To refer to this hair loss procedure as tattooed hair is perfectly understandable, given the apparent similarities between the two processes. After all, they both involve the injection of ink or pigment via a needle into the scalp, right? In reality however, a quality hair tattoo for bald men looks nothing like the primitive tattooed hair botches from days past. Allow me to explain the differences.

Hair tattoos versus scalp micropigmentation

There are a number of things that separate the two, however by far the most important are

  • penetration depth
  • pigments used

Why is penetration depth important?

The depth the needle penetrates the skin dictates the size of the hair follicle replication (the ‘dot’). The depth required is much more shallow than is routinely targeted by tattoo artists and permanent makeup technicians.

If the penetration is too deep, the pigment spreads and expands the size of the ‘dot’. This creates an unnatural appearance as the ‘dots’ are larger than the surrounding ‘real’ hair follicles. This is commonly referred to as a ‘blowout’, and is the hallmark of an inexperienced or poorly trained technician.

bad treatment
The wrong pigments deposited at the wrong depth. The result? Blue dots that are too large to blend with the customers real hair

Please be aware that many providers claim to deliver the smallest hair follicles, by using smaller needles than anyone else. This is a falsehood. Although the size of the needle has a minor bearing on the size of the replicated follicle, it is the penetration depth that has a much greater influence in this area. A microscopic needle pushed too far into the scalp will still cause a blowout, whilst a full size needle correctly used, can still produce a perfect result.

What pigments should be used?

The short answer is that tattoo inks and permanent makeup pigments are not suitable for hair tattooing. Both these pigment types are made up of several constituent colors, and within weeks will separate into their basic hues, leaving the customer with a blue or green head. This problem is actually very common.

A major differentiator between a true follicle replication and basic tattooed hair, is the use of pigments that are specifically designed for the task. That means NO constituent colors.

As you can imagine, these inks are not easy to find. Right now you need to sign up to a franchise or licensing agreement with a major provider, or buy pigments through Team Micro, the only supplier of scalp pigment with proven results. Please note that some permanent makeup manufacturers are currently marketing their pigments as scalp pigments. From what I have seen, these pigments are nothing more than rebranded versions of their permanent makeup inks, and should be avoided.

A word of warning. Any company or technician that refers to this process as tattooed hair is likely to approach your procedure like a tattoo artist would. These are the people who tend to use bug pins and tattoo inks, and usually lure clients with the promise of low prices. However they are often responsible for unsatisfactory results, so be on your guard.

Founder, Team Micro Ltd
Damien is the worlds leading scalp micropigmentation ambassador and marketing specialist, promoting the SMP industry and specialist clinics since 2009. His company, Team Micro, promotes the services of over 200 clinics through advertising, website design and search engine optimization, and supplies more than 2000 clinics through the Team Micro online store.

Team Micro works with hundreds of permanent makeup, medical micropigmentation and scalp micropigmentation companies in more than 30 countries worldwide. We supply products, develop marketing plans, build websites, host conferences and create success for the many passionate people we work with. Quite simply, no other organisation, anywhere in the world, can support your business quite like we can.

For more information see our marketing services.

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