All you need to know

Please do not hesitate to get in touch for more information on any aspect of our service. Or if you wish check out some of our most frequently asked questions below.


Scalp micropigmentation is a specialised form of medical tattooing. Using a very small needle microdots of pigment are added onto the scalp to replicate the look of real hair follicles. After thousands of these dots are added in a layering process a ‘stubble’ look is created realistically camouflaging baldness.
To create a seamless blend with existing hair follicles Scalp micropigmentation is perfect for bald individuals who choose to keep their remaining hair short. For individuals who have more hair but are experiencing thinning it can be used to give the appearance of added fullness (this is known as density scalp micropigmentation as the ink is added between the hair). Scalp micropigmentation can also be used around the hairline in individuals who are receding to add fullness. It can also be used to camouflage scars on the scalp or disguise hair transplant scarring.
The needle used during your treatment is tiny and goes just under the very surface of the scalp. The majority of clients describe the whole process as relatively painless. Certain areas around the temples or hairline can be a little bit more sensitive in some people. Clients who have had regular body tattooing describe the sensation as much less painful and similar to a dull scratch or tweezing of the eyebrows. Pain killers can also be taken a few hours before if you are worried.
Although scalp micropigmentation is often referred to as a scalp tattoo the equipment, technique needles and ink used are completely different. Firstly the needle is much smaller. Body tattooing works by drawing lines on the skin and the ink is deposited into the deeper layer of the dermis. In this deeper layer of the skin, the ink can spread out more and change colour. It is also locked in place which is why body tattoos are permanent. In scalp micropigmentation dots of ink are deposited into the upper layer of the dermis where they are held in a compact shape and therefore cannot change colour. They are long lasting but not permanent and will lighten over time. Secondly, the pigment used in scalp micropigmentation is completely different to body tattooing ink and made up of more natural ingredients which is why allergic reactions are rare.
Yes! All shaved hair follicles are various shades of grey anyway. What this means is simply a lighter shade of pigment will be chosen to match perfectly with your existing lighter hair. The finished look will be more subtle and more like a shadow on the scalp which is exactly what it would be if it was real grey short hair.
Not one bit. The ink placed onto your scalp does not disturb or affect existing hair follicles in any way.
Each treatment takes 3-4 sessions to complete. In session one, dots of ink are applied to the entire balding area and your brand new hairline is inked in place. The dots are spaced a bit further apart and the lightest shade of ink is chosen to blend with your existing hair. This session is what is called a template session and it is a chance for your artist to see how your scalp takes the ink and your skin type. After a week of healing your second session can take place and it is now that the layering process begins. The dots are brought closer together, a darker ink shade can be used and your hairline may be lowered and feathered. Sessions 3 and 4 are finishing sessions where stubborn areas are touched up and blending with your existing hair is perfected. Sessions 1 and 2 are the longest and take up to 3 hours normally.
You will be given full aftercare advice during the treatment process. To summarise short term aftercare is keeping your scalp dry/chemical free and for 3 days after each session. Light sweating if unavoidable is ok but any activity that causes intense sweating is not advised during this healing period. During your sessions and for one month after your last session you must be mindful of exposure to chlorine/sea salt and intense sun. After this period long term aftercare is simple – protect your treatment with a high SPF when in hot sun and regularly moisturise your scalp.
When performed by an experienced artist and with high quality equipment the look of scalp micropigmentation is natural and subtle. Comments you may get are ‘I didn’t realise you could grow your hair’. Because your treatment is done over 3-4 sessions and built up gradually the depth and density of colour can be adjusted.
Redness will occur after each session, yes. This is completely normal and subsides within 24-48 hours. An anti-redness spray is added after your treatment however you may wish to wear a hat if you can for work.
With good SPF protection when in hot sun your treatment will last a minimum of 2 years before gradually starting to lighten. Everyone is different and some people wait 4/5 years before feeling the need for a refresh session. Others like their SMP to always look crisp and choose to have regular refresh sessions every 2 years. A refresh session is one single session and a third of the price of your original treatment.
Top up/refresh sessions with Hairline Back are one full session where the entire area that was previously treated is covered with a slightly darker ink shade to make your treatment look crisp and as good as freshly done again. It does not matter if your initial SMP was performed by Hairline Back or another provider. If performed with Hairline Back the price is roughly a third of the original cost. Depending on the level of fade with another provider the session may be slightly more. Sending clear photos to Hairline Back is the best way to get an accurate price estimate.
Don’t worry. Hairline Back will discuss with you at length on your first session the best hairline style for you. When doing this your age, ethnicity and face shape is considered. In general, your new hairline should be as natural looking as possible whilst complementing your face shape. For most people simply raising your eyebrows will give an indication as to where your original hairline was. Generally, people in their forties/fifties/sixties suit a more gradually receded look whereas individuals in their twenties/thirties can go a little straighter. Looking back at old photos when you had hair can also be useful!
There are various ways to get in touch. You can do it via the contact form at the bottom of the page or directly by phone or Whatsapp (see contact us page for details). The first step is to send over a few clear pictures of your current hair loss situation and from this. The best type of treatment can be advised and a price estimate given. Alternatively, you can get in touch for a no obligations chat about any details of the scalp micropigmentation with hairline Back with no pressure whatsoever to book. Face to face consultations or via video-link can also be arranged. After your initial consultation if you are happy and want to precede a £50 deposit is required to secure your slots.
Firstly the ink/pigment used by Hairline Back is one of the best on the market. Unlike regular tattoo ink the ingredients are predominantly plant based and not at all harsh this is why allergic reactions are rarely reported. If however, you are concerned a patch test can be arranged 24-48 hours before your first session.
Absolutely! Female pattern baldness is common and can be age related or simply hormonal. Scalp micropigmentation has amazing results when used in between thinning hair giving extra density and fullness. See our female hair loss gallery.
Your hair will be trimmed in house to the desired length for the best scalp micropigmentation blending. You and Kate (your SMP artist) will discuss what hairline is best suited for you and this will be pencilled in place. When you are both happy the treatment will begin. Usually the crown of the scalp is worked on first so Kate can see how your skin takes the ink shade chosen. The mid-section is inked in and finally the hairline and front sections of the scalp are worked on. You will be fully briefed on how to care for your treatment before you leave. Breaks can be taken if needed.
Hairline Back uses the best equipment/ink and needles in the SMP industry and your treatment will be done from the privacy of our lovely Barnsley based clinic. Hairline Back was established in 2018 by Kate McBride. In terms of Kate’s professional background, she was originally trained by the prestigious Brandwood Clinic and holds the level 4 qualification in scalp micropigmentation (the highest and only government recognised qualification in the industry). She has since completed specialist master classes with SMP GURU Matthew at Superior Scalps in London and leading SMP Trainor Emma Furlong with Finishing touches Ltd. Kate also has over 10 years’ experience in the medical setting working as a cardiac physiologist and holds BSc with Hons in Biology and clinical physiology. Personally, Kate prides herself on treating every client as an individual and her friendly, down to earth and approachable nature means you will feel instantly at ease and thoroughly looked after during every step of the process. Unlike some of the larger SMP companies Hairline Back prides itself on being available any day of the week for its clients’ questions or concerns – your service is personal.
Yes there is onsite parking however this can get busy at weekends due to other businesses that also use the building. Additional parking is plentiful and close by. On booking your treatment you will get an information pack with details of parking and how to find us inside.
Minimum of 7 days of healing time is required.
During your sessions and ideally one month after your last session, your treatment needs to be completely covered when in the hot sun and from chlorine/sea salt. If you can be vigilant and wear a hat at all times and not expose the area to chlorine/sea salt then treatment is possible during this period however please discuss your holiday plans in detail with Kate. Alternatively, it may be best to start your sessions on your return.

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