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June 2019

Scalp Tattoo and How to Choose the Needles

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If you ask the technicians at STAR Micropigmentation, one of the most common questions they receive from clients is about the needles used for scalp tattoo. Many clients, as well as students, inquire about certain details about the needles, including their size.

Whether you want to make a career out of SMP or you plan to undergo the procedure, 

it is important to be educated on the needles used for scalp micropigmentation. Without having the proper knowledge of the types of needles used, you could undergo the procedure with a provider who may not use the correct needle. Some technicians may not even disclose information about the needle they are using, which is why it is crucial to ask all the necessary questions.

The same applies to students. If you want to make a living out of scalp micropigmentation, you should understand every single element involved. The needles may be small but they have a huge impact on the procedure. The wrong ones can easily result in dreadful and fake-looking hair follicles, which is not what SMP is about.

Important Facts Every SMP Client Has to Know

A common misconception among many SMP clients is that scalp micropigmentation and conventional tattoos are the same thing. After hearing the term “scalp tattoo,” they immediately conjure up images of huge, scary needles. However, there is nothing to fear about SMP. It is not the same as a regular tattoo and the needles used are certainly different.

In a few ways, SMP and body tattoos are similar. Scalp tattoo is often compared to permanent makeup as well. There are distinct differences, but they also have a few similarities. The techniques are not the same, but they all have a familiar concept. They use a specialized ink or pigment to improve the appearance of a certain part of the body. However, SMP is not only an aesthetic procedure because it can also cover up scars and other hair loss problems.

If you are suffering from hair loss but you do not want to go through a hair transplant, SMP is the best option for you. There is almost no downtime with many clients going back to work as quickly as two to three days after the procedure. It does entail a few maintenance tasks, such as making sure the head is dry and free from sweat for about four days.

With the benefits of scalp tattoo, there is no reason to avoid the procedure at all. If you have always been scared of needles and the pain associated with them, SMP should not worry you. The specialists at STAR Micropigmentation utilize smaller needles, which allow them to make incredibly precise dots on the client’s head. 

As a result, the micropigmented dots form realistic looking hair follicles. Another reason why the scalp tattoo is much different than the regular tattoo is that the needles do not result in high levels of pain. 

While there are a few methods used to minimize pain and prep the area, patients do not require numbing cream at all. The technicians at STAR Micropigmentation take the extra step to prep the area to ensure that it is free from dirt and oil.

Needles Used in SMP

The needles used in scalp micropigmentation vary in sizes and type, which would depend on the machine used. It is recommended to go to a trustworthy provider that offers SMP using a machine that is solely for this particular treatment. If you live in Tampa, Orlando, or Denver, you are in luck because you can easily gain access to the services that STAR Micropigmentation provides. The professionals here only use the Vytal device, which is the first ever machine that is specifically intended for tattooing the scalp.

The Vytal device has a handpiece, just like other standard tattoo machines. This device allows you to use needle cartridges, including generic ones and those that are of their own brand.

For SMP, round liners are utilized, which are configured to be either single or triple needle. There are a few disagreements as to whether or not a triple needle configuration (3RL) is much better than a single needle (1RL). Back in the day, many learners were taught to use single needle configurations, which is why they were commonplace several years back

However, times have changed, and more current technicians prefer three-point triples for their clients. You may be wondering now whether you should opt for 1RL or 3RL. Some providers may disagree that 3RL is superior while others would want to learn about 3RL right away. If you have already learned 1RL before, it does not mean you should forget about what you have learned. Some situations may even call for a combination of these two types.

Three-point needles are much lighter to work with. One reason behind this claim is that they can deposit suitable amounts of ink or pigment into the dermis. You may compare this configuration to an inkwell in which it acts almost the same way. 3RL works by holding the pigment and keeping it at the top of the needle where it should be.

Although not necessarily a disadvantage, 3RL is more geared toward pros. This formation requires very light pressure. This way, you are ensured that the size of the pigment deposited into the skin is an accurate representation of the actual hair follicles.

On the other hand, a single point needle does the same job. However, there were several complaints about it in the past, which was why 3RL needles were introduced. According to its users, 1RL tend to have retention problems, where they had to keep going back to their provider. The result was not how they expected, especially as time went on. This issue was due to the insufficiency of the amount of pigment stored into the skin. Since there is only one point used, the ink is not enough to create realistic looking hair.

However, there were also quite a number of clients who were happy with their procedures after using 1RL. With the correct technique, and a certified professional, it is possible to achieve the desired outcome. Just like with 3RL needles, regulating hand movements and the applied pressure is necessary. 

Single needles or 1RL tend to penetrate the skin easily. They are still around because some providers prefer them. Since they reach the skin without much resistance, the needles do not generate bounces whenever they touch the skin.

Other Needle Details

When it comes to size, the most common needle diameters are the following:

  • 0.20mm
  • 0.25mm
  • 0.30mm
  • 0.35mm

Single needles are typically available in 0.20, 0.25, and 0.35mm while triple needles exist in all sizes mentioned above. Interestingly, STAR Micropigmentation uses 0.17mm needles, which are smaller than the standard needle sizes mentioned above. The smaller diameter allows the needles to penetrate the skin yet there is little to no pain felt. Rest assured that throughout the whole procedure you will feel comfortable.

The needles are definitely not the same as the ones used for permanent makeup. PMU needles were probably the first ones that were available for SMP. As time passed, experts realized that it is better to use a needle exclusively for scalp tattoo procedures. Nevertheless, there are numerous providers that still use PMU needles.

These needles are not recommended for SMP though. They will not fit scalp micropigmentation devices. If you ever plan to use them, you will need a different cartridge to fit your device.

The type of needle, along with the size, is important for an SMP procedure. You want to achieve and replicate how a hair follicle looks like when it is shaved. The dot, therefore, should have the correct impression and size. Also, it should not easily wear out.

The needles are essential in reaching your goal of covering a bald spot. However, the pressure that the technician applied, as well as the technique, and machine used, also plays a role in the overall look of the result.

STAR Micropigmentation offers a three-day course that tackles everything you need to know about scalp micropigmentation. You will learn all the fundamentals, including the best needles for SMP. Even better, all students will get the chance to use the Vytal Scalp Device, which is a device specifically created for scalp tattoo procedures. 

Scalp Micropigmentation and All the Instruments Needed 

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Learning the basics about scalp micropigmentation is essential for anyone who wants to start training to become a certified micropigmentation technician. You may also wish to understand more about scalp micropigmentation before you let a professional do the work. Although you do not truly have to do anything during the procedure, it always helps to be educated on the process.

Everyone wants to look their best right from the moment they wake up. Whether you are a man or a woman, you know that your hair has a huge impact on your overall appearance and confidence. Unfortunately, age, stress, and health issues can affect your hair. Your hair’s volume and growth can significantly decrease over time, which can even lead to bald spots.

The great news is that you can make your hair look thicker without the need for hair transplants. The answer to your problem is here: a scalp micropigment procedure. STAR Micropigmentation has the best professionals that you can seek, whether you are in Tampa/Orlando in Florida or even in Denver, Colorado.

The wonderful benefits of scalp micropigmentation will never be possible without a state-of-the-art device.

The Scalp Micropigment Device

The device that will be used to make microdots on your head will depend on your provider. It is the most important tool to accomplish the look that you want, aside from the skill of the professional. You should always ask the provider about the device they will utilize.

At STAR Micropigmentation, Vytal is the only device used. It is specially designed for scalp micropigmentation, which is why it is the best option available. Other devices that are out in the market, and those that other companies use, are not solely for scalp micropigment procedures. Some devices can also be utilized for defining the brows and lips.

On the provider’s side, a multipurpose tool is indeed beneficial. The company will no longer have to purchase different devices for each of the procedures they offer. After all, it can be quite expensive to buy a single device for scalp micropigmentation, another for permanent makeup for the eyebrows, and one more for the lips.

Unlike other providers, STAR Micropigmentation uses a Vytal device that is specifically for scalp micropigmentation and no other procedures. Using the Vytal SMP Concept, the small machine can meet the demands of any rigorous scalp micropigmentation procedure. 

The Vytal device’s engineering is based on the SMP process, taking into consideration the needs of scalp micropigmentation professionals. The device mainly consists of two vital parts: the handpiece and the control unit. The handpiece is designed so the specialist can hold it confidently without the fear of dropping this pen-like item. The Vytal device is created with ergonomics in mind so that the SMP artist or provider can comfortably and easily use the tool

The other piece of the device is the control unit, which is quite powerful, aiding the technician with its easy to read monitor. At the same time, the control unit delivers power to the handpiece without interruptions. The ink is deposited quickly into the tool so the procedure is consistent and will give the most natural result

Benefits of the Vytal Scalp Micropigmentation Device

If you are learning to become a scalp micropigment artist, you need the best device that you can use. Patients will only trust you if they see that you utilize an effective and high-quality tool for the process. It is exactly what the Vytal device offers and why we use and sell this device at STAR Micropigmentation.

Aside from being the first ever scalp micropigmentation system exclusively designed for this purpose, the Vytal device also gives other benefits. Whether you are new to the procedure or you have been doing it for some time now, you will certainly prefer a tool that is lightweight. This way, you can easily create micropigments on the head of your client. These pigments should look as natural as possible. You cannot deliver such a result if the pen or handpiece is heavy.

The device is not only lightweight but also operates with vibrations that are almost unnoticeable. Other tools can become quite uncomfortable because of their vibrating pens. The vibration can cause a few issues for both the professional and the client undergoing a long session.

The Vytal device also comes with an ink cartridge that can be used safely. It also effectively minimizes the undesirable flow of ink in the reverse direction, known as ink backflow. The procedure can, therefore, be carried out with no mistakes and unwanted stains.

As the client, on the other hand, you will see how beneficial it is when the device operates properly. Overall, the session can quickly be finished in three hours or even less, depending on your case. Additionally, the Vytal device has been proven to be gentle on the skin. Therefore, you will not experience a lot of pain and trauma, causing your scalp to heal faster.

Other Essential Items

While the Vytal device is the star of the scalp micropigment procedure, there are also other essentials used to complete the treatment. Needles, just like the device, are significant as well. The type of needles used will once again depend on the provider. 

Round liners are required, just like with tattoos and they are either in single or triple needle configurations. Vytal has its own cartridges and they are specifically designed to work with the device. While there is no right or wrong choice between 1RL and 3RL needles, the latter type is preferred these days. However, some providers use a combination of both.

Measurements are also crucial, so be sure to ask about the size of the needles. Some artists use bigger ones, which will not help you achieve a natural look. At STAR Micropigmentation, you will only see needles that are 0.17mm, which are the smallest option for the most realistic results. Make sure you stay away from providers that use 0.30mm or bigger, which are quite common in tattoo artists.

The SMP procedure mostly begins with the insertion of pigment into the skin’s upper layer, the dermis. Using the device and the needle, a microdroplet of the ink will be applied onto the head of the client. To reach the dermis, the upper layer, which is the epidermis, should be perforated. It can be quite uncomfortable, which is why the best device should be used with proper prepping as well

Aside from the device and needles, other items used include:

  • Pigment Ink: 

Providers use different quality pigments for their procedure. The best option for you is an organic-based pigment. It delivers natural results, giving you hair follicle impressions that will not give black dots that do not look realistic at all. The pigment ink can be dark, medium or light, depending on the natural hair color, as well as the preference of the client. If you have naturally black hair, dark skin, or both, you will mostly get the best results with a dark pigment. Meanwhile, the light pigment is a better choice for those with light brown or blonde hair and those with fair skin. The pigments can be mixed together to create the perfect illusion of a full head of hair.

  • Gloves: 

Nitrile gloves are the best option for the procedure. Look for soft, comfortable, and elastic gloves if you will perform scalp micropigmentation to your first client. These gloves allow you to move your hands properly. While wearing them, you should still be able to feel the skin. At the same time, a textured surface is preferred so slips are avoided. Gloves should be free from latex to prevent an allergic reaction from the client. 

  • Wipes: 

Any treatment procedure should have disinfecting wipes ready. As much as possible, the wipes should be hospital-grade with low pH to get rid of bacteria and germs effectively.

Prepping the skin is absolutely critical. Aside from making sure that the client is comfortable throughout the procedure, prep pads containing 70% isopropyl alcohol can help keep the skin clean. It may also help in creating an outline for the hairline.

  • Hairline Guide Kit: 

For beginners and even experts, a hairline guide kit is extremely helpful. It makes the drawing process quicker and more precise, especially if you are just starting out. You want a guide that allows the client to see what their future hairline looks like.

  • Soap: 

Blood and pigment can be difficult to remove without proper treatment. Use the right soap to get rid of dried blood. Green soap can also be used to clean the needles before they are sterilized.

As with any treatment, it is not possible to get the best results without high-quality scalp micropigment device and tools. They should go hand in hand with a trained professional to deliver the most realistic-looking pigments.

If you are a scalp micropigmentation technician who is in the market to obtain the highest quality and most effective SMP device in the industry, contact STAR Micropigmentation today to purchase a Vytal device. Our shop also offers accompanying tools such as pigment ink, gloves, wipes, etc. for purchase.