Scalp Micropigmentation for Hair Loss

Scalp Micropigmentation: Solution for Hair Loss

Both men and women suffer from hair loss. The most common causes are genetics, hormones, aging, and lifestyle. Men usually experience receding hairlines. Women, on the other hand, suffer from PCOS hair loss resulting in thinning hair.

Fortunately, different hair restoration methods exist to help alleviate hair loss issues. One of the easiest available options is scalp micropigmentation.

What is Scalp Micropigmentation (SMP)?

scalp micropigmentation for hair loss

Scalp micropigmentation (SMP) is an advanced cosmetic hair loss solution. It does not require surgery, unlike other hair transplantation methods. SMP has gained popularity and is seen on different celebrities like Jamie Foxx and Vin Diesel.

SMP is also known as hair tattooing or hairline tattoo. It is different from a traditional tattoo, yet the basic method is the same. SMP excellently mimics natural hair follicles resulting in a very natural look.

Scalp micropigmentation is an option for people with hair loss problems. These include thinning hair, alopecia, and male and female pattern baldness. It can effectively conceal hair loss.

Who Is It For?

Men and women who suffer hair loss from the following causes may benefit from SMP:

How It Works

First, we would suggest having an initial consultation to help you prepare. Make sure to research for an SMP expert or a reputable clinic. Multiple treatments are recommended depending on the scalp condition.

After the assessment, the treatments will be scheduled a few weeks apart.

Preparation for SMP

Your technician may recommend the following guidelines for preparation:

  • Take a shower before treatments.

  • For men, shave before the first session.

  • Women who want to enhance existing hair do not need to shave.

  • Take medication such as Tylenol or paracetamol for pain management.

  • Avoid alcohol intake.

One of the most frequently asked questions during preparation is how painful the procedure is. This depends on your pain tolerance but the pain is usually minimal. It is significantly less than traditional tattooing.

During the preparation stage, the SMP practitioner can also guide you on choosing the best style for you.

Procedure

Micropigmentation is performed using a specialized electric device with very thin needles with the following procedure.

  • The first treatment is done to set the foundation of your look. A topical numbing cream will be applied to your scalp.

  • Very fine needles are used to penetrate the outer layer of the scalp’s skin.

  • Through the needles, specialized pigment is deposited in the skin. SMP uses a special pigment that is formulated for the scalp. This is different from regular tattoo pigments.

  • Pigment deposits are repeated until the scalp looks like it has hair follicles. It is a very detailed procedure, and one session usually takes 2-4 hours.

  • A second treatment is done to add more definition to the scalp. This is to also to make sure that the correct density and shade is achieved. In this session, the final look is achieved.

  • The third treatment is optional. It depends on the final look you want to achieve. It is usually arranged for those who want a darker shade.

  • The gap between treatments is between 1 – 2 weeks. The pigment needs to set naturally into the skin.

Results

Scalp micropigmentation results look like a newly shaved hair appearance. The pigment deposits form a “shadow” on your scalp. The shadow looks like natural hair follicles.

Men will have a newly shaved hair look that conceals balding and receding hairlines. Women will appear to have more hair to skin ratio, resulting in thicker-looking hair.

Aftercare

Here is how you can take care of your scalp after the treatment.

  • Some redness may be experienced after the treatment. Avoid touching the scalp, it may be tender and uncomfortable to touch. This usually subsides in 1-2 days.

  • Pigment deposits will form scabs. Avoid removing these by yourself and just allow them to naturally fall off and heal.

  • Avoid applying products and moisturizers. Allow the pigment to set in.

  • In-between treatments, avoid having hot showers and going to saunas. Wear a hat to avoid sun exposure especially in the first four days.

  • If you need to go outdoors, wear protective gear such as a cap and use sunscreen. After your final treatment, avoid heavy exercise and excessive sun exposure. Although SMP is permanent, these can cause pigments to fade faster.

How much does scalp micropigmentation cost?

SMP is more cost-effective than other popular hair treatment methods. It starts at $99 for a touch-up session. The average cost for repairs for bad hair treatments is $1000.

The treatment will generally cost around $1200 – $4500. Your SMP expert will take into consideration factors such as your hairline and the density needed.

Advantages of SMP

Scalp micropigmentation has many benefits:

  • It is one of the easiest hair loss options.

  • SMP is the least expensive treatment compared to other popular hair transplant methods.

  • It is safe for both men and women, young and old.

  • It is an option for those suffering from hair loss due to health conditions.

  • SMP can also conceal scars on the scalp such as those from accidental burns.

  • The healing process is faster compared to hair transplants.

  • The results are almost instant and can last for 3 to 6 years.

  • No downtime, you can easily go back to work after a session.

  • It can also result in a very stylish shaved look for men.

  • For women, it can conceal scalp skin to enhance existing hair. Resulting in thicker hair that looks natural.

  • People who have hair transplant scars can opt for SMP to cover spots.

As an Alternative for Hair Transplant

Although hair transplantation methods are also a popular hair loss solution, these may not be an ideal option for everyone. When done improperly, people may suffer from side effects such as bleeding, infection, scalp pain, and scars. These can lead to more damage instead of treating hair loss.

SMP is a great and safe alternative for hair transplants. It yields more natural even results compared to a hair transplant that has gone wrong resulting in uneven hair patches on the scalp. SMP can also repair bad hair treatments by effectively concealing scars and uneven patches.

Conclusion

Scalp micropigmentation is a highly advanced semi-permanent procedure for hair loss. It is a great hair restoration option for both men and women. SMP is cost-effective and easier compared to other treatments.

With SMP, you can now achieve the look of a fuller head of hair without surgery. It is important to only hire scalp micropigmentation experts to achieve the best, most natural results.

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What is SMP?

Scalp Micro Pigmentation (SMP) was developed as both a cosmetic procedure for men and women suffering with all types of hair loss, and as a medical procedure to help conceal scars, burns, birthmarks, as well as the full spectrum of alopecia. During the SMP procedure, a blend of unique pigments specifically formulated for the client are deposited into the dermal layer of the skin on the scalp. These deposits create an extremely realistic illusion that replicates hair follicles. SMP is a viable alternative to traditional hair transplant surgery, hair systems, pills, and fibers.. Around the world, thousands of clients live their lives free from hair loss without lengthly maintenance routines, unwelcome side effects or signifiant ongoing financial outlay.

Does scalp micropigmentation look real?

A typical scalp hair from a Caucasian woman is about 77 micrometers in diameters (67 Um in those of Asian descent, and 120 Um in those African descent). Typically, SMP dots placed in the dermis layer are 90-140 micrometers in diameter.

While this might seem a bit larger than a real human hair, this slight difference is virtually indistinguishable from real hair follicles. Often, when viewed 1 foot away, close friends and family will not be able to tell where real hair ends and the SMP begins.

What causes hair loss?

As hair on the scalp goes through it's normal cycle of growing and shedding, DHT makes the follicles miniaturize. That means they get thinner and shorter because the growing cycle doesn't last as long. The growing cycle becomes so brief that new hairs can't grow through the skin. For women, hair loss can be caused by an imbalance of thyroid hormones, pregnancy, disease and certain medications.

How long will SMP last for?

With proper care and treatment, including using high sunscreen when outside, SMP will commonly last for many years. For a healthy client with a normal immune system, we expect that the color will last with original vibrance for about 4-6 years, with gradual fading of the pigment to last up to 8 years.

Fortunately, if a touch up is needed, a fee is charged which is generally cheaper per session than the original treatment fee. It's important to note that each individual is different so an estimated range of longevity will be provided at our consultation meeting.

Will SMP fade, smear, or turn blue as the years pass?

Any pigment applied to the dermal layer of the skin will eventually fade, but we expect SMP to last several years or more, before even minimal fading is noticed. Ultraviolet radiation from the sun often breaks apart some tattoo inks for easier absorption by the body, resulting in increased fade rates and slight smearing. As the inks are degraded, their chromophores are often altered resulting in changed color. If this occurs, we can easily offer touch up sessions, or revise the ink color by adding additives to mute, neutralize, or warm up the tone again.

Is SMP reversible? Is receiving SMP treatment painful?

Yes, SMP pigmentation can be removed with an electro-optic Q switched laser, which is used to heat and break-up the SMP pigmentation for easier absorption by phagocytes in the dermis. SMP is fairly easy to remove in most cases because the pigment is not deposited as deeply as normal tattoo ink. The electro-optic laser, however is expensive and therefore, many clinics which advertise laser removal do not actually own one.

As for pain, it depends on the individual. In some cases, clients have fallen asleep while I have completed treatment. In other cases, clients experience pain across the temples or above the ears during treatment. Most clients rate their pain on a scale of 1-10, as 3-5 during treatment.

How long will it take for my final SMP appearance to form?

A normal client depending on hair loss extent, will take two to four treatments to achieve their final appearance. Most treatments are 2-3 hours long with small breaks as needed. The first treatment often places a very light application on the scalp to assess fading and density levels. The normal reaction from many clients is to assume that the SMP is too light. However, this is a normal part of the treatment and allows me to better treat the scalp in later sessions. The second treatment is 10-14 days later, and adds the majority of the density to your new look. Treatments three or later are usually for completing the look, addressing darkness matching or to even the density across the scalp.

What will my scalp look like immediately after treatment?

The area of the scalp that has been treated will have some redness for 24 hours after treatment, though this tends to be less visible on darker skin tones. In addition, the pigmentation will be darker for up to 7 days after treatment, again, depending on your skin tone. Thereafter, the pigmentation will appear to become lighter and softer as the pigment filled scabs begin to flake away. These scabs flake away in the first 3 to 10 days. As this happens, it appears to the observer that the SMP dots are shrinking. When the healing process is complete, the final dots are often 90 to 170 Um in diameter and blend seamlessly into any natural hair. By about one month, after any treatment, the pigments will begin to "set" and thereafter, fading will be almost zero.

How do I choose a hairline? If I have hair left, can I leave it long?

If you are unsure of what style or type of hairline will work or you, I will be there to help. With an artistic eye and experience on how to fit a hairline to head shape and age, I can help recommend what's best. Over the course of our sessions, we can tweak and adjust the hairline for the perfect, natural result.

Depending upon the pattern and extent of your current hair, some clients are able to maintain a longer length. Scalp micropigmentation can help thicken 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.

Can Studio Conceal camouflage my transplant scar?

Yes, absolutely! By replicating tiny hair follicles inside the scarring and blending the color around the scarring area, transplant and surgical scars can see massive improvement in concealment.

DOES THIS TREATMENT REMOVE STRETCH MARKS?

Other than a tummy tuck, or the literal removal of skin, there is no proven way to remove stretch marks. The Stretch Mark Camouflage Tattoo only helps to conceal and diminish the appearance of stretch marks so that they are less perceptible to the naked eye. Think of it as having a permanent filter, taking away the white contrast of your scars.

IS THE TREATMENT SUITABLE FOR ALL SKIN TYPES?

Generally, yes! However, there are a small number of people who the treatment would not be suitable for. Your stretch marks and scars need to be at least two years old, lighter than your skin tone and completely healed. Booking a virtual consultation can help determine if you’re a candidate for this procedure and is required for all clients.

CAN I GET TATTOOED IF MY SKIN IS ALREADY TANNED?

We prefer to match only your natural skin tone, and require that our clients postpone their session until their tan has faded. This ensures that we are able to custom blend an ink color that will look most natural whether you’re tanned or not.

WHAT HAPPENS WHEN I TAN?

Your camouflaged stretch marks and scars will not change color. If you tan, your skin’s overtone will darken, but your stretch marks will remain the same color as your natural skin-toned ink tattoo. Overall, your stretch marks will still be camouflaged because the “white” is no longer there. In short, there’s less of an obvious contrast. Here’s a great video explaining what happens to your stretch mark tattoos when you tan.

WILL IT HURT? DO YOU NUMB YOUR CLIENTS?

The Stretch Mark Camouflage Tattoo is a penetrative skin procedure so a small amount of discomfort will be experienced. Usually on a scale 1-10 (10 being most painful), the average consensus is a 6 or 7. We do not numb our clients to avoid any interference to the purity and insertion of pigment into the scar. In addition, your pain receptors will be heightened if you’re on your monthly cycle, and so we suggest you book your session/touch ups accordingly.

CAN I GET THE TREATMENT WHILE PREGNANT OR BREAST-FEEDING?

Congratulations on your pregnancy, but unfortunately, we are unable to treat women who are pregnant or breastfeeding. We look forward to treating you once your little one is weaned and your scars have been fully healed (usually within two years).

HOW WILL I LOOK IMMEDIATELY AFTERWARDS?

There’s little to no downtime. Most Clients can resume work the same day, or even fly home after their session. It’s normal to experience redness and swelling immediately after the procedure for 1-3 days. For the first 3 days, you’ll be given strict instructions on how to minimize inflammation, speed up the wound healing phase, and how to “ice” the area and keep it clean. Over the next few weeks, the redness will dissipate and go through a variety of shades (from dark to light) until your skin heals. We’ll be in contact with you every step of the way.

HOW QUICKLY WILL I SEE RESULTS?

Everyone’s skin is different. Variables include age, diet, hormones, general health, overtones, sun exposure, etc and so it’s impossible to give an exact number of days it will take you to heal. On average, it takes 45-60 days, but if you're prone to hyper-pigmentation (you naturally scar dark), it will most likely take longer to heal. During your consultation, we can discuss and assess your skin’s estimated timeline and variables.
*Here’s a recent case study of our fastest healing client to help you speed along your recovery!

HOW LONG WILL THE RESULTS OF THE PROCEDURE LAST?

The Stretch Mark Camouflage Tattoo is a penetrative skin treatment that’s only been around for 6-7 years. According to our industry, it’ll last 5 years, or more provided that the correct after-care procedures are adhered to. You may or may not need a touch up after 5-6 years. Remember, a stretch mark is a scar and so the skin is trickier to penetrate. In addition, as we age, all tattoos transition and change on our skin because there’s less elasticity and melanin production. This can effect your stretch mark camouflage tattoo, as well.

WHAT IS THE COST OF THE PROCEDURE?

The total cost of the procedure varies greatly per technician and is dependent on the location and severity of the stretch marks or scar requiring treatment. Studio Conceal charges anywhere between $500-$2,000/ per area. We require an initial consultation (in-person or virtual) free of charge with zero pressure, during which the final cost can be determined by a formal quote.

DO YOU OFFER PAYMENT PLANS?

Yes we do! We’ve partnered with United Medical Credit to offer easy, reliable financing for all camouflage services and training. It’s really easy to apply and only takes 3 minutes to get approved. They’ll do a soft credit check to determine your options and will be in contact with you in 24 hours. Apply for financing of tattoo treatment or training here, hassle free.

STRETCH MARK CAMOUFLAGE TATTOO VS. LASER TREATMENTS?

While Laser Treatments do work on stretch marks by damaging the skin’s outer layer and forcing it to heal itself, they do not put color back into the skin. So almost all clients who get Laser Treatments for their stretch marks still have noticeable stretch marks. In fact, many of our clients have had many Laser Treatment procedures prior to walking into our studio. Another huge difference is the cost of that treatments. Laser Treatments could run $1,000 to $3,000 per session, and can easily end up costing the client over $10,000 overall.
*Here’s a short video going over the differences of microneedling vs. laser vs. the stretch mark camouflage tattoo