If there's one thing that can cause some major insecurities among men, it's hair loss. It's not an uncommon issue, either. According to ABC News, roughly one-third of men are bald. Guys will go to great lengths to address the problem, and there are a variety of solutions on the market to boost hair growth, combat baldness or at least give the illusion of thicker strands. However, a new trend seems to be taking hold that's causing a lot of controversy. Whether it's called "scalp pigmentation" or "cosmetic transdermal hair replication," it all means the same thing: Men are having hair tatted onto their heads.
"In the '70s, it was about having a tan," a client at Goldman Dubow Dermatology & Laser told The Hollywood Reporter. "Now, looking better than your age is the new version of being tan, and part of it is having a full head of hair."
At first consideration, this might seem like an ideal solution. After all, tattoos are permanent – so undergoing the procedure would mean a man has a full head of hair for the rest of his life. However, there are a number of concerns that come with these treatments.
Committing to a hairline
One reason why this procedure could lead to some tattoo regret is that some men may actually want their hairline to recede in a more gradual and natural-looking manner as they age. ABC News pointed out that this is not possible if a person gets a scalp pigmentation treatment. The source noted that if an individual only gets their head inked far back, they can always add on with hair tatted closer to the forehead later on. If a guy changes his mind about where he wants his hairline to start, though, he could end up second-guessing his decision to get inked.
Sun and safety concerns
Another problem that ABC News highlighted is sun exposure. Since UV light can impact the appearance of the tatt, men who get the procedure done would need to wear a hat, sunscreen or somehow protect their scalp to ensure the tattoo doesn't fade or get discolored. According to the source, there is still very little information about how the ink will look over time, or any other effects it may have down the road. Additionally, the news outlet stressed that this treatment is a super new development, which means that there's not enough reports about possible side effects or assurance as to whether it's safe or not.
An unrealistic appearance
Esquire recently highlighted some other drawbacks relating to this procedure. The magazine noted that hair is three-dimensional, and therefore, tattooing hair-like designs on someone's head will never look truly realistic. There's no way to make ink reflect hair's natural texture, volume or movement, which means it'll always look somewhat fake. Not only that, but there's no fooling someone when they touch a man's head that's been tatted up. Esquire explained that all it would take is one pass of a girlfriend or wife's hand through a man's "hair" to realize that it's an illusion.
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* Source: Harris Interactive, 2012