Frequently Asked Questions
- What happens when my hair turns gray?
Despite being the #1 question received from our clients, gray hair has little effect on the overall appearance of the hair following SMP treatments. For procedures that involve keeping the hair short (buzz cuts), gray hair is almost invisible provided clients maintain their buzzed look.
For procedures performed through longer hair (density), we thoroughly consult with our clients about how they will handle long-term maintenance. Some clients with longer hair will tell us they will color their hair, while others will reference that it took many decades for their parents to go gray.
Furthermore, SMP pigments are all gray. There are many different shades of gray we can use, but they’re all still gray. Brown pigments are available but they turn slightly warmer but still gray after a month. Going gray is typically a gradual process, and SMP will continue to blend well with gray pigments that soften over the years.
Additionally, by the time the touch-up is needed (approx. 4-6 years) adjustments can be made to ensure continued blending. This is an art, and procedures are highly tailored to the individual and great care is used to ensure our client’s long-term success.
- What is SMP?
- SMP is a non-surgical procedure that remedies hair loss by pigmentation into the scalp the illusion of thousands of hair follicles. Pigment is applied with a small needle over the course of 1 to 2 sessions. This innovative procedure can be used to create a shaved head look, add density to thinning hair, or camouflage skin diseases or scarring. This affordable solution provides immediate results suitable for almost everyone.
- How much does SMP cost?
- The cost of your procedure depends on your level of hair loss and on any special requirements you may have. Since every situation is unique, we will either need photos or an in-person consultation to give you an accurate quote. The cost will increase if you have hair transplant scars to conceal, or it can decrease if you have less advanced hair loss or only a small area needing treatment.
- Is SMP available for women?
- SMP is the ideal solution to conceal female pattern baldness in a stealthy way. Women typically experience diffuse thinning that spreads throughout the top of the head. This can be especially noticeable anywhere the hair is parted. The primary goal is to reduce the contrast between the hair and the scalp. We approach this similarly to men receiving a density treatment. SMP can conceal this contrast, which creates a permanent illusion of fullness.
- Will the pigments used fade or change color?
- We use a specially formulated pigment that is created for scalp micropigmentation purposes. There’s no risk of the color turning blue or green. Our pigments are carbon based and contain all vegan ingredients absent of any colors like blue or green.
- How long will the treatment take?
- The typical SMP treatment will take roughly 3-6 hours. If you’re coming from out of town, please plan on your procedure taking 2 consecutive days so that we can ensure the most thorough results before you return home. A touch-up after 30 days is necessary and is included in the cost of your procedure.
- Will people be able to tell I have had this treatment done?
- Our work is unbelievably realistic. If you don’t tell people, they won’t know. Most clients report that family and friends think that they’re growing their hair out or that their appearance has been enhanced somehow.
- What is the recovery period like?
- Recovery is very simple, and aftercare instructions will be provided. The scalp will heal itself in 5-7 days. During the healing period, swimming, heavy sweating and sun exposure must be avoided. Keeping the scalp clean is very important. Pigments can take up to 4 full weeks to cure. The pigments will cure a couple of shades lighter than originally applied, similar to a fresh tattoo. After 3-4 weeks, the pigments will cure to their final shades, approximately 10-20% lighter than initially applied.
- How long is it until the procedure fades, discolors or looks less realistic?
- Clients can go years without having a touch-up. In general, we recommend a touch-up after approximately 3-5 years. Following aftercare instructions and keeping your scalp from overexposure to the elements helps ensure longer-lasting results. Much like having a tattoo, the most important way to safeguard against any fading is to keep your scalp moisturized, using sunscreen or by wearing a hat during extended periods of sun exposure.
- Is SMP painful?
Approximately 60% of our clients experience minimal discomfort throughout the procedure, the remainder experience discomfort in localized areas or some general tenderness may appear in broader areas after 2-3 hours.
- A slight minority experience a high-level of pain. In these rare situations, we may utilize the services of a hair transplant facility in our building to numb the scalp. We also use topical lidocaine numbing that can help desensitize the scalp. After the procedure is complete pain stops and some light tenderness and tingling may be experienced for several days afterwards.
- If you’re concerned about pain, we encourage you to talk to your doctor about prescription options for reducing pain.
- Will the pigments used be matched to my hair color?
- We utilize a diluted black carbon-based pigments which is standard in the SMP industry. We choose a specific shade that most closely complements a person’s coloring and undertones. Although choosing the correct shade of pigment is important, replicated follicle density and the depths they’re placed have more impact on how dark or light a treatment gets. Clients who receive buzz cuts are at low risk of encountering complications with hair color, as the hair appears gray when buzzed. The density of the replicated follicles means how close these impressions are spaced from each other, the denser the impressions are the darker the procedure appears. Brown pigments are available on the market; however, after extensive testing, our results have shown that these pigments eventually cure gray after 2–3 weeks. Darker hair colors are enhanced easily when applying SMP through longer hair (density treatment), but when the hair is lighter and warmer the application needs to be applied with more care. Due to the ineffectiveness of brown pigments, Scalpworx has taken further steps to adjust these pigments. By adding a “warming” agent called a modifier. By adding modifier, a warmer pigment is created which reduces the risk of a cooler cure out. These factors make an exact hair color match challenging. It’s important to remember that the primary purpose of adding density through longer hair is to conceal the scalp from showing through, thus giving the appearance of a thicker head of hair.
- Is SMP removable?
Most scalp micropigmentation treatments can be removed by laser in 1–2 sessions. Only rarely are additional sessions required. We recommend Dr. Ink Eraser in Sandy Springs, GA. If considering laser removal, a consultation with us is encouraged. Many procedures are still salvageable with blending techniques.