In an attempt to fight balding, The Food and Drug Administration has approved a machine called the Artas System for commercial use that intends to bring one's follicles back to life.
The System combines several features including an interactive, image-guided robotic arm, special imaging technologies, small dermal punches and a computer interface.
After the System is positioned over the patient's scalp, Artas is capable of identifying and harvesting follicular units. The follicular units are stored until they are implanted into the patient's recipient area using manual techniques.
The production company says the system can improve extraction rates to 750 to 1,000 units per hour. This is much quicker and less invasive than traditional harvesting techniques.
However there is a catch; only males with brown or black hair are candidates.
There are many causes for hair loss in men. However, in the overwhelming majority of males with hair loss, the cause is hereditary androgenetic alopecia, more commonly known as "male pattern baldness." The tendency for male pattern hair loss is genetically inherited from either side of the family.
According to the manufacter's website:
"The presence of the hormone, dihydrotestosterone (DHT), in a genetically susceptible man, is necessary for this problem to occur and begins to develop after puberty. Hair on the scalp that is genetically susceptible (the hairline, crown and top of the scalp), starts to shrink in its shaft diameter and potential length, until it eventually disappears in a process known as hair miniaturization. The hair on the back and sides of the scalp is usually genetically 'permanent' hair, which is destined to remain for that man's lifetime."
What can be done for a man losing his hair that wants to keep it around? First, hair restoration surgery offers a permanent solution to lost scalp hair. Modern techniques of surgical hair transplantation can restore lost hair and replace the hairline with your own natural growing hair, which needs no more care than the ordinary washing, styling, and trimming you have always done.
Hair transplantation involves removing permanent hair-bearing skin from the back and/or sides of the scalp. There are two main techniques by which hair follicles can be harvested from the donor area: follicular unit extraction (FUE) and strip harvesting. FUE involves using a small dermal punch (e.g. 1mm in diameter or smaller) to individually dissect out follicular units directly from the scalp. Strip harvesting is carried out by excising a strip of scalp from the donor area and dissecting out the follicular units under a microscope.
These small follicular unit grafts are then meticulously implanted into the bald or thinning area of the scalp (recipient area) so as not to injure any follicles already existing in the area and at the same angle as the other hairs present. The creation of small follicular unit grafts has enabled hair restoration surgeons to create natural appearing hairlines and results.
Second, medical treatments are now offered in the form of a pill (finasteride) and a topical liquid (minoxidil). They require a life-long treatment however to maintain their effect.
Then there is the good old fashioned wig. Hairpieces are a non-surgical means to restore hair by covering bald areas of the scalp. There is a large variety of means for attaching these such as glues, "weaves," and clips.
Source: Restoration Robotics
Written by Sy Kraft