What Is Scalp Micropigmentation And How Can It Help You Overcome Hair Loss?
In the past, the term “overcoming hair loss” meant purchasing a can of rogaine and patiently waiting for results. Or, the more invasive route of transplant surgery which comes with long, painful recovery times.
Today, scalp micropigmentation is emerging as an effective treatment for hair loss in men and women. Initially the treatment was most common amongst balding men seeking to create a fuller-looking head of hair. More recently, there has been an increase in women undergoing scalp micropigmentation to overcome hair loss caused by stress, childbirth, illness, etc.
The process of micropigmentation is different for men and women. Treatment for men is usually focused on replicating hair follicles. Whereas, the primary goal of treatment for women is to decrease the contract between the hair and scalp in places where the hair has been thinning.
What is scalp micropigmentation?
The process of scalp micropigmentation (also known as SMP) involves using a machine with a multitude of tiny needles to “tattoo” pigment onto the scalp and hairline. This creates the appearance of small, realistic hair follicles and the illusion of a shaved head. In cases of thinning hair lines, strategic micropigmentation can make hair look thicker and more full.
Technicians use specialized pigments and a handful of different needle sizes, penetration depths & angles depending on the area of the scalp being treated. Your technician will work with you in a consultation to help you to decide on the pigment colours and the final look of your treatment.
There is little to no recovery time with scalp micropigmentation. You should expect some redness in the area that has been tattooed for about 24-48 hours after each session. Many people return to work the next day, and the time between appointments can be as little as one week apart. The pigment will appear darker at first, and will fade once the small scabs have fallen off and healed.
Is SMP right for you?
Micropigmentation is a new alternative for men and women who want to overcome hair loss but don't want to undergo long, painful and expensive surgeries for hair restoration. If you are balding or have thinning hair, micropigmentation can restore your confidence by adding realistic tattooed hair follicles to your scalp. Women with thinning or receding hairlines can also benefit from scalp micropigmentation by eliminating the contrast between the scalp and the hairline. A trained technician will apply the ink to the thinning areas to create the fuller look.
Scalp micropigmentation is the best alternative for people who may not be a good candidate for transplant surgery. It’s also beneficial for men and women who may suffer from medical or skin conditions. Cancer patients who have suffered hair loss due to chemotherapy, or those with skin conditions like alopecia, that result in no hair growth at all, make great candidates for scalp micropigmentation. Scalp micropigmentation can also be a solution for camouflaging scars, burns or birthmarks on the scalp and face.
Does SMP hurt?
The process can be painful but most technicians will use a topical numbing cream like Zensa Numbing Cream to make the process pain-free. Zensa will keep your scalp numb for 1-2 hours and is completely safe to reapply mid-procedure on open skin. If your technician doesn't offer numbing, you can purchase a tube of Zensa before your appointment. Zensa is trusted by professional cosmetic tattoo artists to keep clients comfortable during any painful procedure.
How long does the process take?
The process is usually complete after 2-3 sessions and each session's length will depend on how much or little hair is being restored. A full men’s hair restoration can typically take 3-5 hours in the first sessions to create the “buzz cut” look.
How long does SMP last?
In most cases scalp micropigmentation can last anywhere from 4-6 years before a touch up is needed.
There is very little maintenance required after a SMP session. In the first week after the treatment it's best to avoid any activities that may cause you to sweat. You should also avoid washing or shampooing your hair, and it’s recommended to avoid shaving your head for at least ten days after the treatment.
How much does SMP cost?
The cost of SMP depends on a variety of factors, including the clinic you choose, what country the clinic is based in, and the type of procedure. A standard, multiple-session procedure in North America will generally ask for $2,000 to $4,000.
After-care is very minimal. It is best to avoid the sun or steam rooms, as well as any activities like swimming for up to 28 days after your final treatment. Avoid excessive exercise for 5 days. After 28 days it’s important to use sunscreen on your scalp every time your head will be exposed to the sun to avoid premature fading of the pigment. Most importantly, it's essential to regularly moisturize the treated area beginning 4 days after each session. Zensa Healing Cream is an all natural after-care solution for any permanent cosmetic treatment. It contains pareben-free ingredients like aloe vera extract and calendula oil that contain natural healing properties. Zensa Healing Cream will help you heal quicker so you can get back to your daily routine in no time.
Scalp micropigmentation isn't just restoring hairlines….it’s restoring confidence. Hair loss can be a worrying experience for many people, especially those who have suffered from life changing illnesses. If you think scalp micropigmentation is the solution for you, get in touch with some local technicians and book a consultation.
Photos credit to @ink.barber.