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What’s the difference between scalp micropigmentation and a tattoo?

Although you’ll find that many people use the term “hair tattoo”, the actual practice is practically nonexistent today. 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, aside from the needle types and specialized ink, among other things. 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. 

If you suffer from hair loss or hair thinning, you might have tried every cream, medicine, or conditioner to no avail. Luckily, scalp micropigmentation is the number one method for efficient, long-lasting results. Though the procedure is often compared to getting a tattoo on your scalp, there are actually several key differences that make the process more permanent and specifically tailored to your needs.

  • More Experience is Necessary – 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 SMP technicians today, have thousands of hours of experience specifically pertaining to the highly advanced techniques required for SMP, as opposed to their tattooing counterparts who are solely trained in traditional tattooing methods. A tattoo artists could not apply our treatment; our technicians have extensive medical training to ensure that our procedure truly replicates 3D hair follicles. The team at Hairline Ink has spent thousands of hours perfecting our craft to provide consistent, lasting results every time.
  • New Technology – Another major difference between tattoos and SMP as we understand them today is 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. 
  • Our Special Pigment – Regular tattoo ink will not give the same results as our specially blended pigment. Before you undergo our procedure, we work with you to find the perfect hue that compliments your skin color, eyebrows, and facial hair. Furthermore, the pigment does not separate like traditional ink, meaning it will not discolor over time, even in direct sunlight. Ultimately, our pigment is longer lasting, making it a more reliable hair loss solution.
  • Our Procedure – Tattoo artists apply their ink to the middle layer of the dermis which can cause smudging and fading of colors. Our technique is performed using multiple, different shaped needles that are placed in the upper dermis to better replicate natural hair growth. Applying to the upper area prevents the pigmentation from spreading over time, unlike a tattoo that is highly sensitive to skin changes. Because the upper dermis is highly sensitive to scarring, body fat, and skin turgor, the technician must have a higher level of proficiency. The needles need to exactly compliment the patient’s specific needs, making our procedure more exact and therefore more rewarding. Through scalp micropigmentation, you are guaranteed a treatment that is tailored to you. 

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 or be wary of clinics where you do not feel comfortable. When looking into scalp micropigmentation, you should be confident that the process is actually SMP and not just hair tattooing. Many people will use the terms interchangeably, but a reputable company, such as Hairline Ink, will make the distinction clear every time. 

At Hairline Ink, we are dedicated to providing a permanent and guaranteed solution to the appearance of hair loss. We offer Scalp Micropigmentation in over 50 US cities. Call or text us today at 833-HAIR-INK (833-424-7465) to schedule an appointment, learn about our pricing, or get a free quote!

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