If you’re concerned about your appearance because you are balding, have scarring on your head or you have thinning hair, scalp micropigmentation might be an option. Millions of men and women have problems with their hair. Scalp micropigmentation just might be the hair loss solution they’re looking for.
What does micropigmentation involve? Is it safe? And is it right for you? Read on to learn more.
What is Scalp Micropigmentation?
Scalp micropigmentation involves using hairline ink in a pattern to mimic that of your natural hair follicles. It’s a relatively new technique. Think of it as a sort of tattoo for your head.1
Many people whose hair follicles are thinning – or who have receding hairlines – are looking into micropigmentation. It might be right for you as well, making it look like you have a full head of hair.
You might know someone who had a traditional scalp tattoo in the past. While scalp micropigmentation is based on the same principle, it’s much more advanced.
How Scalp Micropigmentation Works
If you’ve ever seen a stippled painting – one made up primarily of tiny dots – then you have an idea of how micropigmentation works. The procedure can be performed on a shaved scalp, or on someone with long hair. It creates an appearance of natural hair follicles.
Scalp micropigmentation involves the use of a needle, just like a tattoo.
The needle inserts a tiny amount of hairline ink into the skin on the head, through the upper dermal layer. The typical instrument used consists of six needles that move anywhere between 100-150 cycles per second.
Like a tattoo, scalp micropigmentation has an artistic component. The operator has to make not only technical judgments, but artistic judgments as well. Mimicking follicles to make them look natural, and to also match your hair color, is a very intricate, methodical process.2
Advantages Over Other Procedures
Many people with hair issues will often choose between scalp micropigmentation and a hair transplant.
In hair transplant surgery, a dermatologist removes a strip of skin containing healthy hairs, usually from the back of the scalp. Sometimes, individual hairs are removed. That hair is transplanted to bald areas.3
Hair transplantation usually lasts between 5-8 hours. Afterward, patients may experience swelling for a few days afterward and may also need to take medications for pain. They are also advised to keep their head elevated when sleeping. Patients will also typically have significant transplant scars.4
Scalp micropigmentation, on the other hand, is non-invasive. It does involve some pain, but not as much as a hair transplant. It’s not a permanent solution, however. The results will last for about two years before the procedure needs to be repeated.5
Is it Right for Me?
People use micropigmentation to make it look like they have more hair. It’s also used to conceal transplant scars and other kinds of scar tissue. It’s often used to conceal not only male pattern baldness, but female pattern baldness as well.
If you have any of the following issues, you might want to consider scalp micropigmentation:
- You have a linear scar on the skin on your head from a previous hair transplant.
- You don’t want to wear a wig or use a topical concealer.
- Your hair is thinning due to a medical issue.
- Your follicles are weak, leading to a loss of hair density.
- You underwent chemotherapy, and your hair is not growing back as much as you expected.
- You have scarring on your head due to an injury or a surgery.
Is Scalp Micropigmentation Safe?
Scalp micropigmentation is considered an effective method of concealing issues such as scarring or a thinning hairline. Although it can help improve appearance, there have been side effects associated with the procedure. Most of these side effects are minor compared to other hair restoration procedures. But some of them can be serious.
Allergic reactions to the hairline ink used in scalp micropigmentation have occurred. Some people suffer injuries from the needles. Low-quality hairline ink can sometimes lead to serious skin conditions.6
Be careful when choosing the person to perform the procedure on your scalp and hair. Talk to a dermatologist to see if they have any recommendations. There will be some discomfort, so you need to make sure you have a good idea of your pain tolerance.