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Hair Weaving and Hair Grafting

By Anna Brandy

What is hair weaving?

It's the science of weaving or braiding human or synthetic hair to the roots of existing, healthy hair so that it grows along with natural hair, thus giving the impression of a thick growth. It's also called hair integration or hair intensification. It's a procedure appropriate for people with thinning hair. It's not something that requires a hospital visit; it's usually done in salons as a temporary procedure.

How does it work?

Two or three shafts of hair natural or synthetic are woven into the root area. Some of the natural hair is woven or braided together to act as an anchor, to which the add-on tufts are sewn, woven, knitted or glued. The extensions have to be repositioned every five or six weeks as the natural hair grows out.

Sounds Complex.

It is. Apart from the sheer tedium of repeated "surgeries", the procedure stresses the existing hair as well. Also, keeping the scalp and hair clean is a problem, as vigorous washing could loosen the new hair. The American Hair Loss Council advises the procedure only for people with plenty of healthy hair, and that too, for periods not longer than a few weeks. A patch test is essential to ensure the person undergoing the procedure is not allergic to any of the adhesives or implants used.

Implants for the hair

A non-surgical implant is the dressed-up term now used for a simple procedure that has been upgraded over the years. Actually, a non surgical implant describes the attachment of a hair system to existing hair with surgical glue, and subsequent trimming to ensure the add-ons blend with natural hair.

What about more long-term solutions?

Hair Graft. This is the most popular surgical method, but it can be done only on people who are partially bald. The results are permanent and can be achieved in four or five sittings. The procedure involves removing hair follicles from the back of the head (where the growth is the most persistent) and implanting them on the pate. This hair grows naturally, requiring no follow-up action. It"ll never resemble a thick mane, but it's presentable.

Tissue Expansion

It involves implanting silicon balloons with hair bearing skin on either side of the head. The implants are inside the skin over the ears so that the hair bearing part of the head expands. The expansions are then re-grafted in front of the head, so the hair appears to grow naturally from there.

This calls for two surgical procedures, one at the time of implantation and the other for re-grafting.

Any drawbacks to the surgical procedures?

There may be swelling, bruising or mild pain inhibiting normal activity for a couple of days after the procedure. There may also be numbness on the back of the neck, from where a strip of skin is removed. Also, it's important to remember that individual hair types and characteristics- such as wavy or curly hair- affect the results.

About The Author
Anna Brandy also writes on yeast infection.


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