Scalp Micropigmentation

Scalp Micropigmentation

Get essential information about scalp micropigmentation for hair loss.

The Science

What Is Scalp Micropigmentation?

Scalp micropigmentation is a cosmetic procedure in which pigments are tattooed onto the scalp to create the appearance of hair. It can give the illusion of a full head of shaved hair.

It’s also useful to conceal thinning areas of longer hair by reducing the scalp/hair colour contrast.

For people who are satisfied with the permanently shaved look, it can be a good hair loss solution, and eradicate the need for hair loss drugs or daily scalp treatments.

What Does Scalp Micropigmentation Do?

A professional tattoo artist or dermatologist will use needles to inject ink into the skin of the scalp. The pigments used are matched to the colour of your natural hair.

Each tiny pigment of ink is placed to recreate the look of a hair follicle. This is quite time consuming and can take several hours to conceal extensive baldness.

Experienced scalp micropigmentation artists will use synthetic or iron oxide inks as these are the most durable and resistant to fading.

Scalp Micropigmentation Results

Patient satisfaction after receiving scalp micropigmentation largely depends on the skill and experience of the practitioner. At a good clinic, results can be very positive.

  • 80% of patients who underwent scalp micropigmentation for hair loss and scarring were very satisfied with their results.(1)
  • In addition, 100% of these patients would recommend the procedure to others with similar problems.(1)
  • A total of 80 patients who underwent scalp micropigmentation gave an average satisfaction score of 4.8 on a five point rating scale.(2)
  • SMP was performed in 30 patients with hair loss. There was ‘great patient satisfaction‘ after the procedure.(3)

To increase the chances of a good outcome, only select a clinic with a lot of reviews and a willingness to share the results of previous patients.

Can Scalp Micropigmentation Be Reversed?

Importantly in the event that a person is unhappy with the results of their scalp micropigmentation, the ink can be removed.

Studies show that laser removal of undesirable SMP can be achieved in 1-3 laser sessions.(4)

Weight Of Science

Most research on scalp micropigmentation has taken place since 2010. However, as the procedure is basically a form of tattooing, the potential risks are well known.

Side Effects

Side effects should be minimised at a professional, scalp micropigmentation clinic. Serious side effects are almost always a result of using poor quality inks and bad needle hygiene.

Most scalp micropigmentation procedures have minor side effects.

Infection & Disease

If needle sterilisation is not performed properly, there is a risk of infections or disease passing into the blood of the patient. However, this is rare.


Redness and swelling is a common occurrence after scalp micropigmentation. The scalp may feel tender but this should resolve within a week or so.

Allergic Reaction

It’s possible that a patient may have an allergy to the ink pigment that is used. With high-quality inks this is less likely to happen.

What Does It Cost?

The cost of scalp micropigmentation or scalp tattooing can vary widely depending on a number of factors, including the extent of hair loss, the experience of the tattooist, and the clinic location.

Scalp micropigmentation tends to be more expensive than other types of tattooing, due to the training and equipment required.

Costs usually fall between £1500 and £3500.

It is essential to remember that the RISK OF COMPLICATIONS CAN BE MINIMISED by choosing a tattoo artist with a good reputation and years of experience. Don’t be guided by the cheapest price!

Are There Alternatives To Scalp Micropigmentation?

The obvious alternative is a hair transplant. Nowadays, with the FUE technique, the results can be excellent and scarring almost invisible. Transplanted hairs will be resistant to androgenetic alopecia and should last a lifetime.

Drug treatments such as finasteride and minoxidil must be used daily to have an impact. Both can reduce hair loss and may even help to regrow hair. However, they also have some undesirable side effects.

Scalp microneedling is performed once per month and has been shown to regrow hair. So it’s another option to consider. The long term effects of this are unknown.

The beauty of scalp micropigmentation though is that it’s a permanent technique. Colour touch ups may be needed but there is no need for daily hair loss rituals or commitments to medications.

Our full list of proven, science based treatments to combat hair loss can be found here.