Scalp Micropigmentation Needles
Your SMP artists needle choice is essential in achieving crisp, accurate and small follicle replicas
While cosmetic tattooing for eyebrows and lips has been around for decades, cosmetic tattooing of the scalp to give the appearance of thicker and fuller density hair, is relatively new to Australia.
We refer to the treatment as Scalp Micropigmentation, or SMP or Hair tattoo, these are a bit of a mouthful but sum up a technique in Australia and around the world that is growing in popularity.
I first became aware of the treatment in 2016, when it was being offered by several pioneers of the industry who remain today as some of our greatest artists and industry leaders.
As someone who experienced hair loss in my teen years, and subsequently wore hairpieces from then on, discovering such a subtle and low maintenance hair loss solution, was amazing.
Back then the industry was in its infancy and I was fortunate to have my own SMP done by an experienced artist who had trained overseas.
When I decided to open Replique I knew I wanted to incorporate SMP into my hair loss solutions, as so as well as Mens Semi Permanent Hair Pieces, we also commenced doing SMP on male and female clients from my first clinic, in Australia in late 2016.
Although I did an SMP course, we are using an old style Rotary style Bishop tattoo machine and needles that were designed for traditional cosmetic tattooing.
The machines were clunky, heavy and prone to break down, which was a really problem if you were tattooing on a Sunday and didn't have a back up machine!
I used single and triple needles that had varying results and was really happy when companies such as FTY and Bishop released their own needle range.
Its a great sign of the future of an industry when manufacturers focus on a range that is made specific for an industry. I personally prefer to use Bishop Needles and Pigment at my Sydney clinic for all SMP.
The needles are a 3 Round Liner, this needle type would traditionally be used for lining or creating an outline of a tattoo design, so they are ideal for precise, crisp dots (this is after all, what SMP is). At Replique Sydney we use a 04 to create a soft, graduated hairline then move to larger gauge sizes such as an 08 and 10 to fill in the body of the scalp and blend to the sides.
Over the years Ive done a lot of FUE hair Transplant scar revisions, and we always use an 04, as the scars can be very unpredictable in how they will respond to the needle. Using an 04 ensures the lightest deposit of pigment, and so the least chance of a blow out.
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Sadly, I also work on a lot of clients who have received their hair tattoo elsewhere with terrible results. Often the artist has used traditional tattooing ink, rather than specific smp pigment, or they needle choice is wrong, leading to blow outs or dots that are larger that they should be.
Our ultimate goal is to create a shadow effect, or the illusion of fresh stubble, so using the incorrect needle can have dire effects.
Miriam, at Replique Brisbane is not only a SMP specialist, but also do cosmetic tattooing of beards, brows and lips and so has a wealth of knowledge and experience with needle and pigment selection.
We perform SMP at our Brisbane and Sydney clinic and offer free consultations. If you are interested in knowing more abut this great hair loss solution, please call or text Scott on 0439 558 835.