How Scalp Tattoos Are Empowering Men With Hair Loss

No, your screen does not need to be adjusted. That picture is not photoshopped, nor is it the result of a magic hair-growth potion — it's actually a tattoo of sorts. We were blown away by how real it looks, so we tracked down the photo to its source, Good Look Ink, a clinic in Minneapolis, MN, to learn more.

This technique is known as scalp micropigmentation (SMP). Like getting inked, pigment is permanently etched into the skin, but SMP is much more specialized (like these tattoos for facial scarring). So, don't just walk into a tattoo shop asking for this! Hairlines, hair loss patterns, and hair color are all taken into serious consideration before the procedure takes place. The end result looks like stubble growing in on a freshly shaved head.

Our biggest question was about increased hair loss. What happens when someone with SMP goes completely bald? Will they have faux stubble at the front of their head and be completely smooth in back? "Our goal is to replicate each hair follicle the client has lost — over 100,000 impressions," explained Roxanne Chihos, the CEO of Good Look Ink. "We blend them into the healthy hair assuming they will continue to lose more hair. This eliminates the scalp showing through and prepares them for additional hair loss should that happen."

SMP is a life-changing option for men struggling with baldness, irregular hairlines, and even alopecia universalis (which causes sudden total hair loss), and it's reasonably inexpensive. While hair transplants can leave significant scarring and cost as much as $10,000, SMP typically costs a maximum of $5,000 with permanent effects. Good Look Ink even runs contests on their Facebook page for free procedures, focusing on giving back to US veterans.

Though we find confident bald dudes sexy, not every guy feels great about losing their hair. And that's OK! SMP is an empowering alternative. Though we can't personally relate to hair loss, these before-and-after images are just mesmerizing to look at.