Decoding SMP: More Than Just a Hair Tattoo

Decoding SMP: More Than Just a Hair Tattoo

Some people hear that scalp micro pigmentation uses a tattoo-like process and think they can go ask a tattooist for a hair tattoo. Learn about the difference.

When you hear people say “hair tattoo”, most of the time they actually mean scalp micropigmentation.

In the past, these two practices were very similar. But today, they have clear and distinct differences. Hardly anyone gets a true “hair tattoo” at this point.

So what’s scalp micropigmentation then?

We’ve put together a quick guide to help you understand the differences between SMP and regular tattoos. Keep reading below.

What Is Scalp Micropigmentation?

Scalp micropigmentation, or SMP, is the process of injecting pigment into a person’s scalp.

This hair restoration treatment can achieve a few different looks. It can give a bald head a shaven, rather than shiny, appearance. It can also make thinning hair seem full again.

An SMP procedure is an intricate process, but because it’s tailored to your unique skin type and hair color, it comes with a guaranteed result.

What’s the Difference Between Tattoos and Micropigmentation?

SMP treatment sounds like it’s the same thing as getting a “hair tattoo”, doesn’t it? Well, it’s a little more involved than that.

So what makes SMP different?

It comes down to three key factors: the ink, the needle, and the experience. We’ve taken a closer look at the importance of each one below.

The Ink

Most SMP studios custom-make their ink so it exactly matches your natural hair color, even if you have more than one shade on your head. The formula for SMP ink is also different from other types of tattoo ink.

This ink is designed to prevent spreading and fading. While regular tattoos begin to fade over time, the discoloration isn’t as dramatic for SMP.

The Needle

SMP needles are smaller and finer than traditional tattoo needles. This allows the needles to place ink into one pore at a time, creating the illusion of hair follicles. Because the smaller needles inject the ink at a shallower depth than tattoos, it also doesn’t hurt as much.

The Experience

The practitioners who administer your SMP procedure are trained in creating the appearance of natural hair growth. They understand that not every hair grows the direction or at the same rate. Because of this, they must take things like angle and depth of injection into account.

Why Not Just Get a Tattoo?

Tattoo artists don’t have the same type of experience as an SMP practitioner. While a tattoo artist might be able to tattoo “hair” on your head, it won’t look nearly as realistic as SMP treatment.

What to Expect from a Scalp Micropigmentation Procedure

SMP treatment consists of three separate visits.

Before you get started with the ink and needles, you’ll need to set up a consultation appointment. Here, an expert will guide you through the SMP process and help you decide what type of treatment is best for you.

After this, you’ll go through two different appointments so your practitioner can administer the SMP treatment effectively. They’ll start with a lighter shade and move onto a darker shade in the next visit.

Scalp Micropigmentation vs. a Hair Tattoo: Wrapping Up

Although SMP and a hair tattoo sound similar, they have a lot of distinct differences. SMP has specially trained practitioners that use custom ink to give the appearance of natural hair growth. If you’re looking for a hair restoration treatment, SMP’s the one you want.

Interested in trying SMP treatment for yourself? Don’t hesitate to reach out to us with any questions!