Fashion / Beauty

Are tattoos the new toupees?

By cat marshall, Tuesday Dec 13, 2016

David ‘Syd’ Lawrence is a man of many talents. The former England cricketer, award-winning bodybuilder and nightclub owner now tattoos stubble onto bald men’s head as a solution to hair loss.

The treatment is called scalp micropigmentation, which Lawrence underwent himself before becoming a qualified practitioner. 

“A lot of people are still not aware of it, it’s pretty new,” says Lawrence as he concentrates on the head in front of him within a small room on Hampton Lane off Cotham Hill.

“It’s the word tattoo that puts people off. But it’s less painful than a tattoo because it’s just dots of ink into the skull and doesn’t scrape across the skin. You also have to use specialist hair tattoo ink.”

Lawrence first discovered the treatment in a magazine. Happy with his sharp new hairline, he decided to learn how to give the treatment to others. 

Whereas a couple of salons offer micropigmentation alongside other treatments, he claims that his business, New Look Hair Loss, is unique in that it specialises in the treatment specifically. 

As unusual as it may seem, Lawrence’s aim is to boost the confidence of all the men that he sees. “When you lose your hairline you lose confidence,” he says.

“The first guy I treated always wore a hat because he was embarrassed, but now he doesn’t have to wear it anymore.”

The punter that David is working on agrees, although he refuses to give his name because of embarrassment.

“When you’re bald, you’d rather your head was duller and not shiny,” he says.

“It looks like you’ve got short, cropped hair so it blends in with the rest of your hair and gets rid of that bald Phil Mitchell look.”

On close inspection, you can hardly tell where his real stubble ends and the tattoo starts. As he lies there he explains that he has to be careful not to let his remaining hair grow too much so that the whole thing blends together.

But he believes that this is a small price to get his hairline back: “It looks like you’ve shaved your head by choice instead of looking bald. To be told you look good for your age is all anyone wants.”

Lawrence is clearly excited about his latest career path and certain that as more people learn about the treatment, the remaining stigma around it will disappear.

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