Did you know that noticeable hair loss (alopecia) affects two in three men as young as 35? Moreover, by the time they hit their 50s, significant thinning is already visible in 85% of men. As for women, about four in 10 females aged 70 or older also experience pattern hair loss.
Now, it’s true that alopecia can occur as part of aging. However, studies suggest that it may contribute to mental disorders. After all, social phobia, anxiety, and depression seem to be higher in those with alopecia.
So, if you’re losing hair yourself, consider scalp micropigmentation treatment. It’s semi-permanent, unlike wigs, and it doesn’t involve surgery, either, unlike hair implants.
This guide details the basics you need to know about getting this hair loss treatment, so be sure to read on.
Understand the Basics of Micropigmentation Treatment
Scalp Micropigmentation Treatment, or SMP, is also known as a hairline tattoo or hair tattooing. These nicknames come from how it uses special needles to inject pigments into the scalp. The trained SMP practitioner then applies the pigments using a technique called pointillism.
With pointillism, the SMP practitioner creates numerous tiny dots on the patient’s scalp. The dots are in different shades of colors that mimic the patient’s natural hair color. The variation allows the artist to replicate the appearance of a shadow, stubble, or buzz cut on the scalp.
Determine If You’re a Good Candidate for SMP
Scalp micropigmentation services may benefit anyone with any form of hair loss. These include age-induced alopecia, hair thinning, or pattern baldness.
The factors that may affect your eligibility for SMP have to do more with your scalp and skin health. For example, SMP isn’t a good idea if you have scalp acne, as the pigment may not penetrate the inflamed areas. Moreover, disturbing the acne papules or pustules may exacerbate your scalp’s condition.
Having psoriasis, which 100 million people worldwide do, may also impact your eligibility. After all, this skin disease causes the skin to scale and flake away, so the pigment may only go to waste. Moreover, it sensitizes the skin, so getting it injected may make your flare-ups worse.
Choose a Trained SMP Practitioner with Certification
In some states, it’s the law for tattoo artists to carry a license, but not SMP practitioners. There’s no mandatory formal training necessary to become an SMP service provider, either. For this reason, it’s vital to do your utmost diligence when choosing an SMP practitioner.
Fortunately, reputable SMP artists undergo scalp pigmentation training. This training program, in turn, provides instruction on needling techniques and pigment mixing. It also guides them on correct skin color matching, sanitation, and sterilization.
Successful completion of the program then grants the attendees certification. This certificate is one of the things you must then look for in an SMP provider.
You should also choose an SMP clinic with a valid bloodborne pathogens certification. Most local governments also require SMP facilities to carry a county health permit.
Book a Free Initial Consultation
During your free consultation, the SMP artist will gauge your degree of hair loss. The practitioner will then inform you how many treatments you need. For example, a hairline micropigmentation may only involve three to four sessions.
Your chosen SMP artist will also provide you a breakdown of the treatment’s total costs. According to some estimates, the cost per session can range from $400 to $1,000. That may seem a lot, but don’t worry, as reputable SMP artists also have financing programs.
Avoid Alcohol and Blood Thinners Before Treatment
Alcohol, anti-platelet drugs, and anticoagulants all make the blood thinner. As a result, they reduce the blood’s ability to form clots, which is important to stop bleeding. So, if any of these substances are in your system, a puncture to the skin can release more blood.
Granted, scalp micropigmentation needles don’t penetrate the skin as deeply as tattoo needles. That’s why SMP is less painful than getting an actual tattoo. However, SMP still punctures the skin, so it may lead to bleeding if you have thin blood.
For that reason, you should avoid drinking 24 to 48 hours before an SMP session. If you’re taking prescription blood thinners, ask your doctor for advice. Please don’t skip your medications without consulting your physician.
Clean Your Hair and Scalp Before Every Session
On the day of your treatment, give your hair and scalp a thorough but gentle cleaning. This is crucial, as dirt and grease can make it harder to apply the pigment onto your scalp.
Moreover, you won’t be able to wet your hair for a few days after the treatment. So, it’s best to do it before every SMP session.
Expect Each Treatment Session to Take a Few Hours
Just like a traditional tattoo, SMP involves applying multi-layered pigments. This helps ensure that the pigment penetrates the papillary dermis. Researchers say pigments injected into this area provide the most optimal results.
Since the SMP artist has to apply several layers of pigments, you can expect the session to last for a few hours. For example, it’s typical for each treatment to take around four to five hours.
Avoid Sweating It Out After Each Session
You can’t wash your hair and scalp for about four days after each SMP session, so you should avoid perspiring, too. This means skipping the gym, sports, or any sweat-inducing activities for a few days. You should also avoid the pool, sauna, and hot showers.
You can do all that in moderation on the fifth day following your treatment. It’s also fine to take a shower or a bath, including washing your hair and scalp, on day five.
Let SMP Help You Bring Your Confidence Back
As you can see, a scalp micropigmentation treatment is more permanent than a wig. However, it’s not as painful as hair implants, and it doesn’t cause much downtime, either.
Still, not everyone is a good candidate for SMP, so it’s best you get a free consultation first. This way, you can also prepare yourself not only for the treatment but its cost, too.
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