A receding hairline is something a huge portion of the male population (and not an insignificant number of women!) are dealing with. It can be a major source of insecurity and people turn to all sorts of more or less effective methods of camouflaging it.
One of the undeniable effective solutions is a hairline tattoo – when it’s done well, that is. But what happens if you end up with a bad tattooed hairline? Are you stuck with it forever?
Fortunately, there’s no need to go full-on panic mode. There are several possible fixes. Let’s discuss how to handle a bad tattooed hairline.
What Makes a Bad Tattooed Hairline?
The most common reasons why clients ask for hairline tattoo correction or removal are blurry results, wrong positioning of the tattoo, and wrong shape of the hairline. Of course, it’s also possible you just don’t like your tattoo for no particular reason.
Here’s a rundown of bad tattooed hairlines.
The Marks Have Blurred
More common for hairline microblading, but also possible for scalp micropigmentation. Sometimes, pigment marks can spread outside of their original positioning due to poor implementation technique or skin oiliness, which makes the hairline tattoo look messy and unnatural.
The best option here is removal, but clever cover-up corrections can also improve the situation.
Image source: Instagram @raegan_skin_laser_smp
The Hairline Was Tattooed Too High Up
The easiest one to fix.
If your hairline was done with the SMP method, you’ll probably need 3+ sessions for the results to be finalized. If you’re between sessions and you realize your artist isn’t bringing the hairline down as much as you want it, just ask them to do so at your next session.
If you got all the sessions done and only then realize your hairline isn’t low enough, book an additional session and get it brought down. The potential problem here might be the inconsistency of color, as the previously implemented pigment dots may be lighter than the new ones, but an artist who has experience doing corrections will know how to blend everything in.
If you got your hairline microbladed, it’s possible your hairline can’t be brought down further. The strokes of hairline microblading should never be drawn too far out of the natural hairs, because they can look very artificial if there’s nothing for them to blend into.
Image source: Instagram @smp_queen
The Hairline Was Tattooed Too Low
A more complex situation, since it’s definitely easier to add pigment than it is to take it away.
This scenario too can be handled more easily if you realize something’s off halfway through your SMP series than after you’re done with all the sessions.
If you only got 1 or 2 sessions and you realize the dots go too far into your forehead, the first step is to see if emergency removal is possible (more on that below). If not, ask the artist not to add more pigment in those spots. There’s a high chance that marks that weren’t touched up will fade away after a few weeks or months. If they don’t, they’ll need further treatment to remove.
If you realize your badly tattooed hairline sits too low on your forehead after you’ve had all your sessions and pigments had the chance to settle, removal is your only option.
Image source: Instagram @torontoscalpmicro
The Shape of the Hairline As All Wrong
Your hairline tattoo can follow your natural hair growth pattern and just bring it down a notch, or it can be modified for a special effect.
Sometimes, clients want to experiment and get their hairline done in a more or less square shape. This can work out great if the artist knows how to adapt the shape to your features, but if it doesn’t, the look can turn out very artificial.
A badly-shaped tattooed hairline done with SMP can be camouflaged with a correction session, or you can get it modified with partial removal. Each case is different and it’s best to consult an artist who has a lot of experience doing SMP corrections.
The same goes for a microbladed hairline, but corrections are more tricky with this method and you risk making a bad citation even worse. Removal is a better option.
You Just Don’t Like the Look
Finally, if you can’t identify what exactly is wrong with your bad tattooed hairline but rather just dislike it, this too is a viable reason to do something about it.
But the thing is, whenever you make a big change to your look, it can take some time to get used to it. Perhaps your tattooed hairline is actually objectively great, but you just need some time to get used to it.
So, we advise giving it a few weeks before taking any actions – chances are it’ll grow on you.
How Can I Fix a Bad Tattooed Hairline?
Possible fixes to a bad tattooed hairline are corrections, emergency removal, and removal at some point down the line.
There’s also the option to just wait it out if your tattoo is bearable, since SMP is not permanent and it does fade over the years, and hairline microblading is notoriously short-lived.
As with any cosmetic tattoo, a bad hairline tattoo can be corrected by strategically adding more pigments.
It’s easiest to do corrections if you’re halfway through your SMP treatment series and the results haven’t been finalized yet, but it’s also possible after months or years after the initial pigment implementation.
Artists skilled at corrections can truly do wonders to bad tattooed hairlines. They can color correct dots which have changed shade, and use clever mark placement to modify the shade and height of the hairline.
Of course, if the area is so saturated in pigment dots that adding more pigment would just make the situation worse, corrections alone aren’t an option.
Hairline microblading is more problematic for corrections, primarily because not many artists do this treatment in the first place, so they probably aren’t very skilled at correcting the results. And plus, strokes of hairline microblading tend to blur a lot over time, so adding more of them into an already covered area increases the chance of everything turning out messy.
Image source: Instagram @thesmpcenter
If you get a hairline tattooing session and regret it immediately, you can get partial or total emergency removal within 48 hours.
Emergency removal is done with special solutions which are deposited into the freshly made punctures of incisions to extract the implemented pigments. Since the skin is already opened from the pigment implementation, there’s no need for the removal tech to open it further.
If, however, the skin starts closing up the incisions, emergency removal is no longer possible. Disrupting the skin recovery process causes excessive trauma and there’s a high chance of scarring. If you don’t react within 48 hours, you’ll have to wait for several weeks until the skin has recovered sufficiently.
There are several cosmetic tattoo removal methods which work great for bad tattooed hairline:
- Laser removal
- Saline removal
- Acid removal
Laser removal is the most common option for SMP removal, since it can treat a large area relatively quickly. The other 2 techniques can be used for SMP removal, but since they require opening up each and every puncture, they’re not really suitable for large areas.
Be aware that they all require multiple sessions with several weeks between them, so the removal process can get dragged out and pricey.
Image source: Instagram @torontoscalpmicro
Removal and correction are often combined to get the best possible results.
Just Waiting It Out
Finally, the most cost-effective, skin-friendly solution is to just be patient and wait out until the bad hairline tattoo fades away.
If you got hairline microblading, chances are your bad tattooed hairline will be gone within a year. But if you got SMP, the marks can potentially last over 5 years.
Now, waiting is only an option if the situation isn’t that bad, since it will take several years for the pigment marks to fade out and hopefully disappear altogether. If you absolutely hate your hairline tattoo, you should obviously do something about it.
But if you don’t mind it that much, you can save yourself money and energy and wait it out.
What you have to be aware of, though, is that sometimes the pigment doesn’t disappear entirely. If the treatment is done 100% right, using the best possible pigment formula, the dots will likely become almost invisible over time. But some people’s systems just can’t extract all of the pigment, and in those cases waiting is futile.
If your bad tattooed hairline is 5+ years old and it’s not significantly lighter yet, you might need to look into corrections or removal.
Image source: Instagram @internationalhairlines
Final Piece of Advice
If you find yourself with a bad tattooed hairline, chances are a poor choice of artist is to blame.
Learn from this experience and do some serious research before you decide who to trust with a correction or removal. Look for someone who has plenty of experience performing these services. If no such tech is available in your area, consider traveling – it’s worth it. You don’t want your botched job botched further!
Cover image source: Freepik