Scalp Micropigmentation
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Scalp Micropigmentation 101: Everything You Need to Know About This Permanent Treatment

Using micropigmentation as a treatment for balding and hair loss has become a common practice in recent years. This article discusses the procedure in detail to help you decide if it’s something you’d want to try for your hair loss issues.

Hair loss and balding affect everyone: men, women, young, and old. It’s practically guaranteed to happen to you; it’s just a matter of when. Some people are lucky enough only to experience hair loss when they are already well into their senior years. However, a lot of people can start balding much earlier – even in their teenage years! Because of this, it’s no wonder that getting treatments like scalp micropigmentation (SMP) has become an everyday thing.

While there isn’t anything wrong with being bald, not everyone wants to embrace that lifestyle. Losing hair can significantly hurt one’s self-image, and this pain point has opened an entire industry to address the needs of this market. People flock supermarkets and take “anti-hair loss” and “hair growth booster” products off shelves. Others go the extra mile and buy expensive medication or even get the surgery done to combat balding.

These solutions do help in encouraging hair growth, but good results aren’t always guaranteed. It can also take a long time for people to get the results they desire. For someone struggling with self-image, this wait time can be agonizing.

Micropigmentation is a hair loss and balding solution that doesn’t necessarily treat or even prevent hair loss. Instead, it’s an instant and permanent treatment for low self-esteem caused by balding.

So What Exactly is Scalp Micropigmentation?

It’s basically a permanent cosmetic “tattoo” on one’s scalp that gives off the illusion of hair. The procedure works on any skin type and color. People can even choose from a variety of ink shades to get a good match with their original or even desired hair color.

When applied on a bald head, it gives a shaven or buzzed look. On a thinning head of hair, it gives the illusion of fullness.

SMP doesn’t have any effect on the existing hair follicles on one’s head and can be applied without having to shave off any hair (though it’s easier to work on a shaved head!). This makes it an ideal treatment for covering up scars or burns on the head. In fact, SMP is a common procedure done after hair transplant to cover up the scars from the surgery.

Micropigmentation vs. Tattoo

While getting micropigmentation is similar to getting a tattoo, they’re not exactly the same. Facilities that offer micropigmentation have specific machines, needles, and even pigment for the process.

Another key difference between the two processes is how deep into the skin the pigments penetrate. Traditional tattoos go 5 layers into the skin, reaching the dermis. Micropigmentation, on the other hand, only reaches the epidermis, going as deep as 2 layers to maintain a realistic follicle like the look.

While this is a permanent solution, the pigment won’t hold like a tattoo. One would need to get touchups every now and then. This allows for hairline adjustments and changes, so people don’t have to be stuck with the same look for the rest of their lives.

Like tattoos, they can also be removed with correctional procedures like laser treatment.


The SMP procedure doesn’t have a fixed price as the cost depends on a variety of factors. Of course, different states and different clinics offer different prices. But the cost also depends on the severity of one’s hair loss, treatment time, and the number of treatments needed.

One session can cost $1,000 to a whopping $5,000. Those suffering from severe hair loss may need to have several sessions before they get their desired results.

Length of Each Session

SMP sessions can be arduous. It would take a lot of work for a trained professional to create realistic markings on one’s scalp. Depending on the area for treatment, sessions can last for 2 hours to 4 hours – including planning colors and hairline positioning, prepping the area for treatment, and discussing the procedure and after care instructions.


Because SMP doesn’t go as deep as tattoos do, they aren’t as painful as them either. Most people experience mild discomfort at most. On a pain scale from 1 to 10, the average level people express is a mild 2.

Downtime and After Care

Compared to a hair transplant surgery, downtime for SMP is pretty minimal. After care is also very basic.

One will get instant results after each session, and temporary redness may occur and last for up to 2 days.

After getting SMP, people are advised to keep the treated area away from any form of moisture for at least 4 days. This means that showering and sweating during this time frame are not recommended. After the initial 4 days, they may proceed with their usual activities.

How Does Each Session Go?

Different clinics have different ways on how to go about with their scalp micropigmentation sessions. But good clinics will always include paperwork and discussions before and after anything is done to the client.


First, the paperwork must be accomplished. Clients must clarify and guarantee that they are in good health and that they consent to get the procedure done. This paperwork not only protects clinics, but it also gives them important information about the clients.

For example, it’s very useful to know if a client is on medication that can cause blood thinning, as this may cause the client to bleed more during the procedure.


During this stage, clients explain their situation and needs. From this conversation, clinics find out how best to address the clients’ problems.

Here, clients also choose the styles they want, the color they want their micropigmentation in, and the positioning of their hairline.

Micropigmentation Procedure

The skin is first prepped – cleaned and, if the client agrees, closely shaven. The professional then use a wax pencil to outline the area for micropigmentation, including the hairline. Once the client likes what he sees, the micropigmentation process starts.

Clients may request numbing creams to be applied to the area to minimize discomfort.

Like with tattoos, cling film is used to protect the area from any contaminants during the first few hours following the procedure.

After Care Instructions

After the procedure, after care instructions are given. Some clinics even provide clients with balms that accelerate the healing process of the skin.

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