Women may be associated as worrying more about their appearances, but being self-conscious about looks isn’t only applied to XX chromosomes. According to the American Hair Loss Association, two-thirds of men have thinning hair by the time they are 35, and 85 percent are thinning by 50 years old.
“Men care about this more than people know,” says Full Micropigmentation co-founder and CEO Joe Barghi, adding that currently there is little that can be done about it. “Hair transplant technology is snake oil,” he says. There are 150,000 hairs on the average human head; transplants add 2,000 to 3,000 hairs and can sometimes leave scars. Barghi’s micropigmentation business fills in bald spots with a needle and ink, leaving that shaved-stubble look that he says is guaranteed to work.
Marvin Furrow is a co-founder and master technician at Full. Having trained under the originators of micropigmentation, HIS Hair Clinic, which appeared in the early 2000s in the U.K., as well as with the other leaders in the industry, Furrow uses the smallest needle currently in existence, the Nano Needle, with an organic charcoal plum-based ink to tattoo thousands of tiny hair follicle–sized dots in the desired area. The coverage can range from small patches to the “Mr. Burns look” on the entire head. Prices range from $1,500 to around $6,000. Unlike the popular eyebrow microblading fad that creates feathered-looking brows for a year or so, micropigmentation can last 10 or more years depending on the person and aftercare.
Furrow uses one needle while other businesses use three at a time as a way to cut down on time. He says while the singular needle may take a bit longer, the quality is noticeable. He adds that due to his training he can complete a whole head in two to three sessions of around two to four hours each. He warns those looking into the treatment that “you get what you pay for.” Some tattoo shops and untrained artists have used the wrong ink or larger needles, resulting in an unnatural look.
Around 80 percent of Full Micropigmentation’s clientele are men, many of whom have transplant scars. But they also see women and clients with alopecia, an autoimmune disorder that causes hair loss; cancer; burns; and other diseases. For Barghi and Furrow, these treatments are the most rewarding and they do what they can to give back. Full Micropigmentation partners with the Andy Vargas Foundation and Scars Are Beautiful to offer free treatments to kids undergoing chemo and people with scars. For alopecia awareness month this September, they are requesting people send in their stories at email@example.com for the chance to be selected for a free full treatment.
Barghi says both he and Farrow are passionate about what they do, as they have both dealt with hair loss themselves. He loves seeing people’s natural reactions to their transformations and is grateful to be making a living helping others.