What’s the difference between scalp micropigmentation and microblading?
This is a great question, especially as recently I’ve had quite a few people coming in and asking me if I can microblade their scalp. Just a quick overview, scalp micropigmentation is for the head and microblading is for the eyebrows.
There are 3 big differences between scalp micropigmentation and microblading:
The tool used for microblading is called a microblade. This blade is inserted into the microblading handle and then used to create hair strokes in an eyebrow.
On SMP, the tool used is called a digital rotary tool. it has a membrane inside that prevents pigment from flowing back into the machine and it’s very fine and it’s also obviously digital. So it goes into the machine, the machine hooks into this little box that you see over my shoulder. This is what is going to make the tiny, little, circular hair follicle replications, it’s dots basically. And it’s gonna make thousands of these really really tiny, really really fine dots over the whole head and that’s what makes scalp micropigmentation.
Now, microblading makes lines, scalp micropigmentation makes dots. This is the most important distinction to remember especially when I talk about why you shouldn’t let somebody microblade your scalp. So, scalp micropigmentation is done with a machine that makes dots, microblading is done with a manual handle that makes lines.
When you do scalp micropigmentation, there are two types of pigments you can use. One of them is carbon-based. This is very common to use for scalp micropigmentation. They have started to use carbon-based pigments, which are similar to traditional tattoo pigments but they are actually adjusted so that they age correctly overtime in the scalp. Now, some people use carbon-based pigments and then some people use iron oxide-based pigments with a little bit of carbon as well and that really helps the overall age. But, the point of scalp micropigmentation is to age well with you.
Microblading fades much faster and then the pigments used for microblading are also different and usually don’t contain carbon the same way that scalp micropigmentation pigments do. So it’s very important to know the distinction between these two things because it will change the outcome of the color of the pigment when you implant it either in the eyebrows or the scalp.
Ok, so I kind of just spoke about this a little bit, but, fading. Microblading fades within 1 to 3 years. Scalp micropigmentation fades usually within 4-8 years. That is a very large difference and the reason for that is partly because of the technique used and then also partially because of the pigment used which I just explained. So you’re gonna have a different level of fading with microblading than you are gonna have with scalp micropigmentation. So that’s really important to think about as well because microblading doesn’t last nearly as long as scalp micropigmentation last.
Now the greatest thing about both of these techniques is that, if done correctly, they don’t fade unnaturally. So microblading will slowly fade true to color and scalp micropigmentation will fade the way it’s implanted in order to age with you. That’s very important and it’s actually a core part of the color theory that’s used in scalp micropigmentation.
The third factor is gonna be the technique. Microblading is used to make hair stroke lines. They’re very tiny, they look like paper cuts, that’s how small they are. Microblading makes lines, scalp micropigmentation makes dots. That’s the biggest difference between the two.
Alright, so this is kinda getting a little bit into the weeds but essentially and this may be more my opinion more than anything else, the goal of scalp micropigmentation is to replace a hairline or replace density where it already was in the hair. So the goal of scalp micropigmentation is to restore. The same way that you would restore a painting that’s in a museum because it was beautiful the way it was.
Now, with microblading, it can be used in this way, but, the way it is applied now, usually in the industry, it’s actually a form of creative expression for the artist. So, it’s very similar to going to a make-up artist. So, in a way that most microbladers do it, it is more a way for them to express their artistic vision for your face. Though it sometimes looks very natural, it’s more open to interpretation where a scalp micropigmentation is really to put you back the way you were. So, functionally, I think they have two different goals.
One is to create something beautiful, the other is to replace something beautiful.
So, two different goals while sometimes with eyebrow tattoo or microblading or other forms, some people do it in a way that’s restorative. That tends to be my angle, you know, let’s put back what was there before. But other microbladers, I would say probably most, do it in a way that’s more creative and that is not so much in line with your original brows.
Do not microblade your scalp!
So if you take nothing else away from this post, and I don’t speak out about things very often. Do not microblade your scalp, please, please please please don’t do that.
There are a lot of microbladers who are very smart business people but are not good scalp micropigmentation practitioners. So as they develop their microblading clients and scalp micropigmentation gains popularity, a lot of them are starting to microblade the scalp of their microblading clients, and oh my goodness, you would not believe what I see. Please, do not let anyone microblade your scalp. It is not a good idea, there should be no linework on the scalp, there is too much sebum, which is basically oil and grease that’s on your scalp, it heals horribly. Please do not let anyone do this to you.
Why you shouldn’t let anyone microblade your scalp?
So there’s something in tattoo called blow-out. That’s essentially when a line goes too deep and it gets all fuzzy and for whatever reason, it’s fine on the eyebrows, if you do microblading on your scalp it will not heal well, it is going to look—it’s gonna blend together, it’s gonna bleed together and honestly when that happens, it’s very difficult to control the color. Because what’s gonna happen is underneath your skin, it’s gonna spread out and so it may change color not because the pigment is changing color, but because it’s not placed evenly or clearly where it’s supposed to stay.
So you should not let anyone microblade your scalp If you have somebody who’s a really great microblader, if you have somebody who’s done your microblading and is really phenomenal at that, that’s great. But just because somebody can do your lip blush tattoo, your eyeliner tattoo, your freckle tattoo, your eyebrow tattoo, or your microblading does not mean that they can do scalp micropigmentation. Microblading your scalp and scalp micropigmentation is not the same thing. Please do not let anyone who’s a microblader do scalp micropigmentation unless they’re qualified to do so.
Alright, my rant over, I’ll probably make another post about this breaking down the way the pricing works and why it’s cheap and what you’re gonna have to do to reverse it if you already did it but please don’t do it. If you have any other questions, thoughts, feelings, comments, ideas, go ahead and drop those in the comments below. I would love to see them, I’d love to answer them as soon as I can.
If you’re considering microblading or scalp micropigmentation, please consider investing in one of my books first, it’s a couple of dollars, and it can save you hundreds of dollars worth of pain. Please do that, equip yourself with the information you need to make the right decision for your journey. It’s very important to be well-informed so that you can ask good questions about your practitioner. So go ahead, the links are below, go ahead check those out.
f you want to get in touch with me for a consultation, then fill out the contact form below. Let’s see what scalp micropigmentation can do for you!