BEFORE WE BEGIN...
The information provided in this article is for information purposes only and should not be considered as a substitute for medical advice. Please read our disclaimer at the bottom of this page for more information.
WHAT IS SCALP MICROPIGMENTATION?
Essentially, Scalp Micropigmentation (SMP) is the implanting of colour pigments directly to the scalp to either give the appearance of a shaved head or add density to thinning hair.
The goal of scalp micropigmentation is to replicate the shadow effect on your scalp that would normally be provided by the hair follicles, rather than to recreate a new ‘hairline’ on your scalp, and should blend in naturally with your existing follicles.
Once the area has healed, the result should be that of a closely shaved buzz-cut. For those with cases of diffuse thinning ,it is also suggested that scalp micropigmentation can also be used to provide an underlying shade to help provide a look of a fuller head of hair.
So, is this just tattooing your scalp?
HOW DOES SCALP MICROPIGMENTATION WORK?
SCALP MICROPIGMENTATION & TATTOOING
There are many similarities to SMP and tattooing, so it is easy to understand why many people see them as the same procedure.
Both procedures are performed using a handheld device with a needle used to implanted pigment under the skin, resulting in an indelible marking. However, there are some key differences between scalp micropigmentation and tattooing, most notably around the depth of the implant and the type of pigment used.
Firstly, the pigment used in scalp micropigmentation is designed to not discolour in the same way as tattoo ink and expands differently once it is under your skin.
Secondly, with SMP the process is designed not to inject the pigment as deep into the skin as tattooing would, ideally sitting in the upper dermis. Unlike traditional tattooing which uses a scraping motion on the skin, scalp micropigmentation uses a technique known as pointillism or a dotting technique.
This is one of the reasons why practitioners do not like to use terms such as ‘hair tattoo’.
SCALP MICROPIGMENTATION & MICROBLADING
While both treatments fall under the same category, there are some differences between Microblading and Micropigmentation.
Similar to microblading, a practice designed to improve the appearance of your eyebrows, scalp micropigmentation is an aesthetic treatment that is designed to replicate the appearance of hair follicles to aid in the concealment of hair loss or provide the appearance of added thickness or volume to an area.
Microblading is typically performed with a manual blade, while scalp micropigmentation involves ‘implanting’ the natural pigments into the scalp via a series of tiny dots using an electric micro-needle.
WHAT DOES IT COST?
This really will be dependent on the area you would like to cover or conceal and you should be prepared that this is very rarely a single treatment process.
From our research you could be looking at between £1,000 - £3,000. For the latter, this would cover 3 or 4 sessions spaced 2/3 weeks apart.
Typically each session lasts between 2-4 hours.
HOW LONG DOES SCALP MICROPIGMENTATION LAST?
As micropigmentation is considered to be a semipermanent procedure and as your skin naturally exfoliates over time, you will see that the treated area will begin to fade.
Generally speaking, once your treatment is complete and aftercare routines have been fully respected, you should expect to be fairly maintenance-free for somewhere in the region of three to five years.
Thereafter, a simple case of top-ups is required.
WHAT ARE THE POSSIBLE SIDE EFFECTS?
Firstly, it is important to understand that this is considered a non-medical cosmetic procedure so you need to make sure that whoever you choose to have the procedure holds the relevant qualifications to do so.
Aside from the risks typically involved when getting a tattoo, such as risk of infection or potential allergies to the pigments used.
ANYTHING ELSE I SHOULD KNOW?
While a good night’s sleep is a great way to prepare, there are a few other things you should do to help you prepare for your procedure;
CUT YOUR HAIR
OK, this seems kind of obvious, especially if you are looking to maintain a really short style, but it is recommended by some companies to cut your hair the night before to ensure there is less irritation to your scalp. It is also harder to blend the pigment when your hair is longer so somewhere between 0-2 grade would be best.
You can check out our handy article on how to do this here.
EXFOLIATE & MOISTURISE YOUR SCALP
As we have mentioned earlier, unlike a tattoo, scalp micropigmentation does not go as deep into the skin so it's a case of the softer your scalp the better.
We suggest that you exfoliate your scalp after you have trimmed or shaved your head to remove any dead skin.
While we are talking about keeping your scalp in tip top shape, it's important that you keep hydrated so drink plenty of water before and during the procedure to help your skin absorb the pigment.
AVOID ANYTHING THAT COULD THIN YOUR BLOOD
To help minimise the chances of excessive bleeding, which could not only reduce pigment retention but we think it’s not going to look great going through the whole experience with blood running over your head, there are some things you should avoid taking. These include;
- Alcohol (48 hrs before ideally)
HOW CAN NANOGEN FIBRES HELP?
This will depend on what length your hair will be post micropigmentation. While this cosmetic procedure is available for both men and women, scalp micropigmentation is more often performed on those with very short hair styles.
As with many of the options we have covered, Nanogen Hair Fibres can really help to provide additional concealment but there does need to be some hair to attach to. If you are going for the buzz cut look, then Nanogen Hair Fibres are not really going to be much help. However, if you are undergoing scalp micropigmentation to provide you with more scalp coverage, then our hair building fibres will work perfectly in harmony with scalp micropigmentation to boost the appearance of thicker hair.
As we have outlined above, scalp Micropigmentation is not a permanent procedure in the way that a tattoo would be and will require further sessions to recover fading areas over time, so you need to consider the costs for those top-ups along with the initial outlay.
While this is not for everyone with hair loss, if you are aiming for that near shaved look, but have areas where thinning would show, then SMP can prove to be a useful way to help conceal. The results can be very good as long as you take the time to do your research and find quality, qualified SMP practitioners.
Much in the same way that scalp concealers can be used to remove the shine from your scalp when your hair is thinning, SMP can work perfectly alongside products such as Nanogen Hair Fibres.
Why not check out our other articles;
- HAIR TRANSPLANTS
While our aim is to provide you with up-to-date and relevant information, drugs affect each person differently. As such we can not guarantee that this information includes all possible side effects and this information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always discuss treatment options and possible side effects with a healthcare professional who knows your specific medical history.