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What is the best size needle for Scalp micropigmentation?

After the artist, needles are the most important aspect towards the successful completion of a quality SMP procedure. 

However, no two scalp’s are the same, SMP client’s come with many different skin tones, hair tones, and hair follicle sizes. That’s why there’s no “one needle” fits all.

So for Scalp Micropigmentation (SMP), needle sizes can vary depending on the technique, skin type, and style you’re trying to achieve. Typically, micropigmentation needles range from 1 to 3 round configurations and 0.18mm to 0.30mm in diameter.

On average the main go-to needle sizes are 0603 (0.20mm) and a 0803 (0.25mm) gauge needle.

And the main configurations being either a 1 or a 3 round, meaning either a tiny single stainless needle or three tiny needles bunched together to form one needle. 

  • 1-needle configurations can be used for ultra fine detail work or for creating a softer hairline.
  • 3-needle configurations can cover larger areas more quickly and are commonly used for filling in larger areas or adding density.

However, it’s crucial to consult with a trained SMP professional or technician who can assess your specific needs and recommend the most suitable needle size for your desired outcome and skin type. They’ll have the expertise to determine the best approach for your individual case.

An experienced artist will change out needles many times during an SMP session, making sure their impressions stay as crisp as possible. However, it is the client’s skin which often determines how many needles one needs to go through. 

An experienced artist should be able to thoroughly brief you on needle theory during your consultation.


Rob James is one of North America’s most experienced and sought out SMP artists. Rob works out of his Vancouver based studio, and is always available to help answer any questions regarding SMP.

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