Are Scalp Micropigmentation & Scalp Tattoos, Hair Tattoos, & SMP The Same?

By  //  November 24, 2022

Scalp Micropigmentation (SMP) has many names, including SMP, hair pigmentation, scalp tattoo, and hair tattoo. While they are all the same, there are some procedures that one may confuse with SMP.

These procedures include laser treatment, microblading, micro-needling, and standard tattoos. If one looks closer, one can find great differences between the procedures, and the highlights of why SMP is one of the best treatments for hair loss.

The blog describes the key difference between Scalp and micropigmentation. Tattoos, micro bleeding, micro-needling and laser treatment. 

Scalp Micropigmentation Vs Microneedling

Some may think that just because micro-needling involves needles and has the word “micro” in it, it may be similar to scalp micro pigmentation. However, that is not the case.

Microneedling (also called skin needling) uses a skin roller containing tiny needles on the surface to create small pricks on the skin. Unlike SMP, the process of micro-needling is used to treat various skin conditions, including wrinkles, acne scarring, enlarged pores, surgical scars, other scars, burns, and stretch marks.

One can undergo the procedure at a doctor’s clinic or at home. As per a recent study conducted by the International Journal of Trichology on the effect of micro-needling in androgenetic alopecia,  the use of micro-needling makes Rogaine (treatment for hair loss) more effective.

However, the overall efficacy of Rogaine varies from person to person and when one starts to use it.

Scalp Micropigmentation vs Laser Treatment

Similar to SMP, laser treatment hair is effective in treating hair loss. However, there are key differences in both hair loss procedures. The laser treatment procedure works by firing photons into scalp tissue to encourage weak cells to kick-start hair growth.

While the results of laser treatment are inconsistent, the procedure works for some people and not for others. Laser treatments for hair loss have numerous pros and cons.

Unlike scalp pigmentation, they are not so popular. The reasons are the following:

■ The procedure may be noninvasive & painless, 

■ They come with no side effects but work for some people, 

■ The procedure is time-consuming, 

■ The process is also expensive, & doesn’t work for all, 

■ The long-term effects of the procedure are yet to be studied.

Scalp Micropigmentation vs. A Tattoo

If one needs to perform an SMP procedure or a regular tattoo, one needs to be trained in both techniques; otherwise, one may not be able to switch between one type of procedure and another.

Wondering why? There are many reasons why. Firstly, SMP uses a specific type of equipment, and the scalp ink and its pigment are expressly created to avoid discoloring, similar to regular tattoo ink. 

Moreover, scalp micro pigmentation doesn’t penetrate as far into the skin as a regular tattoo.  SMP pigment expands differently in the skin. Lastly, the procedure of scalp micropigmentation is quite different from traditional tattoo procedures.

While scalp micro pigmentation uses pointillism or a dotting technique, traditional tattoos use a scraping method.

Many people opt for hair tattoos in Melbourne for hair loss. While hair tattoos wouldn’t treat hair loss, they work towards the appearance of it and help disguise bald spots or thinning hair.

However, hair tattoos are not a permanent solution to hair loss as they do not prevent balding or help regenerate hair growth. For more permanent solutions, one may choose minoxidil, finasteride or other hair regeneration options.

Scalp Micropigmentation vs. Microblading

What is microblading? Microblading is the process of tattooing tiny hairs on eyebrows with the help of a needle. Microblading helps create a semi-permanent tattoo that assists in giving you the appearance of having fuller brows. The process is simple.

A licensed esthetician first tries to find the color that matches your natural hair color and the skin beneath. They then clean the area and numb it in anticipation of the procedure. However, instead of using a tattoo machine, the esthetician uses a small handheld tool to manually draw the brow hairs.

Is SMP similar to microblading? No, they are not completely similar. Apart from the fact that microblading is a brow tattoo and SMP is a scalp tattoo, the equipment used, the pigments, and the style of application of both procedures are vastly different from one another.

The SMP procedure makes small injections on the skin that mimic the appearance of hair follicles on the skull. However, microblading seeks to emulate hair brows. One of the biggest similarities between SMP and microblading is that both techniques help in giving the appearance of the hair on the brows or scalp look fuller. However, apart from this, the two processes are completely different procedures. 


People go to great lengths to overcome hair loss or undergo hair loss remedies. However, the SMP procedure is not that tough to accomplish. One can get an SMP procedure done in just two to three visits. One will be left with a scalp tattoo that looks similar to a fresh buzz cut.

So are you wondering if you are a good candidate for scalp micropigmentation? Do not think further. You can simply contact an expert or an SMP Clinic near you and resolve your queries. 

Scalp micropigmentation is well worth the effort, and they retain for over four years and longer. So if you are someone who enjoys being active and doesn’t wish to get into the hassle of messy, expensive treatments or invasive surgeries, you should opt for scalp micropigmentation as it might be the best solution you’ve been waiting for.

Scalp micropigmentation uses pigments that are permanent cosmetic pigments and not similar to tattoo ink. Therefore they resist fading or discolouration.