Have you undergone treatment for cancer that resulted in hair loss? Are you conscious about how your scalp or hair looks? Do you have a scar on your scalp due to surgery or an injury? The good news is, now you can change the appearance of your scalp. One of these options is known as scalp micropigmentation. Are you wondering what scalp micropigmentation is?
Perhaps you are already familiar with microblading for full brows. But do you know that there is also a similar procedure for your scalp? This practice is referred to as scalp micropigmentation (SMP). It can help in creating the illusion that you have fuller hair. But is exactly the difference between the two? According to makeup artist Michael Cohen, while both of them belong to the same category of micropigmentation, the method used in implanting the pigment is very different.
Typically, a manual blade is used in microblading, while an electric tattoo device is used for micropigmentation. The reason behind this is that more power is required in penetrating the skin on your scalp. Keep in mind that the skin on the scalp is much thicker compared to the skin under your eyebrows.
How Does Scalp Micropigmentation Work?
The objective of Scalp Micropigmentation is not to generate hairlike lines like in the process of microblading eyebrows. However, this process utilizes very fine, layered dots in a variety of black hues in order to imitate the shadow on your scalp. This style, also known as pointillism, is accomplished by creating a more natural-looking depth.
A professional practitioner can help you in ensuring that these dots will look the same with natural hair follicles. Additionally, it will blend perfectly with your complexion. Scalp micropigmentation can greatly help people who are experiencing different types of hair loss. This includes people who have cancer, thinning hair, alopecia, as well as female and male pattern baldness.
How Painful is Scalp Micropigmentation?
What is the procedure like? Does it hurt? How painful can it be? Actually, it all depends. Prior to the procedure, the practitioner will put a topical numbing solution on your scalp. However, you need to consider that you will still feel discomfort. Keep in mind that the discomfort that you will feel will likely depend on your pain tolerance.
Scalp micropigmentation is not appropriate for people who have scalp acne or any other type of skin sensitivities such as psoriasis. This is because when a breakout occurs it will be hard to place the pigment on the inflamed areas. People who are prone to developing keloids may not be good candidates for scalp micropigmentation.
Once you are done researching and have found a skilled practitioner, the next step will likely be to have an initial consultation. During this time, the artist will prepare you for what to expect. You will learn how to prepare beforehand. Here are some guidelines for you.
- Be sure to take a shower before the treatment. Keep in mind that you will be prohibited from washing or wetting your scalp for about four days after every treatment.
- Generally, every treatment will likely take between four and five hours.
- The number of treatments that you require will likely depend on the extent of the scalp that needs SMP. According to Cohen, even if it is only a small area, you still require three to four treatments to ensure long-term retention. This is because scalp micropigmentation is a process of layering color.
- Your appointment will be scheduled a few weeks after each treatment.
- During the weeks between treatments, you should avoid swimming, going to steam or sauna baths, or taking extensive hot showers which can lead to steam storms. Do not expose your scalp to the sun during the first four days of your treatment, or you could choose to wear a hat. You can expose your scalp to the sun for 45 minutes to an hour during the fifth day after your treatment. However, you have to consider that less exposure to the sun will cause better long-term retention.
What to Do After Your Final Treatment
- Finally, after having your last treatment, it is important that you should not go swimming or visit saunas and steam baths. You have to do this for 28 days after having your last treatment.
- After your final treatment, you should stay away from the sun for 28 days. After that, you can use SPF 30–50 sunscreen.
- Within five days after your final treatment, you should avoid doing heavy exercises.
- After the fourth day of your final treatment, start moisturizing your scalp.
How Much Does It Cost For Scalp Micropigmentation?
The cost of SMP differs depending on the area of your scalp that requires this procedure. According to Cohen, the cost for every treatment is generally between $400 and $1,000. Micropigmentation is a semi-permanent procedure. Although the effects of SMP will probably last up to eight years, eventually it will fade over time. This is because your skin will naturally exfoliate. While the color may lighten, this will also occur when an incorrect pigment is used.
As a result, in case your skin is very dry, then most likely fading can occur more quickly. This is because the skin has the tendency to flake with dry skin. This will unintentionally exfoliate the pigment off at a faster rate.
What Are the Risks Involved in Scalp Pigmentation?
Keep in mind that there are also risks involved with SMP, just like most medical procedures. Technically, micropigmentation is not actually considered a tattoo. When you are getting a tattoo, a thicker needle will be used, and the ink will be embedded much deeper into the skin. However, procedures such as SMP and other permanent makeup also involve the same risks. These risks include infection related to the tattoo ink as well as allergies to some components in the pigment.
Nevertheless, the most important thing to consider is that becoming an SMP artist does not require formal training. This is also similar to microblading. Because of this, it is very important that you must be diligent in finding a reliable practitioner.
How to Find a Reliable SMP Practitioner
Before choosing your SMP practitioner, it is important that you should do some research. In order to have an assurance that this procedure is left in the right hands, you have to visit their facility where the procedure will be performed. Be sure to check if your SMP treatment center has the following:
- Safety protection for the treatment, such as mask, gloves, etc.
- Packed needles that will be opened in front of the client.
- Sterile and clean surroundings with a sink.
- Possesses a county health permit.
- Certification for bloodborne pathogens.
- Certification of Scalp Micropigmentation Training.
- Practitioner license on display.
When it comes to the general regulation and licensing of SMP, it differs from one state to another. For instance, in the state of California, the license and regulation for permanent makeup, body piercing, tattooing, and scalp micropigmentation are the same. This means that if you are a licensed tattoo artist, then you can easily switch to SMP with little to no training needed at all.
According to Cohen, these tattoo artists or parlors should not offer these kinds of services. She said that if you notice that the tattoo artist or parlor is offering the same service, then you should immediately switch to the other direction. Consequently, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) cautions consumers that they must recognize the risks involved when deciding to get permanent makeup and tattoo so that they can make an informed decision, especially since the FDA does not have any regulations when it comes to the pigments or tattoo inks being used.
Check the Background of the Practitioner
Cohen, who obtained formal training for SMP revealed that in order to avoid disastrous results, you should avoid inexperienced practitioners. If you are feeling reluctant toward the practitioner, Cohen suggests that this is already an indication that the environment is not appropriate for you. In other words, you need to trust your gut.
The next thing to do is to ask the artist the number of appointments they have for each day. It is important to consider that this type of service takes a lot of time and at the same time, it requires extreme focus. Hence, if the practitioner is handling four or five appointments each day, then this is already a red flag. Perhaps this is a sign that the practitioner is not giving enough attention and time to each client, which is something that they deserve.
Do Your Homework
Additionally, you may also want to research the background of your practitioner. For instance, where they obtained their training and the extent of this training. You could also browse their portfolio on their social media networks. It would also be a great help if you can speak to the previous clients of your practitioner and ask them about their experiences.
Finally, it is important to remember that Scalp Micropigmentation should be treated as an investment. When it is done properly by a skilled and professional artist, then it can boost your confidence. If you are interested in a Scalp Micropigmentation procedure, then you can book an appointment at Beauty Techniques. Just call us at (832) 654-4595 or send us an email at [email protected].