old-man-971889_640Hair loss – Men of all shapes, sizes and ages dread this inevitable force of nature that can rob a man of his good looks and youthful appearance in a heartbeat. It’s one of those things that you have to learn to live with as you grow older, simply because there is no cure and no way to reverse the process.

Or is there?

Hello, Hairline

SMP or Scalp Micro Pigmentation is taking the hair loss world by storm, with hair clinics popping up in every major city and local tattoo artists offering their artistic hand in injecting your scalp with a pigment to mask your hair loss and restore your youthful, pre-alopecia appearance.

Think of SMP as the only tattoo your parents would approve of. A technician will draw a new hairline for you (depending on how far gone your old one is) based on what you like, but the general recommendation is not to overdo it because it would seem unbelievable and look un-natural.

Once the hairline is established, new “hair” will then be tattooed on your scalp using a high speed instrument that’s also used by permanent makeup artists to tattoo eyebrows. This is different from a machine a tattoo artist would use because of the needle. Hair follicles are quite small, so the needle has to match its size to look real. Regular tattoo needles are too thick and round, it wouldn’t look real on a scalp.

Does It Look Real?

By all accounts, it looks real. SMP has been covered by a variety of TV news channels as well newspapers, online articles and blogs. Many satisfied clients have reported that their self-esteem came rushing back in when their hairline did, so this form of hair loss treatment has potential. After all, the goal of SMP is to blend in with your remaining hair, so it has to go unnoticed. That’s why choosing a reputable clinic is very important.

This goes without any responsibility however, as SMP recipients must take care of their investment. Common advice would be to always wear an SPF-50 sunscreen when going out in the sun, and wear a hat on a really scorching day because the ink may fade due to UV exposure.

Another responsibility is to closely shave your head after every 2-3 days to maintain the illusion of a freshly shaved head.

Perceived Pitfalls

Detractors of SMP are quick to point out that the people who get this treatment are vain little sods who can’t accept fate, and the illusion won’t work if people touch your head and feel nothing but smooth skin. There’s also the fact that hair is three dimensional and has weight, so for totally bald people, this is clearly stretching it.

For starters, not everyone is lucky enough to have a full head of hair after 30, and if this procedure brings back confidence and self esteem in men, it should be supported. Second, the procedure is meant to blend in with existing hair in people who still have enough, so when the rest of it goes, more ink will be tattooed and no one will know.

Alternatives

You can use Propecia, but the side effects far outweigh the fact that you won’t be growing new hair. You’ll simply maintain what you have. Same goes for Minoxidil, plus the fact that you’re likely to forget applying it when you need to. Then, you have the long term maintenance costs, because once you stop with the treatment,  your hair will fall out again.

Hair transplants and other methods are way too expensive to be feasible. Compare all this with a more permanent solution like SMP, which costs anywhere from $800 to $4,000, and you have a clear winner. To help keep the remaining hair on your head to improve the look and feel of SMP, you can take a supplement cocktail of biotin, omega-3, and collagen from calorad.com.

If you have the $1,000 to spare and would like to end your hair loss worries forever, would you consider getting a hair tattoo?