Androgenetic alopecia (aka male pattern baldness) affects more than 3 million people each year in the United States alone. Zach from The Try Guys is one of them. “It’s taken me a long time to accept that I’m losing my hair, and then after that to figure out what do I want to do about it,” he says. “I tried creams, I tried supplements, I tried different haircuts… over time I found that even my best efforts weren’t enough to hide it.”
And while his girlfriend, friends, and the world at large don’t care, it’s something that still bothers him and affects his confidence. “Every single day I think about it, multiple times a day,” he says. “It’s so distracting, it’s so destructive, and it’s painful. It’s all I can think about sometimes.”
Over the summer, Zach underwent a procedure designed to help conceal his hair loss by essentially tattooing portions of his head, giving the appearance of having more hair (similar to microblading). It’s not permanent, the procedure uses a vegan body ink which the body eventually breaks down, so if Zach ever wanted to shave his head or dye his hair a different color, he wouldn’t end up with a load of unsightly black dots on his scalp.
The scalp camouflage took three sessions over the course of a month at Barber Surgeons Guild in West Hollywood, which offers treatments including hair regeneration therapy in a “speakeasy”-style barbershop environment. “Men just didn’t feel comfortable going to a hair loss center,” says founder Justin E. Rome. “It’s almost like admitting defeat, going to a place like that.”
Throughout each session, the dyed dots are applied a random pattern, as making the pattern too ordered would make it stand out more, which isn’t the objective. And thanks to a generous dose of nitrous oxide, Zach can’t really feel the pain. “It kinda just feels like a bumblebee is trying to give me kisses,” he says.
Following the scalp camouflage procedure, Zach feels happier and more confident about his hair than he ever has before, and finds the whole experience freeing. “My hair can be a part of my expression, it can be something I have fun with, or something I decide I don’t give a fuck about.”