Scalp micropigmentation (SMP) is one of the most popular hair loss solutions for both men and women. It’s a non-invasive procedure that uses tiny needles to implant pigments onto the scalp, thus creating the illusion of fuller, thicker hair. Scalp micropigmentation works with almost any hair colour and is suitable for people of all ages. Like with most procedures, there are a number of risks associated with scalp micropigmentation. Although the risks are fairly low, it’s still worth knowing so you can better prepare yourself for the treatment.
In this article, we’ll be discussing how to avoid the risks that come with scalp micropigmentation and educate you on how the entire procedure works.
Is scalp micropigmentation painful?
One of the most common misconceptions about scalp micropigmentation is that it’s a painful procedure. While the treatment isn’t pain-free, it all depends on your pain tolerance. Think about scalp micropigmentation like getting a tattoo, but with tinier needles. At the most, you’ll experience slight discomfort, but the pain is nowhere as painful as most people tend to believe.
Because the needles are so thin, you won’t feel it as much in your scalp. It only embeds pigments on the epidermis (the outermost layer of the skin), meaning it hits less pain receptors compared to a traditional tattoo that deposits ink on the dermis (the layer of skin underneath the epidermis). If you’ve had tattoos before, you will know exactly how it feels like.
After the procedure, your scalp may exhibit slight redness. Do note that this phenomenon is quite normal and will heal on its own in a matter of days. Your SMP artist will provide you with a detailed instruction on proper aftercare so make sure to follow this carefully.
Do scalp micropigmentation artists undergo training?
Reputable scalp micropigmentation artists undergo training and certification to prove their expertise. When choosing an SMP artist, you want to make sure that they have the necessary credentials to perform their work. Some of the risks that come with working with an under-trained artist are:
- Poor, inconsistent results
- Pigments don’t match your hair colour
- Risk of scalp infection due to unhygienic practices
- Having to undergo subsequent procedures to correct errors
These risks can be mitigated by choosing a professional SMP artist. To put your mind at ease, do your research and ask the artist for their portfolio and credentials. You can even ask their clients for feedback to know more about the quality of their services. Keep in mind that an average tattoo parlor is not well-versed in applying a scalp tattoo compared to an experienced SMP practitioner. Don’t be tempted with cheap pricing and go with a reputable SMP artist to minimise the risks.
Is it possible to be allergic to scalp micropigmentation?
There is a possibility that you can be allergic to scalp micropigmentation treatment, especially if you have a history of skin allergies. That said, only a few people are ever allergic to pigments used in the treatment. As long as your SMP artist is using high-quality ink, you shouldn’t worry about allergies at all.
If you’re concerned about this and you want to make sure you aren’t allergic, you can ask your SMP artist to test out a small area in your skin. If there’s no allergic reaction to the pigment, then you’re good to go.
Does scalp micropigmentation fade?
In general, scalp micropigmentation is a permanent hair loss treatment designed to last for years. The most important thing is to care for your scalp micropigmentation treatment as per your artist’s instructions. However, the treatment will fade slowly over time (much like a normal tattoo) and it takes around 5-10 years before needing another touch-up.
Keep in mind that some factors may cause premature fading and these are:
- Excessive sun exposure
- Poor aftercare
- Not moisturising your scalp
The sun’s UV rays can break down the pigments in your scalp and cause it to fade. If you’re going to be exposed under the sun, use an SPF 30-50 sunscreen to protect the pigments. You can also wear a hat to shield the pigments from the sun.
You should also use a water-based moisturiser twice a day; after taking a shower in the morning and before going to bed. This keeps your scalp hydrated and prevents the pigments from shedding off due to flaking. Aside from that, the only maintenance you’ll need are quick touch-ups every few years. The great thing about touch-ups is that you can customise your look and even change the pigment’s colour if you wish.