Collaborating & Consulting with Dr. Linda Dixon

by Andrea Darby - Master Medical Tattooist & Industry Educator
O'ahu Hawaii

Andrea Darby had the honor of being invited to Collaborate & Consult with the matriarch of modern Cosmetic & Medical Tattooing Dr. Linda Dixon in Hawaii, in this article we get to know the woman behind the immense reputation.

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When Dr. Linda Dixon invited us to collaborate and consult with her privately at her clinic in Kailua on the windward side of Oahu naturally we were honoured to return to Hawaii and spend quality time with the matriarch of modern Cosmetic & Medical Tattooing in what is indisputably one of the most beautiful locations on earth.

Kauai Island

Oahu is the third biggest island in the US state of Hawaii but it has by far the biggest population with around 1 million people living, working, and playing on the island which hosts the states capital city Honolulu. Oahu is also the international gateway to all the other islands within the Hawaiian archipelago with a notable mention for Kauai a beautiful island that has been the filming location for many big budget movies.

There are numerous things to see and do in Hawaii and an endless number of locations of natural beauty to explore via helicopter, walking trails, as well as dozens of above and below water activities, one site worth a special mention is Hanauma Bay which is both a Nature Preserve and a Marine Life Conservation District and the reef there is a site of international importance. There are very few experiences that can compare to an early morning snorkel around Hanauma Bay among the abundant fish life and giant turtles.

Hanauma Bay


Indigenous Polynesians know Oahu as "The Gathering Place" which is just as apt today as it would have been prior to the first European settlements on the island. What impressed us most about contemporary society on the Hawaiian islands is that unlike some locations around the globe where the culture of the indigenous peoples has been marginalised and subjugated in contrast the culture and ethos of the indigenous Hawaiian people has been embraced and seems inextricably woven through the modern lifestyle, social interactions, and even seems deeply rooted within practices of the business community.

Aloha is probably the word that you will hear, read, and "experience" most frequently in Hawaii, in the indigenous Hawaiian language and depending on which source you accept aloha has several meanings; affection, peace, compassion, mercy, essence / breath of life, aloha also has a common etymological origin in other Polynesian languages for the word love. Today the word Aloha is used as a greeting substituting for the word hello or sometimes even goodbye, aloha is commonly used in business names and is used to describe the quintessential Hawaiian flowered shirt the aloha shirt.

If you have never been to Hawaii then perhaps you have not experienced aloha, I say experienced because it is more than just a word or greeting it is a sentiment, a way of thinking, an approach to life, an emotion, and for some a state of being. Apart from sharing their beautiful islands perhaps the greatest gift that the indigenous Hawaiian people have given to those who choose to live in and visit Hawaii is the opportunity to experience aloha.

Dr. Linda Dixons Rooms


Dr. Dixon's clinic is sympathetic to the natural environment with a stonewall entrance, soft colour tones, and a relaxed feel that no doubt helps to put patients at ease prior to their procedures. During the days we spent at Linda's clinic we gained the impression that a personal relationship had been established with many of the long standing patients who visited Linda's rooms that went beyond a typical doctor patient relationship, the deeper relationship with her patients may in part explain the implicit trust that was evident during consultations.


A warm connection to staff and patients in a very personable way is a common thread that we have witnessed with other highly successful businesses around the globe, notably Rita Parente and Dr. Mario Piombino together with their son Dr. Luka Piombino and daughter Dr. Laura Piombino who have one of the most successful plastic surgery, beauty training schools, and cosmetics manufacturing businesses in Italy 'Ripar Cosmetici' frequently described their relationship with their staff and patients as being one large family when we spent time with them in late 2012.

There would be very few working in the field of Micropigmentation who have not heard of Dr. Linda Dixon and many would be aware that Linda began her career as a Dental Hygienist which helped support her while she completed her medical degree, it was later on during her time as a Anesthesiologist that Linda first met and became friends with Cyril Pahinui a gifted guitarist and singer who has contributed to three Grammy Award-winning albums and received several coveted 'Hoku Hanohano Awards' which are the Hawaiian equivalent of a Grammy Award.

Perhaps a little known fact in the Cosmetic Tattoo industry is that in 1990 Linda composed a song "Who Loves You", some 20 years later Linda gave a gift of her precious guitar to her long time friend Cyril for his 60th birthday and they reminisced about the song that Linda wrote 2 decades previously, Cyril went on to record the song in collaboration with  Aunti Diana Aki and it was well received.

You Can Purchase this Song On iTunes

This is yet another common thread that we have experienced with those who have very successful businesses in the field of Permanent Makeup and Medical Tattooing, often the practitioners are also gifted in several other fields particularly in the areas of artistic expression.

Dr. Dixon is particularly proud of the work that she and her co-author Dr. Charles Zwerling had invested in the creation of the text 'Micropigmentation Millennium', the text chronicles over 25 years of extensive experience in the field of Cosmetic & Medical Micropigmentation by two of our industries intellectual giants. Having had the pleasure of reading this text I thoroughly recommend it to all members of our profession you should regard it as an essential part of your professional library.

Micropigmentation Millenium Click here to Purchase

Linda is currently the presiding president of the American Academy of Micropigmentation an organisation at the forefront of service standards in the USA, for several years Linda has also been very active in the design of new needle profiles to improve flexibility of use, advanced technique, and colour retention. Most practitioners would be familiar with the Dixon slope needles but may not be so familiar with the new Ditto™ and V-Slope™ needles which were developed in conjunction with the worlds leading manufacturer MT.Derm.

I had the pleasure of undergoing training in the use of the Ditto™ and V-Slope™ with the manufacturer my global partner MT.Derm in Germany last year but it was particularly beneficial to learn first hand from Linda who is the designer of the needles what the preferred applications were for the new needle designs and how best to implement them.

Ditto Needle

The Ditto™ is a new dual 5 slope configuration with two 5 slope needle groups in tandem, some have taken to referring to this needle as a 10 slope or a power slope.

The manufacturer has recommended this needle for areola, scars, and camouflage tattooing, use of this needle does require special training but some insider tips from Dr. Linda Dixon includes the following;

Great for colouring a full lip, this needle gives a very even coverage with just 2 passes one vertical and one horizontal, always use a shallow depth for the lips to avoid excessive bleeding and swelling and you will get a better result.

V-Slope Needle


The V-slope™ needle (aka Duo™) is essentially a 5 slope needle with a twist, what would normally be the longest needle in the group (5) has been shortened to the same length as needle (3) in the group providing a needle configuration that can be used as 4 slope, fine point and 2 needle group simply by changing hand position and needle angle.

The manufacturer also recommended this needle for areola, scars, and camouflage tattooing, use of this needle also requires special training but some insider tips from Dr. Linda Dixon includes the following;

Perfect choice for EYELINER, use the 4 group side for thicker top eyeliner and the 2 group side for thinner bottom eyeliner, with either end of the eyeliner as you move towards the canthus turn the the needle slightly to make the end of your eyeline finer, fabulous eyeliner in just a few passes.

Click here to see our current range of available Slope Needle Cartridges

It was an immense pleasure to spend quality time collaborating, consulting, working and socialising with Dr. Linda Dixon who welcomed us into her clinic, her home and extended us warm and generous Aloha hospitality and I am honoured to have her as a friend and colleague, and part of my International Expert Advisory Network.

Andrea Darby & Dr. Linda Dixon

During our discussions with Linda I was very pleased to discover that her philosophy towards providing Medical Tattooing services for those who have suffered life threatening illnesses such as areola tattooing after breast cancer matched my own, providing those kinds of services to clients is not about the profit motive but rather its our way of giving back to the community and helping others and it is immensely gratifying to learn that someone of Linda's stature shares our values and has been assisting those patients with the most need for a very long time.

Dr. Dixon is going strong and has no plans for retirement any time soon, in fact Linda mentioned that she relished the work and looked forward to developing new techniques and equipment and will continue to do so for many years to come. From myself and Derek its a big Mahalo to Linda for her time and generosity of spirit and we look forward to returning the hospitality when she is in next in Australia.


Original publication date: 28/06/2013

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