Hollywood's Bizarre War Against Baldness Involves Scalp Tattoos


It’s well established that Hollywood’s all-consuming obsession with having the smooth and wrinkle-free skin of an infant or young child, the luscious pelt of an young otter, and the calculating, bitter heart of a sea witch has birthed scores of bizarre cosmetic surgery procedures. It basically goes without saying that this is a non-gender-specific thing. Everyone who’s anyone wants to consume the blood of the young — hopefully metaphorically —in order to stay fresh.

Case in point: this recent article in the Hollywood Reporter details the various strange practices that important actors, agents, and other occupations represented on the television show Entourage partake in to maintain their youthful appearance. According to a nameless television and film director, “In the ’70s, it was about having a tan. Now, looking better than your age is the new version of being tan, and part of it is having a full head of hair.” (Sorry, Tollund Man.)

Having a lot of hair matters! Fortunately for those men who don’t have the time to wait for a Rogaine-like “scalp fertilizer” to gradually work its magic, there are a few alternative options that function as immediate fixes — like NeoGraft surgery, in which “hairs are removed from the back or side of the scalp using a handheld vacuum with gentle suction” and then “placed carefully into thinning areas by a device that gently punches them back into the scalp.”

Doctors can suck your hair out of your scalp and then put it back into your scalp in another place. Is this too close to playing God? Is the hair-vacuum an act of unbelievable hubris? There’s a chance it might be. One specific type of NeoGraft surgery, which involves relocating hair from your leg to your hairline, is definitely edging into the territory of “playing with forces that should not be trifled with.”

Perhaps even stranger than the hair vacuum, though, is the Scalp Tattoo. According to the Hollywood Reporter:

Accessorizing a shaved scalp quickly is becoming all the rage for the bald and bold. At the New Hair Institute, technicians artfully create tiny tattooed dots all over the scalp to give the appearance of stubble or a cropped buzz cut. [Hair stylist Jae] Pak says the most commonly requested scalp shapes among male clients are those of Vin Diesel and Jamie Foxx. While patients undergo multiple tattoo treatments for $3,000 to $10,000 a session, the Hollywood inspiration is free of charge.

Somewhere in America, there is at least one man walking around with a $10,000 homage to Vin Diesel’s head-stubble permanently etched into his skull. Please spend a moment pondering that.

“Leg Hair Transplants and Scalp Tattoos: How Hollywood’s A-List Fights Baldness” [Hollywood Reporter]
Image via Getty.

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