What Is Scalp Micropigmentation: A Non-surgical Hair Loss Treatment

Non-surgical Hair Loss Treatment
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Hair loss is a persistent problem that men of all ages face. According to studies, about 42% of all men suffer from hair loss between the age group of 18-50 years. The fact is that as men grow old they do start to lose hair. Some men experience this earlier in their life. A major cause for this is that they may be suffering from male pattern baldness.

Baldness is the most common among 50% of all men, who are older than 50 years. This percentage decreases with decreasing age groups. 

While hair loss for men is the harsh reality, there are many methods available for treating hair loss in men. There are certain medications which aid hair growth in the long term, Minoxidil is one such medicine. Other than this hair transplant is also a solution. This helps you regrow hair by adding follicles to the existing ones on the scalp.

The fastest and the most efficient way, however, to regrow hair is scalp micropigmentation. It is also known as a “Hair Tattoo”. Scalp micropigmentation is known to restore a receding hairline. It makes the hair thick and also hides all traces of scarring caused due to transplant.

In this article, we will discuss the reasons for hair loss and take a closer look at scalp micropigmentation, how it works, its benefits and flaws. We shall also discuss how SMP (Scalp MicroPigmentation) works compared to other hair loss treatments. Take a look!

What is the Reason for your Hair Loss?

While hair loss is the most common problem in men, there can be several reasons for it. We have outlined a few factors that result in men losing their hair. Some of these are genetic while others are hormonal. Remember that age is also a factor that affects hair growth and hair loss. 

1. Genetics

Genetics play a major role in deciding if you will suffer from hair loss or receding hairline. The hair follicles on the head have a DNA blueprint, which means that if your father and grandfather and your ancestors suffered hair loss, chances are that you will also suffer from early hair loss too. 

2. Hormonal Influence

The hormones and the genetics are interrelated. If you are genetically prone to hair loss you are more likely to inherit hair follicles that are likely to release a particular hormone called dihydrotestosterone (DHT). This hormone is responsible for shrinking hair follicles. And, this results in eventual hair loss and the growth of hair also becomes thinner and finer. In the end the hair growth eventually stops. So, this is why we said hormones and genetics are linked with each other.

3. Age

Age is another factor that causes hair fall. As you grow older,  the growth of your hair slows down and eventually stops in certain cases. Eventually, this causes baldness.

4. Personal Habits

Unhealthy habits like excessive drinking and smoking may also promote hair loss. Other than this, you may be allergic to certain medications, which may cause you to lose your hair. In addition to these, poor diet, fungal infections of the scalp, nutritional disorders and certain steroids may also be the reasons for excessive hair fall. 

What is Scalp MicroPigmentation? How is it done?

Scalp MicroPigmentation
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Scalp Micro-pigmentation is a process in which micro-needles are used to literally “tattoo” pigment into the scalp. By doing this, it appears as though there are tiny hair follicles. This creates the look of a fuller head. 

During this procedure, little follicles are replicated on your scalp to create an illusion of a shaved head. This procedure is also great for men with a receding hairline. If you are suffering from hair thinning and you need to add density to your hair, this technique can be applied to tattoo some hair creating a fuller look.

How Long Does the Scalp Micropigmentation Process Take?

This technique is a highly advanced method of cosmetic pigmentation to create an illusion of actually a shaved head. The process is similar to traditional tattooing but with more sophisticated equipment and techniques. 

However, this is an extremely intricate procedure which delivers promising results. So, sometimes the process may require more than one sitting ( around 3 sittings) to get the right pigment. But the results are absolutely worth it. However, usually the process just takes 2 to 4 hours, if your hair fall is very less.

How Does it Actually Work?

In this SMP procedure, just like how a tattoo is made, a micro needle is inserted into the scalp to make a layer of dots of pigment. It is similar to a tattoo, but this technique is highly specialized and technical, which can only be performed by a highly skilled technician.

The layer of pigment dots that is made using this technique creates the illusion of a shaved head.

  • Before starting the process, a practitioner will meet with you , who shall discuss the treatment and explain the various options available for you, depending upon your hairline and hair growth pattern. He shall also discuss with you important aspects like the shade of the pigment etc.
  • Then, dots are made on the head and the colour is added to them, it creates a wound. This wound is extremely small and grows a scab on itself eventually. 
  • This scab also heals and eventually falls off. When this falls off it tends to take some amount of pigment with it. This is why a second sitting is important. Other than this over a period of time there may be gradual fading and for that you may need to attend multiple sittings. This will need to be repeated till the desired colour of the pigment is achieved.
  • When a person is getting himself treated using this technique, there will be application of several colours of pigments. The initial stages will have lighter pigment and as the number of sittings increase the colour of the pigment also becomes darker.
  • Then if in the end you are still not satisfied with the shade you can choose to go another shade darker.

Types of Scalp Micropigmentation Techniques:

There are several methods of scalp pigmentation and each one is for a different purpose and in accordance with the personal requirements. Have a look!

1. Soft Hairline and Widowed Peak

Sometimes, people desire a lower hairline, so that they can cover the area from where they have previously lost hair. This gives a fuller appearance and a refined hairline. 

This is done by creating an illusion by layering the present hairline to give a more realistic look. It is important to make sure that the colour of the pigment matches the colour of the hair already present on the head. Only when the colour of the ink is in perfect sync with the colour of the hair, will the effect look incredible.

2. Adding Density to Thin Hair

Adding Density to Thin hair
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Hair thinning is the most common problem in men after balding. Scalp micropigmentation is a great technique to cover up and fill in for thinning hair. Sometimes, due to this thinning, a person’s scalp starts to become visible.

To hide the scalp, an illusion is created using this technique and density is added to hair therefore giving it a complete look.

3. The Permanent Edge Up

This technique is also known as the ‘Jamie Foxx’. This is a very popular choice of SMP. This technique requires a lot of preparation to create the perfect sharp hairline. 

In this, there needs to be some hair on the side temple area so that more hair can be added to the top. This requires a lot of precision and it takes time to create the perfect illusion of a full head of hair. The edge-up style is quite sought after by celebrities and the general public alike.

4. Scalp Micropigmentation for Hair Transplant Patients

Depending on your needs, after getting a hair transplant, you can choose this SMP technique to cover up any scars, which may have been left.

This also helps by creating an illusion of a head which is fuller. It creates the perfect shaved look or helps by adding density to the hair depending on the needs of the person getting the pigmentation.

Other Hair Loss Treatments vs. Scalp Micropigmentation:

Scalp micropigmentation is comparatively a new treatment for hair loss that is available lately. It is a unique approach when compared to other techniques.

There are other techniques too that are available to grow hair, there are certain medications, hair-transplant surgeries, hair growth shampoos, wigs and so on.

In terms of medications, both Minoxidil and Finasteride are commonly used. Both these medicines have the approval of the FDA.

Let’s talk about all these other treatments and compare it with scalp micropigmentation.

1. Minoxidil

Minoxidil
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Initially, this medicine was introduced as an oral medication to treat problems associated with high blood pressure the side effect of which was hair growth. Then this got appropriated into being used as a hair growth agent by directly being applied to the region where hair growth is most required.

Minoxidil is also known as Rogaine, which can be bought without a prescription is a medicine that can be applied to the scalp to help in hair growth. This medicine needs to be applied twice a day to see best results.

This medicine works by stimulating the follicles and widening them to aid the absorption of oxygen and the flow of nutrients and blood. This in-turn aids hair growth. Most people that adopt this technique of hair growth see results in two to six months.

2. Finasteride

Finasteride
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This medicine is also known as Propecia and is only used for hair growth in men. This can only be purchased by producing a prescription for it by the doctor. 

The drug has to be taken orally and once every day. This medicine works by lowering the levels of DHT (dihydrotestosterone) in the scalp by up to 70%. This hormone has a shrinking effect on the follicle and hence its production needs to be curbed to aid hair growth. So, the medicine does exactly that. 

3. Hair Transplant Surgery

Hair Transplant Surgery
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In this treatment, the hair from one part of the head is removed from the follicle itself and transplanted to another area where there is balding or receding hair. 

There are two ways in which transplantation of hair can be done. 

  • In one, a strip of skin is removed and put on another part. 
  • Another way is to take out a few follicles and put them in an area where there is less hair. When follicles are taken individually then, an area of the head is shaved and some of the hair follicles are taken and transplanted to a different place. In this the hair takes about four to eight weeks to grow. The surgery lasts for about four to six hours.

4. Other Techniques

Some other methods of preventing hair loss and aiding hair growth include dietary changes and addition of supplements in the diet. 

A protein-rich diet will aid hair growth, hence from the very beginning protein should be included in daily meals. Zinc, iron and biotic are known to slow hair loss. One can choose to include iron rich food in their diet but iron supplements should be avoided till such time that you do not suffer from anaemia. Also, there isn’t enough evidence to prove that supplements actually do aid hair growth.  

Why is Scalp Micropigmentation Better than all these Techniques?

Of all the above methods, This procedure is great because it is discrete and very effective to create a fresh close cut look. 

This ink treatment looks absolutely natural and people will rarely be able to tell that it is anything but hair. There is no rest or recovery period that is required after the procedure and you can return to work the next day without anyone noticing that there is much of a difference. This treatment gives the illusion of actual hair.

Some other Reasons Include:

1. Improves Hair Density

During the hair transplantation, the density of your hair is decreased, as the hair from the denser areas is put on the less-thick areas. 

If you go in for Scalp Micropigmentation technique, your hair density will only be added to the hair, right from the beginning of the procedure. If you have a receding hairline or are going bald this is the easiest way to attain it.

2. Corrective Procedures

Not all technicians are experienced enough to perfectly do the hair treatments. When it comes to treatments like transplants and other costly treatments, any faults can make the corrections irreversible.

However, in case of scalp micropigmentation procedure, changes can be done any number of times depending upon the shade of the pigment. So even if it goes wrong at one point in time it can be re-done at another. It does not look odd and can be rectified with ease.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Q: How long does one session of the treatment last?

The time taken for one sitting of the treatment can vary depending on the number of sessions. If it is your first session it can take anywhere between four to five hours. However, if it is a second or third sitting then it may take up-to two to three hours since the colour and the pigment will already have started to show on the scalp.   

Q: Will I regret scalp micropigmentation?

In most cases, this SPM treatment won’t go wrong. As it is just a tattooing  method, it involves less to no risk. So, you will not regret this treatment.

Q: Do you have to shave your head for scalp micropigmentation?

As this SPM treatment is used to conceal the areas where your hair is thin, you don’t have to shave your head. This treatment is only used to make your hair look thicker. So, if you are looking for a fuller-looking hair, this treatment is for you.

Q: Does scalp micropigmentation damage hair follicles?

Scalp micropigmentation doesn’t damage your natural hair. As it is a tattooing process, there will be no side effects either to your scalp or your hair follicles. 

Q: Does getting a scalp micropigmentation hurt?

There is obviously mild discomfort that is faced by most people who get a scalp micro-pigmentation treatment done. In the beginning of the session the pain is the highest, this gradually decreases as the person becomes more used to it. Also, some parts of the head have more nerve endings than others and those areas may hurt more. It is, however, less painful than a hair-transplant or getting a tattoo, for that matter.   

Q: How long does it take to recover?

There is no particular time prescribed for recovery, there may be a little redness after the procedure which goes away after about 15 to 20 hours. Most people who get this procedure done are able to return to work the very next day.

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