Surprising Relationship between Scalp Tattoos and Baldness

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What is Baldness?

Few years ago, if someone had mentioned that someone could tattoo their way out of baldness, I would have laughed at them. Hair tattoo and baldness are now related; scalp tattoo is surprisingly a cure for baldness now.

Also known as alopecia, baldness, is nothing but hair loss. Hair loss is associated with different symptoms and causes.

Scalp Tattoos and Baldness

Male pattern baldness is one of the most common types of hair loss seen in men; almost half of the male population over the age of 50 years suffers with it. Male pattern baldness is associated with a receding hairline which is then followed by thinning of hair on the crown and temples. Eventually male pattern baldness can also lead to complete baldness, though rare. It is hereditary in nature and is associated with hyperactivity of a specific male hormone.

Female baldness is usually seen as hair loss which is seen as hair thinning on top of the head. It is not necessarily hereditary in nature and is more noticeable in menopausal women due to the reduction in some specific female hormones.

Is there any Cure for Baldness?

A plethora of hair loss treatments are available which include:
  • Drugs used for hair loss treatment; finasteride and minoxidil
  • Corticosteroid injections and topical corticosteroids
  • Minoxidil lotion
  • Immunotherapy
  • Dithranol cream
  • Ultraviolet light therapy
  • Dermatography/Tattooing
  • Wigs
  • Complementary therapy including aromatherapy, acupuncture and massage
  • Hair loss surgery
  • Hair transplant

What is Dermatography?

This is the process of making a scalp tattoo which can be used to replicate hair. It has been related with good long term effects. Dermatography is a technique which is frequently used for eyebrows over a few 1-hour long sessions.

It is an expensive cure for baldness. Hair re-growth for men in male pattern baldness is difficult and scalp tattoo is an effective treatment.

Scalp Micropigmentation

Scalp micropigmentation is a procedure which is a technique used in bald men, those with thinning hair or those who want to hide a scar on their head. It works by filling in follicles to create an illusion of very short hair. The scalp micropigmentation sessions stretch from 2 to 5 hours and are spread over 2- to 3-sessions.

Scalp micropigmentation can be described as a permanent concealer and it looks like dots created between the pores of a balding scalp. The tools used in creating a scalp tattoo are pigments in different hues, and instruments including needles in various sizes and shapes. Depending on the presence of blemishes or scars on the scalp, color of the skin and hair, the amount of hair present on the scalp; the colors and viscosity of the pigments are chosen. The pigment is inserted in the dermis by piercing through the epidermis on the skin.

Generally, the pigments used in making a scalp tattoo are anti-allergy tested, antiseptic, non-bleeding and resistant to color changes. Anesthetic applications are used before the scalp tattoo for hair loss procedure is initiated.

Who Can Get a Scalp Tattoo?

Research studies have suggested that scalp tattoo can be useful in following cases:
  • Scalp scars in baldness
  • People suffering with autoimmune diseases
  • Female baldness not responsive to other forms of hair regeneration techniques
  • Neurosurgery scars and head trauma surgeries
  • Chemotherapy patients who do not grow hair naturally
  • Individuals in whom hair transplants have failed or complications associated with hair transplant
  • People who do not want to use topical concealers or wigs
  • Hair thinning or balding in certain regions of the head

Is scalp tattoo safe for you?

Getting a scalp tattoo is safe but there are certain conditions when tattooing may be contraindicated, so it is better to consult your doctor before going for a scalp tattoo. Some of the common risks associated with scalp tattoo are:
  • Infection due to unsterile tattooing equipment or needles
  • Mycobacterium chelonae infection
  • Allergies to components present in the pigments
  • Complications that can arise due to the presence of metals in the pigment when the patient is exposed to powerful MRI magnets

The last word

The process of scalp tattoo has undergone improvement recently and it is a fine blend of the artistic and technical skills of the provider with the technical components of a tattoo instruments along with thoughtfully chosen pigments. Hence, it is considered to be of advantage in treating various hair and scalp problems.

But, while taking a decision to get a scalp tattoo, you should understand the limiting factors which include:
  • Keep realistic expectations
  • It is expensive
  • It is permanent and getting a scalp tattoo removed is a painful and difficult procedure
  • Getting a tattoo is painful

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