The Difference Between A Hair Tattoo And Body Tattoo


While it may seem as if body tattoo artists are the same are SMP practitioners, there is a big difference between the two. It is important to understand the differences to avoid making the wrong choice when it comes to hair treatment.


Tattooing is equally common amongst men and women, SMP is more popular among men with a bald head.


Over the years we’ve seen and heard many horror stories about poor SMP tattoos. This usually happens when a body tattoo artist applies a ‘hair tattoo’ with disastrous results. Some people do this because it is a cheaper option and they think they’ll get the same look. Unfortunately, you get what you pay for, which is why using highly-trained specialists is the only option you should take.


The top 6 differences between a hairline tattoo and a regular tattoo:


SMP hair tattoo and regular tattoo


1.Training and experience

Many body tattoo artists come from art backgrounds and work using freehand techniques. SMP practitioners undergo specific training to create realistic looking hair follicles on the scalp. A body tattoo artist will not be able to perform SMP and the reverse is also true. An understanding of hair loss, hairlines, hair density, and skin anatomy is also an essential requirement. Without this sort of background, the hair tattoo results will prove to be a disaster every time.


2. Size of the needle

This plays a big part in determining how a hair tattoo will look on the scalp. Recreating hair follicles requires the use of a much smaller needle. This means needles used for body tattoos are larger than those SMP practitioners would rely on. A 3-point microneedle along with a 3-steel needle system is used to ensure the best results. These have been specifically designed for micropigmentation. A body tattoo needle would be too large and look considerably different.


regular tattoo and hairline tattoo

3. Type of Pigment Used

Regular tattoo artists use tattoo inks that contain different-colored pigments. This allows them to create detailed drawings to match the tattoo design. With a hair tattoo, a specialized permanent pigment is used with black ink pigments only so that it will not fade or change color over time. Both types of tattoos have a low risk of an allergic reaction, however, if you are concerned about this you should request a patch test 48 hours before getting it done.


4. Pain threshold

Customers who have had both body tattoos and scalp micropigmentation always comment about the different levels of pain experienced. SMP involves a small pinprick due to the needle quickly going in and out of the skin to place the ink. This means there is far less pain experienced during the treatment. On the other hand, a body tattoo presses into the skin for a far longer period. This is because the designs are larger, creating lines across the skin which makes it far more painful.



5. Different purposes

Everyone has their reason for getting a body tattoo. It can be purely cosmetic, or it may have an emotional meaning attached to it. A hair tattoo is extremely practical and life-changing. The only reason for getting the treatment is to create a new, realistic-looking hairline on your scalp, like the example below. Not only does it mean you look fantastic, but you feel just as amazing too. This can give you back much-needed confidence and self-belief to go and enjoy life to full once more.




6. Care and attention

Body tattoo artists are expert professionals and skilled at what they do. However, the level of care given before, during and after tattoo treatment is far lower than hair SMP. With micropigmentation, you get a free consultation and expert advice before proceeding. It also takes 2-3 sessions to ensure we finish the hair tattoo to perfection. This is a service to help those experiencing hair loss which means customers should always feel safe and reassured about the procedure.

Treat hair loss with a hairline tattoo

Scalp micropigmentation treatment is a non-surgical hair loss solution. It creates the illusion of real hair by artistically placing ink pigments onto the scalp that replicate hair follicles. A cost-effective alternative to wearing a hairpiece, taking medicines, or transplant surgery, SMP has guaranteed results. 


If you are new to the idea, its best to arrange a free, no-obligation consultation to find out everything you need to know. Our experts can give you a personal quote and treatment plan to help you decide if its the right solution for you. See more before and after SMP results on our treatment gallery here.


before and after hair tattoo for hair loss



Skalp® has SMP clinics around the world. We have clinics in New York, Los Angeles, London, Manchester, Edinburgh, Dublin, Marbella, Milan, and Amsterdam.


Book an appointment for a complimentary consultation today


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