Maybe you’ve heard about scalp micropigmentation but you haven’t really given it much thought. Or, you’re aware of what it is and you’re considering it but you haven’t yet delved too much into the subject. Either way, in this article we’ll try to summarize everything you should know about scalp micropigmentation and, hopefully, help you reach a decision you’ll be happy with.
What is scalp micropigmentation?
Often called “bald head tattoo”, “hair tattoo”, or just by its abbreviation “SMP”, scalp micropigmentation is quite a technical process during which a practitioner uses microneedles to insert pigment into the top layer of a person’s scalp. Essentially, this scalp pigmentation is a type of tattoo but it’s applied in a very specific manner so that it creates the illusion of a shaven hairline.
During the procedure, the qualified professional will inject the pigment in such a way so that it resembles multiple tiny hair follicles on your head. The effectiveness of the procedure depends largely on the skill and the technique of the practitioner as the pigmentation dots need to be applied in a good, realistic-looking pattern. Negative reviews on smp procedures are almost always due to its poor execution and not the procedure itself.
Either way, scalp micropigmentation is typically done to even out or complete a receding hairline, as well as for a myriad of other reasons:
- It creates a “freshly-shaven” look
- It counteracts the effects of male pattern baldness
- It adds density to a scalp
- It can be used to cover up scars
- It can be used to counteract female hair loss as well
- It can be used in conjunction with hair transplants to compliment the look they are going for
- It can be done to repair poorly made previous SMP treatments
- It can be used for conditions such as Alopecia
Any of these is a good reason to look for a good SMP practitioner, whether you’re a man or a woman.
The procedure itself typically has three or four stages of applying the pigment. This is done in order for it to be applied stably and not fade away after a while. After the procedure, the client is instructed by the practitioner about when and how they should shave or shower – the first several days after the procedure both of these things should be done sparingly and carefully as to not wash the pigment off. After that, both showering and shaving can be done in the usual manner. Sweating in these first several days is also ill-advised. Intensive sun exposure will also quicken the rate at which the pigment fades away.
If the treatment is done adequately and if the client is careful about maintaining its effects, the pigment can easily last up to 10 years, after which it needs to be reapplied.
How much does scalp micropigmentation cost?
In the U.S., a typical scalp micropigmentation treatment will usually cost between anywhere between $2000 and $4000. Smaller scar treatments typically fall in the $1.200 to $2.500 range. These prices are for all stages of the treatment. Overall, SMP can be quite costly for a lot of people but keep in mind that when done correctly it lasts for up to a decade. Additionally, as this is a highly technical procedure, visiting a less skilled professional, an amateur or an unqualified tattoo artist for the lower rate they are offering will result – in the best case – in less stable and shorter lasting pigmentation. In the worse case scenarios, such a low-cost procedure can result in an outright ugly, uneven, and unrealistic outlook or even in certain skin health problems.
Scalp micropigmentation with hair – does it work?
From what we’ve explained about scalp pigmentation it’s obvious that it’s typically intended for people with bald or near-bald scalps that aim for the “recently-shaven” look. However, SMP can be used for people with full, near-full or partial sets of hair as well. It can be done along the hairline to complement its look, it can be done on scars, or it can be done with wigs in order to make them feel more natural. However, it’s crucial that these procedures are executed with a lot of care and skill as they are much harder to be made to look natural than the standard near-shaven look most men go for.
The pros and cons of scalp micropigmentation
Scalp micropigmentation may be rising in popularity due to its many advantages but it also has a few negatives that we’ll also take a look at:
- Scalp micropigmentation is a near-permanent solution to a lot of hair-loss problems that requires minimal maintenance unlike a lot of other solutions such as wigs.
- The procedure is relatively quick, easy to do, and cheaper than some other alternatives such as hair implants.
- Despite its steep initial price, a well-done scalp micropigmentation procedure cost very little over time as it lasts for quite some time.
- Apart from its cosmetic purpose, SMP is also quite useful for people that want to deal with bald scar spots or conditions such as Alopecia areata.
- Scalp micropigmentation is technically a permanent procedure which some people might view as a disadvantage. Yes, the dots fade away after a while but not completely. To remove the full effects of SMP you’d need to go through a laser removal process.
- To get the full effects of SMP men usually need to maintain very short hair at all times.
- The procedure does require repeat applications every several years. Prolonged exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet rays can quicken that process, making SMP less suitable for outdoorsy types.
Scalp micropigmentation is a relatively new and quite interesting procedure that’s rapidly growing in popularity. It’s not the “perfect” solution to hair loss and a lot of people dislike the simple fact that it’s essentially just a tattoo and not actual hair. However, it’s a very good mixture of visual effectiveness, long-lasting effect, and a manageable price.