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What To Expect After Each SMP Session

We all see Instagram posts of before and afters or 1st,2nd and 3rd session progression as it relates to Scalp Micropigmentation. Marketing and photos can be misleading and set false expectations of what is realistic throughout the process. Understanding the process and expectations is very important and should be relayed to potential clients during the consultation. 

I’d like to touch on the process and expectation for each session in general terms. SMP is typically done throughout 3-5 sessions realistically. For demonstration purposes, I will go through session progression as if we are talking about 3 sessions. 

First session – This is the time to create the overall foundation. Depending on your artist, this may be low density or a time to create density and get a “wow” factor for a client. Whatever path your artist chooses, this is the time to get a base down and fill in the balding area. Directly after a 1st session, the results may look amazing but as the treatment heals and the redness dies down, you will likely see sections that have faded or disappeared all together and other sections that have remained. This can leave a patchy appearance but do not be alarmed, this is normal. 

Second session – This is the time that your artist learns about your skin, how you heal, the technique used and any changes your artist must make in their technique. Each client’s skin is different and requires adjustments to be made to achieve the best results. During this session, your artist will be filling in any sessions that faded and blend the work from the first session. This is also the time to create the desired density the client is hoping to achieve or even make any changes to hairline design. 

Third session – This may be your last session for a while or it may not. This session is typically used to blend and create final detailed touches. Some artists may use a different shade of pigment to create a dusted 3D look on this session. 

As mentioned, each client is different so your artist should be working with you based on how the results are healing. A client’s scalp skin is different from inch to inch so if some sections impressions stay and others do not, you will need extra sessions. As a client, it can be a scary process when the results are not healing perfectly after every session; again this is common and each session is used to fill faded portions. 

Marketing might make one believe that each session looks perfect. This is not the case and requires many sessions to make the final results you see advertised. 
You can book a consultation with your local SMP provider or feel free to contact Dermimatch in Scottsdale, AZ at https://www.dermimatch.com and schedule a consultation.

Dermimatch Hair Clinic
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The Accepted “SMP Look”

Unfortunately as great as SMP is as a hair loss solution, we are still utilizing a 2D solution for a 3D problem. There are limitations to how natural this solution can look and it must be performed in such a manner as to obtain the most natural look. 

Is SMP natural up close in person? This all depends, however, when creating 1000’s of impressions, it would be a lie to say every single impression remains small and precise. Each portion of the scalp is a different texture and can yield a different result from one inch to the next. It takes a skilled artist and lots of patients to achieve the best results possible. Your artist should also be utilizing a complexion correction or saline solution to target any impressions that are not satisfactory as a standard part of the treatment. 

Natural hairlines are a must to obtain a natural result. It has become a trend in the SMP world to create the edged up barber look. If we are creating a shaved head look with SMP, how might one obtain an edge up look if they have a shaved head? You must have some length to achieve this with real hair right? So why would this be a great idea with a 2D impression? Although you can create a feathered edge up this is still a risky hairline to choose for the most natural result.  

The idea is to give a shaved look of a full head of hair, not to try and create hair. As an SMP artist I can typically spot SMP in the real world from a mile away. Even if the SMP work is excellent, I can still tell. It has almost become a “look” that is acceptable. The “SMP look”. 

I find this acceptable “SMP look” to defeat the purpose. So how do we avoid this look? SMP must be Subtle. Subtle with a natural feathered hairline. Do not get caught in the “more is better” trap. 

Another point I should touch on is pigments. The SMP world tends to utilize diluted straight black carbon ink. Luckily some artists have adopted the idea that the carbon black needs to be warmed up to help avoid the “shoe polish SMP look” and to help avoid blue ting in lighter skinned clients. 

Do your research and go to an artist that promotes a natural feathered hairline, subtleness and warm pigments. 

Take a look at Dermimatch.com to see natural before and after results in Scottsdale, Arizona.

scalp micropigmentation in Scottsdale, AZ for thinning hair - scalp micropigmentation in Scottsdale, AZ for thinning hair
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Topical Finasteride

The idea of topical Finasteride has become more popular as big companies like “Hims” are utilizing and advertising this as an option to the traditional oral delivery method. 

Finasteride taken orally is one of the few FDA approved treatments to combat hair loss.  Subsequently, topical Finasteride is not FDA approved to treat hair loss at this time. So why would you want to take Finasteride topically if this is not an FDA approved method. The answer is very simple; side effects of taking Finasteride orally can override the benefits for many. 

Finasteride works by blocking the hormone DHT in the body. As with any medication that is altering hormones in the body, there will be side effects associated. 

  • Decreased sex drive
  • Ejaculation disorder
  • Skin rash
  • Trouble getting or keeping an erection
  • Increase in breast size and tenderness
  • Gynecomastia

Although Finasteride is typically well tolerated, many can be affected by these side effects or maybe just want to avoid taking the medication due to possible side effects. 

Alternatively; “Topical finasteride primarily lowers the levels of DHT in the scalp and has a substantially lower impact on serum DHT in the body, which makes it less likely to cause side effects than oral finasteride.” https://www.usarx.com/drug/finasteride/does-topical-finasteride-work

To learn more or by topical Finasteride. Hims might be a good place to start. 

Forehims.com

For other additional coverage if you’re either thinning or if you’re passed the point of pharmacologic intervention and still want to address your balding; check out Dermimatch Hair clinic in Scottsdale, AZ. https://www.dermimatch.com/ 

scalp micropigmentation in Scottsdale, AZ for thinning hair - scalp micropigmentation in Scottsdale, AZ for thinning hair
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Laser Off – Scalp Micropigmentation (SMP)

With so many people wanting to learn Scalp Micro pigmentation due to high income potential and relatively low cost to start up in the industry; the need for SMP correction has never been more prevalent. Unfortunately, many folks looking to get into the business are going through short training courses lasting 2-3 days typically. Some of these courses are 100% online which means the student gets zero experience on real skin. For the folks going to an in person training course; they are typically getting to practice on a human model however, they are not seeing their heeled results a week out making the training much less useful.

Luckily there are a few options to either fix the bad SMP or have it lasered off completely. Some options other than laser would be a saline solution, a diluted lactic acid or acid base or a complexion correction pigment needled into the bad SMP impressions. These options are limited and should only be used to correct some bad impressions and not for correcting a whole head of bad SMP work.

Laser is the best and cleanest option for getting rid of bad SMP. If the SMP was done with carbon pigment as most SMP is and the artist did not go too deep; SMP can typically be removed in one laser session as opposed to a traditional tattoo. This is because a tattoo is applied into deeper layers of the skin while SMP should be applied much shallower. Plan for two laser sessions to make sure all the impressions and dark spots are removed fully.

https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=laser+off+scalp+micropigmentation&&view=detail&mid=FFE0ADCEB89978FF8E3EFFE0ADCEB89978FF8E3E&&FORM=VRDGAR&ru=%2Fvideos%2Fsearch%3Fq%3Dlaser%2Boff%2Bscalp%2Bmicropigmentation%26FORM%3DHDRSC4

When looking for a SMP artist, do your research and also make sure they have apprenticed with someone for a decent amount of time instead of just completing a 3 day course. There is no substitution for working on real clients and seeing the progression and healed results. 

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At Home Hair Transplant Scar Correction Options

Through my own experience; shaving my head after a hair transplant is extremely frustrating and can be crippling.  I have spent years trying to reverse the scarring that I have sustained due to two FUT hair transplants.

Not only am I contending with the strip scar in the back of my head but I also had raised, red, spongy skin on the recipient site where the grafts were placed in my hairline.

I have exhausted all my viable options to help achieve the least amount of scarring to include, laser resurfacing, micro-needling, fibroblast, two scar revisions, FUE into the strip scar and I even took a tattoo pen and micro needled the hairline area with a dragging method.

I am fortunate that I have achieved pretty outstanding results.

Micro-needling, Fibroblast and even going so far as to drag a needle through the scared area with a tattoo pen are all inexpensive options you can do at home.

For the purpose of this article I want to touch on Fibroblast. This is an inexpensive device that you can purchase on Amazon Amazon.com: AMZGIRL Portable Beauty Equipment Skin Tag Remover pen,Multi Speed Level Adjustable Home Usage,skin tag removal device USB Charging -Gold : Beauty & Personal Care. Fibroblast devices are typically used by Estheticians to help build new collagen in the skin to help tighten and get rid of wrinkles. https://youtu.be/ot_2tuwRR2U

This at home option can take the place of expensive laser treatments. Be prepared to use a numbing cream as you are creating small burns on the surface of your skin.

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Hair Transplant Scar Concealment Options In Addition to SMP

As a Scalp Micropigmentation Artist, I often find myself explaining to potential clients the limitations of scar camouflage with SMP alone. Unfortunately SMP is a 2D solution and as wonderful as this option is for hair loss and covering scars; it does not address skin texture and surface imperfections.    

Thankfully there are options to help address texture concerns. Some examples would be; laser resurfacing, micro-needling, Fibroblast and fillers.

Today I want to shed some light on fillers in regards to indented scarring on the scalp typically due to an FUT hair transplant. Indented scarring can be difficult to conceal with SMP alone especially in different lighting situations or angles.

Fillers can be injected into the scar to help raise and flatten the scar tissue to match the surrounding skin. You can simply make an appointment with your local dermatologist who would be able to perform this treatment before going in for your SMP treatment.

A simple filler treatment could make all the difference in your overall outcome in hiding that embarrassing scar.

Dermal Fillers And Scars: Cost, Effects & Benefits Reviewed (medicadepot.com)