Scalp micropigmentation (SMP) is a cosmetic procedure that involves depositing pigment into the scalp to replicate the appearance of hair follicles. While there is some overlap between SMP and traditional tattooing techniques, there are also some important differences that set them apart.
The first and most obvious difference is the location of the procedure. While tattoos can be placed anywhere on the body, SMP is specifically designed for the scalp. This means that the procedure is often more precise and focused than traditional tattooing.
Another key difference is the equipment used. SMP practitioners typically use a specialised scalp micropigmentation machine with micro needle cartridges that are designed to mimic the size and shape of a hair follicle. This machine creates a series of small dots that blend together to create the illusion of a full head of shaved hair. Traditional tattoo machines, on the other hand, use a single needle that is designed to create lines and shading.
The type of pigment used is also different between SMP and traditional tattooing. SMP pigments are typically carbon-based and specifically formulated so they can't change colour and they are designed to match the natural colour of the client's hair, while tattoo ink can come in a wide range of colours and often discolours once in the skin.
SMP pigments are also often designed to fade over time, allowing the practitioner to adjust the client's look as the colour of the clients hair changes over the years.
The techniques is different too. Pigment is deposited at half the depth of traditional tattoos so there typically isn't any bleeding or scarring with scalp micropigmentation where as traditional tattoos tend to scab as they heal.
Perhaps the most significant difference between SMP and tattooing, however, is the level of skill required to perform the procedure. While tattooing is certainly an art form that requires a high level of technical skill, SMP is an incredibly specialised field that requires a unique set of skills and training. Practitioners must be able to create the illusion of hair growth while also taking into account the client's natural hair pattern, skin tone, and other factors.
In conclusion, while there are certainly some similarities between SMP and traditional tattooing, there are also some important differences that set them apart. While both procedures involve the injection of pigment into the skin, the equipment, pigment, and level of skill required are all unique to the specific procedure.