We received some Scalp MicroPigmentation (SMP) questions:
1) The results pictures on the website all seem to show everyone with shaved heads. Should I expect the ability to cut my hair that short after the procedure and not have the scar visible? or are those atypical, “best case” scenarios? I know there will always be some irregularity but the pictures show it being very difficult to discern. This isn’t a make it/break it question. I’d be happy to cut my hair down to 1/8″ without the scar visible. I just want to make sure my expectations are in line with reality.
2) Must I shave my head for the procedure itself?
3) If I do have my head shaved and I expose the SMP’d scar to the sun, will it fade?
4) Is the SMP permanent? Permanent as in, I do this once (the 3 sessions) and it lasts for 50+ years? Or is there an expected life span for the SMP?
1. The photos on the SMP website show most people shaved, because that is what makes the scar blend in with the stubble of hair and the flat pigment of SMP underneath your skin.
Keep in mind, if you get SMP for a scar, it is not hair and that there will be a “step” in the hair where there is a scar. SMP will only make the scalp darker so you wont notice the white line. If you keep your hair 1/8 inch long you may see the step of where the hair starts and ends. Most patients shave or buzz their hair around the scar with an electric shaver set at zero guard or they keep their hair long enough to cover the invisible scar. Everyone is different in their degree of how they hide the scar, but you must remember that you will always still have a scar. SMP only helps hide it to most casual observers. No matter how good we get your SMP, you will always notice the scar in certain lighting and certain angles… and you will notice it more because you know how to look for it.
2. You don’t have to shave, but if you are ever going to shave later it will help us blend it in better. We work with longer hair all the time (this is not an issue). It is when we finish the job with long hair and later you decide to shave it, you will notice some areas that don’t look perfectly blended in. So if you are ever going to shave it, we recommend you have SMP done with the area shaved, because that is how we get it almost perfect. If you are never going to shave, then it is not an issue.
3. SMP will fade with or without sun. UV light makes it fade a bit more, but it won’t erase. If you ever need a touch-up in the future because you think it has faded too much, the fee is $300.
4. SMP is permanent just like a tattoo is permanent, though you may want a touch-up in the years to come. In our experience over the last 4+ years, most people do not return for touch-ups. When we follow up with our SMP clients, we find that most say it has not faded to a degree to warrant a touch-up.
We’ve answered many more SMP questions on our FAQ.