3D- Printed Prosthesis for Trichitillomania

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Hair pulling from the scalp often leaves patchy bald spots, which causes significant distress and can interfere with social or work functioning. People with trichotillomania may go to great lengths to disguise the loss of hair. For some people, trichotillomania may be mild and generally manageable. For others, the compulsive urge to pull hair is overwhelming. 

3D printing - a new hair technology!

3D printed prosthesis is a new hair technology that includes the production of a specially crafted prosthetic scalp , which is intended to fit flush against the individual's own particular scalp giving it a real feel, and is printed with breathable, antibacterial polymer. Once the estimations of the scalp is taken, the information is sent to an industrial facility in Italy where the prosthetic scalp is printed. It is then infused with a large number of individual human hairs similar to the grain and texture of the individuals own hair. Hairstylists say that it is almost impossible to tell the difference between ones real hair and the 3D prosthesis.

If someone ran their over your head they wouldn’t feel the difference."

Although 3D printed prosthesis is not a permanent solution for people with trichotillomania. For one, it is an exceptionally costly thing so won't be available for most people affected by trichotillomania. It also does not address the underlying triggers of pulling, such as stress, anxiety, depression or boredom. However it certainly might be a worthwhile short-term solution that can help individuals regain their confidence. According to a salon owner, Danielle Grillo, the prosthesis also prevents pulling because it is not the wearer's real hair, so most people do not bother to pull on it once it is in place as it does not provide the same level of satisfaction as hair pulled from their own scalp. The key is to have a holistic approach to managing compulsive hair pulling.