Hair Tattoo and Alopecia Areata

While scalp micropigmentation is interchangeably known as hair tattoo/hairline, scalp micropigmentation is not exactly the traditional tattoo we see.

Technically, here are the differences between scalp micropigmentation (SMP) and the traditional tattoo:

  1. The ink or pigment used for SMP does not discolor and it does not go as deep into the skin, unlike traditional tattoos. The latter goes 5 layers deep using needles for tattooing.
  2. SMP procedure is done by a dotting method or pointillism to mimic tiny hair follicles, while the traditional tattoo is more of a stroking or scraping technique. Here is how a hair tattoo mimics a fuller head of hair.

hair tattoo for alopecia areata

Nevertheless, hair tattoo is also essentially scalp micropigmentation and is a preferred solution for baldness. hair loss, thinning, receding hairline, or to cover bald spots like scalp scars, both for men and women.

Hair Loss Treatments

Topical or Oral Medications

The leading topical treatment for hair loss is Minoxidil although it is specifically for male pattern baldness. It is also used by women with thinning hair, but not for receding hairlines nor patchy types of hair loss.

Minoxidil is available without a prescription but users should watch out for side effects such as sensitive skin reactions. This includes experiencing discomfort due to stinging, redness, and possible allergic reactions. Neither can it be used on other parts of the body, such as to grow a beard.


Minoxidil (Wikimedia)

As for oral treatment, the most popular one is Finasteride (Propecia) which may slow down hair loss and may cause some hair thickening. However, the side effects may make one doubt if it is a solution that is worth it.

For one, it can result in men’s diminished sex drive or inability to perform sexually. It may also increase the risk of prostate cancer.

Additionally, it may take months to know whether Finasteride is working for you and if it does, you have to take it to maintain the results. It is also not advisable for men over 60.

Hair Restoration via Transplants

Men considering a hair restoration procedure such as FUE or FUT should talk to their doctor to know what to expect.

FUE is short for Follicular Unit Extraction wherein individual hair follicles are transplanted to the bald area. FUT or Follicular Unit Transplant is a procedure wherein a strip of skin from which to extract individual follicular units.

hair transplant

Hair Transplant: Wikimedia

Although with either procedure, the patient can be fully healed within days, it takes a few weeks for FUE and up to 5 weeks for FUT to allow a full period of recovery. The doctor will discuss post-procedure care.

As for the cost of each procedure, FUE causes more because it takes a lot more time than FUT. The cost starts from about $4000 and for multiple sessions can go as high as $50000 or even more.

Scalp Micropigmentation/Hair Tattoo

Hair tattoo or scalp micropigmentation before and after

Scalp Micropigmentation (SMP) is also known as hairline tattoo or hair tattoo. It is a procedure wherein a special type of ink pigment is applied on the bald or thinning area using special microneedles (dotting technique) to mimic that of natural hair follicle units. The good news is that this procedure is highly flexible in use for different hair loss causes.

Unlike some solutions mentioned that cannot be used for receding hairlines, SMP is the ideal solution for such cases. SMP is also a good option to cover a bald patch on the scalp, for thinning hair, or even an entire scalp/head. Although not permanent and will slightly fade over the years, a simple retouching is all it needs.

Another advantage of SMP is it has no downtime. You do, however, need to take some precautions after the SMP treatment. No washing with shampoo or soap until after 4-7 days and no saunas nor pools until after 4 weeks or a month.


How much does hair tattoo cost?

A hair tattoo can cost from $600-$5000 for the service. Full hair restoration is $5k but tattooing on scalp scars starts at $600.

How long do hair tattoos last?

Hair tattoo lasts for 5-6 years, even up to 8 years. Though it is not permanent and will slightly fade after some years, all it needs is some retouching.

Can you get hair tattoo?

Yes, in fact, a hair tattoo is a good option for many cases such as a receding hairline, postpartum hair loss, bald patches and scalp scars, or hair loss due to chemotherapy. A hair tattoo is also a solution for alopecia totalis or complete baldness.

Do head tattoos stop hair growth?

Head tattoos do not stop hair from growing because the specialized ink for pigmentation is deposited on the dermis, while the hair follicles are located deeper into the hair bulb, which is in the layer of active basal cells called the hair matrix.

What triggers alopecia areata?

Alopecia areata is an autoimmune disease wherein the body’s immune system attacks the hair follicles and causes hair to fall, although stress can also be one of the factors that trigger it.

hair follicles

credit: Wikimedia

What is the best treatment for alopecia areata?

While there is no cure for alopecia, there are treatments that can help hair grow again and prevent future hair loss. The most common treatments include corticosteroids and anti-inflammatory drugs. You can also take vitamins such as Biotin to support the strengthening of the hair shaft and prevent further loss. Hair tattoo is also a good option for an instant, no-downtime solution.

Can your hair grow back if you have alopecia?

You can possibly grow your hair back even if you have alopecia, although it may take months or more. But there are treatments that can help make hair grow faster like steroids and topical treatment in the affected site.

Related post: Androgenic Alopecia: Causes and Remedies

Hair tattoo (Scalp micro pigmentation or SMP) is also a viable option to camouflage patches of baldness. With a hair tattoo, a specialized ink is applied using a dotting technique to mimic a hair follicle.

hair tattoo before and after for alopecia areata

In this video, we helped our client, Alex, gain back his confidence after years of struggle with alopecia. Such situations are equally as fulfilling for us knowing we have helped a person gain back his confidence.


After the SMP procedure, his mom, Jodi, wrote this review:

I had looked online and did quite some research before deciding Jade was the woman for the job. I have always been one to read reviews so I felt it was important to leave my own review, knowing how much I rely on them myself.

First off Jade and Eddie were absolutely amazing! Jade was so quick to respond to my inquiries about micropigmintation for my son, Alex. Not only did Jade respond rite away, she was knowledgeable and was able to further educate me about the procedure I was inquiring on.

I could honestly go on and on about how great of an experience my son had at Studio Conceal. Not only was the outcome phenomenal, the experience was definitely one my son and I will never forget!

Jade and Eddie, without a doubt have changed my son’s life, but have given him the confidence that Alopecia Areata had taken from him at the age of 3. Choosing Jade and Eddie was the best decision I could have made for Alex, the outcome has been truly life changing!

Thank you Jade and Eddie for changing Alexander’s life forever, you both are amazing!! Jodi Castro five star review

If you have bald patches caused by alopecia, a receding hairline, thinning hair, or partial/complete hair loss, contact us today and we will help you get your confidence restored!

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