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To many, balding is probably one of the most unfair cosmetic conditions inflicted upon humanity, and yet we have still not been able to develop a cost-effective solution for. However, that’s not what many Permanent Makeup Artists think. In fact, the trend of bald spot repigmentation (also known as scalp micropigmentation) became quite popular in 2013, when Matthew McConaughy came out about treating his own receding hairline. The story took off, with countless (unverified) rumors of his gorgeous mane’s return being the result of scalp micropigmentation (SMP). However, don’t believe everything you read; the risks that come with such a treatment could far outweigh the benefits.
What IS Scalp Micropigmentation, Anyway?
Scalp Micropigmentation is the use of specialized needles and ink to create the look of a closely shaved head of hair. To be blunt, it’s tattooing a bunch of dots on your scalp. When googling the results of such a treatment, they can look quite astounding. However, it’s important to remember that the one-dimensional view of an image will look vastly different than the very same tattooed scalp gleaming in the sun. There is zero texture, no growth, and a tumultuous sea of risks. Does that mean it’s impossible to get a great procedure and be happy with the results? Not at all! But it does mean you’ll want to do some research on who you’ll allow to style your scalp.
If you ever decide you don’t want to have a five o’clock shadow on your head, suck it up, champ, because here you are. Secondly, as you age, your hair changes color, as well as thickness and texture. This may not be a problem for men who decide to go for the full shaved head effect, but if you’re a woman and you’re just hoping to add some fullness to your scalp, you may want to take time to consider what hair color you’d like to keep up permanently.
To put it bluntly: You can call it whatever you want, the reality is you are still tattooing your head. That means you can’t have it exposed to the sun without risking color damage, and it’s your head, so if you’re an active, outdoors type with a rabid distaste for hats, this treatment may not be ideal for you.
Despite the bummer list of cons, there are some great pros to this procedure: The price range is significantly lower than alternative methods. While a hair transplant can cost around $4-$7 per follicle (roughly ranging from $3,500 - $20,000 per session), Scalp Micropigmentation tends to range from $3,000 - $7,500 for three treatment sessions. Secondly, it’s a pretty quick treatment. Each session takes about two to four hours to complete and, unlike a tattoo parlor, many of the people working in scalp micropigmentation are physicians, which means you’ll get a nice dose of local anesthetic. Also, unlike hair growth medications, there are no side effects. After the scalp heals from treatment, you’re in the clear!
My favorite plus on this treatment is it’s not considered a one-and-done. The physicians and permanent makeup artists who do this procedure understand that the body is constantly changing. They work to achieve the greatest results while keeping the pigmentation to a minimum. That way, if one continues to bald, they can go back in and have more pigmentation added on without it looking like a brand spankin’ new treatment on top of an old one.
Bald spot repigmentation can and does work! But it’s important to go to a trained, experienced, and properly insured permanent makeup artist/physician.