Pain and Discomfort during Scalp Micropigmentation

Pain and Discomfort during Scalp Micropigmentation
Picture of Tommy T.
Tommy T.

Scalp Micropigmentation Practitioner
Buffalo, NY

6 mins read
Thinking about scalp micropigmentation (SMP), but worried about the pain? You’re not alone! SMP, often compared to getting a traditional tattoo, is a groundbreaking, non-invasive hair loss solution that’s changing lives globally. While it’s gaining popularity for its minimal pain levels, several factors can influence how each person experiences it. At Elegant SMP, we aim to provide natural-looking results with the least possible discomfort.

Table of Contents

Pain and Discomfort during Scalp Micropigmentation

Your Scalp's Health: The Foundation of Comfort

Healthy Versus Damaged Scalps

The condition of your scalp significantly impacts the comfort level of your SMP session. If your scalp is damaged, sunburned, or excessively dry, you can expect more discomfort compared to someone with a healthy, hydrated scalp. At Elegant SMP, we kindly turn away clients with compromised scalp conditions for their own benefit. The goal? Ensure optimal results and minimal discomfort.

Preparing Your Scalp: Tips for a Seamless Session

  1. Hydrate: Moisturize your scalp twice or thrice daily for at least a week.
  2. Sun Protection: Avoid prolonged sun exposure and use sunscreen.
  3. Gentle Care: Avoid harsh shampoos or treatments pre-session.

Hydration and Its Benefits

  • Better Ink Retention: Well-hydrated skin ensures smoother ink deposition.
  • Minimized Discomfort: A hydrated scalp feels less irritated during the procedure.

The Practitioner’s Skill: Technique Matters

Speed and Pressure: Finding the Sweet Spot

The proficiency of your SMP artist plays a crucial role in your comfort level. Some practitioners work quickly, others take it slow. The pressure applied also varies. While incorrect techniques can cause pain, a skilled artist, like those at Elegant SMP, ensures the procedure feels akin to a scalp massage, rating about 3/10 on a pain scale.

Areas of Sensitivity

  • Hairline
  • Temples
  • Scarred Regions

Pain Threshold: Uniqueness of Each Individual

Individual Differences in Pain Perception

Pain is subjective. What feels like a minor sting to one person could be unbearable to another. For those with a lower pain threshold, options like pain relievers (Tylenol) 30 minutes before the session can be helpful.

To Numb or Not to Numb?

While topical numbing agents are an option, they might affect ink retention. It’s best to discuss with your SMP artist to make an informed choice.

Pre-Session Preparations: Setting Yourself Up for Success

The Importance of Sound Sleep

Rest is essential. A good night’s sleep ensures your body is ready to handle the potentially long session ahead. The practitioner will be implanting thousands of impressions on your scalp and we recommend a good night’s rest to better prepare for the session ahead.

Tips for Better Sleep:

  • Avoid screens an hour before bed
  • Keep a consistent bedtime routine
  • Create a restful environment

Breakfast: Fueling Your Body

Entering a session on an empty stomach? Not advisable. Eating a well-balanced meal helps sustain energy levels throughout the procedure.

Ideal Pre-Treatment Breakfast Options:

Food Item Benefits
Oatmeal Sustained energy release
Eggs Protein to keep you full
Fruits Vitamins and natural sugars for energy
Whole grain toast Healthy carbs to keep hunger at bay

Hydration: The Key to Comfort

The Importance of Staying Hydrated

Keeping your body well-hydrated is crucial for a smoother SMP experience. Dehydration can make your skin more sensitive and less elastic, leading to increased discomfort during the procedure.

Tips for Staying Hydrated:

  1. Drink Water Regularly:

    • Aim for at least 8 cups of water a day leading up to your session.
    • Carry a reusable water bottle to remind you to drink.
  2. Avoid Diuretics:

    • Limit consumption of caffeine and alcohol as they can dehydrate you.
  3. Incorporate Hydrating Foods:

    • Eat fruits and vegetables with high water content, such as cucumbers and watermelon.

Benefits of Hydration:

  • Enhanced Skin Elasticity: Makes the procedure smoother and less painful.
  • Better Healing: Promotes faster recovery post-procedure.
  • Improved Comfort: Keeps your skin soft and supple.

Special Cases: Scarred and Sensitive Areas

Dealing with Scars

Existing scars on the scalp may cause heightened sensitivity. This is where the expertise of our practitioners becomes vital.

Pre-Session Tips for Scar Management:

  1. Moisturize daily to soften scars.
  2. Consult with your artist about any concerns.

Managing Expectations

While treating scarred areas can be slightly more painful, the results are undoubtedly rewarding. Prepare mentally for a few extra twinges in these spots.

Meditation and Mindfulness: Finding Inner Calm

The Role of Mindfulness During SMP

Meditation and mindfulness are powerful tools that can help manage pain and discomfort during your SMP session. By focusing your mind and breathing, you can significantly reduce your perception of pain.

Simple Mindfulness Techniques to Try

  1. Deep Breathing:

    • Inhale slowly for 4 seconds.
    • Hold your breath for 4 seconds.
    • Exhale slowly for 4 seconds.
    • Repeat.
  2. Body Scanning:

    • Close your eyes.
    • Mentally scan your body from head to toe.
    • Identify and relax each tense muscle.

Benefits of Meditation and Mindfulness:

  • Reduced Anxiety: Calms the nervous system.
  • Enhanced Focus: Distracts from discomfort.
  • Improved Pain Tolerance: Alters your perception of pain.

Using a Stress or Squeeze Ball

How a Squeeze Ball Can Help

One of the easiest ways to manage discomfort during your SMP session is by using a squeeze ball. This simple tool offers an effective distraction method.

Advantages of Using a Squeeze Ball:

  • Distraction from Pain: Occupies your hands and mind.
  • Stress Relief: Helps release tension.
  • Enhanced Focus: Provides a focal point other than the procedure.

Choosing the Right Squeeze Ball

When selecting a squeeze ball, consider the following:

Feature Recommendations
Firmness: Medium firmness for balanced resistance
Material: Soft, non-slip material for better grip
Size: Fits comfortably in your hand
Durability: High-quality material to withstand repeated use


Scalp micropigmentation is a revolutionary procedure that offers remarkable results with minimal discomfort. However, factors like scalp health, practitioner skill, individual pain thresholds, and pre-session preparations play a crucial role in determining your overall experience. At Elegant SMP, we're dedicated to making your SMP journey as comfortable and satisfying as possible.

Ready for a transformation? Tired of the routine and want that effortless 5 o'clock shadow look? Contact Elegant SMP today for undetectable, natural-looking results with our world-renowned fade and 3D techniques.

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About Us:

Elegant Scalp Micropigmentation was founded in Buffalo, NY with the goal of providing clients with a compassionate and understanding atmosphere for their hair loss troubles. We’ve been through it ourselves and at Elegant SMP, are devoted to providing our customers with the knowledge and confidence they need to make a well-informed decision about their SMP treatment plan. 

We are excited to offer our premium SMP services that will unveil a more authentic version of yourself. Our continued dedication to perfecting this craft aims to help our clients rediscover their confidence and be able to enjoy a renewed sense of self.

What our customers are saying

Master Petrocy
Master Petrocy
Hey there Tommy I love the natural look that you provide. The mock up is a great sales tactic,especially when people like myself are nervous about getting it done. I have seen great Smp and terrible ones. Looking at your work I would have to say your skill is by far the best in the industry. As soon as I am less busy I am definitely coming to see you! Have a great day 😊!
Hirschy Hoops
Hirschy Hoops
Tommy T you’ve changed my life. I put all my trust in you and you made me so comfortable with this process. The reason I selected you is you want to master this art and customized a process to meet my specific needs. When I look in the mirror and am confused that I have hair or a hair line now that says a lot. Honestly I see you as the go to SMP artist in the future. All of your studying on this will pay huge dividends and you are able to change people’s lives which is so powerful. Thank you for treating my head like your own. God bless you and if you ever need a reference or anything I’d be thrilled to do so. Thanks again Tommy
byron culf
byron culf
Sent me a mock pic of how my hair might look within a few hours. Great service! Shame I'm in the UK and didn't realise they are in the US
Eric Boone
Eric Boone
Today I had a consultation with Tommy at Elegant Smp. He was very professional and informative answering all my questions. He made me feel confident that I came to the right place. His knowledge and understanding of Smp put my mind at ease going forward. I would highly recommend reaching out to Tommy if you are considering this procedure.
Krishna KV
Krishna KV
I recently had a consultation with Tommy, and I was impressed with his professionalism. He spoke clearly and answered all of my questions about the procedure and Pre and Post-care instructions. I had a positive experience and I am looking forward to getting my SMP done with Tommy and I would highly recommend him to others.
Kendall Velarde
Kendall Velarde
Great guy and very professional!! Highly recommended!!
jason velasquez
jason velasquez
Talking with Tommy was great! He was very professional, and informative with all the questions I had.
Michael Marino
Michael Marino
Tommy provided me with a image of how I would look with SMP his service was awesome, simple and quick id recommend Tommy’a website to anyone wanting to see what they look like with SMP
Akeem H
Akeem H
Amazing professional that really takes the time to answer questions or concerns and does great work!
Matt T.
Matt T.
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Elegant SMP is the place to get your scalp micropigmentation if you are interested in quality technique. Not all SMP is the same and your practitioner's training really does matter. For me, understanding how my artist could achieve an authentic looking hairline was very important, and very few SMP artists have the training to achieve that. Tommy at Elegant SMP is a true professional who understands how to get a natural looking result that is difficult to replicate - which is a true testament to his training. My SMP results exceeded my expectations and I would recommend Elegant SMP to anyone who is interested in getting the highest quality work the first time, or repairing SMP work that missed the mark.
Jason V.
Jason V.
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I knew from the consultation with Tommy that he was a genuinely good guy. Their professionalism is top-notch and the work he does is amazing! I can't stop looking at my hairline and just how natural it looks. I'm 100 % satisfied with the results and highly recommend his services!
Eric B.
Eric B.
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I just finished my third session with Tommy over at elegant smp. He did a great job and was extremely professional. His attention to detail was amazing giving me the desired look I was going for. I would highly recommend his services for anyone looking to have this procedure done. Everything about the experience was pleasant and stress free.

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