Synthetic hair implant or artificial hair transplant is a revolutionary technique of hair restoration. These are artificial hair which exactly looks like natural hair and merger pretty well with the existing hair. They are available in different colors and shades, so the best-suited match for the patient can be found. It can bed done in both males and females.
Types of synthetic hair implant: Two variants of synthetic hair are available. One is Biofibre from Italy and the other one is Nido from Japan. These hair are available in different sizes as well. The sizes are 15 cm, 30 cm, 45 cm and 60 cm. There are very mild variations like the type of knot between the two. You can consult your doctor about the one which suits you better.
Advantages of Synthetic hair implant:
There are a lot of advantages of synthetic hair implants, which include:-
- Lack of donor area: It is a very good option for patients who don’t have enough donor hair left. We can do as many as the patient wants. Especially it becomes important in patients who have higher grades of baldness.
- Can be done in very short time: We know that results of natural hair transplant take time and there are situations when a patient doesn’t have time. Synthetic hair implant is very quick and in just one day patient can have a head full of hair. Patients who have some important function coming up in their family really find synthetic hair implants interesting.
- Can be done to augment the results of previous natural hair transplant: Day by day the cases of hair transplant are increasing as the procedure is getting popular all across the globe. Unfortunately, the number of cases who are not happy with their transplants is also on the rise. This is due to the fact that a lot of surgeries are being done at centers which are not qualified to do it. Synthetic hair implants can be done to improve the density of previous natural hair transplants. They merge so well with the existing hair that it becomes almost impossible to differentiate between the two. We have done a lot of such cases & the role of synthetic hair implant becomes even more important in such cases as the donor area is already compromised.
Limitations of Synthetic hair implant:
There are a few limitations of synthetic hair implants:-
- Non-permanent nature: Unlike natural hair transplant, synthetic hair implants are not permanent. They have a fall rate of 10-20% per year. So if a person wants to continue with synthetic hair implants he or she will have to keep getting that many implants per year.
- The requirement of test patch: Since synthetic hair is not part of your own body, there are chances that your body might reject them. The chances of such reactions are however very less, approximately 1-2 %. So we need to do a test patch of at least 100 hair before going for the bigger session. In ideal circumstances, one should wait for a month after the test patch. But most of the times such reactions are seen in the first week itself. So if the patient is in hurry and doesn’t have enough time, it can be done in a weeks time as well. Though the recommendation still remains a month.
- Cleaning of sebum plug: There is a sebum plug formation which occurs at the roots of the synthetic hair. This plug is a collection of sebum and dirt. This needs to be cleaned once in 3-4 months. The cleaning procedure is very simple and can be done by the patient at his place. If the cleaning protocol is not followed properly, the fall rate is increased.
- Maintenance: Unlike natural hair transplant(which is maintenance free), synthetic hair implants need maintenance. There are some easily available, inexpensive shampoos and lotions which are needed to be used for synthetic hair.
- Infection: localized infections and boils can occur at the site of synthetic implants if the proper protocol is not followed. However, these reactions and infections are localized and have no systemic impact.
So, in the end, I would like to summarize that synthetic hair implant is a very important tool to cover baldness in the hands of an experience and ethical surgeon. It is not a substitute for natural hair transplant. My personal preference is always to do a natural hair transplant if the condition and donor allow us to do so. I recommend synthetic hair implants only in those cases where natural hair transplant is not possible and the patient understands clearly the temporary nature of these implants and are motivated enough to follow the protocol.