Getting a tattoo is a big deal. It’s a life altering decision that is permanent — unless you opt for painful laser removal. It goes without saying that most people get tattoos to express themselves and the things they believe in; however, tattooing is going beyond that aesthetic and is instead replacing something that has been lost by many men: their hair. Some men are now considering tattooing their heads as a permanent solution to their hairless or thinning pate.
CBS New York recently reported that some men are now turning to a procedure called “micropigmentation,” which is similar to getting a tattoo but is instead used as a replacement for lost hair. According to WebMD, permanent makeup, which is essentially what micropigmentation is — a cosmetic tattoo — promises that you’ll get the look you want (within reason) and no matter what, it will always be there. This is something that should be done in the hands of a skilled professional, but proceed with caution: State regulatory agencies haven’t kept up with the growth of the permanent makeup industry, and it’s easy to fall in the hands of an unqualified artist. It’s important to do your research when selecting someone to do this procedure.
When it comes to men who are seeking the appearance or illusion of a little bit of growth, the process uses a small three-point needle to create the look of a closely shaved head, comparable to the likes of Hollywood celebs like Vin Diesel, Jason Statham, and the always badass bald and beautiful Bruce Willis. The micropigmentation practitioners or tattoo artists use ink and apply small dots to the scalp in a pattern that recreates the look of your lost hair, giving you back your hairline.
“It’s an ink we apply to the head to make it look like men have hair,” said Julissa Rosado of His Hair Clinic to CBS. She explains: “We are poking little dots to match your hair follicles.” This procedure, which is also referred to as Micro Scalp Pigmentation, was developed at Vinci Hair Clinic in London. The hair clinic claims that it’s pain free, with most clients describing the procedure as a light tingling sensation in the scalp. The procedure usually takes between two to five hours depending upon the extent of the bald pate or thinning area, and most men require two to three sessions to achieve their desired results.
The benefits of hair tattooing are that it’s less invasive, no surgery is required, and it has no effect on hair you still have from growing in. If anything it complements your natural hair perfectly, even helping to fill in spots to cover scarring on the head that may be due to hair transplants. It is ideal for men experiencing male pattern baldness, alopecia, and anyone who has noticeable scars on their scalp.
The procedure is significantly cheaper than a hair transplant, which can run you anywhere from $4,000 to $15,000 depending on the size of the area/amount of hair to be transplanted. The cost for micropigmentation typically ranges from $1,600 to $5,000 and can be done by any man at any stage of the hair loss game. One thing to note: You may have to get touch-ups over the course of your life.
If you’re interested in the procedure, you can check out the Amercian Academy of Micropigmentation to find a permanent makeup professional near you.