One of the more unusual measures some men turn to in their quest to deal with hair loss is a technique known as micropigmentation – which basically translates as “tattooing the scalp to give the illusion of close-cropped hair.”
While this technique – which has quietly emerged over the past few years – appears to have proven satisfactory to some men (especially those who are content with the shaven-headed look), it isn’t always a success, as popular American vlogger Yousef Erakat – better known as Kats or for his now defunct FouseyTube YouTube channel – has recently revealed.
Losing hair to genetic baldness
The 27-year-old internet star – who has more than a million followers on his YouTube channel – explains in one of his videos that he started losing his hair to the genetic condition male pattern baldness while living in Los Angeles in his early 20s. “I have two older brothers,” he says. “One went bald at 25, one still has hair in his 30s, so genetics played a weird decision in my family.”
In fact, this is not uncommon, as male pattern baldness regularly affects some but not other members of the same family. The unlucky ones are those with a genetic sensitivity to a testosterone by-product named DHT, which causes follicles to shrink across the top of the scalp and hairline, and produce a receding hairline and/or thinning hair in these areas which can become bald unless steps are taken to deal with it.
In his videos, Kats explains that losing his hair was “such an insecurity that it used to burden me, and it used to affect my happiness and it used to chain me up. It stopped me from doing a lot in my life. A lot of guys share the same sentiment.” Continues below…
He says that his thinning hair rapidly got worse as a result of the medication he was taking for his bipolar disorder. “I always had insecurities about thinning, especially because of people swooning over people’s hair on Instagram, and I took it all personally. I felt like I was ugly on the inside.”
He tried shaving his head completely bald, but also experienced weight gain around this period which he now describes as “one of the worst times of my life.”
To try and change his image, he signed up for a hair transplant with a surgeon in Los Angeles. The result, he says, was a “complete failure” and resulted in “ingrown hairs all over my head. So now on top of being bald and overweight I had ingrown hairs everywhere.”
Next, he tried a “hair replacement system”, a type of wig which is basically a more modern update on the toupee. While he liked the way this made him look initially, the model he chose was too high maintenance. The easier version he opted for resulted in comments that he looked like “the guy from Dumb and Dumber.”
Tried micropigmentation and scalp tattoos
Kats then came across scalp micropigmentation and was impressed. “When it’s done right, boom! Its quality is nice,” he says. “Many actors do it, there’s people you know right now who have done it that you would not even guess at because of how real it looks. I did it and it looked great and I knew inside it would extend my acting career.”
However, doubts began to creep in when he found an aesthetician peering at his head when she was giving him a facial. Kats says that she suggested she could make some improvements with some additional scalp tattooing, and he signed up for what turned out to be what he describes as the most painful five hours of his life. Even more alarming, he claims, she drew in a new hairline that was completely different to his natural one, and generally made things worse.
Kats noted how his initial micropigmentation had involved specially blended inks and incredibly thin needles to produce tiny dots which mimicked the look of a shaved head. He claims the second procedure was more akin to getting an actual tattoo, stating that the dots were far larger – unnaturally so – as well as being a flat, one-note block colour. In his case a black ink was used, leaving round, thick black dots all around his hairline and in patches around his scalp where the tattooist had tried to fill in other areas.
In the video – which can be seen above – Kats goes on to document the laser tattoo-removal procedure he went through in order to try and correct the job. This, too was extremely painful, and he was told that around seven sessions would be needed before things would be back to normal. As cautionary tales go, the story of Kats’ hair is certainly a thought-provoking and expensive one.
Interestingly, the vlogger has a passing look of the actor Vin Diesel who, alongside Jamie Foxx, is the person that people say they most want to resemble when they opt for scalp micropigmentation. However, as Kats perhaps proves, there are no guarantees when it comes to scalp tattoos – something which has prompted calls for better regulation within the industry.
Another – non-invasive and pain-free – option for men concerned about losing their hair is to try a custom course featuring clinically-proven medications. Male hair loss treatment can revolve around one or both of the MHRA licensed and FDA approved drugs for this type of genetic thinning: topical formulations of high strength minoxidil, and the one-a-day oral drug finasteride 1mg – a DHT-blocker. These can be used alongside several additional hair growth supporting products, as appropriate, allowing hairloss to be dealt with effectively and in the best way possible for each individual’s unique requirements.
The Belgravia Centre is an organisation specialising in hair growth and hair loss prevention with two clinics and in-house pharmacies 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 Form from anywhere in the world. View our Hair Loss Success Stories, which includes the world’s largest gallery of hair growth comparison photos and demonstrates the levels of success that so many of Belgravia’s patients achieve. You can also phone 020 7730 6666 any time to arrange a free consultation.