Former ambulance driver changing lives with hair loss tattoo treatment

Darren Herbert has set up his own scalp micropigmentation business

Darren Herbert has set up his own scalp micropigmentation business - Credit: Octoink SMP

A former ambulance driver in Suffolk is helping to transform the lives of people experiencing hair loss using a tattoo gun.

Darren Herbert, who worked as an ambulance driver for eight years while also running paddleboard and windsurfing businesses, made the career change earlier this year and hasn't looked back.

The former professional windsurfer set up his business, Octo Ink SMP, after experiencing his own battle with hair loss, having his confidence knocked when seeing his thinning hair in competition photos.

Darren after he received the treatment

Darren after he received the treatment - Credit: Octoink SMP

He soon felt reliant on his hat to give him confidence, before learning about scalp micropigmentation online and signing up for a training course.

A coursemate performed the procedure – which usually involves three separate treatments of tattooing on the scalp – on him after completing training, inspiring him to switch careers.


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He has now helped to give confidence back to men and women as young as their 20s experiencing hair loss – as well as one woman in her 70s living with alopecia.

One of Darren's clients was a woman in her 70s living with alopecia

One of Darren's clients was a woman in her 70s living with alopecia - Credit: Octoink SMP

Mr Herbert, 37, said: "I used to wear a hat everywhere I'd go – if I was out with friends and a doorman wouldn't let me in wearing a hat, I'd just go home.

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"Now I only pick up a hat if I'm going windsurfing and don't want to get sunburned. 

"I wanted to have experienced the treatment myself so I know what my clients can expect. It makes such a difference.

"People can spend years debating which avenue to go down when they experience hair loss, but my clients all tell me they wish they did it sooner."

Mr Herbert, who said he's always wanted to work jobs which help people, said seeing his client's reactions is his favourite part of the job.

The finished result after several sessions

The finished result after several sessions - Credit: Octoink SMP

He said: "It is crazy, really, as you know you are transforming people's lives. Instead of showing people the finished product with a mirror, I get my phone out and film their reactions.

"It is always so nice to see."

Mr Herbert is currently giving the treatments at a specialist hair loss studio in Swaffham, Norfolk, but is looking at expanding into Ipswich and Colchester.

Darren, from Woodbridge, carrying out the treatment

Darren, from Woodbridge, carrying out the treatment - Credit: Octoink SMP

More information can be found here.

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