Does scalp micropigmentation hurt?
“Will it hurt when I get SMP?”
“I’ve never had a tattoo before and I’m concerned about the pain. Does SMP Hurt?”
A lot of people ask me this question! And I’m always happy to tell them that the answer is NO!
Most of my clients expect that getting scalp micropigmentation would be painful. Especially, when you consider that scalp micropigmentation is technically a tattoo.
You may think it sounds extreme to tattoo your scalp, but most of my clients have never had a tattoo in their life. The one that they get on their scalp is the first one that they’ve ever had.
So, I do understand the apprehension and coming in being very concerned about the pain because if you’ve never had a tattoo before, you wouldn’t be sure what to expect.
Traditional tattoo pain vs. SMP discomfort
Traditional tattoo pain
The pain from traditional tattoo compared to the slight discomfort from SMP is really not comparative at all. If you were to get scalp micropigmentation and you used that as a way to estimate the pain of a regular tattoo and you went in and got a regular tattoo, it actually would be painful. Because scalp micropigmentation is so far away from traditional tattoo. They are hard to compare.
So, you may think that because you are getting your entire scalp tattooed it would be very uncomfortable. But the main factor in the discomfort of traditional tattoos is the length of time and the amount of contact. What I mean by that is the type of needle contact used in traditional tattoo.
In a traditional tattoo, you are going to find there’s more lines and more actual shading. Because of this there’s more needle contact as the needle has to be dragged across your skin.
Traditional tattoo lines are usually done with a really sharp, single needle. These needles are very uncomfortable. The same can be said for shading needles as it’s going to be a larger formation of needles. So, 13 needles, 22 needles. And it goes over the same patch of the same skin multiple times to lay down the correct amount of pigment. When you do that your skin gets raw and irritated.
Scalp micropigmentation discomfort
While SMP is a needle going into your skin, just like tattoo, the levels of pain are nowhere near each other.
The pain of the extra sharp needle and the shading is avoided with scalp micropigmentation. All we’re doing is creating a really shallow hair follicle replication tattoo and while we are creating many of them most people don’t feel any pain.
If you want to know more about the process of scalp micropigmentation, I go over all of that in: What is scalp micropigmentation?
It is worth mentioning that there is one spot that people experience a slight discomfort and that is the temples. The temples of your head are the most sensitive area that scalp micropigmentation is performed. So, if you are experiencing thinning on the sides of your scalp and are getting SMP done there, just remember that you may feel a little “burning” sensation as your practitioner does this area. That being said, it’s still not painful. Only slight discomfort.
Most of my clients just fall asleep.
As you can see, it’s difficult to relate the two because the techniques are so different. And because the techniques are so different the level of pain and discomfort is so different, as well.
I would say a tattoo is painful. I would say that scalp micropigmentation is not.
SMP doesn’t hurt
Part of the reason this question is asked so frequently is because most of clients don’t have tattoos. After talking with them about this and speaking with them, I find that a lot of their initial hesitation was actually their fear of pain because they never had other tattoos.
So, they didn’t know that it wasn’t going to be painful.
Sometimes, they say to me afterwards: “Oh! If I had known that it felt like this, I would’ve come in a lot earlier!”
If this is something that you’re considering for yourself, please don’t let fear of pain stop you because scalp micropigmentation doesn’t hurt.
If it’s something that you want to look into a little more, I do offer a patch test.
I will have you come in and I will sketch your entire hairline for you. We’ll go over your cares and concerns and I will actually do a small section of your scalp. So, you can see if it’s right for you.
You don’t have to take my word for it.
You can try it out!
I promise you SMP doesn’t hurt.
If you’re in Hawaii and you want to have this done, please let me know. I would be more than happy to do a patch test for you just so you can explore the subject and see if it’s a good fit for you. I always do one before a procedure because it helps people understand what the procedure feels like and I haven’t had one person not come back out of pain.
I hope this relieved some fears that you’ve had about scalp micropigmentation being painful.
The message that I want you to walk away with is that: scalp micropigmentation is for everyone!
If you want to get in touch with me for an in person consult, a virtual consult, or to ask where you can get SMP in your area, fill out the contact form below and I’ll get back to you!