pre-treatment procedure, the doctor will discuss at length with you about your medical history, if any. You will need to undergo a general physical examination and some medical tests. The doctor will also prescribe certain products, which you will need to use regularly, to make your scalp suitable for hair implantation.
The post-treatment guidelines provided by the clinic should be followed to a T. You will need to use special shampoos and hair care products to take care of the synthetic hair.
Post the implant, you will be advised not to use regular hair products such as gels, hair dyes, etc. since they can damage the artificial hair.
You need to regularly wash your implanted hair with the shampoo recommended by your doctor and also use a soft brush to thoroughly cleanse your scalp. Special hair creams especially meant for synthetic hair, need to be applied, which will make it easier to comb and style the hair. While washing and combing your hair, you need to treat your scalp very gently, so that the artificial hair does not get dislodged.
Post the surgery, you need to religiously take the medications and antibiotics as prescribed by the doctor. Sudden hair manoeuvres and scratching should be avoided as much as possible, as it can lead to dislodging of the hair.
What is the cost of artificial/synthetic hair implantation in India?
Approximately Rs.85 to Rs.100 per strand.
Are the results of artificial/synthetic hair implantation permanent?
Results are not permanent, as reimplants are needed every year to consistently maintain required hair density.
More Hair Treatment-Related Topics
People interested in this topic also read:
- Hair Fall Treatment Procedures
- Hair Transplantation Procedures Overview
- Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUT)
- Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE)
- Scalp Reduction Surgery
- Artificial/Synthetic Hair Implant
- Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) Therapy for Hair Growth
1.Hanke CW e. Hair implant complications. - PubMed - NCBI [Internet]. Ncbi.nlm.nih.gov. 2018 [cited 21 February 2018]. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7009899
2. Peluso AM e. Cutaneous complications of artificial hair implantation: a pathological study. - PubMed - NCBI [Internet]. Ncbi.nlm.nih.gov. 2018 [cited 21 February 2018]. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1498375
3. Tchernev G. Automatic Artificial Hair Implant: Safety and Efficacy in Androgenetic Alopecia. A Prospective Study with a Highly Biocompatible Fiber [Internet]. 2018 [cited 21 February 2018]. Available from: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Georgi_Tchernev/publication/322623237_Automatic-Artificial-Hair-Implant-Safety-and-Efficacy-in-Androgenetic-Alopecia-A-Prospective-Study-with-a-Highly-Biocompatible-Fiber.pdf
4. Rateb Said A, Albzour B, Santiago M, Agrawal M, Rovesti M, Satolli F et al. Automatic Artificial Hair Implant: Safety and Efficacy in Androgenetic Alopecia. A Prospective Study with a Highly Biocompatible Fiber [Internet]. 2018 [cited 21 February 2018]. Available from: https://www.id-press.eu/mjms/article/view/oamjms.2018.052
5. Mysore V. Synthetic hairs: Should they be used? [Internet]. Bioline.org.br. 2018 [cited 21 February 2018]. Available from: http://www.bioline.org.br/request?dv06002
Questions answered by trusted doctors
Scalp reduction surgery also known as scalp lifting, as the name itself suggests, is a surgery which removes parts of the scalp affected by alopecia.
Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE), as opposed to the FUT procedure, is a hair transplant method in which the doctor extracts the follicular units of hair, from the donor area of your head, one by one.
PRP therapy for hair loss is a treatment in which a patient's own blood is withdrawn and processesed so that only the enriched cells (platelet-rich plasma) remain. These cells are then injected into the scalp.