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Tattooed Hair and Scalp Micropigmentation: What is the difference?

Although you’ll find that many people use the term “hair tattoo”, the actual practice is practically nonexistent today. Generally, when people say “hair tattoo”, they really mean scalp micropigmentation, even though the two terms should never be used interchangeably: they’ve become distinctly different things in recent years.

Scalp micropigmentation (SMP) has its roots in tattooing, to be sure, and at one point, clients who opted for the treatment were getting literal tattoos on their heads. The practices were virtually identical, down to the needle types and ink. A major difference between hair tattoos and other tattoos, however, has always boiled down to the experience of the technician performing the procedure. Hair tattoo artists, and still SMP technicians today, have hours upon hours more experience than their tattooing counterparts.

Another major difference between tattoos and SMP as we understand them today falls to the update in technology available. The process is vaguely similar, in that both professions use needles and ink to do their work, but that’s where the similarities stop. To begin, the needles used for SMP are much smaller than the needles used in tattooing. This helps to create the look of a tiny hair follicle, hurts less, and can help to prevent the spread of ink from the pore it was meant to be in. You’ll notice quite a bit of fade in a regular tattoo over time and, while many people do need touch-ups with SMP, it’s in no way as dramatic. Even the ink is different in SMP. The exact formula used is meant to prevent the spread of the ink further, and most studios custom-create their ink to perfectly match your particular hair color.

The biggest difference between tattooing and SMP, however, will always lie in the amount of care an individual will receive. SMP is done over a series of two to three sessions and is preceded by a consultation. You should never feel rushed and be wary of studios where you do not feel comfortable.

When looking into scalp micropigmentation, you should be confident that the process is actually SMP and not hair tattooing. Many people will use the terms interchangeably, but a reputable studio, such as Hairline Ink, will make the distinction clear every time. For results you can trust, please contact the technicians of Hairline Ink at (585) 250-0835 to set up a consultation.

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