The art of tattooing arrived in the America’s long before the Europeans turned up and has been around ever since. After rising in popularity in the 1970’s they have gone from strength to strength.

 

Tirawa – America’s First Tattooist

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The Pawnee people have tattooing in their blood. Tirawa is the god at the heart of their creation story and is credited with teaching them how and what to tattoo. Consequently their history is rich with mysterious symbols that would help them identify with their family or tribe and provide spiritual protection. Tattoos remain an important feature in the culture, if anything more important now than before due to the stripping away of so much else of what gave native Americans their sense of belonging to their tribe.

Coming To America

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Tattooing would not become popular with European settlers until the middle of the 19th Century. At that time in England the Prince of Wales adorned himself with a inked cross, reviving a medieval rite and triggering a popular embrace for inking across the wider population.

By 1870 Martin Hildebrand is running one of America’s first ever tattoo salons. Along with this team of trainees their customers were mostly troops lining up for patriotic pictures to remind them of home. Flags and eagles by far the most popular.

Attitudes to tattoos would shift through the years, a decrease in popularity saw them given a vulgar reputation, they survived in numbers among the military and prison populations.

Here Come The Girls

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After the buttoned up 50’s and 60’s it was the liberated 1970’s that would see ink make it’s comeback. In particular a noticeable uptake among women including the first wave of women artists like SuzAnne Fauser, with her stridently feminist art, was behind the increasingly broad acceptance.

Fast forward to 2016 and tattoos are absolutely everywhere from D Wing to the Boardroom. Influences from around the globe are reflected in the styles with fads led by superstars of sport, think David Beckham and wonder at the number of angels wings he caused to be needled into the backs of necks the world over. A sporting figure devoid of tattoos is a rare thing indeed these days.

Tattooing By Numbers

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Today, according to StatisticBrain, 45M Americans have tattoos with nearly 40% of US adults between the ages of 18 and 40 having at least one.   There are 21,000 tattoo parlors in the States and they took well over $1.5B last year… with even more spent on removal. Don’t get too bogged down with the idea that they are too permanent and eventually regretted… only one in ten have had one removed or are planning to remove one and only one in six declare any regret.

The survey threw up some interesting ideas behind the popularity with one in three saying a tattoo made them feel rebellious and the same proportion saying it made them feel sexier… not too many things as benign as body art can offer that return so maybe we should not be surprised.

HIS Hair Clinic

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While tattoos were some small part of the inspiration behind SMP there should be no confusing the two treatments. Everything from the needle to the pigments to the techniques are vastly different. But the appetite for ink has undoubtedly helped Scalp Micropigmentation gain the traction it has achieved over the decade since HIS opened the doors on the world’s first SMP clinic.

Beyond art and symbolism an SMP treatment is capable of transforming the lives of people blighted by hair loss. Over the course of a couple of sessions you can be returned to the totally convincing appearance of a full head of hair buzz cut. To book your free consultation with one of our friendly experts either complete the contact form or click here to find your nearest clinic.

 

 

 

 

 

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By Ian Watson

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