Hair Tattoo vs Body Tattoo: What is the Difference?

There are many differences but here are 16 to help you differentiate between a hair tattoo and the type of tattoo which is applied to other parts of the body.

Both are very popular as the world of body modifications and cosmetic surgery / non-surgical treatments continues. How do you distinguish between these two unique ways of creating tattoos? It’s not easy if you are thinking of having treatment and if you are new to the whole language and concept of tattoos. This blog post will help you to make a more of an informed decision.

hair tattoo for scars, hair tattoo

body tattoo, hair tattoo, skalptec ltd

smp before and after picture, skalptec

16 Differences for you to Consider

Men and women of all ages decide to have a hair tattoo due to hair loss and various factors such as:

  • male or female pattern baldness
  • alopecia
  • chemotherapy
  • after a hair transplant for example scalp scarring

People get body tattoos for various reasons, ranging from personal to cultural or even aesthetic motives. Some of the most common reasons include: Self-expression, artistic appreciation, commemoration, cultural significance, rebellion or individualism, group affiliation, spirituality, personal growth, fashion or trends, it’s a spontaneous decision.

Location: Head hair tattoos are typically created by a professional scalp technician on the scalp, while a body tattoos can be placed on different parts of the body such as the arms, legs, back, chest, or neck.

Purpose: A hair tattoo (aka scalp micropigmentation and SMP) is often used to create the appearance of a shaved head (buzz cut) or for example to cover up bald patches and camouflage scars on the scalp. Body tattoos are usually done as a way of expression for personal reasons.

Technique: Head hair tattoo will typically use a scalp micropigmentation technique with custom needles and custom ink, while body tattoos are done using a totally different type of needle and ink.

Ink: The ink used for head hair tattoos is specially formulated for the scalp.

Does it hurt: The scalp is less sensitive than the skin on other parts of the body, so the pain experienced will be less so than any discomfort associated with body tattoos.

Healing time: A body tattoo will usually require more time to heal.

Visibility: A hair tattoo can be covered by hair unless being applied for someone with little to no hair. A body tattoo is completely visible.

How long will the tattoo last: The scalp is exposed more to sunlight and the scalp produces natural oils, so these factors can mean that a hair tattoo may fade quicker than a tattoo on other parts of the body. Sure, if you spend a lot of time bathing in the sun wearing swimwear exposure for a body tattoo can be greater. A hair tattoo can look the same after 10 years and more if the results are cared for and occasional touch ups up appointments are arranged (it can literally be years before you have a touch up).

hair tattoo uk

hair tattoo, body tattoo artist, skalptec ltd

Tattoo Design: A SMP tattoo for the scalp is typically done is done to give the natural appearance of short or more dense hair (including the hairline style and preference). On the other hand, a body tattoo can be created in a variety of styles, colours, imagery, art and designs.

Cost: The cost of a hair tattoo can be subject to many factors including: where you have the treatment done, the length of time required (an experienced technician will be able to tell you this before treatment starts). Although a body tattoo requires a lot of time and expertise, SMP also requires this and requires the use of purpose made specialised equipment and custom ink. Overall, treating the scalp and treating other parts of the body means to use very different techniques and special skills.

Size: Hair tattoos are designed solely for the scalp, and tattoos for the rest of the body can be small or large.

Where: A hair tattoo is custom created for each persona and a technician will typically have a set specialised way to create the desired results. A body tattoos can be placed in any location on the body.

Maintenance: A hair tattoo will require occasional touch ups.

Is there social stigma: Baldness being covered up in some way with scalp micropigmentation, is not so much of a social stigma these days as it was many years ago. Hair loss can be camouflaged or hidden and of course there are those who won’t openly say they have had any kind of hair loss treatment, however both hair tattoos and body tattoos are more widely accepted in society today not just in the UK.

Purpose of design: Creating a natural looking hairline and resolving the appearance of baldness can be done with a hair tattoo.

Ink colour: The ink used for SMP is usually a shade to match the natural hair colour. A body tattoo can be done using a range of colours.

Scalp Micropigmentation (SMP) is a cosmetic procedure designed to creatively mimic hair follicles on the scalp, to address hair loss issues.  Correct ink colour selection is a crucial criteria needed, to achieve natural results. More important factors:

  • client’s skin tone
  • hair color
  • ink pigment dilution
  • custom blending
  • High-quality pigments designed for SMP are used to enhance longer lasting results

hair tattoo vs body tattoo differences, skalptec ltd, hair tattoo

scalp micropigmentation

Hair Tattoo (SMP) Purpose

A hair tattoo (scalp micropigmentation), is a non surgical procedure for people experiencing hair loss. It includes the use of micro-needles to create small, hair-like coloured dots on the scalp. The result is an illusion of a full head of hair, a defined hairline, and SMP treatment can be used very effectively to camouflage scalp scars.

If you want to create a particular hairstyle or look, such as a defined hairline or a closely cropped buzz cut, a hair tattoos can be used. A diverse range of individuals and celebrities have already had SMP.

CLICK HERE to find out more about Hair Tattoos

CLICK HERE to Book a Consultation in the UK

Choose the Right Option

Both types of tattoo have benefits and drawbacks. A hair tattoo is a great solution if you’re experiencing hair loss, while a body tattoo will offer a way to express your personality through body art. Whatever you decide to do, take your time & consider your reasons for going ahead: what is the cost, what’s the healing time, is there any aftercare? Do your due diligence, check reviews, make sure all of your questions can be answered without hesitation.


Scalp micropigmentation is a popular hair loss solution when it comes to millions of men and women who have to embrace the problems around losing their hair. Skalptec can help you with hair loss and Skalpec provides the following SMP services for both men and women:

Skalptec Ltd has clinics across the UK and one in Holland at this time.  Find out more.

Scalp Micropigmentation, Skalptec Newcastle



Have you thought about a career in SMP? You can succeed! Whatever you need, we’ll help you to find your way and we’ll help you to build your business and personal reputation with an already reputable world class well known SMP brand. With all the support, mentorship and backing you need. Read More About Skalptec Partnerships.



Skalptec currently has SMP hair loss treatment clinics in Liverpool, London, Newcastle, Shrewsbury, Jersey and Netherlands.

  • Liverpool – Terence Jones Owner and lead technicianof Skalptec & Winner of Best Scalp Tech MPUK UK National Award (our Head Office is located in Burscough, Merseyside). Click here to discover for more about Terence.
  • Newcastle – Terence Jones Owner and lead technician (MPUK National Award Winner 3 times for Scalp Technician of the year). Click here for more about Terence and his clinic.
  • London – A gifted dedicated SMP lead technician. Click here for more about our service.
  • Shrewsbury – Michelle Watson lead technician (our newset clinic opened in 2019). Click here for more about Michelle and her SMP clinic.

You will also find some of our top dedicated technicians with Skalptec clinics in:

scalp micropigmentation with hair


Skalptec Experts

Skin type and scalp condition will differ from person to person so a flexible approach from a professional scalp technician is a must. Don’t settle for anything less than the best.

There’s not one proven magic formula guaranteed to stop your hair loss completely in its tracks once it has started. But there are a lot more hair loss options than there used to be – technology and research continues to improve matters.  There’s a good chance you will be able to slow things down and a lot will depend on how quickly you’re losing your hair, and how quickly you start taking action. Genetics also plays a role when it comes to hair falling out without notice.


smp before and after picture, skalptec ltd, scalp micropigmentation

So, if you are looking for a viable, popular and proven option consider having Scalp Micropigmentation (SMP). Skalptec Ltd is an established UK multi award winning SMP provider and we provide the best possible experience if you are going through any type of hair loss.

If you need help taking your first step, speak with us. We have achieved an excellent reputation and much recognition, as well as great reviews and awards for SMP over the years in the UK and internationally. For further insights and testimonials, you can find Video Reviews, Case Studies and Before and After pictures on our website and on You Tube.

Learn more about Skalptec and the services that we provide. See how we can help you to cover anything from early signs of hair loss to full baldness, thinning hair, scalp scars, scalp psoriasis, receding hairline and alopecia. Contact us to chat with one of our friendly team where you will be able to book a free consultation at one of our established Skalptec clinics.