US 3914801 A
A method of applying hair in which sutures are sewn into the scalp and wefts of hair are affixed to the sutures. The major portion of the suture is embedded under the skin of the scalp and the remainder of the suture is exposed on top of the skin. The suture is preferably a thread made from a synthetic polymer which is impregnated or coated with an inert substance such as polytetrafluoroethylene or a silicone. The process of inserting the sutures is performed with a cutting needle having the thread integrally attached.
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United States Patent Dick et al.
[451 Oct. 28,1975
[ METHOD OF APPLYING HAIR  Inventors: Lionel A. Dick; Stephen B. Kurtin;
Maurice A. Mann, all of New York, NY.
 Assignee: Hair Again Ltd., New York, NY.
 Filed: Sept. 14, 1971  Appl. No.: 180,327
 US. Cl 3/1; 128/3355  Int. Cl. A61F 1/00; A61L 17/00  Field of Search 3/1; 128/3355, 339
 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,591,063 4/1952 Goldberg 128/3355 3,038,475 6/1962 Orcutt 3,094,123 6/1963 Kurtz 3,394,704 7/1968 Dery 128/339 3,553,737 1/1971 Bauman 3/1 3,608,095 9/1971 Barry 3/1 3,621,837 11/1971 Gindes... 3/] 3,699,969 10/1972 I Allen 3/1 X Primary Examiner-Channing L. Pace  ABSTRACT 10 Claims, 8 Drawing Figures METHOD OF APPLYING HAIR BACKGROUND As far back as there are written records, man has sought a cure for male pattern baldness. As there is no known way to regrow hair, man has attempted to correct or hide this cosmetic defect. The oldest and still most popular method of hair replacement is the toupee. A major drawback of the toupee is the difficulty in firmly securing it to the scalp; generally the wearer cannot engage in many types of activities, such as swimming. More recently, hair weaving and transplants have been used. Hair weaving has the disadvantage of requiring tightenings every four to six weeks. This can be expensive, time consuming and somtimes painful. Hair transplants have the advantage of the person having his own hair. However, many people are unsuited for transplants because the donor area is inadequate to supply enough plugs to transplant the entire area of alopecia. Suture implantation has been used for the past several years and is becoming increasingly popular. This type of procedure is described in US. Pat. No. 3,553,737, by Bauman.
The technique of suture implantation has been improved recently by eliminating the gridwork to which the wefts or strips of hair were attached. The gridwork, acting as a base, was attached to the sutures. The most common technique used today is to sew a tefloncoated, stainless steel suture under the skin of the scalp so that semi-circles of suture material protrude above the skin of the scalp. The continuous suturing technique is used to form a circle in the area of alopecia, and the ends are then welded together. Individual rows of hair are then attached to the gridwork or to the suture material above the scalp. The use of individual wefts of hair attached directly to the sutures without the gridwork, allows access to the scalp for proper cleaning, and prevents undue tension or pulling of the suture. The pulling of the sutures is what can create unnecessary medical complications.
Despite these recent improvements several difficulties still exist with the suture implantation method, particularly in the technique of embedding the sutures, the
THE INVENTION This invention is directed to a suture implantation method using a suture made from a synthetic polymer which is coated or impregnated with an inert substance. The suture and a reverse cutting needle are preferably formed into an integral unit. The sutures are embedded deeply under the skin of the scalp and exit in small loops over the epidermis. Wefts of hair are then affixed to the sutures. The invention is described in greater detail in conjunction with the accompanying drawings.
FIG. 1 illustrates an individual s bald area prior to application of the technique of this invention.
FIG. 2 shows the sutures embedded in the scalp.
FIG. 3 shows the attachment of a weft or strip of hair to the sutures.
FIG. 4 illustrates the completed attachment of hair.
FIG. 5 is a cross-sectional view of the scalp showing the embedded sutures.
FIG. 6 is a view of the suture-cutting needle combination.
FIGS. 7 and 8 are cross-section viewsof the suturecutting needle combination through 77 and 88, respectively, of FIG. 6.
The method of this invention is carried out as follows.
A plastic sheet of conventional construction and adapted to receive markings from a marker is placed over the scalp of an individual. The bald area is outlined on the plastic sheet. The plastic sheet is then removed and markings on it are used to determine the manner in which sutures and Wefts which will be subsequently placed on the individuals head. The pattern of the suture is dictated by the area of baldness and the hair style decided upon by the individual.
A local anesthetic is then injected into the scalp and thesutures are placed into the scalp. A l-% inches reverse cutting needle with a curve having affixed thereto the suture has been found suitable for this technique, as shown in FIG. 6. This type of cutting needle, having both ends with a reduced cross section reduces the bleeding during suture'implantation and also reduces subsequent discomfort to the individual. The cutting needle 1 1 has a cross-sectional area which is generally moonshaped at its midpoint, FIG. 7. The needle tapers to a sharp point, 12, at one end, and blends into a cylindrical shape at its far end. The far end of the needle forms a cylindrical envelope 13 for the suture 14, FIG. 8.
The most common pattern for the sutures, for an individual as shown in FIG. 1, is a series of concentric circles as shown in FIG. 2. It has been found that the sutures should be deeply embedded below the skin of the scalp, which is normally about Mr inch thick. It is also preferable that'the major portion of the suture is embedded under the dermis with only small loops being exposed over the skin. This is illustrated in FIG. 5 in which the embedded portion of the suture 15 extends for a distance of from /a inch to 2 inches, preferably 1 inch to l-Vz inches. The exposed portions of the sutures 16 extend 'for a distance of from about inch to /8 inch, about /2 inch being p'refer able. As shown in FIG. 5 thesutures are deeply embedded below the dermis 17 into the connective tissue 18 which is over the bone 19.
Each concentric circle of sutures is generally made from a single surgical thread. However, it is possible to use more than one suture to form a circle and additionally the use of several individual or groups of exposed loops may be made on the scalp as dictated by the configuration of the bald area. Note, for example, in FIG. 2 the individual loop located in the center of the concentric circles.
The ends of each suture are knotted and then further secured when a weft of hair is attached to the suture by the use of a very thin thread. The thin thread is wrapped about the ends of the suture to secure the ends of the suture to the body of the suture and thus prevent the knot from loosening.
After insertion of the sutures, Wefts of hair are attached thereto, as shown in FIG. 3. The hair may be natural or synthetic or a combination and on one end is bound together by a threaded braid, in accordance with known techniques. The braid at the end of the weft of hair is attached to one or more sutures by the use of a thin thread. The weft of hair shown in FIG. 3
is fairly narrow and extends between two sutures of the inner concentric circle. The wefts of hair may be from about 2 to 16 inches depending upon the area of baldness, with wefts of 5 to 6 inches being most common.
In accordance with this invention the suture implanted in the scalp is made of a synthetic polymer which is coated or impregnated with an inert substance. Examples of synthetic polymers suitable for this purpose are: polyesters (Dacron), polyamides (nylon), and polyolefins such as polypropylene. The inert substance is a polymer of a halogenated olefin such as polytetrafluoroethylene or a silicone resin. The preferred suture has been found to be a Dacron polyester impregnated with tetrafluoroethylene (Teflon). A suitable size for the suture is about No. l or 2 gauge, and it generally has a length of about to 36 inches. The suture used in this invention eliminates many of the problems which have arisen with the conventionally used Teflon stainless steel sutures. The stainless steel sutures are stiff and difficult to work with. The ends of the sutures are normally joined by a welding technique which leaves exposed metal areas on the scalp which can result in irritation and possibly infection.
This invention has been described in terms of specific embodiments set forth in detail. Alternative embodiments will be apparent to those skilled in the art of view of this disclosure, and accordingly such modifications are to be contemplated within the spirit of the invention as disclosed and claimed herein.
1. An improved method of applying hair to a portion of a scalp in which a surgical thread is sewn below the dermis of the scalp to form a number of partially exposed loops on the scalp to which wefts of hair are directly attached, wherein the improvement comprises:
1. passing a reverse cutting needle having integrally embedded therein a surgical thread of a synthetic polymer which is coated or impregnated with an inert substance into and through the scalp for a distance of about 1 to 1 /2 inches,
2. passing said needle and surgical thread over the scalp for a distance of about /2 inch,
3. repeating said steps (1) and (2) to form a circumferential series of loops on the scalp,
4. bringing together and knotting the ends of said surgical thread, and
5. affixing said wefts of hair and each end of said surgical thread to the adjacent exposed portion of said surgical thread by securing them together with a very thin thread.
2. The method of claim 1 including the step of selecting said synthetic polymer from the group consisting of polyesters, polyamides and polyolefins.
3. The method of claim 1 including the step of selecting said inert substance from the group consisting of polyhalohydrocarbons and silicones.
4. The method of claim 1 including the step of selecting said surgical thread from polyesters impregnated with polytetrafluoroethylene.
5. The method of claim 1, including as a first step circumferentially engaging said surgical thread in one end of said needle.
6. An improved method of applying hair to a portion of a scalp in which surgical threads are sewn below the dermis of the scalp to form a number of partially exposed individual loops on the scalp to which wefts of hair are directly attached, wherein the improvement comprises:
1. passing a reverse cutting needle having integrally embedded therein a surgical thread of a synthetic polymer which is coated or impregnated with an inert substance into and through the scalp for a distance of from /2 to 2 inches,
2. bringing together and knotting the ends of said surgical thread above the scalp, and
3. affixing said wefts of hair and the ends of each of said surgical threads to the adjacent exposed portion of said surgical thread by securing them together with a very thin thread.
7. The method of claim 6 including the step of selecting said synthetic polymer from the group consisting of polyesters, polyamides and polyolefins.
8. The method of claim 6 including the step of selecting said inert substance from the group consisting of polyhalohydrocarbons and silicones.
9. The method of claim 7 including the step of selecting said surgical thread from polyesters impregnated with polytetrafluoroethylene.
10. The method of claim 6 including as a first step circumferentially engaging said surgical thread in one end of said needle.
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