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Tattoo artist helping clients dealing with hair loss

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Posted at 10:08 AM, Dec 16, 2022

MILWAUKEE — MILWAUKEE, Wisco. (TMJ4) — A tattoo artist is using a unique technique to help those suffering from hair loss. It's called scalp micropigmentation (SMP). Basically, he's tattooing his client's scraps to make it appear as if they have hair.

The process can give a person the look of a fresh buzz cut or add volume where hair might be missing.

"We replicate the way your hair follicle looks at a short stubble look, or we use it to densify areas that might just need a little again more density," Alexander Viruet, the owner of SkalpX Milwaukee said.

Scalpx Milwaukee
Before and after two sessions of scalp micropigmentation for Justin Padilla.

Viruet has been a full-time SMP artist for the past six years. He experienced hair loss himself. After experimenting with SMP, he realized it was something that he should offer to others.

"It's really a big boost of confidence. A lot of guys come in here like, 'Man I’m hiding underneath the hat. Or I can’t really do nothing. I can’t step out just because I'm always having to wear a hat,'" he said.

Viruet said that SMP can be good for people with alopecia, to cover scars on someone's head, for men going through chemo or for those experiencing male patterned baldness.

SMP isn't as simple as making small dots on someone's head, Viruet said. He uses different inks and needles than a typical tattoo artist. Viruet must match the pigmentation of the person's skin and facial hair.

A close up view of Alexander Viruet doing scalp micropigmentation.

Justin Padilla has been in for two sessions. He said he's been told he looks younger and he feels more confident.

"Yeah, it actually does," he said.

In total, SMP can cost anywhere from $800 to $3,500, depending on how much work a client wants.

"I've done a lot of guys, over 100 guys have had hair transplants, the first thing they say is I wish I would have thought about this earlier," Viruet said.

This story was originally reported by James Groh on