Scalp Micro-Pigmentation 101: The Other Hair Loss Solution

Scalp Micro-Pigmentation 101: The Other Hair Loss Solution

Hairline lookin' a little patchy? We spoke with artist Shannon Liddell about what you should know before you go under the needle.

As we take you through the ins and outs of the cosmetic tattooing industry we've had a look at freckle tattoos and microblading. Now we are turning our attention to scalp micro-pigmentation. 


There are several reasons that getting older sucks. Your skin becomes less taught, your tattoos can begin to fade from sun exposure, and everything generally starts going a bit more southward, if you catch our drift. Luckily, we live in a day and age where youthful skin, hair, and nearly every cosmetic makeup procedure you could possibly want is as readily available as picking up a Marlin 336XLR rifle from your local Wal-Mart.


The newest semi-permanent cosmetic procedure is one that’ll have more than a few dudes scratching their head — scalp micro-pigmentation. Yes, you read that right. Scalp micro-pigmentation is officially a thing, and whether you’re lookin’ a little patchy on the top of your head or in the scruff of your new five o’clock shadow, we’ve done a little research to help you in your quest to becoming the brooding babe you always knew you could be. We sat down with artist Shannon Liddell to find out a bit more about what’s in store for your noggin.

Tattoodo: What exactly is scalp pigmentation?

Liddell: Scalp micro-pigmentation (SMP) is a hair loss solution. It is tattooing tiny impressions onto the scalp that give the appearance of hair follicles. It’s is a great solution for men who are losing their hair and want to have the shaved head look. It looks like they’ve shaved their head because they want to, and not because they HAD to. SMP is also great for ladies with thinning hair as it can add density to make the hair appear much thicker. It can also be used to fill in repair scars and bald spots within the hairline.

How do you define a hairline in a client who has lost most, if not all of their hair?

I work with the client to establish where their hairline should be, and where it will look most natural. It’s very important to make it age appropriate and suit the individual. A middle aged man doesn’t have the same hairline as an 18-year-old kid, and you have to allow for that to make it perfectly natural. It’s one area that the artistry really comes into play.


Could this procedure technically be used on facial hair, too? If so, what would the results be like?

Yes. It can and has been used for facial hair for people that like to keep a little stubble and just have a patch missing. It blends in perfectly!

What does aftercare look like? Is it similar to freckle pigmentation aftercare?

Yes, aftercare is quite similar to freckle pigmentation. It’s very minimal. Basically keeping the area clean and dry. There may be some redness in the 12 hours after the procedure but apart from that it’s business as usual. Clients just need to be gentle with the area for the first few days as they would with a regular tattoo.


Does scalp pigmentation require an initial touch up after a month or so, similar to freckles or eyebrows?

SMP is performed over three visits spaced around two weeks apart. This is great because it allows for better healing, and for me to see how the procedure is healing throughout the process. I can make adjustments to shade and depth as we go and get it really dialed in for the absolute best results. It’s also great for clients as the hair comes back gradually over a month rather than just going 0-100 in a few days.

How long does the pigmentation last for? Will wearing sunscreen and staying out of direct sunlight prolong the life of the pigment?

Scalp micro-pigmentation is still considered “temporary,” although clients can expect SMP to last around five years before they need to come in for a refresher. As with any tattoo, staying out of the sun and looking after your skin will help prolong the life of the work.


Is there anything else clients should take into consideration before booking scalp micro pigmentation?

The number one thing clients need to consider is their artist. Ask to see photos of their actual work, not the work of the company they work for. It’s important to find an artist that truly cares about the results rather than just making money. Pigments and needles are also a very important part of the procedure. As with anything, knowledge is power! Before I book anyone in I always have them come in for a consult, so they know everything about the procedure and can ask a lot of questions. It’s important that people feel comfortable with both the procedure and the person doing it. SMP really is an amazing solution to hair loss!


You can book an appointment with Liddell here, or check out the rest of his work via Instagram. As always, be sure to check back for more on the latest in cosmetic tattoos.

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