Hair tattoos are not just an art for fun; these are medically accepted too. Studies state that one-third of men in America go bald and about 30 million American women lose hair due to various reasons.
Hair tattoos are an innovative way of treating thin hair or baldness. The procedure may look like a tattoo artwork but, many people also consider it like a cosmetic treatment.
The treatments for hair tattoos would be different at different parlors. We shall discuss more of these and related information on hair tattoos at length in this article.
Let’s begin with understanding what a hair tattoo means in detail.
What Is a Hair Tattoo?
Hair tattoo is also referred to as scalp micro-pigmentation (SMP) in some cases. However, there is a slight difference between the two.
Traditional hair tattoos are more of a scraping treatment whereas scalp micro pigmentation is performed with a dotting technique.
Many cosmetic professionals consider both almost the same as the results are similar. However, you must know the process of doing these is different.
It is a sort of cosmetic pigmentation. Unlike medical treatments, hair tattoos are non-surgical cosmetic tattoos.
These are identical to traditional tattooing methods where the professional injects pigment into the scalp and give an illusionary picture of complete hair growth.
Do not be confused between hairline tattoos and hair tattoos; both have separate methods. Hairline tattoos do not follow the traditional pigmentation method.
Talking deep about the differences, traditional tattoos need larger needles compared to hairline tattoos.
That means hairline tattoos use microneedles to make the hair look precise and clear. Thus, both have some differences in their process as well as results.
Hair tattoos give you unique results and look. The tattoo on the bald area looks like natural hair growth.
Who Can Go for A Hair Tattoo? And Who Should Not?
Balding people or already bald men and women can go for a hair tattoo. Some more scenarios where hair tattoos and scalp micro pigmentation (SMP) are advisable include:
- Thinning hair
- Male or female patterned baldness
Hair tattoos are known to be safe compared to hair transplants and other severe cosmetic surgeries for hair regrowth.
One major advantage stated by tattoo experts is that razor shaved baldness done for tattoos does not have risks of permanent baldness.
Thus, hair grows back after hair tattoo if the cells are alive. If you are looking for a permanent solution, then a hair tattoo is not the ultimate solution.
The hair pigmentation can fade with time. You may have to go for re-touch again in the future as hair tattoos are ink-based and are prone to leaving their effects as time passes.
Also, if you are undergoing some medical surgeries or treatment, we suggest you take a second opinion from your health expert on hair tattoos.
How Long Do Hair Tattoos Last?
In many cases, hair tattoos last 4-6 years. Some clients experience the fading soon and some even later. It all depends from person to person and their body condition.
Tattoos on other areas go five layers deeper into the skin, whereas hair tattoos on the scalp go only two layers deeper. It is because the deeper the pigment goes, the more is it likely to spread. The result of this will look unnatural.
A professional tattoo artist knows of this and will keep in mind the same so you don’t have to worry about it.
To get an exact estimate on the life of hair tattoos, you can book an appointment just for consultation with the tattoo artist. It would be wise to let them know in advance the reason for your visit.
Does Hair Grow Where a Tattoo Is?
Yes, as we stated, hair tattoos do not stop your hair regrowth. Although it may be case-specific, the hair grows back regardless of what type of hair tattoo you go for.
Based on the reason for your hair tattoo, unless there is a medical scenario or health reason you have an advantage of hair regrowth.
Another good news that you may wish to hear is tattooing does not kill hair follicles. A tattoo artist injects the ink into the dermis and does not touch the hair follicles.
Thus, your hair is likely to grow back into the skin. In some cases, it has been observed that hair regrowth is slow but, it happens for sure!
Does Hair Tattoo Hurt?
SMP or hair tattoos are one of the advanced and most popular solutions for hair loss. The process can be difficult to proceed within certain medical scenarios.
If you have already undergone a medical condition and been through treatment, the scalp tends to be sensitive and there are chances for the process to cause you discomfort or pain.
In most other scenarios, the pigment reaches only on the two layers deeper into the skin. Thus, there are lesser chances of pain.
If you compare the other medical procedures for hair transplant and hair regrowth, then we must say that hair tattoos are less painful compared to these.
In simple words, you can expect some numbness, slight pain, and a sensitive scalp for some days during and post the process.
How Much Does a Hair Tattoo Cost?
A basic hair tattoo that is done on the crown area can cost you anywhere from $1,500 to $2,000. The cost for standard full process hair tattoos may cost you $4,000 too.
The cost may also vary as per the location you choose. Most men go for hair tattoos as they tend to have a thin hairline.
Hair tattoos are not done in just one session; these take different sessions to complete the desired area for tattoo pigment to complete.
Hair tattoos usually take three sessions and every session takes about 2 to 4 hours to complete. Choose your location for hair tattoo wisely.
Locations like Miami, Salt Lake City, Austin, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and New York City may cost you more.
Pre-Care & Aftercare for Hair Tattoo
Before going for a hair tattoo, there are a few things you must know to get prepared for it. These are not only essential to follow but also make you more confident of the entire hair tattoo process.
Let’s understand the pre and aftercare for hair tattoos in detail;
Pre-care for hair tattoo:
- Moisturize your scalp. Your skin needs to look hydrated and soft for the tattoo to begin.
- Your tattoo artist will also advise you to cut or trim your hair down for hair tattoo to happen smoothly.
- Do not drink or consume any substance that can cause blood thinning. This rule is applicable regardless of which area on the body you select for a tattoo.
- Be mentally prepared for a hair tattoo. Unless you are confident and comfortable, it would be difficult to get the process done and enjoy the results.
- Stay hydrated! That’s most important. You cannot feel dehydrated in between the tattoo session.
- You will also be advised to stay away from caffeine and other pain relievers 24 hours before the tattoo process.
- Check all the instructions from your tattoo artist so that you know you have followed them all.
Aftercare for hair tattoo:
- Avoid taking bath from the head and do not stand under running water like a shower.
- Stay away from swimming, sauna, steam, skin tan, and chlorinated baths. This needs to be followed at least 28 days post the final session/treatment.
- Staying away from UV rays is also advisable. UV rays or direct sunlight can be harmful to the hair tattoo until the healing period is over.
- When you are asked to go for the first hair wash post hair tattoo treatment, use antibacterial soap or fragrance-free soap for the first month or initial washes.
- The healing process takes about 7 to 10 days to post the final session. Until then, it is better that you cover your head with a hat or headwear so that the tattoo doesn’t come in contact with sun rays.
When you plan for a hair tattoo, ensure that you choose the most reliable tattoo artist in the town. Your tattoo ink and pigment have to be of the best quality.
We suggest a few consultations and opinions before you finalize the hair tattoo process so that you are confident of your decision.