Scalp Micropigmentation (SMP) is a non-surgical, cosmetic procedure that helps both men and women cover all the patches or signs of thinned-out hair loss from the scalp.
What Happens In Scalp Micropigmentation?
As its name suggests, Scalp Micropigmentation involves making micro or tiny pigmented dots on the scalp using a precise electrical device (similar to that used for tattoos). For Scalp Micropigmentation, only the superficial, top Dermal layer is penetrated to let the pigment seep in and set.
The Scalp Micropigmentation is done to create a 3D effect. The purpose is to replicate the same effect and shading of hair that the hair follicles creates on the scalp. This effect is known as Pointillism.
The outcome of Scalp Micropigmentation is that it makes your scalp look dense and full of hair. The bald patches, previous scars, or marks are concealed, and the individual starts feeling confident about his appearance once again!
This procedure requires extreme levels of precision and skills to create an as natural-looking scalp appearance as possible. This is achieved using different hues of whatever shade your hair color is and blending them together to give an all-natural look.
What Is The Science Behind This Treatment?
A very simple approach to understanding the science behind Scalp Micropigmentation is to think of it as a tattoo. When a person is getting tattooed, a machine is used to inject pigment deep inside the skin in a particular shape or design.
Similarly, during Scalp Micropigmentation, the electrical machine is used to create a small cut or incision in the skin and the pigment is then introduced in the space beneath. The incision is not a deeper one like a tattoo, it is quite more superficial than that.
Once this pigmentation is done over the desired area, the incised area is left to heal while the pigment takes this time to set in and then manifest itself as a normal part of that area, which is equivalent to the appearance of the scalp as being full of short, outgrowing, new hair.
This pigmentation resembles normal hair follicles in appearance and to everyone else, it looks as if the persons hair is growing out, or they just had a fresh new haircut! It is indeed a very realistic, yet aesthetic procedure at the same time.
Is Scalp Micropigmentation A Permanent Procedure?
According to research, Scalp Micropigmentation is more of a semi-permanent procedure. Although originally it was intended to be a permanent procedure, the duration to which it will help a person retain their filled-in scalp appearance varies greatly from person to person.
This is because every human scalp holds or retains the tattoo pigment within it for different times. Since it is dependent on the patient, the patient can always come back for a second sitting and get their SMP done when they feel that the pigment is beginning to fade or get lighter. This usually happens some years after the initial treatment
How Painful Is The Procedure?
This is perhaps the most common fear that people have in their minds. Scalp Micropigmentation is somewhat painful, but at the end of the day, it all depends on your pain threshold level.
Some people do not experience pain, only a little discomfort, whereas others might consider the entire procedure to be quite painful.
The doctor or artist who will perform this treatment on you will apply a topical numbing gel which will help you easily sit through the process without having to experience any significant pain.
Everyones body is different and so, it receives and reacts to everything differently. The same is the case with Scalp Micropigmentation.
According to the International Journal of Dermatology, when people who had gotten their SMP done were interviewed about their satisfaction levels on a Likert scale, the results revealed 4.8 out of 5 stars, which means that it has been a life-changing and positive experience so far in the life of these people.
As far as the side effects are concerned, the only ones which have been reported to date include an allergic reaction in those people whose bodies did not receive the pigment well. Other than that, there are no risks involved during the procedure. However, it is always a smart option to inform the doctor or practitioner about any relevant allergies that a person might have.
The person is required to take extreme care of his scalp following the procedure, such as avoiding contact with water, avoiding activities that might cause you to sweat, and avoiding touching the area at all.
With all these precautions in mind, Scalp Micropigmentation can be a very beneficial and rewarding procedure for everyone who has been struggling with hair loss, pattern baldness, and other genetic hair issues.
- Rassman, W. R., Pak, J. P., & Kim, J. (2013). Scalp micropigmentation: a useful treatment for hair loss. Facial plastic surgery clinics of North America, 21(3), 497503. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.fsc.2013.05.010
- Garg, G., & Thami, G. P. (2005). Micropigmentation: tattooing for medical purposes. Dermatologic surgery : official publication for American Society for Dermatologic Surgery [et al.], 31(8 Pt 1), 928931.
- Rassman, W. R., Pak, J. P., Kim, J., & Estrin, N. F. (2015). Scalp micropigmentation: a concealer for hair and scalp deformities. The Journal of clinical and aesthetic dermatology, 8(3), 3542.
- Seyhan, T., & Kapi, E. (2020). Scalp Micropigmentation Procedure: A Useful Procedure for Hair Restoration. The Journal of craniofacial surgery, 10.1097/SCS.0000000000007208. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1097/SCS.0000000000007208