While FUE and FUT hair transplant methods are the most commonly utilised for permanent and natural hair restoration, Biofibre hair transplant is offered as a treatment option for those who cannot undergo transplantation due to different reasons.
However, since these implants are synthetic, it raises some concerns regarding their biocompatibility. Moreover, it might also not give natural-looking results. In this guide, you’ll learn more about synthetic hair transplants and whether or not you should get them.
What Is Synthetic Hair Transplant?
Biofibre hair implant is an entirely synthetic alternative to human hair, which is implanted into the scalp of the patient just like transplanted hair grafts. Although they were first developed in the 1970s, their poor usage and lack of compatibility led to a ban by the FDA in 1983.
While previously acrylic, polyester, and even processed natural hair were used, all of them led to many problems, hence the ban. However, in 1993 clinical trials were conducted on fibres that were “biocompatible.” By 1996, they were back once more.
Made of polyamide, the Biofibre of today is meant to mimic the structure and texture of natural hair. According to its manufacturer, these Biofibres look similar to natural hair and come in different sizes (15, 30, and 45 cm) for the following hair types:
Since these fibres are claimed to be biocompatible, they can be safely transplanted into the scalp. They have CE medical certification, which means that they meet the “safety health and environmental protection requirements” of the European Union.
This product is recommended to those people who want to see immediate results since the length of the hair is pre-selected. In addition, it is considered a treatment option for those who have a very weak donor area, making them unsuitable for a hair transplant.
It can cover any bald patches or thinning areas in patients whose hair loss is diffuse, since they, too, cannot undergo a restorative surgery. Lastly, it is also claimed to help in camouflaging scars and burns on the scalp. It can be used in both males and females.
What Is The Cost Of Synthetic Hair Transplantation?
In the UK, a single biofibre implant might cost you somewhere between £3-£4, so, of course, the price will vary depending on the number of grafts. It can also depend on the location of the clinic and the experience of the surgeon.
Synthetic hair transplant cost in the UK is as follows:
|Number of Grafts||Biofibre Transplant Cost|
Its cost is almost comparable to that of a FUE hair transplant in the UK, where a single hair graft might cost you £5. Although a hair transplant in Turkey can be almost 3-5 times cheaper due to currency and cost of living differences. In the same vein, a synthetic hair transplant in Turkey might also be more affordable.
What Is The Procedure For A Biofibre Hair Transplant?
In a similar manner to FUE transplants, an artificial synthetic hair transplant takes place under local anaesthesia, where incisions are made in the scalp for the implantation of these hair fibres.
According to the company, as many as 800 hair implants can be placed into the scalp in 1 hour. However, you shouldn’t be getting more than 1,000 hair implants in one session.
If you do need more, you might have to wait a month before the next session. Either the implantation can take place manually or automatically. There’s a “knot” at the one end of the hair implant that helps it stay put in the scalp.
Since the fibres aren’t made of natural substances, you will need to undergo a patch test before the main procedure. This typically consists of around 100-300 hairs being implanted into your scalp.
If no reaction occurs in the following weeks (1.5 months), you will be able to undergo the full treatment or series of sessions.
Throughout the Biofibre synthetic hair transplant, the angles of the implants are adjusted to ensure that they look natural. Usually, a space of 2mm will be left between each implant to ensure room for the scalp to heal and fix the implant in place.
It is usually painless due to the use of the local anaesthetic, and any discomfort or pain after the procedure can be managed with common painkillers like paracetamol and ibuprofen.
After the transplant, you’d be given medicines to ensure that your scalp remains healthy while it’s trying to heal. You might also be given a special shampoo with which you need to wash your hair.
Manufacturers also suggest the use of ” Biofibre® SeboCare” to avoid the formation of acne. In addition, it is recommended that a wide-toothed comb be used in the direction of the implanted hair. Before the brush is used, the person should detangle their hair.
Is Synthetic Hair Transplantation Permanent?
Hair transplant with synthetic fibres is not permanent, as you can experience “spontaneous fibre loss” with these. According to a study published in JAAD Case Reports, this happens with less than 10% fibres every year.
However, this can mean that you’ll have to get sessions of this procedure every year to maintain your results. These fibres are foreign substances, so they are eventually expelled by the body. And you can also reverse the procedure on your own because these fibres can be taken out.
What Are The Recovery & Results Of Biofibre Hair Transplant?
Biofibre hair transplant gives immediate results. However, these fibres can take between 3-4 weeks to fully implant into the scalp. It doesn’t require the same recovery time as a traditional hair transplant.
In fact, it is claimed to have no downtime. As the fibres are fully formed from the offset, you will likely have the length, style and colour you want immediately after the procedure.
The ability to offer psychological comfort to the patient in a short space of time is a valuable benefit, though, for those who are still eligible for FUE or FUT transplants, an unshaven hair transplant may be a more natural alternative to consider.
If you have only gotten a hair transplant with synthetic hair for the short term, you should know that this procedure is reversible. These implants can be removed from the scalp, after which you can get transplantation surgery, if possible.
What Are The Side Effects Of Biofibre Hair Transplant?
According to a case report published in JAAD Case Reports, people with the following issues should not get these hair implants:
The study mentioned above reports the case of a 27-year-old woman who got 9,000 hair implants (over three sessions) at a private clinic that didn’t provide any aftercare instructions for their maintenance. She had:
- Erythematous nodules (inflammation of the fatty tissue in the skin)
Her body was rejecting the fibres. Another 54-year-old had also developed erythematous nodules after getting these implants.
However, in both cases, the researcher blamed the “unsuitability” of the patient, the absence of aftercare, and huge implantation sessions for the problems that had arisen. Some studies do report high patient satisfaction.
However, the most significant risk of this procedure is the rejection of the implants by the body. Done by clinics that don’t perform any tolerance/patch tests, patients can suffer from many problems.
In such cases, the hair fibres need to be removed from the scalp of the patient. In addition, they need to be given medication for its treatment.
Other than the risk of rejection, Biofibre also carries the risk of infection and inflammation. One study even reported the inflammation of the bone (osteomyelitis) and infective endocarditis (infection of the heart valves).
You must find the right surgeon if you’re thinking of getting these implants. That’s because screening of the right candidates is important. Some clinics end up performing these procedures while completely disregarding the patient’s health.
Is Synthetic Hair Transplantation Safe?
In 2021, the International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery (ISHRS) aligned its stance with that of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on artificial hair fibres, believing them to have “no public health benefit” and instead capable of causing “serious infections, illness, and injuries from their implantation.” Even its claim of being “safe” is considered misleading by the FDA.
The kinds of risks it poses are also quite serious, so you must discuss them further with an experienced and board-certified medical professional.
What Are The Alternatives to Biofibre?
Compared to Biofibre, FUE is much better since it uses your natural hair, so there’s no risk of rejection. Moreover, the results are permanent, and you’d only have to take care of your hair just like you did previously.
Hair implants, on the other hand, require annual maintenance. So, if you can, you should consider those options compared to getting Biofibre.
If you cannot get an FUE hair transplant, you can also consider getting PRP injections to promote hair growth or scalp micropigmentation. The latter can fill up the thinning patches with ink. The ink spots are meant to mimic natural hair follicles.
It gives the appearance of a shaved head. Therefore, you can get these treatments instead of a Biofibre transplant.
In the case reports mentioned above, one of the women who was experiencing hair loss decided that she could get it treated through hair implants. This is not what you should do in any case.
If you’re experiencing hair loss, it could be permanent or temporary and can occur due to a plethora of reasons. You cannot diagnose the kind of hair loss you’re experiencing on your own.
A biopsy, blood test and scalp culture are just a few ways in which the cause of hair loss is determined. So, even if a doctor is experiencing hair loss, they might also need tests to confirm their diagnosis.
Before you go looking for any treatment for hair loss, you should get in touch with your dermatologist. Once you have the right diagnosis, then ask your derm for different treatment options. They should advise you on that themselves. Again, you shouldn’t go about looking for treatments on your own.
To Sum Up
When transplanting your own hair, the risk of rejection is lowered as you are utilising your cells as a transplant. However, with a bio-synthetic hair transplant, your body may end up rejecting the substances.
While a patch test will always be used before the implants are placed over the entire scalp, those who may usually be sensitive to these kinds of procedures could benefit from an FUE transplant instead.
You should make sure to do your research when finding a clinic for this treatment and go over its potential side effects with the surgeon.
Reviewed and Approved by Trichologist Yaprak Yazan