Camouflaging the scalp to conceal obvious evidence of hair loss is achieved in multiple ways with the concept focused on reducing the contrast between hair color and skin color to make hair loss less noticeable. Read more...
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What is scalp micropigmentation?
Scalp micropigmentation is essentially permanent tattooing of the scalp to simulate the appearance of hair follicles in areas of decreased hair density.
Why would someone consider this process?
Managing alopecia or hair loss may often require a comprehensive approach addressing the causes of hair loss to increase hair growth while also recognizing limitations to therapy and time that is required to regrow hair if possible. Camouflaging the scalp to conceal obvious evidence of hair loss is achieved in multiple ways with the concept focused on reducing the contrast between hair color and skin color to make hair loss less noticeable.
How does scalp micropigmentation work to improve the appearance of thinning hair?
Many people are familiar with hair fibers and scalp concealers that can be applied like a paste or spray to temporarily add pigment. By adding in pigment and camouflaging the visible scalp, the illusion of denser thicker hair is created.
How does scalp micropigmentation compare to other hair loss treatments like hair transplants, tattooing, or topical treatments?
Hair transplants are a procedure whereby actual hair follicles are harvested from a denser part of the scalp and transplanted into a region of less dense hair follicles. This is different from micropigmetnation as it is not just pigment but actual hair follicles placed. Scalp micropigmentation can be performed in conjunction with transplants to add pigment to the areas that the hair is harvested from to reduce the appearance of scar tissue that may form.
Who would you consider the ideal candidate for scalp micropigmentation?
The ideal candidate for scalp micropigmentation is someone who finds that parting their hair exposes their scalp directly giving the appearance of sparse hair. By adding pigmentation, the reduction in the contrast between the pigment of hair and the pigment in skin can be reduced.
Can you walk us through the scalp micropigmentation process, from consultation to treatment to aftercare?
The first step is applying a topical numbing agent to reduce the discomfort associated with pigment deposition. The process for pigment deposition is similar to tattooing however the placement of the pigment is not as deep. The pigment is deposited into the scalp at varying depths to provide varying hues to simulate the appearance of hair. Due to the shallow depth of pigment deposition, this is not considered a permanent tattoo. This generally results in pigmentation that lasts between 5 to 10 years.
Are there any restrictions afterward?
Initially, there will be a healing period of time where the skin will feel inflamed or irritated. The pigment once deposited stays put through shampoo, conditioning, and styling. Styling your hair as you normally would appear simpler with a less exposed scalp.
Are there any risks or side effects associated with scalp micropigmentation?
Anytime trauma is induced in the skin there is the risk of infection and scarring. In addition to these risks is the added risk of not results not meeting expectations. Those with a tendency towards keloids should understand the risks associated with scarring.
Can scalp micropigmentation be used on any hair color or skin type, or are there limitations?
Overall micropigmentation may work best when there is a significant contrast between the skin and hair pigment. Lighter hair colors may not see as much of a difference. Avoiding this process if you tend to get keloids or hypertrophic scars is important to take into consideration.
What advice do you have for someone who is considering scalp micropigmentation as a solution for their thinning hair?
I think of scalp micropigmentation as a nice adjunct to other therapies given how long it can take to see results. I do find that patients find the results satisfying and this tends to be a confidence builder overall, especially when considering the challenges some of my patients will face when swimming and how water impacts the appearance of thinning hair.