Hairline Tattoo – Cosmetic Tattooing Options for a Receding Hairline

By Emily M.| Last updated on July 14, 2022
Hairline Tattoo - Cosmetic Tattooing Options for a Receding Hairline
⏱️ 5 min read

A receding hairline is something many people face. It can affect people of all ages, both men and women. And while some types of hair loss may be temporary or can be disguised with a clever haircut, options for camouflaging a receding hairline used to be few, and even those were quite ineffective.

Until cosmetic tattooing became a thing!

A hairline tattoo is basically the only practical and fail-proof method of fixing this source of insecurity. It comes in 2 versions and it can be adapted to solve anyone’s hair loss troubles. Let’s look into the cosmetic tattoo treatments used to bring the hairline back down: scalp micropigmentation and hairline microblading.

How Does a Hairline Tattoo Work?

A hairline tattoo is a form of cosmetic tattooing – a type of tattoo done on the forehead, temples and scalp to recreate the look of hair. It can camouflage hair loss very successfully, and it works for many balding patterns, including the receding hairline.

These treatments are not like traditional, body art tattooing, though. They are much more advanced:

  • They’re done with non-invasive micropigmentation tools (permanent makeup machine or a thin manual blade), not tattoo guns
  • They’re done with permanent makeup pigments, not tattoo inks
  • As a result of these 2 factors, they don’t last forever and they look much more natural than just doing a traditional tattoo on your head.

The techniques used for creating a hairline tattoo were designed to mimic the look of natural hair as much as possible. They give immediate results and they are guaranteed to work (unlike many other hair loss treatment options). When done right, they look indistinguishable from actual hair.

They are totally customizable, so they can work for anyone, regardless of their haircut, hair color, or severity of hair loss.

How Does a Hairline Tattoo Work?Image source: Instagram @broscalp

What Types of Hairline Tattoo Are Available?

There are 2 techniques that can be used for a hairline tattoo:

  • Scalp Micropigmentation
  • Hairline Microblading.

Let’s go through each technique and give you the basic info.

Scalp Micropigmentation

Scalp micropigmentation, or SMP, is a form of cosmetic tattooing with a machine. An electric handpiece that ends in a thin needle is used to make tiny dots on the skin and deposit pigments into them, which, when healed, look freshly shaved.

Basically, it gives a buzz-cut look.

Since the dots look like hair follicles that are just emerging from the skin, this technique is most suitable for creating a hairline tattoo on clients who wear their hair short. The dots are blended into the edge of the actual hair, and can extend towards the face, following the ideal hairline for your features.

Find more information on scalp micropigmentation here.

What Types of Hairline Tattoo Are Available?Image source: Instagram @nocapsmp

Who Is SMP Suitable For?

When used for a hairline tattoo, scalp micropigmentation is suitable for clients who wear their hair short.

It can also work to re-densify the hairline on longer hair, but the dots can’t go outside of the actual hair too much.

You can find examples of SMP here.

Can Scalp Micropigmentation Be Done in Any Color?

Whatever your natural hair color is, the dots of SMP are always made in an ashy, grayish color that can be a bit lighter for blonde clients, or a bit darker for dark-haired clients.

This is because all hair looks grayish at the stage of just emerging from the skin. So you don’t have to worry about matching the color of the pigment to your remaining hair. You just have to commit to wearing your hair short enough to not reveal the fact that your hairline is actually a hairline tattoo.

How Long Do the Results Last?

The results of SMP last 4-8 years for most clients.

As we said, cosmetic tattooing is done in such a way that allows it to fade. The body can break down the pigments and they gradually fade. You can replenish the color any time you want, or just let the results fade away if you decide you don’t want your hairline tattoo anymore.

How Much Does It Cost?

The price of SMP depends primarily on the amount of work done, i.e. how large an area you want covered with dots. Most artists set the price according to this, so we can’t really give you a straight answer. It’s best to book consults with an artist and let them assess your situation.

We can give you the ballpoint price, though – around $2000.

Hairline Microblading

Microblading is a method of cosmetic tattooing primarily used for eyebrows by drawing on extra hair strokes on the skin. In the past few years, though, it’s been used more and more often to re-densify the hairline.

A receding hairline can be brought down by drawing on strokes that start at some point below the existing hairline, and extend into the actual hairs.

Hairline microblading is done by dragging a thin manual blade through the skin on the edges of the forehead and the temples to recreate hair strands.

Find more information on hairline microblading here.

Hairline Microblading - A Method Of Cosmetic TattooingImage source: Instagram @yumi_pmu_artist

Who Is Hairline Microblading Suitable For?

Hairline microblading is suitable for clients who wear their hair longer, since the results look like hair strands. If you get hairline microblading, you can’t really shave your head as long as the results are visible.

Can Hairline Microblading Be Done in Any Color?

Since the results are lines, the strokes are filled with a pigment in the same color as your actual hair.

How Long Do the Results Last?

Due to the nature of the application, this form of hairline tattoo fades out faster than SMP. Hairline microblading lasts about 1 year.


Hairline microblading is considered a somewhat controversial treatment. When long strokes are made on the skin, there’s a high chance of pigments bleeding out of their initial channels and the strokes blurring. Combined with the natural oiliness of the scalp, the strokes are very likely to start blurring together after some time.

All About Hairline Tattoo ResultsImage source: Instagram @hairline.rescue

So, Which Hairline Tattoo Method Is Better?

This depends on your needs and expectations. If you’re willing to wear your hair short(er), scalp micropigmentation is the way to go. It lasts longer, and if it’s done right, it’ll look great throughout its lifespan. If your hair is longer, hairline microblading will look more natural, but make sure you find a skilled artist who has experience microblading the hairline, and not just a brow artist willing to experiment.

Cover image source: Freepik



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