Jun 15, 2016 | By Tess

For those who suffer from it, alopecia and other hair loss conditions can have a serious impact on confidence and self-esteem. While many hair growth treatments exist, in the form of hair plugs and wigs, results are often noticeably unnatural, and even make the hair loss more apparent. This is where 3D printing comes in. Cesare Ragazzi Laboratories (CRLab), an innovative hair loss lab in Bologna, Italy, has developed a novel approach to treating hair loss, through the creation of custom made 3D printed scalp and hair prosthetics.

CRLab has attracted attention in the past for its breakthrough process—for instance we wrote about their partnership with New Jersey hair prosthesis provider Transitions Hair Solutions—and now they’ve gained even more recognition through Dr. Alan J. Bauman, one of the world’s leading hair loss experts. That is, Bauman presented CRLab’s work at the recent International Alopecia Conference.

The conference, which consisted of 15 of the most recognized hair loss doctors, researchers, and well over 150 patients, culminated with the presentation of one of Dr. Bauman’s patients, Ivory. Ivory, who suffers from Cicatricial Alopecia, recently underwent a novel hair restoration method which consisted of fitting her with a CNC 3D printed hair and scalp prosthetic device.

As explained in a video by Dr. Bauman, the CRLab’s process begins with 3D scanning the patient’s skull as well as taking casts of it and carefully noting where hair loss needs to be treated. Of course, the 3D scanning and measurements can be sent electronically to the CRLab in Italy, so a visit is not required.

From the measurements, a model of the patient’s skull and scalp are 3D printed, which is then compared to the cast of the patient’s scalp to double check its dimensions, shape, and size. Once that is confirmed, the technicians at the CRLab are able to mix a polymeric base with a skin toned pigment, which is then carefully painted onto the 3D printed model in varying thicknesses. From there, a number of skilled technicians can begin to thread each individual hair through the polymer prosthetic until it resembles a human head of hair.

Ivory, who was herself implanted with one of CRLab’s prosthetics, said at the conference: “Cicatricial alopecia affected my self-confidence and has been self-limiting for me. I refused to see a new hair stylist, as I was afraid they would be shocked or ask numerous questions. I was afraid and ashamed to seek help. I also avoided activities, such as swimming or simply riding in a convertible. Now, my results are permanent and I feel 100% more confident. Dr. Bauman and my new CNC system have given me a new outlook for managing and coping with my hair loss.”

Dr. Bauman also recently parntnered with the Cicatricial Alopecia Research Foundation (CARF) to help raise awareness about the condition, as well as to educate those with the hair loss condition about possible new treatments, such as CRLab’s innovative 3D printed hair prosthetics. So far, the condition is still untreatable, so having a number of hair restoration options is crucial.

Nicole Rogers, MD, FAAD and Conference Chair, said of the event, "This year's conference was a huge success, and allowed us to further CARF's mission to provide education and patient support, raise public awareness, and advance and promote research. It truly was a collaborative team effort, and we are so thankful to have the support from Dr. Bauman, and others in the hair restoration community, who are helping to improve the care of patients with scarring alopecia.”

Sin 1998, Dr. Alan J. Bauman has run a hair loss practice in Boca Raton, Florida, where he has treated over 17,000 patients. According to the well respected doctor, CRLab’s 3D printed scalp and hair prosthetics offer people who cannot regrow natural hair for whatever cause (such as chemo, injury, or trauma) a high quality solution.



Posted in 3D Printing Application



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Carl Counts wrote at 6/16/2016 7:07:39 PM:

do not believe a word that comes from alan bauman the butcher!!! He left me horrific scarred for life!! He left me with permanent nerve damage for life!!! He is a good talker but TERRIBLE surgeon!!!

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