Scalp micro-pigmentation (SMP) or Micropigmentation capillaire in french is a cosmetic treatment that has gained wide popularity as a stylish, fast, affordable and long-term solution(with required touch-ups) for hair loss and baldness over the past few years. This treatment, which basically creates the illusion of fuller hair, uses tiny, layered dots of pigment in different hues of black to replicate the look of a shadow on your scalp. The dots look like a natural hair follicle and are so skilfully created by trained practitioners that it blends seamlessly with your complexion. Cosmetic-grade permanent inks are used in this procedure, which is non-invasive and does not require any surgery or anesthesia. Aptly named pointillism, this style results in the creation of natural-looking depth and definition on the scalp.
Long-Term Effects of Scalp Micropigmentation
SMP has come as a boon for persons who have experienced various forms of hair loss, viz. cancer patients, alopecia, persons with male and female pattern baldness etc. However, one needs to understand that this procedure is considered semipermanent – this is because the effects may last up to five to eight years, but gradually over a period of time the treated area will fade since all skin naturally exfoliates itself.
A Look at Scalp Micropigmentation After 5 Years
Some significant factors that account for the fading of SMP after 5 years and the pace at which it happens are enumerated below:
the personal immune system of a person – every human body is different. As a result, your hair tattoo may fade quickly or at a slower pace depending on how your immune system works on the pigments.
In this context, it should be noted that the body perceives the pigments as foreign matter and will, therefore, work hard at getting rid of them. It starts attacking the pigment molecules as soon as they’re deposited into the skin, breaking them down gradually, taking away particles of it and extracting them through a different system. This is the primary mechanism for pigment fading.
Our skin constantly goes through the process of renewal and as the surface layers of the skin are replaced, a portion of the pigmented cells will also be shed eventually.
The type and state of the skin on the scalp play an important part in determining the pace at which the pigments fade, e.g. people with excessively oily skin might find that more pigment is pushed out, while normal (not so oily) skin is best able to retain the same.
Exposure to sunlight – the fading process of the pigments is quickened by exposure to UV rays.
Your skincare routine viz. harsh skincare products used on your scalp may result in quicker fading of the pigment. It is necessary to choose your skincare products wisely and invest in mild cosmetics for this purpose.
In view of the same, proper aftercare is absolutely essential to ensure the longevity of the results, especially after five years. If diligently followed, the tips given below will ensure that the pigments remain vibrant, and the scalp looks natural and healthy. At all times, it is crucial to work with an experienced practitioner who can provide guidance on aftercare and suggest follow-up appointments to ensure that the treatment remains effective over time.
Aftercare for Scalp Micropigmentation:
Short-Term Care of SMP
It is essential to understand that tiny scabs will form wherever the needle pierces the skin and hence it is necessary that the scalp heals well. Avoid strictly touching, scratching or picking at the scalp during this period in order to avoid infection.
Monitor your treatment and check regularly for signs of infection like swelling and redness around the wound, severe burning and throbbing sensation around the site, increased tenderness and unusual discharge with an offensive smell. Seek medical attention immediately if you suffer from any of the above symptoms.
Dos and Don’ts
Wait for three days before washing or touching the scalp after the treatment.
Rest well. Do not indulge in any exercise or activity like sitting in the sun that may cause you to sweat.
By the fourth day, you can use plain water to rinse your scalp. Avoid the usage of shampoos or soaps.
After seven days, the treated area can be cleaned using a mild facial cleanser.
Avoid shaving your head for at least 10 days with a razor and at least 5 days in case you are using a machine.
Keep yourself hydrated by drinking plenty of water and taking the prescribed medications.
In case another treatment is due, you may start moisturizing the scalp at this time.
It is imperative during the first 30 days to avoid any type of exposure to UV rays, intense sweating, or any damage to the scalp while your micro-pigmentation sets.
Long-Term Care of SMP
Direct exposure to intense sunlight, particularly during peak hours, should be avoided. Post SMP, the scalp is susceptible to sunburn. Do protect yourself from UV rays by using sunscreen with at least SPF 30 or using a hat while going outside. This will help the treatment from “fading”.
Avoid usage of products containing alcohol as a quick drying agent, especially SD alcohol, denatured alcohol, or isopropyl alcohol which are high on the list of ingredients to be avoided.
Do maintain proper hygiene by keeping the scalp clean. Use gentle shampoos and conditioners and moisturize your scalp at least once every day.
Activities like swimming, saunas or taking long showers should be kept in check since prolonged exposure to water may result in fading of the pigment.
Use an exfoliating cleanser in order to remove dead skin cells and keep your scalp looking great.
To reiterate, SMP is not a permanent solution. In order to ensure that the results remain consistent, it is important to schedule regular touch-ups and work with a reputable practitioner who uses high-quality pigments and equipment.
In some instances, after 5-6 years, it may necessary to review whether the SMP has faded and if it is necessary to get your scalp micro pigmentation refreshed.
However, it is pertinent to mention, that one should leave off constantly fretting about the potential outcomes of SMP and instead try your best to enjoy the results of SMP to the utmost!
Frequently Asked Questions:
How does SMP look after 5 years?
After 5 years, the SMP dots may fade or change color slightly, but this largely depends on the quality of the pigments used, individual skin type, and exposure to UV radiation. High-quality pigments and proper aftercare can help prevent fading and ensure the longevity of the treatment. Regular check-ups with a trained SMP professional can also help determine if any touch-ups or maintenance treatments are necessary.
How long does scalp micropigmentation last?
Scalp micropigmentation is considered a permanent solution for hair loss. However, the longevity of the treatment largely depends on individual factors such as skin type, exposure to UV radiation, and the quality of the pigments used. On average, SMP can last for 3 to 5 years before any touch-ups or maintenance treatments may be necessary.
Can hair grow back after micropigmentation?
Scalp micropigmentation does not prevent hair from growing back. However, the SMP dots may need to be adjusted or touched up as the hair grows, especially in areas where the hair is thinning or receding.
Is scalp micropigmentation suitable for everyone?
Scalp micropigmentation is a suitable option for individuals experiencing hair loss or thinning, regardless of age or gender. However, it may not be recommended for individuals with certain skin conditions, allergies, or medical conditions. It's important to consult with a trained SMP professional to determine if this treatment is suitable for you.