Scalp Micropigmentation (SMP) Needle Cartridges
We supply only the very best scalp micropigmentation needles, a curated collection of the top 10 premium cartridges designed for precision and optimal results in SMP applications.
Explore renowned brands, the latest innovations and hidden gems that cater to your specific technique. Every cartridge brand is different, and every artist has their favourites. From the world’s biggest selling SMP needles like FYT Apex, Bishop SMP and 5PM Shadow, to groundbreaking new products like the True Follicle 2RL, Inku Jade, FYT Hardline and Worldwide SMP, there is a cartridge for every artist.
Our SMP needles are compatible with all universal fitment machines like the Dragonhawk Mast and Mast Archer, Apollo, Xion S, Flux S, Cheyenne, Bishop SMP Wand, Bishop SMP Pen and many more.
Frequently Asked Questions
Frequently Asked Questions
As with any art, the preferred tools are very much a matter of personal preference. For this reason, it is not possible to advise which scalp micropigmentation needle cartridges are the best.
If you’re looking for a strong starting point, we suggest FYT Apex, FYT Hardline SMP, Bishop SMP or 5PM Shadow. These are excellent quality needles from the world’s most popular brands among SMP artists.
Artists with some experience should try a range of different needle cartridges, to find whihc one suits their individual style. This can be hard to do when first starting out because most new artists do not fully develop their technique for some time, so its difficult for them to know what to look for.
The 3RL, or 3 point round liner needle, is the industry standard worldwide for scalp micropigmentation. It is the configuration of choice for almost every SMP artist, and is definitely the setup all new artists should adopt from day one.
Single point 1RL needles are rarely used in SMP. Many artists were initially trained to use a 1RL, but quickly realised the results were generally sub-optimal and the treatment time was simply too long using a 1RL. Additionally, 1RL needles create issues with retention as the pigment tends to slide off the needle instead of being carried into the skin.
There is a brand new 2RL needle available called True Follicle. A world first, True Follicle is an exceptional quality needle and is definitely worth a look. Innovator Anthonye Angelillo claims that a 2RL can produce more realistic follicle impressions without the downsides of a 1RL, and early feedback has been very positive.
For those who love using 1RL needles for SMP, check out the 0.40mm by Bishop SMP.
All scalp micropigmentation needles range from 0.15mm to 0.35mm in diameter. Sizes are either expressed like this, as a diameter, or as a gauge, like 06, 08 etc.
Needle gauge is easy to understand. Here are the gauges available, and their corresponding diameters. Please note this can vary with some brands:
- 0403RL = 3 point 0.15mm
- 0503RL = 3 point 0.18mm
- 0603RL = 3 point 0.20mm
- 0703RL = 3 point 0.22mm
- 0803RL = 3 point 0.25mm
- 1003RL = 3 point 0.30mm
- 1203RL = 3 point 0.35mm
The most popular sizes by far are the 0603RL and 0803RL, although over time, the trend is towards ever-smaller needles so this may change. 1203RL are available but rarely used.
Different sizes for different tasks
Many artists will use a typical size needle, like 0603RL or 0803RL for most of the scalp, then reach for a smaller needle like a 0403RL or 0503RL for more delicate hairline work.
Larger needles like the 1003RL are generally used for darker skinned clients, for density treatments or for scar work.
That said, a lot of SMP artists only ever use one size for everything, and instead adjust their hand pressure to produce the result they want.
Early so-called “SMP needles” were little more than repackaged tattoo needles. However, as the SMP industry has grown and developed, dedicated SMP products are now the standard, tailored to meet the specific needs of scalp micropigmentation artists.
Modern SMP needle cartridges are almost always a 3RL and generally have longer tapers than tattoo needles. Crucially, SMP needles contain pins made of hardened steel, with some of the very best even using super-premium Japanese steel, like the FYT Hardline SMP.
This is very important because SMP artists work mostly on the tip of the needle, so standard tattoo needles tend to blunt and splay much faster than SMP needles with hardened pins, which stay sharper for longer and require fewer needle changes.
Finally, the best SMP needles have cartridge casing designs intended to reduce clogging. This is especially important for SMP artists, as it reduces the need to keep stopping to wipe, rinse or even replace the needle as they do not get clogged with dry skin as readily as tattoo needles do.