I’ve been active in the hair industry for over twenty-five years. No matter what the new modality was, I recognized as clients started to age, health issues came up or younger clients with genetic markers for baldness were present, fine and thinning hair was an issue. I discovered micropigmentation is a great way to create visually the illusion of fuller hair. Knowing that I could architecturally create or enhance a hairline that takes years off someone’s appearance is exciting to me. That I can keep offering new ideas and services with confidence to make clients look and feel better about themselves is exciting to them. I see it as a win win.
What is Micropigmentation?
Scalp micropigmentation is creating the illusion of hair follicles when none exists. SMP is a permanent cosmetic hair tattoo. Tiny dots of pigment are carefully deposited into the dermal layer of skin on the scalp to replicate hair follicles. While SMP is not a total solution for hair loss, it may be a good option for anyone wishing to sport the look of a closely shaved head, as well as anyone wanting to disguise their hair transplant scar, or reduce the contrast between the scalp color and the hair color to give the appearance of a fuller head of hair.
Is it permanent? Will it fade?
Scalp Micropigmentation is defined as a permanent medical-grade tattoo similar to permanent makeup or a traditional tattoo. However being realistic is paramount, for everyone’s body chemistry is different. Depending on the oil in your skin, products you use, pigment fading, the climate you live in, exposure to the sun, and the possibility of losing more hair it would be safe to say you should expect to do touchups anywhere from 3 to 7 years. To avoid premature fading, it is recommended that you use sunscreen and avoid prolonged periods of exposure to the sun, and wear a hat if possible. Doing so will not only preserve your SMP but it will also protect your skin from sunburns.
How long do the results last before I could see fading?
After completion of your treatment (number of sessions will vary) you should expect the strength of the color to last for many years. Over a longer term, a client will very gradually begin to notice slight lightening (not discolor) of the treatment. When this occurs they can undergo a brief “touch up” session to restore any fading.
Will sweating interfere with scalp healing?
Sweating is beyond your control, which is why we would recommend that you wait for a minimum of 4 days before engaging in any physical activity or action that causes mild sweating for desired results. After ten days, sweating shouldn’t interfere with the healing of your scalp.
What if my hair turns gray?
Believe it or not, the stubble from white hair (and most colors of hair) is GRAY when you shave close to the skin. As an example, look at blond men with a close shave and you will see the gray shades where the hair exits in the scalp. The goal is to match the shade of pigment based on your skin and hair color. If you have dark hair now and it turns gray later on in life, the underlying shade will blend despite the hair color change, because SMP enables coverage of the entire scalp, not just the bald areas.
How do I choose a hairline?
During your consultation just like any other hair service, you and I will discuss what will work best for you. . What you would like to see when it’s finished and your expectations. With over thirty years as a licensed hairdresser, I can bring a unique perspective and experience on how to design the hairline to your head shape and for your age. Over the course of your sessions, we can tweak and adjust the hairline for a perfect result.
If I have hair left can I leave it longer?
Depending upon the pattern and extent of the thinning hair, some clients are able to maintain a longer length of hair. Scalp pigmentation can help thicken the appearance of areas so that less of the scalp is seen showing through. However, if there is a strong pattern of hair loss or just not a lot of hair density left, the client is recommended to crop it shorter.
Will it cover scars?
Yes. By replicating tiny hair follicles inside the scarring and blending the color around the scarring area, transplant and surgical scars can see massive improvement regarding concealment.
What do I have to do in the days immediately after my procedure?
There is a simple aftercare procedure to follow to protect the scalp and maximize the results. I will give you a serum to apply to the treated area starting the next day. You can return to work and most activities immediately. I will be discussing that with you in your consultation and again on all procedure days.
What will I look like immediately after?
Immediately after the procedure, the scalp may look slightly pink, similar to sunburn. This may be more pronounced in lighter skin tones. This will fade around 24 to 48 hours after the procedure. As SMP is administered with needles there may be some scabbing where the pigment is placed on the scalp, however, this is unlikely. The intensity of the pigmentation may be slightly darker or more pronounced in the 3 to 4 days after the SMP procedure.
How long does it take for the pigment to settle into a natural look?
The pigment will settle and fade slightly in about 6 weeks. Then with each procedure that follows you will have some fading with that new pigment. As time goes on it could still show signs of light fading. This is mostly due to the natural exfoliation of the skin. Other contributing factors such as sun exposure, chlorine, harsh shampoos, topical products such as Rogaine, hair fillers, gels and spray fibers will have their effect. The degree of fading will also depend on how oily your skin is. That is why I encourage you to book another appointment about a year after the final visit for any touch up that may be needed. That appointment is included in your pricing. However if at that appointment you and I feel more then a touch up is needed the price will be at a reduced rate.
What steps can I take in order to protect my scalp to achieve longevity and best results?
It is important to follow the post-procedure instructions carefully. Protecting your scalp from the sun will retain the best results for a longer period, it is advisable to use a strong sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 will help. Remember to be mindful of the other contributing factors I mentioned concerning fading of pigment.
How long should I wait after undergoing the procedure before shaving my head using a razor?
You need to wait for a minimum of one week as your scalp still needs to heal on its own post-treatment.
How do I prevent shine on my scalp?
Many individuals that have had similar procedures recommend Milk of Magnesia lotion. There are other products that have received very good reviews, such as L’Oreal Pure, Matte Lotion for Men, Head blade and Head lube Matte lotion. HD (High Definition ) powders also work well. These are used to prevent shine when in front of the television and photographers camera. They can be purchased at makeup specialty stores or online.
When can I first use an anti-shine product after my treatment?
You can start by day seven after the procedure. You can apply it on top of the moisturizing serum that you were using after your procedure.
When can I first shower after my procedure?
Showers can be taken immediately from the neck down. Rinse the scalp only for the first 3 days.
When can I go back out in direct sunlight after my procedure?
You should protect the scalp from the sun indefinitely. If you are planning on spending time in the sun it is advised to wear a hat or use sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or greater.
How long before I can resume sports/physical activity?
You should avoid any activity which will cause the scalp to sweat for 4 days. However, it is advised that swimming is not resumed until after day thirty, due to chlorine exposure. Sauna and steam rooms should also be avoided for 30 days.
How long before I can go back to work?
This will depend on the individual client and their profession. If a job does not entail excessive physical exertion and/or seating, it is possible to return to work immediately. On the other hand, if a job is more physical and is more likely to cause perspiration, it is not recommended that you return until at least 4 days after your treatment.
When can I go out without wearing SPF protection?
You should never go out without applying SPF protection to your scalp. Ultraviolet rays can damage the pigment if it is exposed for long periods over a course of many months. This would probably cause the need for a touch up at a much earlier date than if SPF protection was used. There are skin care products with SPF in them. which can help in avoiding the layering of products.
Timeline of aftercare
For the first three days only rinses your scalp. By day four you can shampoo, always using tepid water.
How long should I wait before starting the second procedure?
You can start your second procedure no less than ten days from the first. Some clients have mentioned the scalp was more sensitive for the second treatment.
What should I do in the days before each treatment?
Try to eat a healthier diet leading up to the procedure. Increase your water intake and stop your vitamins three days before. You can replace them with vitamin K as it works to help the blood from thinning and prevents excess bleeding during the procedure. Afterwards, you can start your vitamins again. I would also add an anti-inflammatory such as eating pineapple, alpha lipoic acid, zinc, ginger, flax seed oil, or resveratrol are also good. Don’t forget to drink that water. Avoid Aspirins, since Aspirins, inhibit clotting.
Will it hurt, should I take something to relax before we start?
Pain tolerance is a funny thing. Everyone has different levels even on different days. You can bring music to relax, or read, or sleep. During the consultation, we will talk about it all.
The average price is about $50.00 per square inch of applied pigment. I will tailor your procedure and it’s pricing accordingly. We will talk about your expectations, what you would like to see when the treatment is completed and what I feel is possible. From there, together, we can lay out a game plan that provides the best possible results.