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Cancer Survivors Can Toss Out Uncomfortable Wigs for 3D Printed Hairpieces

by • February 9, 2016 • No Comments


Danielle Grillo applies a 3D printed hair prosthetic.

Right now 3D printing equipment are whirring away in homes, with create projects in process on PCs around the world. Compact business teams set prints up the night preceding, and engineers come in with their coffee to check them out the upcoming morning. Factories are pumping out car and aerospace components. And salons and stylists are occupied printing out hair. We threw that zinger in for fun, but it’s true—and while Fast Clips down the street can not be 3D printing out your new do (yet), a number of hair specialists around the world are indeed doing so.

In yet another example of where 3D printing is coming in and saving the day where you quite least expected it, loss of hair may no longer be a source of emotional distress. From dreadlocks to ducktails, and of buns to beehives, those dead cells expanding out of our heads tend to be an huge part of our identity, and it’s quite awe-inspiring quite how one-of-a-kind we can manufacture ourselves appear due to a various fashion or color. Taking awe-inspiring one step additional yet, is the thought that you may one day soon just be able-bodied to conceptualize a new fashion for by yourself and whip it up on your PC. This process is evolving rapidly thanks to Italian company Cesare Ragazzi Laboratories, responsible for the creation of the CNC hair process that we’ve been next as they contribute hope to many with their hard, integrated hair replacements that are fundamentally a 3D printed prosthetic—working as a ‘second scalp.’


Samples of molds created for the 3D printed hair.

Whilst the conversation so far has been relegated to male pattern baldness and a host of other conditions that can cause hair to fall out, there’s one main area where equiteone wants to assist many—and that is for those with or having survived cancer. With this process—although costly—many maybe can say greatbye to the trademark turbans, hats, and bandanas. At Transitions Hair Solutions in Wall Township, New Jersey, that is Danielle Grillo’s goal as she sees to the 3D printing of many hairpieces for cancer survivors. An incredibly experienced hair stylist who has seen many fads come and go, she sees this process as being able-bodied to manufacture the closest thing possible to real human hair. And the word ‘wig’ is not in the equation.

“It’s considered a scalp and hair prosthetic for the reason it can be utilized for any kind of hair loss — related to chemotherapy, a scalp disorder, burn, autoimmune disorder, and for the reason it can be created into whatever dimensions is requireed,” says Grillo. “Maybe you require a full head of hair or just a tiny area covered on the top of your head.”

Going of between $2,000 to $15,000, these semi-permanent hairpieces are completely customized—one of the greatest benefits contributeed via 3D printing. Grillo goes through the process of completing a mold of the person’s scalp, accompanied by exact measurements and information such as what the texture of their original hair is like, along with color, thickness—and actually that way the hair grows. Once she has all of the data and the mold, Grillo and so passes all things on to Cesare Ragazzi Laboratories in Italy, where the actual 3D printing takes place. It takes them of 12 weeks to finish the hairpiece and and so it is sent back to the specialist who attaches it, strand by strand, to the client’s scalp.


Finished 3D printed hair pieces.

“It’s a quite, quite exact, in-depth operation,” said Grillo. “It’s not for equiteone; not equiteone can afford it. There are other versions that are yet great. This is just a step above, and a thing various.”

Again, this is a personalized version that lends much greater benefits over traditional items—like the wig—that have been part of life for many for centuries. And while the wig serves its purpose, and many of us are pretty understandn to rise above discomfort when it comes to beauty (think Spanx and high heels), for those in the throes of or just coming out of cancer treatments, it’s quite significant to feel advantageous whenever possible—pretty not worse.


Sheri Valle, wearing 3D printed hair process

This was a big issue for Sheri Valle of New Jersey. She suffered hair loss due to chemotherapy and radiation treatments.

“I wore regular wigs when I had cancer and was totally bald,” Valle said. “They’re hot, they feel binding. They appear fake.”

“As a woman, I finally survive cancer, and now I have to go without hair?” Valle said. “I started to lose self-esteem. For a while, I wasn’t actually going out at all. And I said to myself, listen, I went through all of this, so I’m going to do this for myself so I can feel like a woman again.”

Despite the cost, after the ravages of cancer and treatments, having a full head of ‘hair’ that is permanent adequate to allow bathing, swimming and handle a thing like a windy day, is well worth it for many individuals. Whilst the 3D printed hair does require to be maintained at the specialists equite four to six weeks for a comprehensive cleaning, for the many part it is worry-free.

“Once it’s attached, they can literally do anything someone with a full head of hair can do,” Grillo said. “Seriously, go ride a jet ski! But a lot of individuals just tell me it’s so awe-inspiring they can shower in it.”

These CNC treatment processs can last for many years, manufacturing the investment worth it for many who may suffer hair loss of a host of other issues too, like common hereditary baldness. Currently, the 3D printed hairpieces are may already on the market-bodied in salons and specialized treatment clinics in 12 states in the US, as well as 12 other countries. Do you understand someone who can want to try one of these new hair processs? Discuss in the 3D Printed Hair for Cancer Survivors forum over at 3DPB.com.

[Source: Currently / All photo credits: Transitions Hair Solutions]

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Kea Mackenzie Buote