If you are bald, if you suffer from alopecia areata or some other form of hair loss, there are several methods to try to recover lost hair. From surgical methods, to pharmacological treatments, through purely aesthetic procedures (since hair loss is basically an aesthetic problem, not a pathological one). Among the aesthetic-cosmetic methods we must certainly include tricopigmentation.


Tricopigmentation is a micropigmentation technique created to faithfully reproduce the presence of hair optically on the scalp. It does not cure baldness but it is a purely aesthetic intervention. At a visual level, we will have many dots similar to shaved hair (about 0.5mm) that will cover the hairless area.

In fact, with a machine, similar to the tattoo artist’s, called a dermograph, the tricopigmentist technician introduces pigment into the superficial layer of the dermis. This pigment can be permanent and, in this case it remains forever on the patient’s scalp. We have permanent or semi-permanent tricopigmentation as well, when the ink is bioabsorbable by the skin and then disappears after a few months (temporary tricopigmentation). There are three situations in which this technique can be used.

Tricopigmentation shaved effect

Surely the most widespread, it serves to create a shaved effect on the patient’s head and can be used both to cover small areas of areata and for small, medium or generalized androgenetic alopecia. Even, this is a technique used to cover the entire head, when the alopecia is total. 

Tricopigmentation effect density or camouflage 

It is used to create a coverage effect on the skin in people with long or medium length hair. It is less used, since it is less natural and the person could have a worsening of the alopecia over time, which would make this procedure useless.

Tricopigmentation on scars

It is used to camouflage scars (mainly those caused by transplants in the nape area). It is an effective aesthetic tool to hide this ugly imperfection.


It is a question that many ask themselves when they hear about this method for the first time. As we said, it is a cosmetic solution, not a cure, so the hair will not grow back, but the hairless area will only be covered with dots similar to hair bulbs. It is an aesthetic solution for an aesthetic problem. However, there are limits and you should know them:

1) You will ONLY have very short hair

If you don’t like shaving, this method is not for you. In fact, its main application is to create a very short hair effect so, this solution is not suitable for those who want normal length hair.

2) Shiny effect… SHINING

Do you remember this horror movie from the eighties directed by the legendary Stanley Kubrick: SHINING?

The son, little Danny, demonstrates extrasensory abilities, called the shining, which lead him to have visions of the place’s dark past and future events. Well, in tricopigmentation, shining is not a faculty, but a problem. It is the reflection of hairless skin under lights, which makes tricopigmentation partly unnatural.

But this is still a solvable problem as there are some anti-shine creams on the market that every tripigmented person should use so that their skin looks opaque and natural… Here are some cheap ones

3) Importance of the technique, the machine, the pigments and the skin

There are some important variants for tricopigmentation to work well. The technician must have a lot of experience and artistic skills, the machinery must be good and adequate, the pigments must not swell or change color and the skin must be suitable because there are, unfortunately, a few that react badly to the pigment.

4) Pain and fear

I know that you are a person with a high pain threshold and without any fear of needles, but not everyone is like you. There are people who can feel intense pain when getting pigmentation and others who may even be afraid of the needle.

5 Attention to the cleanliness of machinery and diseases

Trichopigmentists are specialized technicians but many times you can see videos of tricopigmentation on the Internet in which the machines are not covered or even gloves are not used… beware of diseases.

Before proceeding with the operation ask to see the needle change, the glove change and cover the machinery, the chair and even the cable that connects the gun with the needle to the machinery… It may seem like an obsession, but it is very important to avoid bloodborne diseases, such as HIV or hepatitis.

6) From a certain age, in our opinion, this method is not the best option

The dotted shaved head looks good on young or middle-aged men but, in our opinion, it is less pretty and believable on older men. But it is simply an aesthetic taste.

7) For women it is fine, but not for all

Tricopigmentation is a good option for women, but always if they want a shaved effect. If, instead, they aspire to have hair that they had before, it is surely not the most appropriate method.

8) It is not good if you have blonde or white hair

In fact, if your sides are blonde or white, the shave would not be noticeable and there is no pigmentation that exactly reproduces the shaved effect with these colors.


It depends on several factors such as age, gender, what you want and the specific technician we are addressing. The advice is always the same and it is that before proceeding, analyze all the pros and cons. If you finally have decided to use this method, consult the works carried out and perhaps make an appointment without commitment to observe the technician and his laboratory in person.


Unfortunately, despite being a cosmetic method and fundamentally much less invasive than surgical transplantation, tricopigmentation also has contraindications. The main ones are related to localized allergy problems, skin rashes (often treatable in a few days), pain and swelling in the treated area. 

In the most serious and certainly rarest cases, it can cause an inflammation, called granulomas, and keloids that are then difficult to treat. But the biggest contraindication is undoubtedly poorly performed tricopigmentation, with impractical colors, overly large dots or an unnatural frontal design.

Unfortunately, as this procedure is new (it has only existed for about 10 or 15 years) there are many inexperienced technicians and many people have had very serious problems with really poorly done tricopigmentation, which forced the skin to be covered with hair… That’s why we recommend that you investigate before entrusting yourself to a tricopigmentist technician and start with a temporary non-permanent tricopigmentation.

But is tricopigmentation a tattoo or not?


They are two similar techniques but have three main differences, which we are going to explain you:

1) The pigment used in micropigmentation is different and is covered by a silicone layer that prevents its enlargement and color change.

2) The machine used by the tricopigmentist is different from that of the tattooist. It is called a dermograph and it has a different number of strokes, a thinner needle and penetrates less into the skin, since the pigment has to be inserted at a more superficial level of the skin.

3) The operator. The tattooist is an artist that reproduces drawings and creates a unique work each time. The tricopigmentist is specialized in creating a network of geometric and natural points, which implies that the artistic vein exists, but his task is more mechanical and professional.


If you are bald or affected by alopecia what is better, the tricopigmentation for hair or a hair prosthesis?

In our opinion, the hair prosthesis is a better option. In fact, its benefits are superior to those of pigmentation. It is possible to bring back the hair of the past in any length and color. If you are a woman we can also have beautiful long hair.

If you have blonde or gray hair, you don’t have to worry about the technician, having inflammation or other problems. If you are still not sure about what is the right solution to solve your baldness problem, think about hair prostheses or modern wigs. With them you can recover your old hair, play sports, swim… In conclusion, be yourself.

Xiufei Wu

Autora: Xiufei Wu

Xiufei Wu is an expert in hair restoration and has been working in this field for more than 20 years. She has an engineering degree from Qingdao University of Science and Technology with honors (1998). In the year 2000 he began working on the creation and commercialization of hair prostheses and wigs and then in 2005 he founded his personal company New lacecu wig co, which today has hundreds of companies (hairdressers and wig shops) among its clients and thousands of private customers. She today is considered one of the leading experts in China in the manufacture and marketing of hair prostheses and wigs.
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