Tattoos Offer Help for Hair Loss

Tattoos have become far more commonplace and widely acceptable in recent years, and the skill level and artistry of technicians have created a high demand for talent that can execute sometimes highly detailed and complex designs.  Permanent makeup, to enhance eyebrows, the lash line, or lips has also gone mainstream.  Men who experience hair loss are also using tattooing to camouflage bald spots, hide scars, or recreate a hairline that has receded. 

According to Men’s Health, two-thirds of men start to notice thinning hair by age 35, and by 50, about 85 percent have significant hair loss.  Most men, when their thinning hair or bald spot becomes noticeable, will get a very short cut or shave their heads entirely.  Thankfully the era of comb-overs and bad rugs (toupees) has mostly been retired along with the mullet and the rat tail. 

There are treatments to help slow hair loss like minoxidil, and hair transplants, but not all treatments work for each individual.  Hairline tattooing or scalp micro pigmentation has become a popular alternative to mimic the appearance of a very short buzz cut.  Using a pointillism technique with a microneedle and pigment, a trained technician can fill in thinning areas or reconstruct a receding hairline. 

The technique is ideal for men who keep their hair very short to blend in with the tattooed area.  The whole process will usually take two or three sessions to complete and should be performed by a trained and certified licensed professional.  Because the pigment may fade over time, touchups may be needed after four to six years.  Using sunscreen helps protect the scalp from sun damage and lightening. 

Anyone with underlying skin conditions such as psoriasis or severe dandruff should talk with their tattoo artist first.  The price can vary depending on the amount of hair loss but clients can expect to pay between $1,000 and up to $4,000 for a full hair tattoo.  The procedure is less costly and safer than transplants and “hair systems” and will give immediate results unlike prescription or over-the-counter hair loss products. 

Read more about scalp micro pigmentation in a recent article in The Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology.