Maybe you haven’t heard about “scalp micropigmentation” before. We’ve got you covered.
Using Scalp Micropigmentation to Treat Male Pattern Baldness
At Hairline Ink, our world-class artists and industry-leading experts have dedicated their lives to helping men who experience male pattern baldness regain their confidence and renew their self-esteem with our advanced treatment, scalp micropigmentation (SMP). This affordable, permanent, and safe treatment option is a life-long solution to the problems posed by male pattern baldness, and our team at Hairline Ink is here to help you better understand how this incredible procedure will change your life.
Male pattern baldness is a genetic condition and is the result of changes that take place with male hormones as men age. As a normal part of the aging process, men’s bodies begin to convert the hormone testosterone into the hormone dihydrotestosterone (DHT). Unfortunately, it is believed that dihydrotestosterone has adverse effects on hair follicles in men who are genetically predisposed to male pattern baldness.
In men with male pattern baldness, the presence of dihydrotestosterone eventually causes their hair follicles to shrink in size, which results in the production of thinner, shorter hair strands. As follicles continue to shrink, the hair in affected areas will continue to become thinner and shorter until eventually the follicle will cease to produce new strands of hair.
Everyone will experience male pattern baldness to differing degrees. Some men will experience a minor, gradual recession of their natural hairline, and nothing more. Many men will develop the signature “M” pattern as their hairline recedes on both sides of their head above the temples, while others will experience near or total hair loss on the top of their heads.
Hair loss caused by male pattern baldness is not in and of itself indicative of any other medical conditions, and does not pose any health risks to men. Unfortunately, its effects are almost always permanent, and many men suffering from male pattern baldness experience anxiety, self-consciousness, and a loss of self esteem.
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Scalp Micropigmentation for Male Pattern Baldness
Can I prevent male pattern baldness?
Stress management and a diet rich in protein, iron, vitamin A, vitamin C, zinc, and omega-3 can keep your hair full and healthy for much of your life.
However, if your hair loss is primarily due to male pattern baldness, there is, unfortunately, no lifestyle change, secret supplement, or exercise regimen that can stop what is essential at its root: aging and genetics.
How do I know if I have male pattern baldness?
Male pattern baldness accounts for 90-95% of hair loss in men, but it is important to rule out other causes.
- Alopecia areata: This is an autoimmune condition that results in patchy hair loss. In mild cases, hair often spontaneously regenerates within a few month to a year.
- Alopecia totalis / alopecia universalis: This is a more advanced form of alopecia areata, affecting the entire scalp and body respectively. Hair generally does not grow back.
- Thyroid conditions: Hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism can both trigger a condition called telogen effluvium which causes hair loss. Hair on the scalp and eyebrows can be affected. It often presents as brittle and weak before falling out in clumps when agitated. A distinct sign of this condition is the root of the hair is abnormally club-shaped at the root. Hair often grows back when the underlying thyroid condition is treated.
- Thyroid conditions can be accompanied by a wide range of symptoms including swollen neck, nervous tremor, mental fogginess, weight changes, temperature sensitivity and more.
- Stress or trauma: Chronic or acute events in your life can trigger hair loss. In these instances, hair is likely to shed from all places on the scalp or come out in clumps. Hair is likely to regrow once the stress or trauma is alleviated or managed.
Male pattern baldness—androgenetic alopecia—will generally present differently than the conditions above. Here are some telltale signs:
- Hair loss in an “m” pattern at the hairline and/or hair loss from the crown of the head
Symmetrical hair loss
- Hair thinning is present before hair loss
- Little to no hair loss on the sides of the head or nape of the neck
- Hair does not regrow
These patterns might not be noticeable for some time. If you’re unclear or concerned about the cause of your hair loss, it is best to speak with a professional. You can find a local dermatologist specializing in hair disorders by visiting aad.org/find-a-derm.
A more comprehensive list of the causes of hair loss can be found here.
What causes male pattern baldness?
Why are you going bald? Blame your genes. Male pattern baldness is a hereditary condition that makes the hair on the top of your head more susceptible to a male sex hormone called dihydrotestosterone (DHT). DHT binds to the hair follicle, shrinks it, and over time causes it to stop producing altogether. For a more detailed account of what causes male pattern baldness, click here.
When do most men begin to go bald?
The prevalence of baldness roughly correlates with each decade you age. Twenty percent of men see noticeable baldness in their twenties, increasing by about ten percent per decade. About half of all men will experience hair loss by their fifties, 70% by their 70s, and so on.
How long does it take to go bald?
Once you see thinning, it generally takes 15-25 years for the process to be complete. Again, it is important to note that this is an average; some men reach the last stage of the balding process in less than five years.
What can I expect after I notice my hair thinning?
The Norwood-Hamilton Scale is the accepted standard for the stages and progression of typical male pattern hair loss.
Most men’s experience of hair loss will generally follow this trajectory:
- Stage I: Baseline—no hair loss.
- Stage II: The hair begins to thin at the front and temples, often in a symmetrical “m” shaped pattern. Hair loss is usually not noticeable to others during this phase.
- Stage III: This is the first stage that is considered “baldness.” There is a deepening recession in the front and thinning at the vertex, or crown of the head, begins.
- Stage IV: Hair recedes more dramatically, often leaving a triangular patch above the forehead. The “bald spot” is more pronounced in the back. However, there is still a relatively thick band of hair that separates the two distinct areas.
- Stage V: The two prominent areas of hair loss in the front and back are still separate, but the bridge between the two begins to thin.
- Stage VI: The two balding areas merge in this stage. Hair loss deepens further down the sides of the head.
- Stage VII: The only substantial hair that remains is confined to the sides of the head forming a “horseshoe” pattern.
Though this is the typical progression, some men will experience hair loss primarily from the crown first or a general thinning throughout the top of the head.
What are my treatment options?
Male pattern baldness is a complex conditions with few viable treatment options. Here is a survey of the most common treatments on the market today.
- Surgeons remove a thin 8-10 inch strip of skin from the back of the head in an area unaffected by male pattern baldness. They then disassemble the strip and graft each unit of functioning hair individually to fill in the sections of the head affected by hair loss.
- This technique has about a 90% success rate for implantation, but some men are concerned with the distinct, lateral scar this procedure leaves and the potential for the transplant to look unnatural.
- Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) is similar to the Strip Harvesting procedure, except the donor site consists of individual follicle units instead of one large strip.
- FUE is more time consuming, costs about 50% more, and has a somewhat lower success rate at 75-85%. The major advantage is that it does not leave a scar and does not require a large, viable donor site like strip harvesting, making it potentially a more viable option for men with more advanced hair loss.
- Finasteride works by blocking enzyme 5-alpha reductase, which converts testosterone into DHT—the hormone responsible for your receding hairline.
- Only about 30% of men see improvement in six months of treatment, and your hair will return to its pretreatment state if you stop taking the medication. There is also concern surrounding rare but serious and sometimes permanent sexual side effects after taking Finasteride, including loss of sexual desire and erectile dysfunction.
- Minoxidil is a topical treatment for male pattern baldness. The medical community does not know how exactly Rogaine works. Some experts speculate that it dilates blood vessels in the scalp to stimulate hair growth and function.
- Only about 40% of men experience regrowth in six months of treatment. Your hair loss will return to its pretreatment state if you stop taking the medication. It is less effective on treating large areas, and is recommended for younger men who have experienced hair loss for five years or less.
Both medications are more effective for slowing hair loss, as opposed to regrowing hair.
There are a number of options available to men who are looking to minimize or mask the effects of male pattern baldness, but many of them come with significant drawbacks:
- Hair Transplants: Hair transplants involve transplanting a section of the scalp that still has hair growth onto a section of the scalp that is experiencing thinning or complete hair loss. Unfortunately, these procedures can be extremely painful, expensive, can produce significant scarring, and, in many cases, do not result in the successful regrowth of hair.
- Hair Pieces: Wigs and hair pieces are another option available to men experiencing hair loss from male pattern baldness. Unfortunately, many men experience uncertainty at the non-permanent nature of this treatment option and the fear that accompanies the possibility of the hair piece suddenly and unexpectedly being displaced.
- Hair Clubs: While some have experienced success at joining hair clubs, the reality is that this option is incredibly expensive and, as a non-permanent solution, they can keep their members on the hook for expensive treatment for years, if not a lifetime!
- Prescription Medication: There are a number of prescription medications that are marketed to men who experience male pattern baldness. These drugs claim to be able to stop the advance of hair thinning that results from male pattern baldness. Unfortunately, for many men, by the time they begin using these drugs, their hair loss has already progressed to a point where these medications are no longer effective. Additionally, some of these medications come with very serious side effects that can cause users to suffer lasting harm.
Unlike these other treatment options, Scalp micropigmentation (SMP) offers an effective, guaranteed, and cost-effective treatment option for male pattern baldness. Scalp micropigmentation is an advanced cosmetic procedure in which dots of pigment are added to your scalp, much like getting a tattoo. These dots are carefully matched to your skin tone and natural hair color, and are carefully placed across your head using a precise computer controlled system, resulting in the appearance of a full head of hair that has been cut or shaved close to the scalp.
Using a needle similar to a tattooing needle, scalp micropigmentation places tiny dots of pigment just beneath the surface of the skin on your head. This collection of dots creates the appearance of hair that has been shaved clean and is just starting to grow out again. This procedure creates an incredibly natural appearance of hair follicles, a natural hairline, and can be combined with your existing hair growth to create even more fullness and hair density.
Scalp micropigmentation only takes getting a custom quote, and then 1 to 3 sessions in order to provide individuals suffering from any degree of male pattern baldness with the appearance of a full head of hair.
- First, we will get photos from you so that we can assess your unique hair loss situation and create a custom solution to achieve your desired look.
- On your first visit, treatment begins. In our years of experience, we’ve found that a conservative treatment on your first visit is the best. You may notice a little scalp redness after this initial session, but pain will be minimal. Most people rate the pain of scalp micropigmentation as a 2 out of 10.
- On your second visit, we will fill in the skin on your scalp creating an even, 3D appearance of hair.
- In some cases, an individual may require a 3rd and final visit to obtain full coverage.
And just like a tattoo, once your final session has been completed, your treatment results are immediate.
Whatever degree of hair loss you are experiencing, scalp micropigmentation can provide you with the results you want and the self-confidence you are seeking. Whether you’ve experienced full hair loss or patches of thinning — scalp micropigmentation creates the appearance of a full head of hair and inspires the confidence of a reinvented “You”.
Additionally, scalp micropigmentation can be used to help those who have unsuccessfully tried other treatment options for male pattern baldness. Many of the clients we see are people who did not achieve success with hair transplants and are now looking for an immediate, effective treatment option that can also help them cover the scarring that resulted from their hair transplant procedures.
About Hairline Ink
Whatever your circumstances may be, all of our expert practitioners at Hairline Ink are passionate about helping individuals suffering from all forms of hair loss. Each member of our All-Star Team has personally dealt with hair loss/hair loss related confidence issues and eventually turned to Scalp Micropigmentation.
At Hairline Ink, we truly view our practitioners’ work as a form of art and our talented technicians pour their passion into each and every client they work with. Having experienced hair loss themselves, our practitioners know just how emotional this issue is for you, and we want you to know that we understand exactly what you’re going through. Choosing a potential treatment option for hair loss is an extremely personal decision, and here at Hairline Ink, every single member of our team wants to help you understand the full range of options that are available so that you can choose the treatment option that is best for your life and your needs. If you are considering scalp micropigmentation to compliment a hair transplant, you can trust that you are in the best of hands with our talented team of All-Stars at Hairline Ink.
The entire team at Hairline Ink knows that hair loss is an extremely delicate topic, and one that you may not have felt comfortable talking about. However, we know exactly what you are going through and the great news is, we know exactly how to help. We have helped countless men recover their self confidence and secure a life-long solution to male pattern baldness with the incredible benefits afforded by scalp micropigmentation, and we want to earn your trust as you make this incredibly important decision in your life. Contact us today to discuss your situation and learn what scalp micropigmentation can do for YOUR life.
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