It’s a question that’s asked all the time. Is scalp micropigmentation the same as tattooing? The answer is no, and we could dive into that topic on another level. However, scalp micropigmentation is a close cousin of tattooing, albeit a relatively younger, more practical one depending on how you look at it.
There’s a lot that goes into scalp micropigmentation. It’s a new, innovation solution to hair loss for both men and women; there’s little downtime and you’re left with a buzz-cut hairstyle. But the process of scalp micropigmentation didn’t just pop up overnight. In fact, many generations of injecting pigment into the skin has led up to the technology and technique known as scalp micropigmentation today.
Continue reading to learn about the origin of scalp micropigmentation.
The ancient art form of tattoos
People have been tattooing each other for thousands of years. One of the oldest known accounts of tattoos is dated back to Neolithic times. Otzi the Iceman is Europe’s oldest known mummy who lived between 3350 and 3080 BC. He was discovered in 1991 with dozens of tattoos (around 61) etched into different parts of his skin, from his legs to his arms. Until 2018, Otzi was believed to be the oldest known human mummy with tattoos; however, 5,000 year old Egyptian mummies have also shown evidence of tattoos.
Throughout history, tattoos have been a marking of status, identity, culture, and art. The art of tattooing has been a traditional practice for different groups of people, including the Polynesians, Micronesians, and Native Americans. For example, the Osage people used tattooing as a means of decorating men after achieving success in battle. By the 19th century, tattooing had become a modern practice in the Western world, with the first tattoo machine being patented in 1891 in New York City.
Next, the permanent makeup industry
Sutherland MacDonald was a well-known tattoo artist in the UK and the first documented artist to perform a permanent makeup treatment. In 1902, he tattooed what appeared to be a pink hue on the cheeks to simulate the look of blush. This form of tattooing quickly became a trend, and the permanent makeup industry was born.
Permanent makeup treatments were adopted in the USA shortly after its discovery. Many salons started to offer women a permanent blush complexion, sometimes without the women knowing. Today, treatments involving permanent makeup, sometimes called cosmetic tattooing or permanent cosmetics, include permanent eyeliner, darkened eyebrows, lip blush, powder brows, and much more.
The birth of scalp micropigmentation
Scalp micropigmentation is considered a form of permanent cosmetics or permanent makeup. This procedure is relatively new compared to tattooing, with a lot of debate on who exactly the founder of the technique is. What is clear is that scalp micropigmentation started showing up in the early 2000s.
The art of scalp pigmentation encompasses a specific technique called pointillism. This art technique consists of making tiny dots to form a pattern or image. With scalp micropigmentation, a specialist carefully places tiny dots of pigment that match the appearance of hair follicles. The ink used for scalp micropigmentation can be diluted and blended to match a person’s exact hair color.
Scalp micropigmentation for treating hair loss
Since it’s evolution, scalp micropigmentation treatment has rapidly spread across the world. It is now a viable treatment option for hair loss. Unlike the practice of tattooing, scalp micropigmentation uses a unique type of ink and tools. The treatment calls for a trained SMP specialist to place a specific type of pigment into the upper layer (epidermis) of the scalp’s skin. Scalp micropigmentation is less invasive than a tattoo and does not use and scraping or shading to create the effect of tiny hair follicles.
Additionally, the technique for tattooing and performing scalp micropigmentation are not the same. Someone trained in tattooing isn’t qualified to perform scalp micropigmentation and someone trained in scalp micropigmentation isn’t trained to give a tattoo. It’s important to make this distinction to ensure a person knows what they’re getting into with scalp micropigmentation.
It’s important that the right tools are used during a scalp micropigmentation treatment. The right tools and equipment is just as important as the person who performs the treatment. Folicule ink is a specially made ink for the scalp, and it contains natural ingredients to minimize redness and irritation.
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