*This is a work of nonfiction based on actual events I witnessed firsthand; used with permission.
My boyfriend's hairline had receded by the time he turned twenty-six.
He got hair plugs. His hair restoration procedure was successful, but there was one problem. Having his hairline restored in the front did nothing to stop him from going bald in the center.
His hairline kept receding following his hair restoration procedure, but the line of hair that the doctor had implanted above his forehead stayed firmly in place. That left him with a sizeable bald spot on top that was only growing.
The doctor suggested additional hair restoration procedures to cover the new bald spot. However, my boyfriend was cheap, and the procedures were expensive.
He took to using greasy black eyeliner on his head to mask the baldness. It worked from a distance. Up close, he looked like a man with black grease smeared atop his head.
My boyfriend needed a more permanent solution. He dragged me into tattoo shops around the city, looking for someone who would tattoo realistic hairs on his bald spot.
The first few tattoo artists with whom we spoke declined. They said that they couldn't guarantee a realistic result. Tattooing hair on heads wasn't their specialty. The last shop we visited suggested researching cosmetic tattoos. He said that's what we wanted.
My boyfriend located a tattoo artist who specialized in just that.
She primarily tattooed eyebrows, eyeliner, and lip liner on people who wanted a permanent makeup solution, but she was happy to oblige by tattooing the missing hair on my boyfriend's head in order to make his hair seem fuller and thicker.
Spoiler alert: it didn't work.
I don't know whether the ink she used was too light to blend in with the surrounding hair or if something else went wrong. She said she wanted the results to be subtle, but I think she went a little too subtle.
The ink looked dark while she tattooed his head. It appeared it would make a vast difference, but it didn't. Once he got home and showered, the ink just disappeared. We thought perhaps we'd be able to see the "hairs" after the redness and swelling abated, but there was nothing there.
She hadn't finished tattooing the entire area, and he was supposed to go back for additional sessions until he felt satisfied. However, he never went back. He didn't feel it was worth the cost, considering he couldn't see a single strand of hair tattooed on his bald spot.
Given the lack of results, I think he made an excellent decision. Then again, maybe he gave up too soon.
We broke up seven years ago. So I don't know whether he made any additional attempts to conceal or correct his bald spot, and I don't care. However, I think he had an interesting idea when he decided to have the area covered in tattooed strands of hair. It may have been worth a second shot with darker ink or a different tattoo artist.