Synthetic Hair Implantation By Bernard Arocha, MD on March 17, 2015

Hair implantation is the procedure wherein synthetic hair fibers are attached to the galea by a knot through the use of an implanting device. This is different than hair transplantation, a procedure that restores hair to an area by using permanent donor hair from the patient’s occipital-parietal scalp (autologous grafting). The scenarios where implantation could be employed might be alopecia areata universalis or totalis, and when immediate results are desired.

The FDA banned the synthetic fibers in the US in 1983. The ban resulted because widespread use in the 1970s led to numerous complications including recurrent infections, rejection, contact dermatitis, granulomatous hypersensitivity reactions and cyst formation. Not to mention frequent loss of fibers from breakage.

The synthetic fibers continue to be manufactured in Europe where they are still in use. The fibers of course do not grow, and consequently cannot be cut, shaven or dyed.

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