Hairline tattoos are becoming increasingly popular amongst the male community as an aesthetic treatment for concealing the effects of hair loss. Referred to as scalp micropigmentation, or by its abridged version SMP, it’s administered by a professional practitioner who has been specifically trained in the techniques linked to the procedure.
This treatment option is prevalent in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Australia, Europe and across Asia. You might not think you’ve seen tattooed hair before, but the chances are you’ve seen many men who have had this procedure, but you just didn’t know it.
Diffuse thinning is a devastating condition and male pattern baldness can be held accountable for 95% of hair loss in males. When a man reaches 35 years of age, approximately 75% will have experienced thinning of some kind. And at the benchmark age of 50, that number rockets up to 85% and the loss that is being experienced will be significant.
A brief overview of this hair loss remedy
Most hairline tattoos are administered using a machine that has been specifically designed for the treatment. The said machines are handheld pieces that are fitted with a small needle that has microfine abrasive edges.
After being dipped into natural pigments an individual implant is placed underneath the skin of the scalp which recreates an imitation hair follicle. Placed in a series of tiny dots across the hairline, they work to eventually provide the appearance of a closely shaved and barbered look.
Hairline tattoos and body art tattooing – the differences
When referring to a hair tattoo, over the years it has become increasingly customary to refer to the procedure as scalp micropigmentation. The result is a distinct confusion and ambiguity when linked to this contemporary and innovative treatment. This is because of extremely limited similarities in the procedure versus body tattooing.
Anyone reading the brief overview above can conclude that the techniques employed when administering the two procedures are pretty similar – we fully understand this to be the case. Yet there are significant differences. And ones that soundly provides the hairline tattoo with an independent identity. These differences are as follows :
- Needle type
- Pigment ingredients
- Pigment depth
- Practitioners training
If we briefly touch on the bullet points and accentuate the last two, anyone considering treatment should be aware that they are the most important. Tattoo artists and scalp hair loss practitioners are two trades that stand apart from each other. As is the case that you’d not look to a technician to administer your tattoo, the same is extremely relevant when reversed.
How long does this treatment take?
The process begins with evaluations of hair loss which includes future predictions for further loss. Calculations are made using a visual chart called the Norwood Scale. This is a classification system used to verify the stages of male pattern baldness. Initially introduced in the 1950s, this standard and graduated system is used by both practitioners and medical professionals the world over.
Generally speaking, balding tattoos take from between two to four hours for an individual session. The timings will depend on the hair loss extent and this will also determine how many sessions you will require. As a rule of thumb, two to four treatments will suffice.
If you are looking to receive this life-changing treatment, you should take into consideration that the minimum period of five complete days should be left between each administered session. This allows for the implanted pigments to settle and heal. It is normal to notice that slight fading will happen as the scalp begins to heal. This is purely due to the natural process of exfoliation and skin regeneration. Session by session, as time goes on the pigment will become more noticeable and pronounced.
How long will your new hairline tattoo last?
This is a semi-permanent treatment which is experiencing a steady and uphill popularity growth. It is unlike other hair restoration procedures in that instead of promoting new hair growth it conceals the problem in hand. The powerful upside of this fact is that its the only treatment that is guaranteed to work in the fight against hair loss. However, it will eventually fade to invisible over time and recorded timescales are anything from three to seven years before top-up treatment is needed.
Various factors affect the speed of the fading process with exposure to ultraviolet rays, or extreme sunlight, being the most prominent of them. Other factors that will need to be taken into consideration when discussing fading is your immune system and the professionalism employed when your practitioner administers your treatment. These two points refer to, initially, the white blood cells your immune system produces which devour the pigments over time, and secondly, correctly implanted pigment depth. The first is beyond your control and the second is down to ensuring you choose your technician carefully.
Choosing the right practitioner
A hairline tattoo is a transformative treatment. It will change your appearance overnight and also the way you perceive yourself. Hair loss can produce immensely negative emotions and have a huge impact on psychological well-being. For this very reason, choosing your practitioner should be an exercise that expresses due diligence. Before making your final decision it’s advisable to ask yourself or your technician the following questions :
- How much experience does my chosen technician have?
- Are they answering my questions about the treatment in a manner that is clear and concise?
- Can my chosen practitioner provide me with clear before and after examples of their previous work?
- Where did my chosen technician train and is the academy a reputable one?
- Do I feel 100% at ease with the practitioner and clinic I’ve chosen for my impending treatment?
As a cautionary, it is imperative to understand that a badly administered treatment can have an extremely negative impact on one’s emotional state. Choosing a poorly trained practitioner is potentially dangerous to an individual’s mental health. In addition, removal is not only expensive, but it is also extremely difficult to carry out.
As a takeaway from this article, if you are considering hairline tattoos as an option for hair restoration it can be a life-changing experience. Once treatment is complete, it will change self-esteem and confidence levels and have a positive impact on the lifestyle of the receiver. However, proceed with caution to ensure the correct and desired results.