When we experience hair loss, we naturally explore various options to fix it. Numerous hair loss “cures” are available, ranging from natural therapies to hair transplant surgeries.

Scalp micropigmentation (SMP) has become a popular treatment for balding men & women. It works by applying unique ink pigments to the scalp, giving the appearance of a full head of hair that has been shaved. Further, it helps balance out the shading by simulating the appearance of hair follicles, and is a long-lasting and less intrusive treatment.

Have you ever considered scalp micropigmentation (SMP) as an alternative to hair loss treatments? If so, you’re not alone. Many people are starting to explore the option of scalp micropigmentation – a process that uses tiny amounts of pigment to create the appearance of hair follicles. But is this type of tattooing right for you?

Let’s take a closer look at the similarities and differences between head tattoos and scalp micropigmentation.

1. Expertise and Experience

For the SMP treatment to look realistic, a professional must have years of experience in scalp micropigmentation. Skilled experts know how to properly blend the pigment so that the scalp doesn’t look too obvious. This requires a solid micro-pigmentation technique that only a highly trained scalp micropigmentation specialist can achieve.

In comparison, tattoo artists may have years of training and experience applying tattoos on skin surfaces – but they’re not experts at scalp artistry. It’s essential to consider the fact that scalp artistry (i.e., placement of pigments) can make or break an entire scalp project. Let’s face it, you want results, not regret. 

2. Ink pigment and formula

For scalp micropigmentation, there is a specific ink used. It’s designed to be applied on the scalp with the SMP ink mimicking the color and appearance of natural hair follicles. 

Natural chemicals are also included in the SMP ink to reduce irritation and the risk of redness and swelling following treatment.

In comparison, head tattoos can be riskier as they use ink not tested for scalp application. It’s hard to know how the scalp skin may react to the ink used for tattooing since it hasn’t been created for scalp skin specifically. If you have a history of sensitive skin or scalp conditions, this could pose a problem that leads to infection and even permanent scarring.

3. Aesthetics and placement

Scalp micropigmentation is a scalp artistry that can be customized to create a believable scalp appearance. It requires scalp shading and the placement of micro pigment injections to produce a natural look. A skilled scalp micropigmentation specialist uses tiny needles, individually loaded with ink, to inject little dots on the scalp for desired results.

In comparison, tattoos are permanent and fixed on the skin surface (without room for tweaking). You often see what you get. For some people, this is fine, but others may not like the result after it’s complete. Scalp tattooed areas cannot be moved around or adjusted once treatment has begun, while scalp micropigmentation treatments allow some customizing and creativity during scalp work.

4. Healing and risks associated

Scalp micropigmentation doesn’t involve any surgery, is not painful, and requires little to no downtime for recovery. Treatment does not typically take longer than two hours. In some cases, scalp micropigmentation can be completed within one hour or less. 

Afterwards, patients can return to their daily activities immediately without worrying about wearing bandages or hair coverings that are typically required after surgery. There may be redness following treatment depending on the areas being treated, but this will subside over time. There are also low risks of infection since scalp micropigmentation doesn’t involve scalp removal or cutting.

In comparison, the scalp tattoos are permanent. Everyone heals differently, but it typically takes several weeks to heal properly after treatment begins. Depending on the areas being treated, there is also a risk of scarring if proper care isn’t taken during the healing process. There are also higher risks of infection since scalp tattooing involves needles penetrating scalp skin- not scalp micropigmentation that uses tiny needle penetrations that do not penetrate too deep into scalp skin layers.

5. Needle size

Scalp micropigmentation uses 3-point microneedles. This allows the scalp pigmentation specialist to mimic each scalp hair follicle with even less noticeable strokes on the scalp’s surface.

Head tattooing, on the other hand, uses thicker ink needles ranging from 0.20 mm to 0.35mm in size. These large needles create thicker lines of pigment within the scalp skin by piercing through several layers of tissue to deposit color below the scalp’s surface layer. Slower application time is required for larger needle sizes. It’s common for clients receiving head tattoos to experience mild swelling immediately after treatment, which may take a few days to diminish.


If you’re considering scalp micropigmentation as an option to restore your hairline, it’s important to choose a clinic with the right level of skill and experience. Scalp Designs is the leading hair clinic that specializes in hairline tattoo in Boston. You are in good hands with us when it comes to SMP. 

Keep in mind however, that with scalp micropigmentation, not all treatments are created equal. Anyone with a tattoo gun can perform scalp tattoos, but the results will likely be disappointing.

To get the best possible results, seek out a professional-grade clinic like Scalp Designs. We have the experience and expertise to provide you with stunning hairline results that will make you look and feel your best. 

Don’t hesitate to call us today for a free consultation—we would love to hear from you.

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