Does scalp micropigmentation hurt?

June 30th, 2020

Scalp micropigmentation (SMP) involves using tiny microneedles to deposit pigment into the scalp, creating the appearance of hair stubble.

Scalp micro pigmentation is different from a traditional tattoo and the pain levels you might experience during the treatment can vary by quite a bit. For some clients, getting scalp pigmentation may feel like no more than a minor annoyance. For others, it can cause moderate discomfort. At Scalp Micro USA, we’ve never had a client who was unable to finish their treatment due to pain or discomfort. 

How much does scalp micropigmentation hurt?

Like other sensations, pain is relative. On a scale of 1 to 10, pain levels may sit around 1 to 4 on average. Compared to pain from getting a tattoo, the pain from scalp micropigmentation is less intense as we are only going 2 layers into the skins dermis, much more shallow than a traditional tattoo. Also, a traditional tattoo uses a scraping method which causes more discomfort. The scalp micropigmentation treatment uses a dotting technique, which is much less painful than scraping.  

Factors that may affect pain levels

Your personal pain tolerance

The experience of pain is heavily dependent on your personal pain tolerance. Your perception of pain can be influenced by psychological, environmental, and emotional factors. After gaining a more thorough understanding about the SMP process, you may be able to better estimate how much it will hurt, if at all. Only you know your own threshold for pain. 

The treated area of the scalp

Some areas of the scalp may be more sensitive than others. For example, many people report feeling more sensitive to pain around the temples, the front hairline, and the crown. Less pain and discomfort is often experienced on the middle and back of the head. 

The condition and physical makeup of your skin

Whether you have a skin condition on your scalp can influence the level of discomfort you might experience from scalp micropigmentation. If you have dandruff, for example, your scalp may already be more sensitive and irritated, which may cause slightly more discomfort during a micropigmentation session. So, it’s recommended to get that handled beforehand. Some people with thin skin or certain scars on their scalp may also be more sensitive to pain in those areas. 

Anxiety about the procedure

As mentioned before, your emotional state can affect your pain threshold. If you’re more nervous and tense during the treatment, you may be more sensitive to pain. Calm, relaxed clients tend to fare better than those who are overly stressed when dealing with discomfort. Remember to have a meal before treatment, drink liquids, and breatheeeeeee.

How can you reduce pain from scalp micropigmentation?

Stay Busy

The scalp micropigmentation treatment chair gives you the ability to use your phone during the procedure. This means you can play games, scroll through the gram, and listen to music or a podcast to keep yourself busy during the treatment.


Overall, most people breeze through their scalp micropigmentation sessions. Knowing your pain threshold, taking care of your scalp, and having the right mindset will ensure a smooth treatment with minimal discomfort. Plus, when you realize you’re sacrificing temporary discomfort for the ultimate goal—the appearance of a full head of hair—it makes the process that much easier. Of course, your trained SMP specialist at Scalp Micro USA will help answer any questions or concerns you have before the treatment. 

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