What Is Scalp Micropigmentation, Scalp Tattoo or Hair Tattoo?
SMP stands for scalp micro pigmentation. Briefly put, this medical grade technique consists of depositing pigment in the upper layer of the scalp skin. Through this technique, you can replicate the hair follicles in the scalp. The result is the appearance of a recently shaved head (also known as “buzz cut”). In an SMP procedure, the number of hair follicles added can vary from a couple of hundreds to thousands of micro pigmented dots per square inch. The SMP technique is a great way to replace semi or complete baldness, receding hair lines, horse shoe balding patterns or thinning hair lines with the appearance of a full head of hair. Any SMP sessions starts by matching the pigment with your skin color. Scalp micro pigmentation works on people with pale or dark skin, black hair, grey hair and sometimes even red hair.
Other names of scalp micropigmentation include: hair follicle simulation, scalp tattoo, medical hairline restoration, hair tattoo, head tattoo or scalp pigmentation. While there are many names for it, the technique is very similar.
When you choose your scalp micropigmentation clinic in Richmond Hill, be sure to do your research! You need a reputable clinic that can show you before and after picture of their previous work and that uses only quality ink.
Does SMP Look Realistic?
Yes! It will be hard even for you to tell where your “real” hair ends and where the SMP begins. We color match the pigment to your hair and skin tone and place the right amount of microdots and pigment per square inch in order to achieve a realistic hair line. The end result looks like a buzz cut aka a freshly shaved full head of hair. Similarly, our scalp micropigmentation hair density procedure is designed to add density and volume to thinning hair.
Whatever treatment you choose, it’s of extreme importance that the artist doing it and the clinic are reputable. It’s important to speak directly to the artist as he or she is the only one experienced enough to advise you on the type of treatment you need. At Feel Ink Great you can always speak directly to the artist and even call some of our previous clients for references!
Can Scalp Micropigmentation Help with Camouflaging Scalp Scars?
Absolutely! We color match the pigment we use to your skin tone and, thus, we are able to cover most types of scars with realistic-looking hair. Since every scar is unique, the results depend on its age, location and other factors that vary from individual to individual. This is why we offer free consultations. You can always come and speak to us about any concerns you may have. After meeting with you, we can advise you on the results you can expect from the SMP treatment.
Scalp micropigmentation is a great way to treat scars caused by various surgeries, injuries or hair transplants. Hair tattoos are an excellent way to reduce or completely eliminate the appearance of scars by camouflaging them into your natural hair line.
How Long Does the Effect of a Hair Tattoo or a Scalp Micropigmentation Treatment Last?
There are a number of factors that need to be taken into account. Your age, metabolism, level of sun exposure, immune system as well as other factors. A scalp micropigmentation treatment can last between 1 and 5 years before you need a touch-up. No serious SMP clinic will guarantee a certain time frame before the microdots start to fade due to each individual’s skin type. Still, if you apply sunscreen regularly and have the proper aftercare, SMP can last for a lot of years. Our guarantee is for 12 months.
Why Is the Duration of the SMP Treatment Effects Limited?
There are 2 main reasons for this: The ink and the location where we place it. During an SMP treatment, we will add pigment between the lower epidermis and the upper dermis of your scalp. This is relatively shallow if compared to a tattoo, where the ink is placed in the lower dermas of the skin. The pigment that we use is completely organic. Unlike tattoo inks that stick around for much longer (but also change color and migrate), it is carbon-based and does not contain any carcinogens or heavy metals. The pigment is perceived as a foreign substance by your body, so naturally, it will try to remove it. Also, due to the natural exfoliation process, the pigment will fade in time. Furthermore, certain medical conditions, the chemicals we are exposed to and sun exposure also cause the pigment to fade at an accelerated pace. This is why aftercare is so important.
Is Scalp Tattoo and Scalp Micropigmentation Suitable for Women?
Definitely! Women also experience conditions like alopecia, thinning hair or baldness. And, of course, we can apply the same procedure we use for men: tattoo their scalp to reduce the appearance of hair loss or thinning hair. We can also give you the recently shaved head look – an increasingly popular option these days.
How Long Does a Session Take?
The length of a procedure depends a lot on the degree of baldness (the Norwood Classification of Alopecia). 4 to 5 hours is the typical length. Think about it this way: a scalp usually contains around 2000 follicles per square inch. We apply each simulated follicle by hand, so it’s bound to take a while.
At the Feel Ink Great clinic, we advise our clients to opt for three sessions to complete their treatment. Trying to complete it in a single session will lead to less-than-perfect results and the need for touch-ups sooner than normal. Plus, the swelling and inflammation that naturally occur during SMP treatments will cause some of the microdots not to stick.
How Many SMP Treatments Will I Need?
Depending on your degree of hair loss, you will need 3 sessions of one to four hours each. Some need less, others more. The first treatment is reserved for the pigment application. 7 to 14 days later, we can touch up any spots and keep adding density. 4 to 6 weeks after your second treatment, we will do a final touch up, add density (if needed) and make sure that you are happy with the result. Be wary of clinics that claim they can give you the perfect look in a single session. They simply want to charge you extra for the inevitable touch up session that you will need to achieve the right shape, pigment and density.
Is SMP (Scalp Micropigmentation) Reversible?
While none of our clients wanted the procedure to be reversed, SMP is fully reversible using a tattoo removal laser. In fact, it’s easier to remove than a regular tattoo. Since tattoo ink contains carcinogens and heavy metals and is inserted in the mid or lower dermis, it’s harder to remove. SMP ink is organic and is inserted into the upper dermis, so it’s much easier to remove. Plus, scalp micropigmentation doesn’t use a lot of color or more than one color, SMP ink is carbon-based, meaning it has only one color (black) so it’s very easy to remove most or all of the pigment.
What Are the Benefits of SMP?
Some of its benefits are:
- SMP offers you the appearance of a shaved full head of hair (buzz cut)
- It gives the appearance of increased hair density for both men and women
- Recreates your hairline by simulating realistic hair follicles
- Scalp micropigmentation camouflages bald spots and/or thinning hair for both men and women
- It will increase your self-esteem and self-confidence
- You can use SMP to restore your hairline irrespective of your level or type of baldness
What Can I Do to Minimize the Pain I Experience during an SMP Treatment?
The pain level during the procedure to 95% of our patience is tolerable enough to go through the entire treatment without numbing medication. However, if are more sensitive to pain, you can always apply some over the counter topical anesthetic like Emla or ask your family doctor for a prescription for another anesthetic. We advise you to speak to your physician before you self-medicate with prescription or over the counter anesthetics and let us know what you are taking before your treatment. Don’t worry – we will go through all this during your consultation.
Will I Experience Pain after the Treatment?
Usually, any pain subsides within minutes after the treatment is over. Most clients report scalp sensitivity. You can expect some sensitivity, redness or mild swelling after the treatment. They are all normal and will subside on their own.
What Is the Proper SMP Aftercare?
Aftercare varies from client to client and will be discussed at length individually. Here’s a summary of what you can expect after your hair tattoo treatment.
Since aftercare is crucial to a long-lasting SMP, we advise our clients that, for the first few days after the treatment, they refrain from sweating, using scrubs, washing or shampooing their scalp, doing strenuous physical exercise or labor. Typical office activities, going out or shopping are perfectly fine. You can resume your usual lifestyle (as active as it may be) starting with day 4 after the treatment.
What Are the Contraindications to SMP?
The contraindications to SMP include:
- Blood clots
- Various infectious diseases
- Liver disease
- Heart conditions
- High blood pressure
- Being under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Undergoing chemotherapy
- Using antibiotics
- Using blood thinners
We reserve the right to refuse to perform SMP treatments for clients with the conditions above. The risk of infection and of not achieving optimal results are very high.
Please be sure to consult your family doctor before undergoing SMP.