Introduction to Hair Micropigmentation: What Is It and How Does It Work

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Hair Micropigmentation

Hair loss can lead to a lack of confidence, depression, low self-esteem, and other undesirable feelings. Fortunately, there are some solutions to manage or treat hair loss. An increasingly popular procedure to minimize the appearance of hair loss is hair micropigmentation. It is a non-invasive method to mimic natural hair on the scalp. Continue reading to learn more about hair micropigmentation.

Basics of hair micropigmentation

Hair micropigmentation is a type of hair tattoo used to cover bald spots on the scalp that has gained popularity as a non-surgical treatment for hair loss. In scalp micropigmentation, thin needles deposit color on the scalp, providing an impression of thicker hair. Typically, the ink used in hair micropigmentation is cosmetic grade and permanent.

The most common candidate for hair micropigmentation is someone who has bald spots, thinning hair, alopecia, or visible scarring on the scalp. While the most common application of hair micropigmentation is to provide the appearance of thicker hair, it can also be used to hide scars or unwanted birthmarks. As male pattern baldness is most common around the crown and hairline, that is the area most commonly treated for thinning hair. Keep in mind that micropigmentation doesn’t grow new hair and is generally not harmful to existing hair follicles.

How does it work?

The objective of hair micropigmentation is to mimic the appearance of hair follicles. The client can choose the shape and color of the pigmentation in consultation with their provider. Typically, a numbing agent such as medicine makes the procedure as comfortable as possible. The needles used for hair micropigmentation are thinner and smaller than the ones used for tattoos.

The needles deposit cosmetic-grade color or pigment on the desired areas of the scalp. The dots created by hair micropigmentation needles vary in size and depth. This helps provide the appearance of natural hair. While some people need only one treatment, most need multiple treatments to get the desired results. Each session can be as long as five hours. The treatment sessions may need to be scheduled a few weeks apart to allow the scalp to recover from the previous treatment.

As hair micropigmentation is a non-invasive procedure and does not require general anesthesia, the post-procedure recovery period is short. Sometimes, the practitioner may recommend that the patient wear a hat or cap to protect the treated area for a few days.

Tattoo vs. hair micropigmentation

While hair micropigmentation is similar to getting a tattoo, there are some key differences. The practitioners that perform hair micropigmentation are not typical tattoo artists because they specialize in performing hair micropigmentation. They are trained and experienced in using finer and smaller needles to create the appearance of natural hair on the scalp.

The needles used in hair micropigmentation penetrate only 1.5 to 2 mm into the scalp. The practitioner’s aim is to reach this optimal depth. If they are too deep, it can cause the pigment to lose shape, while if they only reach the skin’s surface, the pigment will fade too quickly.

Another key difference between getting a tattoo and hair micropigmentation is that with hair micropigmentation, you get specially formulated pigment to match your natural hair color. The wide range of colors and shades in hair micropigmentation are typically unavailable in tattoo procedures.

Preparation for hair micropigmentation

In the days leading up to the procedure, the patient is required to discontinue using any medicated or non-medicated hair products. The patient needs to avoid any products that can cause inflammation of the scalp.

While the patient doesn’t have to get rid of all their hair, the area that needs hair micropigmentation must be shaved and kept as smooth as possible. Some practitioners may also recommend that the patient avoid drinking any alcohol or using any blood-thinning medication prior to the surgery.

Post-procedure rest and aftercare

A typical hair micropigmentation procedure requires 10 to 14 days of recovery, but this can vary depending on how the patient’s scalp responds to the procedure. The hair micropigmentation procedure should not be painful; however, everyone’s pain tolerance is different, so some patients might find it slightly painful. A skilled hair micropigmentation practitioner can minimize the discomfort, but it is common for patients to feel a scratching sensation. Some areas of the scalp, especially the areas around the temple, are known to be more sensitive.

A follow-up session can also help the patient decide if they need more sessions to reach their desired results. In the few days that follow the procedure, the patient might be recommended to use broad-spectrum sunscreen on their scalp when going out in the sun.

The scalp may feel a bit sore or tender after the hair micropigmentation procedure; however, once the scalp has recovered, there is no need for extensive aftercare. The appearance of hair micropigmentation often warrants the patient to keep a short hairstyle.

Benefits of hair micropigmentation

There are several benefits of getting hair micropigmentation, including the noninvasive nature of the procedure. While there are inherent risks to hair micropigmentation, the risks are minimal compared to surgical treatments for hair loss. Hair micropigmentation is considered safe and requires minimal downtime.

Another key benefit of hair micropigmentation is it is typically less costly than other surgical procedures for hair loss. Of course, the cost will depend on several factors, including the number of procedures required.

The precision of hair micropigmentation makes it look natural. The pigments are designed to mimic the color, shape, and size of natural hair follicles. Another benefit of hair micropigmentation is it is low maintenance. In most cases, the only thing a patient needs to do is keep the scalp smooth. No special medications or shampoos are required for the maintenance of hair micropigmentation.

Challenges of hair micropigmentation

While hair micropigmentation offers several benefits, it also has some drawbacks. The most obvious challenge of hair micropigmentation is limited hair length. The appearance provided by hair micropigmentation is that of a closely cropped haircut, and the patient will have to maintain this haircut for the pigments to appear hair-like.

Another challenge is that there is some potential for allergic reactions in some people. Although this is rare, it is best to consult with the practitioner to determine if you are at increased risk of an allergic reaction to hair micropigmentation.

Hair micropigmentation offers a quick and easy way to cover bald spots, but over time, the pigments are expected to fade into a lighter shade. You can extend the life span of the pigment by keeping the scalp protected from the sun and harsh hair products.

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