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Hair tattoo

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Scalp Micro pigmentation
Scalp micropigmentation on backside of the head. Image taken before procedure

A hair tattoo or scalp micropigmentation (SMP)[1][2] is a non-surgical, superficial cosmetic tattoo that gives the illusion of a close buzz cut hairstyle on a bald head or density to a thinning crown.[3] The procedure can also be used to conceal scars from hair transplantation and hide the visual impact of burns or scars on the head. Scalp micropigmentation can be performed on all ethnicities.[4] This procedure does not involve local anesthesia during the procedure. In contrast to traditional tattoos, this treatment is superficial in that it penetrates the epidermal level of the skin, and ink is deposited in the upper dermal level of the skin in order to avoid macro impressions.[definition needed][4] The advantages of this procedure is that the hairline can be adjusted or touched up with relative ease.

Hair Tattoo
Hair tattoo (scalp micropigmentation) result after procedure

The cost of scalp micropigmentation depends on a variety of factors, such as location, proximity of the clinic, and the severity of hair loss. The procedure takes three to four sessions which usually last about two hours each. The chosen ink color matches the current color of the hair follicle. Although scalp micropigmentation is a permanent treatment, it can be removed with laser treatment.[5] There are no scientific data on whether people have suffered side effects over the past ten years as long as the ink used is from a reputable distributor. Practitioners[citation needed] may opt to perform a small patch test on an inconspicuous part of the scalp before performing the full treatment to rule out allergies to the ink. When researching a location that offers this service, the hairline is one of the most crucial aspects of the treatment. If this procedure is not done properly, it can in some cases leave the patron with an unnatural finish.[citation needed]

History of SMP


In the early 1990s, in the Hair Transplant Clinic of Sacramento, USA, Dr. Alvaro C. Tranquina developed a ‘dermal micropigmentation’ technique and for 7 years conducted trials with 62 patients. The results were published in the medical journal for the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery, and concluded that: “The results proved that Micropigmentation of the Scalp is a safe and effective technique in camouflaging scalp scars” (Tranquina, 2001).[6]


  1. ^ Campos, Susan (11 October 2013). "Leg Hair Transplants and Scalp Tattoos: How Hollywood's A-List Fights Baldness". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 7 June 2014.
  2. ^ Inkdsmp (11 August 2023). "smp hair treatment or inkd smp". Ana James. Retrieved 7 April 2019.
  3. ^ Elisabeth Leamy (May 31, 2012). "Considering a hair tattoo? Pro's and cons to consider before you commit". ABC News. Retrieved December 16, 2012.
  4. ^ a b Kynaston, Lee (2013). "Scalp micropigmentation explained". Men's Health. Archived from the original on 26 June 2015. Retrieved 7 June 2014.
  5. ^ Vendeville, Geoffrey (2016-03-25). "Losing your hair? Consider a scalp tattoo". The Hamilton Spectator. ISSN 1189-9417. Retrieved 2019-04-23.
  6. ^ "History Of SMP". Folisim. 5 May 2021. Retrieved 1 June 2023.