Is SMP a Tattoo?
Scalp micropigmentation while different from traditional in ways I’m about to explain, is absolutely a tattoo. I feel it’s very important when discussing this to let folks know, especially prospective clients who may be considering it that scalp micropigmentation is a tattoo. That’s part of the benefit of scalp micropigmentation itself. It is a tattoo so, it’s going to be something that you will be able to have in your skin for years. It’s very long-lasting and it ages very well. So that’s something that is one of the biggest benefits of scalp micropigmentation.
It’s not something that’s temporary that has to have continued use the way the other hair loss solutions do…
So with topic, you’re gonna have to be applying that every day with topical hair loss drugs like minoxidil or finasteride you’re going to have to be applying them every day and they do smells. That’s one of those negative side effects. The thing about hair transplant is that you’re going to have to do a lot of maintenance. Usually, folks don’t get just one hair transplant. You have to get multiples and you have to do it in stages. It’s very expensive, there’s a lot of recovery time and it doesn’t have the benefits of being as low-maintenance as a tattoo-like scalp micropigmentation.
What are the differences between traditional tattoo and scalp micropigmentation?
- Method of Application
So when we were doing scalp micropigmentation, you use a technique that is much more shallow and much more precise than traditional tattoo. There is less needle contact and less pressure applied to the scalp in order to prevent something called blowout which is where the ink spread underneath the skin after application.
The second difference are the tools of the trade which is going to be a digital rotary machine which is different from a tattoo coil machine used by traditional artists. My machine has a different computerized system that controls the speed, needle depth, and level of vibration. And then the needle, so the needle a single-use cartridge specifically designed for paramedical tattoo. It’s not the same as needles used by traditional tattoo artists because we are both trying to achieve different outcomes. One is to create a piece of art and one is to replicate something as closely as possible to the real thing.
The third thing is going to be the pigment. So I use an iron-oxide based pigment, while some scalp micropigmentation practitioners use carbon-based ink, even then, diluted and applied in the same way that I mentioned which is going to be a different application technique with different tools than traditional artists use. All of these differences combined together don’t change the fact that scalp micropigmentation is in fact a tattoo. It’s going to heal very similar to a tattoo and it’s not going to create hair, it’s going to create a tattoo illusion of hair. So that is important to know in this case but yes, it’s a tattoo.
Another difference between tattoo and scalp micropigmentation is the way it fades. Due to different pigments and different applications, scalp micropigmentation fades much more naturally than traditional tattoo. You’ve probably seen tattoos that oxidize over time and turn a little bit blue or a little bit green. With scalp micropigmentation, the application method and pigment mitigate this difference and it makes a huge impact.
SMP being a tattoo isn’t something that should scare you away
So for folks who didn’t know that scalp micropigmentation was a tattoo and just learned this after looking into it. It’s not something that should scare you away. A lot of clients when they come in for the first time for their consultation are very worried because they actually don’t have tattoos. The majority of my clients do not and so getting scalp micropigmentation is actually their first tattoo. That said, it wouldn’t be wise to get scalp micropigmentation and then believe you can go get a dire chest piece done. It’s not the same. It doesn’t hurt.
Does SMP hurt like a traditional tattoo?
Scalp micropigmentation is nowhere near as painful as a tattoo. In fact, scalp micropigmentation is not painful at all. Many people are surprised to hear this since the concept of a needle going into the skin and you would think that that would cause an amount of discomfort, but, that’s actually not the case. It’s so shallow and so repetitive that most people actually fall asleep within 5 to 20 minutes of their procedure and are out for the entire thing. So it’s very relaxing and it’s definitely nowhere near the level that any kind of traditional tattoo is, simply because of the technique. It’s very shallow and light and then there’s no pressure applied so needle contact is the main thing that causes the discomfort of traditional tattoo and that’s not present in scalp micropigmentation.
You’ll learn more about if SMP is painful in: Does Scalp Micropigmentation Hurt?
So if you don’t have any tattoos, don’t be put off by the fact that scalp micropigmentation is a tattoo. Because it’s not the same and it should not be something that scares you away from this as being a really good option for you specifically. It probably still is. The only thing that would make it a not good option for you would be skin conditions that would eliminate you from this procedure but the fact that it’s a tattoo itself should not be the factor that keeps you from getting scalp micropigmentation.