The Bald-Sexy Club

We tend to see our celebrities as better looking and more immune to physical flaws than the rest of us. Of course, this isn’t true. In fact, we enjoy seeing how they really look: without cosmetics,  air-brushing, photoshop…and wigs.  

It used to be that bald actors were a select few, and easy to name, such as Yul Brynner and Telly Savalas. It seems like not until the 1980s that it was possible to be a big star without hair: Ben Kingsley and Patrick Stewart come to mind. And then in the 90s, Bruce Willis ushered in the era of bald-sexy. 

Balding Is Not a Choice…But Being Bald Is

While women have endless image issues, men really have only one outside their locus of control: baldness. The balding process is a traumatic one, and it’s bewildering that here in the 21st century, we have neither flying cars nor a cure for baldness. While there are rogaine, Propecia, and several cosmetic solutions, it takes confidence to keep a clean-shaven scalp. 

It ain’t easy being a balding actor. Just as female actresses get exponentially fewer roles as they age, bald actors often get reduced to secondary roles. While not necessarily a celebrity pin-up, Michael Chiklis comes to mind. He became famous for starring in the early 90s show The Commish, where he played a semi-comical hapless police commissioner. As he became ever balder, his next role was as Curly in the 3 Stooges. Not exactly an upward trajectory. 

Then, his wife convinced him to shave it all off. He then hit the gym, and he went from the hapless Commish to the bad-ass Vic Mackey in The Shield, for which he is now synonymous. He even won an Emmy in 2002 for best lead actor. 

The Bald-sexy Club

After Yul Brynner, Bruce Willis might be the first bald-sexy hunk. He was a thinning-haired actor who went from the dramedy Moonlighting to the iconic John McClane in Die Hard. But he became bald-sexy in the early 90s with Pulp Fiction and ushered in the era of the clean-scalped hero. 

And now look who we have: action heroes like Jason Statham, Vin Diesel, and none other than The Rock!  (Dwayne Johnson) 

There are, of course, several other handsome bald stars like Sean Connery, Patrick Stewart, Ben Kingsley, Samuel Jackson, Stanley Tucci, Woody Harrelson, Billy Zane, Taye Diggs, and myriad other household names. What it shows is embracing nature, and being comfortable in your own skin. A decided lack of insecurity in an industry infamous for insecure people. 

The Helpful Solution to Hair Loss 

While shaving your head is certainly one way to go, not all of us have the luxury of being rich and famous. For the rest of us, we need a fix for maintaining our looks and confidence. Here’s where SMP INK has your solution. 

Some people may think that hair transplants can help them retrieve their full-head-of hair look, however, they are expensive and involve more medications and procedures. Let your scalp rest with scalp micropigmentation procedures with SMP INK. Our team has a long history of covering up injury scars, treating male pattern baldness and alopecia. Get a free consultation today! 

The Big Questions about Alopecia Areata

Alopecia, or the medical term for hair loss, comes in one of three forms. Alopecia Areata, Totalis, and Universalis. The names correlate to different severities of the disorder, meaning partial/patches of hair loss, total hair loss on the scalp, and complete body hair loss, respectively. The main symptom, hair falling out in small patches along the scalp, is a result of the body’s immune system attacking and killing hair follicles. Alopecia destroys the hair follicle and causes it to become brittle and break, which is why the hair falls out.

Alopecia Causes

This form of hair loss often occurs in people under the age of 30, at a rate of about 6.8 million people. Of those 6.8 million, about 20% of the same as a family member that’s also had the condition. Considering how infrequently it occurs to the population as a whole, this suggests that heredity influences its onset.

Contrary to popular belief, stress isn’t scientifically proven to be a cause of alopecia areata. Stress may affect one’s health by weakening the immune system, but it’s more likely that excessive stress only triggers existing cases. Chemotherapy, while it does cause hair loss, causes alopecia totalis, not areata. Chemo drugs attack the fastest-growing cells in the body, and as such will cause hair on every part of the body to stop growing and eventually fall out.

Treatment for Alopecia

Alopecia areata is a condition that has a very rapid onset, and after the hair has fallen out, it may or may not grow back. There is no known cure for the disorder, but treatments are available to attempt to coax the body into regrowing your hair. Ask your dermatologist about your options.

The most common treatments for the disorder include:

  • Corticosteroids – A similar structure to the more well-known anabolic steroids. They’re used for their anti-inflammatory properties to treat autoimmune diseases like cancer or lupus.
  • Skin Immunotherapy –  A method of treatment involving injections into the scalp to trigger an immune response, which will try to ‘jump start’ the hair production again.
  • Rogaine – One of the most popular hair restoration drugs available is often used for pattern baldness. Treatment over four months may yield results, but satisfaction is not guaranteed.

Living with Alopecia Areata

For patients that have found that their alopecia waxes and wanes frequently or in cases where hair will not grow back, alternative methods to cover it up are standard. Headwear like hats or scarves are a quick fix, and many choose to don a wig. Many have found that it’s just easier to shave their entire head to level the playing field.

Many patients also take to a technique called Scalp Micropigmentation, which involves using special micro-sized needles with natural, long-lasting ink to fill in the gaps. It’s a comfortable and natural-looking solution that can help level back out your hair’s appearance. SMP INK’s technique and equipment can help you achieve an easy-to-maintain and attractive looking solution to help you look your best. Contact us today, and we can work with you to find an alopecia treatment that’s right for you!

Alopecia Scalp Scarring and How SMP INK Can Help

Scalp injuries are well-known for causing hair loss due to scarring. However, there are other ways your scalp can accumulate scar tissue. Alopecia disorders can cause permanent scalp scarring which, in turn, can lead to bald patches or complete loss of hair. Luckily, there are ways to understand these disorders and overcome their effects!

Signs of Scalp Scarring

Sometimes the signs of scalp scarring, also known as cicatricial alopecia, are not visible. However, in some cases, inflammatory cells cause itching, pain, burning and a rapid progression of hair loss. Other signs can be scaling, intense pigmentation and sometimes it can affect your sinuses.

Cases of scalp scarring alopecia have been found in all ages of men and women throughout the world. It’s important to keep track of the signs and symptoms you are seeing so that you can discuss them with your doctor. Once he knows of how your symptoms are progressing, he can ensure your therapy or treatment is right for you. Dermatologists will ask questions about how quickly your hair fell out and your body has been reacting to medications.

Causes of Cicatricial Alopecia

Unfortunately, this form of alopecia is one of the least understood forms. Researchers do know that what causes it is an inflammation of cells around the hair follicle, specifically the stem of the hair and the sebaceous gland. If the inflamed cells end up destroying this area, then it ruins that hair follicle from ever-growing new hair.

However, the diagnosis of cicatricial alopecia is very rare; only 3% of hair loss in the US stems from scalp scarring. Biopsies must be done in order to confirm the diagnosis so that it’s not mistaken for another form of skin disorder or illness. If it is not cicatricial alopecia and the illness has not caused permanent scarring, your hair can grow back.

Different Forms of Scalp Scarring Alopecia

There are two ways that cicatricial alopecia can cause inflammation of the hair follicles.

Lymphocytes

When the lymphatic system is the source of inflammation of the stem cells at the base of your hair, it is called lichen planopilaris. Sometimes this can mean your alopecia is the symptom of immune disease. This causes small lesions at the base of the hair, giving your scalp a red textured feel. Once the follicle has been destroyed the skin will smooth out but no hair will grow back.

Neutrophils

When white blood cells cause inflammation, it is considered neutrophilic. A common neutrophilic inflammation is folliculitis decalvans also known as tufted folliculitis. This also causes a form of lesions around the base of the hair and in its oil glands. When the white blood cells have caused the irritation, you are able to see how many hairs are coming out of the follicle, which is how it got its ‘tufted’ name. 

Both these are common types of alopecia that can be seen, however, scientists are still not sure exactly what causes it. There have also been cases where an infection has shifted from a neutrophilic process to a lymphocytic process as well and researchers are not sure why. In either case, we are slowly figuring out how to deal with hair loss once these disorders have stunted our hair growth.

The Helpful Solution to Hair Loss

Some people may think that hair transplants can help them get the hair back they’ve lost from these horrible disorders, however, they are expensive and involve more medications and procedures. Let your scalp rest with micropigmentation scar camouflage procedures with SMP INK. Our team has a long history of covering up injury scars and scars caused by alopecia. Get a free consultation today!

Female Pattern Baldness, How it Starts, and What to Do

Female pattern baldness (or androgenic alopecia) is not talked about as often as male pattern baldness but its effects are just as prominent, if not more so. Considering it affects about a third of all women at some point in their lives, it’s essential to understand the less-discussed impact on confidence and mental health.

Causes of Female Pattern Baldness

Generally, the average woman loses about 50-100 hairs a day naturally. That amount’s very normal and a part of your body’s upkeep. Losing more than that means that your body can’t replace the hair it’s losing fast enough. Luckily, many cases are temporary and reversible, but this isn’t always the case. Your health, age, diet, and current medications all have an impact on the matter. Genetic hair loss is the biggest causes of permanent hair loss, and as the name implies is carried down through generations. 

Effects on Mental State

It’s an understandable feeling – nobody wants to lose their hair, and the stigma around the onset is daunting. People tend to associate a lot of negative attributes with hair loss like old age and disease – despite how many more factors play into the issue. When hair starts coming out in the shower, in a hairbrush, or onto the pillow, the mental toll can be intense. It’s not uncommon to develop low self-esteem, depression, anxiety, and even reclusion from friends/family. What’s worse is that many people refuse to seek help when they notice the problem – deeming it unnecessary or vain. The thought that hair loss is just a natural part of life, or that it’s bound to happen someday, overshadows the reality that there are steps you can take now to fix it.

Solutions

As mentioned before, your overall health plays an important role in hair loss, and efforts should be made to reinforce that foundation. A good diet, exercise, and clearing out major stressors will alleviate a lot of the physical toll on your body. Sometimes, keratin or iron supplements are recommended to help the body get what it needs to keep the follicles healthy.

When it comes to permanent hair loss there are options available to keep you looking and feeling fantastic! Treatments with topical (minoxidil) or oral (spironolactone) medications are available, as well as hair transplant surgery, though they may prove to be prohibitive in health and cost. Talk to your doctor before considering these options.

Where We Can Help

For a fix that’s easy and effective, Scalp Micropigmentation for Women is an option that’s hard to beat! At SMP INK, we can offer consultation and procedures that will give you results you’ll be happy with, quickly. Take back your confidence and get back to looking your absolute best in as little as two or three sessions!

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