David Beckham. Wentworth Miller. Justin Timberlake.
These are just a few of the many prominent celebrities who’ve opted, at one point or another, for the “buzz cut” look — a short trim of hair on top that’s barely there at all. Brad Pitt, too, opted for a short buzz in the early 2000s as did Matthew Fox for the first three seasons of ABC’s “Lost.” Because of its relatively simple appearance, the buzz cut has become a favorite look among the balding crowd, too. After all, it’s hard to spot a man who’s losing his hair when it simply looks like he’s indulged in a buzz cut instead.
Now, one clinic in the United Kingdom has developed a special procedure that can help give men a permanent buzz cut in order to hide their bald heads forever. It’s known, officially, as Scalp Micro Pigmentation, though it’s more widely known by another name: a hair tattoo. And yes, it’s exactly what it sounds like.
There’s a needle and some ink, and the actual tattooing is quite similar to what happens during a conventional skin tattoo. Still, it’s a bit different than getting your mother’s name lovingly drawn on the outside of your bicep in thick red letters. For Scalp Micro Pigmentation, technicians draw tiny dots made up of different pigment shades directly on the scalp to create the appearance of a very thin buzz cut.
As a patient, you’d meet with your technician twice for actual inking and once more for a follow-up consultation. There’s no anesthetic, no incisions and no adhesives to worry about, either, meaning the procedure leaves no lingering scars atop your scalp.
The method was developed by Ian Watson, the founder of HHC (His Hair Clinic), after he found himself losing hair in his mid-20s. The condition was alopecia, and Watson was not content to live the rest of his life as a balding (or eventually, completely bald) man. Now, the procedure is widely available at different clinics throughout both Europe and the United States.
Though treatment options like Rogaine and Propecia might work for some, they’re nowhere near universally accepted as the method for combating hair loss. Indeed, treatments options like hair transplants and certain medications aim more for hair restoration and regrowth than anything else. Scalp Micro Pigmentation is simply a method for changing your appearance — subtly and minimally, but effectively.
“With us, we not only make our own needles, but our own ink,” explains Bryce Cleveland, Owner of Scalp Aesthetics. “You’re not left with scars, and there is no down time. 73% of our clients are people that have had hair transplants. That’s a very scary number.”
Of course, as a man ages, he may need to return and get his hair tattoo touched up a bit after it fades. That’s perfectly within the parameters of the treatment, doctors say. Plus, Scalp Micro Pigmentation can help with any kind of hair loss woes, be they disease, male pattern baldness or anything else. That’s what’s made this particular treatment option so appealing on both sides of the Atlantic.