A survey of dermatechnicians in 1996 revealed that over 70% were cosmetologists, electrologists and estheticians by training. Most cosmetic tattooing is performed in salons and some cosmetic surgeon’s offices. Physicians as a whole are not knowledgeable about cosmetic tattooing and many frown upon the practice as dangerous and unnecessary. This is due to the negative publicity as well as lack of training and competence of practitioners in this largely unregulated emerging profession.
Traditional tattoo machines have given way to lighter, quieter rotary machines and hand tools for permanent makeup practitioners. The Spaulding and Rogers PUMA Quick Change and Revolution II are favorites among experienced dermatechnicians. Lightweight, quiet rotary pens from Asia are popular and less intimidating to many new students of permanent makeup. And tools for the hand method have been refined by SofTap, Inc. and Dermigi-aphics, Inc., both California companies. Proficiency in the use of traditional tattoo machines, rotary machines and hand tools provides the dermatechnician with the skill and ability to do beautiful work in a variety of challenging situations. Do not try to cut corners when purchasing your equipment. Get the best quality machines and needles for the best result.
Many practitioners are unaware of needle sizes and groupings. Those trained on Asian “pen” machines have never used a flat or magnum or oval needle configuration. And tattoo artists are few and far between in this field of permanent makeup as they are not allowed to tattoo above the neck in many states. There is little mingling between the two camps of artists. Permanent makeup technicians can and do learn a wealth of information from traditional tattoo artists. But most cosmetic tattooists are reluctant to approach, or have been unsuccessful when seeking training by a seasoned tattoo artist.