Life Style

The Hair Tattoo Procedure: What to Expect and What Are the Risks?

Have you been managing some embarrassing hair loss? Whether you’re fully bald or you’re just trying to fill in some of the spots that you feel insecure about, there are plenty of options for giving you that fuller look. 

One of the more popular options in 2020 is the hair tattoo (otherwise known as scalp micropigmentation). While it sounds like it would be obvious and tacky, this procedure actually gives a natural appearance of hair pigment and regrowth. 

Have you considered a hair loss tattoo solution for your situation? While anyone can get a hair tattoo, men (or anyone who likes the shaved head look) tend to pursue this more often, but it’s a good option to consider regardless of gender or presentation. 

Keep reading to learn all about what you can expect from a hair tattoo and what risks are involved during the process.

What the Procedure Does

Scalp micropigmentation is a tattoo that goes on the scalp that’s made to represent real hair. 

Tattoo artists or scalp micropigmentation experts assess your head and hair situation and use needles, tattoo machines, and ink to make small dots all over the head that look like new growth. With a good artist, the results can be very convincing. 

You can’t represent a full head of hair with this procedure. Remember, it’s just ink, but you will get the look of a freshly shaved head or a fuller hairline depending on what you’re looking for. It can also provide a good base for more hair to grow upon if you’re looking for some extra pigment in sparse areas.

It’s one of the more “instant” hair loss solutions and it’s gaining popularity for this reason.

The Process

Scalp micropigmentation is an easy enough process but it does require some time and prep work. Remember, it is a tattoo.

Different scalp micropigmentation shops (or tattoo shops, if they offer it) are going to have different processes to begin the procedure. Here are the basics.

The Consultation

It’s likely that you’ll first have a consultation with your scalp micropigmentation artist so they can assess your needs and learn about your hair color, skin color, and the shape of your desired hairline.

This allows the scalp micropigmentation artist to come up with a plan and ink color that’s going to work for you. The hair loss tattoo needs to look natural. If you don’t do some prep work with a trusted artist you may end up with a tattoo that looks, well, like a tattoo instead of like hair. 

The consultation isn’t just a time for the artist to learn about you, it’s also a time for you to learn about them. Does their portfolio look good? Do they seem confident in their work? Are they attentive to your needs and concerns? 

Always look at a portfolio first to make sure that this person suits your needs. Someone who’s never worked with a situation like yours may not be able to give you the results that you’re looking for. 

The Procedure Time

Once your artist is ready to begin, you’re going to be working with them through several sessions. Your scalp is big even if it doesn’t feel that way and you might need to tap out from time to time. 

The number of treatments you need is going to depend on how large the area being tattooed is. Some people only get small spaces where there’s mild to moderate hair loss, while others choose to cover their entire heads.

Even if you only get a small area covered, you will likely need multiple sessions to ensure longevity and proper layering of colors to make the “hair” look natural instead of like tiny dots of ink. 

You can expect a minimum of 3 initial sessions with 7 days minimum between each session. Each session will take about 5 hours to complete at most shops. 

There is some discomfort associated with scalp micropigmentation but it should be less than a standard tattoo. The needles are fine to give realistic results and that may result in a “softer” feel during the procedure. You may still encounter some soreness.


Scalp micropigmentation isn’t a cheap procedure but it is an effective one, so keep that in mind. You can expect to pay as little as $400 or upwards of $1,000. Again, this will depend on how much of your scalp you need coverage on.

These results are semi-permanent to permanent, so this is a reasonable cost. 

Results and Maintenance 

Results should look natural after any redness fades. You will, however, need to perform some aftercare to protect the longevity of your new “hair” as well as to keep yourself safe between sessions.

There should be no water or sweat on your heat for the first 4-5 days after the procedure. You should avoid wearing hats until the entire procedure is healed. For the foreseeable future, you should also be wearing sunscreen on your head, though this is recommended even without a tattoo. 

If you follow these instructions you should have a tattoo that lasts for many years, though you may need touchups from time to time. 


Scalp micropigmentation is safe. That being said, it’s still a tattoo. 

Improper aftercare can lead to discomfort, irritation, or even infection for unlucky clients. Aftercare is your responsibility so be sure to keep it up! 

You also run the risk of ink allergies. These are uncommon, but they can happen. It may be in your best interest to ask an artist to do a small line or dot of ink somewhere hidden on your body as a kind of “swatch test” to make sure that you don’t react to it.

Many scalp micropigmentation artists don’t go through formal training or apprenticeships. This also presents a risk and it’s another reason why it’s so important to choose your artist carefully. 

Is a Hair Tattoo In Your Future?

If you’re looking for hair loss solutions, a hair tattoo might be your best bet. It’s non-invasive, it doesn’t require any sticky creams or gels, and you get results as soon as you’re done with the procedure. What’s not to love?

If this sounds like the perfect solution for you, seek out a scalp micropigmentation artist today.

For more posts on beauty, style, and everything else you’re itching to know about, check out the rest of our site!

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