One of the most common questions about scalp micropigmentation (SMP) is whether it’s the same as a tattoo. While they have similarities, they’re not exactly the same. There are several differences between scalp micropigmentation and tattoos, such as the technique, process, and tools that are used, among other factors.
One of the main differences between scalp micro pigmentation and tattoos is the depth at which pigment or ink is deposited into the skin. So, which goes deeper: scalp micropigmentation or tattoos?
The three layers of the skin
The skin is the largest organ of the human body. After all, the skin is what makes up the entirety of the body’s external surface. The skin acts as a barrier to protect against bacteria and other microorganisms. It also serves as a monitor that’s sensitive to temperature, pressure, and other physical sensations.
The three layers of the skin are the:
Epidermis: The epidermis is the top layer of the skin. This layer of the skin is the outermost layer that is visible to the naked eye. It primarily acts as a barrier to the outside environment. The cells in the epidermis are constantly shedding, or exfoliating, and renewing themselves.
Dermis: The dermis is the middle layer of the skin that lies between the epidermis and the subcutaneous layer. This is the thickest layer of the skin and contains fibrous, connective tissue, which helps provide the skin with flexibility. It also contains sweat glands, hair follicles, nerves, and other structures.
Subcutaneous layer: The subcutaneous layer, or hypodermis, is the deepest layer of the skin. It is primarily made up of fat and muscle tissue. The subcutaneous layer also contains blood vessels and nerves. The primary purpose of this layer is to provide insulation to help regulate body temperature.
Does scalp micropigmentation or tattoos go deeper in the skin?
Both scalp micropigmentation and tattoo artists aim to deposit ink in the dermis layer of the skin. During scalp micropigmentation, pigment is deposited around 1.5 to 2 mm deep. This allows the pigment to be deposited past the epidermis and into the dermis. The pigment we use for scalp micropigmentation is Folicule ink.
If pigment is deposited into the epidermis, it can be exposed to UV rays from sunlight, which can lead to faster breakdown and fading. If pigment is deposited too deep into the dermis layer or even the subcutaneous layer, the pigment particles can migrate, leading to dermal staining. The risk of dermal staining may be higher with tattoos than with scalp micropigmentation due to the use of a larger needle.
The goal of scalp micropigmentation is to find the sweet spot for depositing the pigment in the scalp. This will require proper technique and skill in order to provide long-lasting results that look sharp.
Getting the right depth
The process of getting the right depth with scalp micropigmentation involves carefully inserting the pigment into the dermis layer of the skin. An micropigmentation artist will need to use the correct settings and needle configuration on their machine to achieve this. Compared to tattoos, scalp micropigmentation uses a tiny micro needle to deposit the pigment. The pigment used will be one that is specifically designed for scalp micropigmentation.
In addition to the right tools and settings, a scalp tattoo artist will use the precise hand pressure to ensure that the needle doesn’t go too deep or too shallow. Since everyone’s skin is different, going to a well-trained SMP specialist is important for getting the right results.
The SMP specialists at Scalp Micro USA undergo extensive training to deliver results that look clean without fading early. With the right scalp pigmentation treatment, you can expect to keep results for 4 to 6 years before you need a touchup. Contact the team at Scalp Micro USA to book a consultation or for more information about scalp micropigmentation.