New technology treats diffuse hair loss
Hair loss in women often manifests itself in thinning hair or small balding patches. Until now, few efficient let alone fast-acting solutions have been available for this. A new technology in which synthetic hair is applied via a tiny implant just under the scalp provides a completely different approach.
“With this innovative technique of hair implants, you immediately have a very natural-looking result,” says dermatologist Ingrid Van Riet of Carpe Clinic, the institute that is putting the treatment on the map in our country. Unlike the well-known hair transplants, no thousands of tiny hair follicles are transferred here from the patient’s own hair to an area with much less hair growth, but instead synthetic biocompatible hair is used. The Hairstetics technology developed by an Israeli company uses miniature implants to which hair fibers are attached. That implant is “shot” through a pre-loaded cartridge by the dermatologist just under the scalp about the same height as where the real hair follicles are located. “The implant works according to the mechanism of a stent. Once in place, it anchors itself there, the new hairs are firmly in place and you don’t feel a thing,” says dermatologist Sylvie Van Eycken.
The treatment is minimally invasive and takes an average of 45 minutes. Because the scalp is anesthetized locally, everything is painless.
“This technique is especially well suited for women who suffer from long-term diffuse hair loss (androgenetic alopecia or male type hair loss). This is manifested by a thinner dos, a more translucent hairline or small balding areas. Here, the implants provide much more coverage and are barely distinguishable from natural hair. We cannot solve problems such as a receding hairline, or hair loss due to diseases such as alopecia areata, but there are other suitable solutions,” adds dermatologist Solange Lintermans.
To find out if someone qualifies for this solution, there is always a comprehensive intake interview beforehand, which includes an examination of the causes of hair loss. This is followed by a pre-implantation test during which a few hairs are already shot in, among other things, to see if the treatment will work and to rule out any unwanted reactions. A few weeks later, the real treatment then follows.
“About three days before, the patient should wash the scalp with disinfectant isobetadine and take an antibiotic to prevent infections. Also the first three days after the implantation you should not wash the hair. But after a week, this hindrance is off and after three weeks you can even have your hair re-colored. It is important to know that the synthetic hair cannot be colored. So you choose a final color in advance.”
To also support your own hair at the same time, this technology can be combined with others such as vitamin therapy or PRP treatment. PRP refers to plasma rich in platelets. These platelets are extremely interesting because they are rich in growth factors, substances that can speed up a lot of body processes. In PRP treatment, a little blood is first drawn from which the platelets are then filtered. A high concentration of platelets is subsequently re-injected into the head. This stops premature hair loss and stimulates hair growth in places where there are still plenty of active hair follicles. Once these are extinguished, they are still difficult to activate via growth factors. PRP produces results after a few courses. How fast it works does vary individually. To perpetuate that hair growth afterwards, a maintenance regimen is usually required.
Hairstetics technology comes with a price tag. Thus, you should count on 10 euros per hair, and for a decent coverage for a thinning hair, you quickly need about 300 to 500 hairs anyway.
The artificial bristles require no special care, although aggressive brushing or styling is not a good idea anyway. After 1 year, about 20% of the artificial hairs fall out, so after 5 years most of the hairs are gone.