These 3D Printed Hairpieces Are Changing The Game for Cancer Survivors
3D printing is everywhere these days: From Valentine’s Day roses to exquisite culinary art, it seems like there’s no form that the space-age printing technology can’t achieve. But this development in 3D printing takes the possibilities to a whole new level.
Danielle Grillo runs Transitions Hair Solutions, a New Jersey company that offers prosthetic hairpieces for people who have lost their hair due to alopecia or cancer treatments. Three years ago, Grillo learned of an Italian manufacturing process that can 3D print perfect molds of clients’ heads, which can be used to make ultra-precise fitting hairpieces. Her company has been offering clients these 3D printing-assisted hairpieces ever since, using real virgin hair and perfect prosthetic scalps that match each individual client’s natural coloring to a T.
“Even the hairdressers can’t tell it’s a hairpiece,” says Sheri Valle, a cancer survivor who has been using one of Grillo’s 3D printed pieces for nine months.
When Valle’s hair started growing back after chemotherapy, she underwent precautionary radiation that killed her hair follicles. She feels lucky to have found Valle’s company pretty early on.
“I’ve had several comments,” Valle says. “People who have no idea it’s a hairpiece, saying ‘I love what you’ve done with your hair.’ You can also get highlights, change color. Straighten, curl. You can style it like you would any hair.”
Plus, the perfectly-fitting piece adapts to Valle’s body temperature. She loves that she can swim and do sports while wearing her hairpiece without any issues. “I could even surf in it!” she jokes.
“I survived this cancer,” she says. “Now I’ve gotta live.”
Have you had any amazing encounters with 3D printing? Tell us @britandco!
(Photo via Transitions Hair Solutions)
Back in January, we introduced you to a feel-good cause to inspire your New Year's resolution: a walking challenge to help raise funds for the amazing cancer fighters at The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. I took part in the challenge with the Brit + Co team and ended up walking 105+ miles in January — it was awesome.
This spring, there's a new challenge on the horizon, The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's Big Climb. The ask: On May 15, 2021, you can step up to take cancer down by committing to climb 1,311 steps, walking 3.2 miles, or doing 440 chair step-ups at home as part of the Big Climb. If you need some motivation to bring movement back into your daily routine — look no further!
As always, it's free to sign up, but climbers are encouraged to set a fundraising goal to help beat cancer. We'll be organizing another Brit + Co team to step up, and I hope you'll join us too! Keep scrolling for a peek at where I'll be completing the challenge in my Los Angeles neighborhood around the hidden Silver Lake Stairs. Happy climbing!
Never underestimate the power of an accountability buddy! I asked my in-laws, my partner, and a few friends to join me so we can keep each other motivated and accountable in completing the challenge — virtual high-fives all around! Also, my dog Fox is a great climber, too.
An aesthetically pleasing backdrop is a huge motivator for me! I'm fortunate to have all sorts of painted steps around my neighborhood to keep the challenge interesting, but you can also keep cool inside with at-home chair step-ups.
Don't forget to share your progress on social — #BigClimb!
Feel free to break the challenge up if you need to by tackling half the distance in the AM and half at sunset. Here's me 1,311 steps later and ready for a break — but, think I earned this one!