HOUSTON -

It's not a cream, a spray or a pill. There's a new solution for male hair loss, that's practically permanent.

You've heard of regular old tattoos and you've probably heard of tattoo-on makeup. That same technology is now being used to help men with baldness.

Michael Bellard went through cancer a couple years ago and lost his hair during chemo. His hair was never the same.

"It never grew back, so now I want to make it look natural," said Bellard.

Bellard said his hair is patchy and he wants to fix that.

"I do have a bald spot in the middle and both sides of my head," Bellard said.

Bellard used products to make his hair seem fuller but wants to be done with those.

"I won't have to wear the spray anymore or caps anymore," said Bellard. "I got to keep my hair covered. I just want to look natural like everyone else, fit in."

Bellard went to Connie Pearson, with Permetika in Upper Kirby. She's been doing tattoo makeup and hair for 12 years.

"The hair line is the most important part," said Pearson. "You want to make sure the introduction to the hairline is natural."

Pearson first used a medical-grade numbing cream on the head.

"I have a slight fear but I know it's going to look good, so I can overcome that fear," said Bellard.

Then, using a needle that's smaller than a traditional tattoo needle, Pearson carefully placed dots of ink across Bellard's head -- thousands of them so they look like hair follicles.

Pearson said this treatment isn't for everyone. It's best for men committed to wearing their hair very short.

"It should last anywhere from three to five years. It could last longer but I have to do it superficially so it doesn't blur out," said Pearson.

The first session takes seven to nine hours for the entire head. The next sessions require less time, which Bellard said is well spent. He's thrilled with the results and said it didn't hurt.

The cost for the process is between $2,000 to $2,500.