When micropigmentation emerged as a new way of masking hair loss four or five years ago it raised more than a few eyebrows: at first glance, the notion of tattooing on a new hairline seemed both extreme and slightly absurd. But the idea seems to be gathering momentum, with what is being hailed as the UK’s first major event for professionals planned for May.
It will be held in Bingley, West Yorkshire, and hosted by Europe-wide micropigmentation company Pigmentalia with input from Beauty Medical in Milan, whose Milena Lardi claims to be one of the world’s experts in micropigmentation. It seems that the word has been rechristened ‘tricopigmentation’ by the teams involved, perhaps to clearly indicate that this form of medical tattooing relates specifically to concealing hair loss, setting it aside from other uses such as for restoring eyebrows.
The one-day conference will feature presentations and demonstrations, and is designed to entice new practitioners to the field.
Says Jasper Scholtes, one of the Pigmentalia directors: "Tricopigmentation is the implantation of specifically developed pigment into the scalp. We implant microscopic dots that will simulate hair follicles and give the illusion of a shaved head. Hair Follicle Simulation is one of the most innovative and effective solutions available today for hair loss without the need for surgery, cover-ups or medicine.”
Both of the companies involved say they have joined forces to build an international network of tricopigmentation technicians and centres, and claim that their tattooing technique can be effective in cases of Alopecia Areata, Male Pattern Baldness and can also cover up hair transplant scars. They say that their tattoos are also useful for people who have had a hair transplant but who need more density.
What is interesting is that they describe their work as a semi-permanent solution to hair loss, stating that the ink “will disappear within a couple of years without leaving a residue on the scalp.”
There are, of course, two ways of looking at this: one is that the temporary nature of the tattoo is a good thing because it won’t last forever if it isn’t to a patient’s liking. The other is that it represents poor value as treatment will need to be undertaken repeatedly. It also begs the question: what does the tattoo look like as its vibrancy starts to fade?
Although there is a huge difference between having a regular tattoo artist draw hair back on and having colour-matched dots created over a period of time to create a subtle stubble effect, given how exposed the scalp is, fading is still likely to be a problem.
Whilst it is certainly an interesting and welcome addition for those wishing to conceal baldness, particularly for those whose conditions mean their only other option would be to wear a wig, micropigmentation is clearly not for everyone; it needs to be topped up every few years and the hairstyle it most readily lends itself to is a very close, grade 1 crop.
Whilst men who already wear their hair very short may find this appealing, many male clients often tell us they feel they 'don't have the right head shape' for a shaved or bald head - the same reason Elton John gave for wanting to deal with his MPB. Having what appears to be a shaved head is also not usually appealing to women.
Anyone with thinning hair or patchy hair loss who wishes to stop their shedding and grow their own hair back should visit a professional hair loss clinic where a specialist nurse can assess you and discuss all the options available, including recommending which are best suited to your specific situation. In many cases, bespoke courses built around key high strength minoxidil formulations offered at both Belgravia Centre clinics can help to accelerate regrowth.
If you read the testimonials in our Success Stories gallery you'll see that many clients were initially skeptical but decided to give following a personalised hair loss treatment course a go 'just in case'. As you'll see, they were all impressed enough with their results to allow us to share their regrowth journey photos from before and after starting treatment with you.
If you are unsure as to whether this type of treatment could work for you, once you have been deemed medically-suitable, we would suggest trying a course for at least six months just to see the difference proven treatments can make - eventually you can hopefully wear your hair as long and in whichever hairstyle you want!
The Belgravia Centre is a world-renowned group of a hair loss clinic in Central London, UK. If you are worried about hair loss you can arrange a free consultation with a hair loss expert or complete our Online Consultation from anywhere in the world for home-use treatment.
View our Hair Loss Success Stories, which includes the world's largest gallery of hair growth photos and demonstrates the level of success that so many of Belgravia's patients achieve.