FAQ About Scalp Micropigmentation
What is Scalp Micropigmentation?
Scalp Micropigmentation, also called SMP, is a non-surgical long term solution for hair loss. During a Scalp Micropigmentation treatment, tiny pigment deposits are placed into the upper dermis on the scalp, replicating the appearance of natural hair follicles. Scalp Micropigmentation can be used to create the illusion of a full head of shaved hair, to make a thinning head of hair look fuller, or to camouflage hair transplant scars.
How much does getting Scalp Micropigmentation Cost?
The cost of getting Scalp Micropigmentation varies depending on the level of hair loss being treated. On average, SMP costs $2,500 to $4,500, but your treatment may cost more or less depending on your unique needs.
How long will getting Scalp Micropigmentation take?
In order to create a natural gradient effect, multiple SMP sessions are needed. Most people need three SMP sessions to reach their desired result. Each SMP session should be spaced out at least a week apart and the duration time of each session will vary from person to person. On average, a person’s first SMP treatment lasts for 3 to 4 hours, while their second lasts for 2 to 3 hours and their third lasts for 1 to 2 hours.
Is getting Scalp Micropigmentation painful?
While everyone’s pain tolerance is different, most people don’t find getting SMP particularly painful. An average client ranks the pain of an SMP treatment at a 2 to 4 out of 10.
Does Scalp Micropigmentation require downtime?
No, SMP doesn’t require downtime like a surgery would. There are some aftercare steps you should take in the week following your treatment, such as using sunscreen with a high SPF, but you can generally resume your normal activities.
What happens to the pigment used in a Scalp Micropigmentation treatment?
During an SMP treatment, a tiny needle delivers customized pigment just below the epidermis, the outer layer of skin (which is about as thick as a piece of paper). When pigment passes through the epidermis and into the upper layer of the dermis during an SMP treatment, it will initially be deposited in both layers of skin. Pigment that is placed in the upper layer of the dermis becomes suspended, making it permanent, while the pigment that just touched the epidermis will be cleared away by the outer skin’s natural regeneration cycle. This leaves you with a tiny, natural-looking follicle replication placed in the exact same area as your hair follicles: in the upper dermis.
How many “hair follicles” do you place when giving SMP?
An average treatment that includes the hairline, the front of the scalp, and the crown will include around 20,000 to 30,000 hair follicle replications. A person may need fewer or more replications depending on their scalp and their unique goals.
Is Scalp Micropigmentation the same thing as a regular head tattoo?
No. Scalp Micropigmentation involves the same theoretical technique as tattooing, but it’s very different in application. One of the biggest differences between SMP and a normal head tattoo is ink placement. SMP involves the use of tiny needles that are only a fifth of the size of a tattoo needle. These needles deliver a specialized, color true type of ink directly into the upper layer of skin, providing precise and controlled application. A regular head tattoo would create larger, less natural-looking “follicles” and would also come with some added risks, like color spreading and color changing (standard tattoo ink can oxide in the sun over time, causing it to look green or blue). We advise against getting an SMP-like treatment from a normal tattoo artist who is not trained in SMP, since it’s unlikely to give you natural-looking results.
How will I look right after getting Scalp Micropigmentation?
Immediately after your treatment, you’ll experience some redness on your scalp, which can last for a day or two. Initially, your new follicle replica pigments will appear darker than they will a few weeks after your treatment, since they need some time to settle into your deep skin and be cleared from your outer skin by your body’s natural processes.
Can SMP cover scars on the scalp?
Yes! Scalp Micropigmentation can be an excellent solution for disguising scars. Our founder Zoe actually specializes in treating scars on the scalp, including scars from Follicular Unit Transplants (FUT), Follicular Unit Extractions (FUE), facelifts, and brow lifts.
Will people be able to tell that I got Scalp Micropigmentation?
When SMP is done by an experienced professional with an artistic eye, such as our founder Zoe, it looks extremely natural and seamless. A big reason for the popularity of SMP (which is the most popular non-surgical hair loss solution) is how effective and undetectable it is.
Can someone with fair skin and light brown or blonde hair get Scalp Micropigmentation?
Yes. Scalp Micropigmentation is not just for people with dark hair. At Queen of SMP, Zoe custom blends the colors she uses during each SMP treatment. Hair follicles are generally dark when shaved at the roots, so Zoe can create custom grayscale pigments to match those with blonde, red, brown, or black hair.
Does SMP fade?
Like other treatments that deposit pigment into the skin, such as tattoos, SMP can begin to fade over time. Most Scalp Micropigmentation lasts for around 4 to 5 years before beginning to lighten. How much and how quickly SMP will fade depends on a variety of factors, such as genetics, your activity level, and what your scalp is exposed to. Common causes of premature SMP fading include the use of a harsh product (like an acidic shampoo or conditioner) or a lack of sunscreen use. Premature fading can be minimized by using sunscreen, avoiding harsh products, and practicing proper aftercare. SMP that has faded over a long period of time can be refreshed with additional touch up treatments.
What kind of future maintenance do I need after getting SMP?
Scalp Micropigmentation is a permanent treatment that can soften up or fade over time. With proper aftercare (including diligent sunscreen use), you can typically maintain the initial results of your SMP treatment for 5 to 10 years. If, over time, your SMP fades to the point where you feel it needs a refresh, you can simply have it touched up to restore your desired look. Additionally, if you experience significant hair loss in the future after your initial treatments, you may also want to make a touch up appointment to have your SMP extended and blended with your new natural hairline.
FAQ About Getting a Treatment at Queen of SMP
How can I get a consultation?
Zoe can provide consultations in person, via a video call, or by responding to emailed images. Visit our contact page or email us at [email protected] to schedule your consultation.
How soon can I get my treatment after my consultation?
Typically, we can schedule appointments within a week or two of your initial consultation, but appointment availability can vary based on demand. If you’re concerned about making sure your appointment can happen within a specific timeframe, let us know and we’ll see what we can do to accommodate you.
Do you use tattoo needles for Scalp Micropigmentation at Queen of SMP?
No. We use nano needles that are a fifth of the size of a standard tattoo needle. We use these microfine needles because they provide a highly natural look that mimics the look of real hair follicles.
Where can I see examples of your work?
All of our treatments are done by our founder Zoe Belle. You can see some examples of Zoe’s exceptionally natural-looking work in our online Gallery.
Do you reuse needles?
Absolutely not. Sanitation is of the utmost importance to us. We only use single-use needles and every client receives a brand new needle for each of their treatments.
FAQ About Pre and Post Treatment Care
My scalp will be paler than my face if I shave my head. Should I tan my scalp before getting SMP?
No, please do not tan before your Scalp Micropigmentation treatment. Tanning toughens up the skin, which can make it harder for your skin to absorb pigmentation. Zoe will take your natural skin tone and hair color into account when creating your custom color, so there’s no need to intentionally tan and risk toughening up your skin.
Do I need to shave my head or cut my hair before getting Scalp Micropigmentation?
Whether or not you should shave your head or cut your hair depends on where you are in your hair loss journey and how you’d like to wear your hair in the future. Many people with longer hair that is beginning to thin do not need to cut their hair, while those who are are missing a lot of hair and are looking to achieve a shaved head look will need to shave their hair. Before your first SMP appointment at Queen of SMP, Zoe will explain exactly how you should prepare for your treatment.
When can I wash my scalp again after my treatment?
Three days after an SMP treatment, you can gently wash your scalp with water. After a week, you can resume using products on your scalp (such as shampoo, conditioner, and soap).
When can I shave my head again after a Scalp Micropigmentation treatment?
We recommend waiting at least a week to shave after getting SMP, since your scalp needs time to heal uninterrupted in the week following your treatment.
When can I expose my scalp to direct sunlight again after a Scalp Micropigmentation treatment?
We strongly recommend staying out of the sun for at least 30 days following your last Scalp Micropigmentation treatment. We also strongly recommend using a sunscreen with an SPF of 50 or greater whenever you are out in the sun after your treatment.
When can I go in the ocean, a swimming pool, or a hot tub after my treatment?
Wait until at least two weeks after your last SMP treatment before exposing your scalp to saltwater or any water that’s been treated with chlorine.
Is it okay to sweat right after getting Scalp Micropigmentation?
Sweating can interfere with the healing process and affect the quality of your results. So, it’s best to avoid sweating entirely for the four days after your treatment. Avoid activities that may cause you to break into a sweat, such as housework or spending time in a hot place. After four days, you can sweat lightly, but should avoid activities that may cause you to sweat heavily, such as running or doing yard work. After ten days, you can sweat heavily again without worrying about it affecting your treatment results.
Have a question that’s not answered in our FAQ? Contact Queen of SMP for more information.