Hair loss is a troublesome problem that affects millions of Americans. The reasons behind hair loss can vary, but one of the most common causes is due primarily to genetics. Androgenic alopecia is a hair loss condition that can run in families and may affect both men and women. In men, this condition is usually the culprit behind the all-too-familiar receding hairline or bald spot on the crown of the head. Some men can stop hair loss in its tracks early on with regular use of certain topical medications like minoxidil and Nanoxidil. But when the condition is severe, balding and permanent hair loss in specific areas may be inevitable. Fortunately, some newer advances in hair loss cosmetology have yielded beneficial solutions. Here, we discuss scalp micropigmentation, and dive into the all-important question of how much scalp micropigmentation costs.
What is scalp micropigmentation?
Scalp micropigmentation is a tool that people can utilize to cover up signs of hair loss. Essentially, scalp micropigmentation is a tattooing procedure. A trained specialist uses microneedles to insert pigmentation (or color) into hair follicles. Adding a tiny dot of color to the follicle gives the appearance of hair growing in the follicle. This procedure is for men who want to have the look of a shaved head, not a completely bald head.
Micropigmentation can be done all over the scalp or just limited to areas with balding. Some people may also use it to give the appearance of more hair density if they have thinning hair but are not necessarily bald. For example, some women may choose to undergo scalp micropigmentation along their hairline, the vertex, or partline to make it look like their hair is filled in and thicker overall. Additionally, this procedure can help cover up scars on the scalp, making them invisible and giving the appearance that hair has regrown in that area.
What is the process of scalp micropigmentation?
Your experience may vary based on the degree of your hair loss, the technician you are working with, and your desired end results. Initially, you will have a consultation appointment to assess your scalp, identify your goals, and ensure you are a candidate for this procedure. Then, you will return for at least two visits.
The first visit will be when your technician first applied pigment to each follicle. As you may imagine, the amount of time you spend in this first visit varies based on the size of the area you are modifying. After the initial visit, you will feel tenderness and experience some redness and even scabbing of each follicle. Rest assured, after a few days, these side effects go away.
Your second visit is when a darker color of pigmentation will likely be applied. (Of course, this depends on the color of your hair). In this visit, your technician will go back through and add more pigment to each follicle to ensure it gives the desired result. Generally, most people return to have their second application about 1-2 weeks after their first visit. Sometimes, a third visit is necessary if it appears the pigment is fading, or you need to go even darker.
The approximate cost of scalp micropigmentation?
The cost of this procedure can vary based on a number of factors. Firstly, the amount of microneedling and pigmentation you will require will determine the amount of time you will need to spend in your technician’s chair. You can assume that the larger the area you want to pigment, the higher the cost. That said, some technicians will offer a flat rate for this procedure, so it really depends on who you see.
Next, more visits may up the cost of your procedure. So, if you experience fading or need more than the standard number of sessions, you may end up paying more. But again, fading and touch-ups may be covered under your initial fee, so make sure to inquire about this when you are deciding who to see for this procedure.
All this in mind, there is a relatively wide range of cost for micropigmentation. Generally, most procedures will cost anywhere between $1,500-$4,000. Again, the cheaper end of the spectrum will likely be for people who require less microneedling, whereas the higher end of the spectrum will be for people who are covering up all-over baldness.
Scar treatments will presumably run you less than $1500, but you are still looking at around $1000 unless it is a small area.
Is micropigmentation a good solution for hair loss?
Given its relative permanence (although it can fade after several years) and its ability to make it appear like the hair is dense, micropigmentation can be highly effective and can require little maintenance. However, it is limiting in that it will never give you actual hair, so if you are looking to increase your actual hair density and not always sport a shaved head look, you may want to look into other procedures like a hair transplant.
Of course, not all people are candidates for hair transplants, nor is everyone a candidate for micropigmentation. To see what is best for you, start by meeting with your dermatologist or a trichologist to determine what might be the best route for you and your hair goals.