How to avoid the painted head look?

This was a great story from our friend Damien over at Guru. I hear it often during consultations. In fact, it is probably one of the biggest fears of most men considering the scalp micropigmentation treatment. “I don’t want that ‘painted on’ look”… “How do I avoid making it look like a helmet?”

OK, so former NBA star Carlos Boozer (above) didn’t have scalp micropigmentation – his painted look was apparently the work of poorly applied concealers – but the point remains the same. No-one wants their new ‘hair’ to look unnatural. Avoiding the ‘painted’ or ‘helmet’ look is an important consideration when developing your treatment plan with your chosen technician.

Well, I understand where this fear comes from. A quick google search of Scalp Micropigmentation or Scalp Tattoo and any thorough researcher will stumble across the horror photos, the treatments that simply look so obvious and fake. Many times they are of clients who received extremely poor pigmentation that takes on the look of one solid, over densified color. Hairline is too strong, color darker than existing hair, and all of it just looks like a shoe shiner on 34th street simply polished your dome with black wax polish.

The good news is it doesn’t have to end this way. With the right amount of teamwork and communication from both the technician and the client, you can avoid the dreaded “painted helmet head” look.

First, some obvious key points to avoiding a bad result…

Add Density Over Multiple Sessions

For technicians in Scalp Micropigmentation already, this is pretty obvious, but it still needs to be mentioned. No matter if it is the temporary tricopigmentation or the semi-permanent scalp micropigmentation, all treatments should be achieved over a multiple session process. This ensures a scalp is not overworked right from the start. It allows a gradual build up of density and color, keeping both the technician and more importantly the client in the “driver seat” of the final outcome.

For example, those that want a softer more understated result may decided they are happy with the density of 2 sessions. Others may want to return for session 3 or 4 to add a bit more density and color for a stronger, youthful look. Either way, that decision comes after both the client and the technician have had sufficient time to assess the results after each session and healing process.

 

Shade Choice and Blending

Proper color shade selection and blending is key for a successful scalp pigmentation result. Color and shade much match existing hair tone when clipped or shaved. Too dark, and the result will be what I call “top heavy”, meaning the color of the treated area looks unnatural and substantially contrasts with the side natural hair. A treatment also needs to be blended carefully and seamlessly into existing hair. A technician cant just stop at the hair lines and ridges, as this will show seams and gaps. Alternatively, the color used to blend should usually be lighter and with less density into the hair. If the pigment is too strong and too dense into the natural hair, you’re left with a uniform, “helmet”-like result.

Ok, the basics are out of the way, and most people that treat or have done research into Scalp Micropigmentation at least understand the theory of the above. But these next two points are a bit less discussed, but of the utmost importance to keeping clear of a painted/polished treatment result…

Leave some skin

It is very, VERY easy to get carried away with this type of treatment. Where as a hair transplant is limited by the number of grafts being harvested, a scalp micropigmentation technician and client has an unlimited amount of pigment at their disposal. Ink is readily available. And the thought for some of us who have suffered hair loss for so long is – “the more ink used on my scalp, the more hair I will appear to have.” WRONG!

After 2-4 sessions most clients look fantastic. The color is there, the density is there, the effect is created. But many, happy with the results so far, believe returning for more will yield even more amazing results. Well thats not always the case. The more you return in a short time, the less area a technician has to pigment actual flesh colored scalp skin. The more you return, the closer your follicle replications come together, and the closer you come to a more uniform, solid, painted appearance.

This is exactly how a great scalp micropigmentation treatment should look. No helmet or painted appearance here, just clearly defined pigment deposits that look exactly like real shaved hair on the scalp.

Having some bits of skin intermixed between your newly created follicles is essential. It adds to the realism, creates and maintains detail, and most importantly keeps your head from being one of those terrifying google image horror stories. Don’t get me wrong, there is a place and technique for pigment layering over the course of sessions, but to plug every inch of skin is not the right approach. I find that many scalp micropigmentation clients actually have a fuller appearance of shaved hair than most shaved men with ACTUAL real hair. Which is fine, within reason!

Know when to stop!

This one is mostly directed at Scalp Micropigmetnation and Tricopigmentation technicians. Sometimes, in our effort to always make a client happy, or under a flawed concept of “the customer is always right” we cave to the wishes of our clients.

It is a tricky line to straddle. You have a paying customer who has a vision of what their end result should be. And sometimes they may not understand that less is more with this type of treatment. Now, of course a client can go for a darker, stronger look. I have done 4th and even 5th sessions in a 3 months time frame.

But the problem arises when they are on the cusp of doing too much. What do we as licensed professionals do? Here is where it is extremely important to have an honest conversation. Outline the disadvantages of over-working a scalp. Dispute the false ideas that more ink means it will help the treatment compete with longer hair or reflect light any differently. Show the horror photos. Approach the client with compassion and rationality. And if all else fails, don’t be afraid to just say NO.

Remember this is your artwork, your product, your reputation on the line. If you are uncomfortable treating a customer because you feel it will jeopardize their results and your company, simply don’t treat.

The client also has a responsibility to step back and really assess their results. Will adding more ink really make that difference you think it will? Why not look at your before pictures, then your after shots and see what a difference the treatment has already made. Sometimes we forget how much of a transformation we really had. Listen to the advice of your technician, they have done many treatments and have a your best interests at heart.

This is a team effort, both the technician and the client have responsibility to properly communicate during the treatment process. By listening to each others perspectives, following the correct multiple session process, and not completely inking out your scalp, you can avoid that “painted on” scalp tattoo look.

painted-hair.jpg

An explanation of Scalp Micropigmentation by Mike Hen

Mike Hen is the Founder of The Machisimo Health & Wellness Organization, Inc. headquartered in Ft Lauderdale Florida. He pens articles for his practice and students, industry professionals around the world and the for public seeking information. Both His formal and informal education and personal and professional experience here in the United States as well as abroad has led him to certain philosophies that he applies on a daily basis in his life, promotes through his work and shares through his philanthropy.

Mike is an entrepreneur whose formulas, ideas, techniques, systems and inventions cross boundaries and industries unlike anyone else. Mikes cosmetic and skin care products and procedures, vitamin supplements and whole-body hydration treatments and systems have earned him the nickname, Machisimo Mike. He lives in Florida and is married with two children. Mr.Mike Hen (Machisimo Mike) has owned and operated his own skin care and tattoo/removal related businesses for the last 25 years, also worked for The Medical Doctors and The M.D. Hair Transplant Center licensed by The American Medical Association, is a member of The Florida Department of Health, The Better Business Bureau, The Lauderdale Chamber of Commerce, Scalp Guru, The International Guiled of Professional Micropigmentation’s Practitioners, is the Founder of Machisimo Academy whereby he trains SMP practitioners and is a leader in the movement for legislation for The State of Florida and The Department of Health training, licensing and regulating the practice of Scalp Micro Pigmentation.

To learn more about Mike Hen go to: www.machisimo.com

What is scalp micropigmentation?

Scalp micropigmentation is simply explained as a medical grade cosmetic, non surgical procedure that is performed by a State (FL) licensed practitioner utilizing one or more very fine needles to deposit colored pigment or ink into the outer layer of the epidermis on the scalp of the subject to appear as if a healthy hair follicle exists in a normal growth pattern. Performed properly it is a permanent solution, creating the illusion of hair.

 

Performing scalp micropigmentation is always an effort to conceal the fact that a normal growth pattern has been permanently disrupted. There are millions of men and women who have cosmetic problems or abnormalities with their scalps and hair and any number of conditions that can be the cause of this disruption including but not limited to age, genetic (male/female pattern baldness), trauma (from crude hair transplantation techniques), dermatologic disease (alopecia and more) or a side effect of medical treatment(s) such as chemotherapy or radiation.

Diagnosing the underlying cause of the disruption is a critical step. Done properly the practitioner can prepare themselves and the subject mentally and physically for the procedure, perform the procedure(s) with optimal results and manage the subjects questions and expectations after the procedure. This ensures lasting success.

The absence of hair or a perceived deformity is not vanity but a very serious threat to our mental and physical health affecting each of us in a wide variety of ways. The most common is a lack of confidence which undermines our sense of personal value, our sense of adventure and the motivation to care for ourselves in a complete way, at the source not just the surface.

Our physical health is priceless. No less significant is our mental wellness. The image we believe we portray to others factors into both. We care for those things in life which we believe have value. At the core we are motivated in life in two ways: 1. To pursue pleasure (health and happiness) and 2. To avoid pain (trauma and sickness).

Machisimo Health & Wellness Organization is a company that is driven by the philosophies of Mike Hen and designed to help its clients look healthy on the surface and live better at the source. to bring a sense of value to ones self purpose and direction to not only improve their lives but that of their loved ones. If you would like to learn more about our organization please contact us at www.machisimo.com or our medical grade supplements site machisimo.metagenics.com or find us on a number of social media outlets.

Scalp Micropigmentation for women

Men are not the only ones who suffer from balding. Women can also lose their hair due to various events throughout their life. Stress, surgery, childbirth and alopecia can all cause the fairer sex to lose their hair.

Scalp micropigmentation for women is a fast-growing service being offered by some clinics. I wrote an article a while back about keeping your hair longer after scalp micropigmentation, and at first glance, my comments in this article may appear to contradict those in the previous. However, the pattern by which women usually lose their hair is different to men, and this difference significantly changes the options available.

The key difference

When a man receives SMP, the purpose is to replicate individual shaven hair follicles. However, when a woman is treated, the primary goal is to reduce the contrast between the hair and the bare scalp. This difference is important, because it totally changes the technicians approach.

When a man loses his hair, generally he goes bald in a set pattern that includes recession of his frontal hairline, and thinning of the crown, followed by the gradual onset of total baldness.

 

When a woman loses her hair, she usually experiences diffuse thinning. This means she loses hair fairly evenly across her entire scalp, but is unlikely to go totally bald, and her frontal hairline will almost certainly remain intact. This enables scalp micropigmentation to be used very effectively in her favor.

Wait a minute. Don’t you have to shave your head?

Not necessarily, no. In fact, the vast majority of women would never do that, nor do they have to. Of course they can shave their head if they choose.

 

How does the process work?

The technician works through the scalp by repeatedly parting the hair section by section, applying pigment to the scalp in the usual way. The level of detail is not as important, nor are matters such as blending. However, it is vital to ensure your technician is using a pigment that will not change color. Reputable clinics generally know what they’re doing in that regard.

 

The end result is effectively a shaded scalp – i.e, it becomes much harder to see the difference in color between the hair and the scalp, therefore making the hair appear much thicker.

What about alopecia?

Alopecia that manifests itself as a generalized thinning of the hair, can be camouflaged using scalp micropigmentation. Alopecia areata (patchy hair loss) or alopecia totalis (total hair loss) needs to be assessed on a case by case basis to determine suitability and the level of camouflage possible.

Can all women have SMP?

No. The procedure works significantly better on brunettes and darker redheads. Although scalp micropigmentation is commonly used on blonde men, is not generally recommended for blonde women.

Can women shave their heads?

Most women would never shave their heads, however the number who do is on the increase. Celebrities like Demi Moore and Jessie J may have had a part to play in this change. When women decide to get scalp micropigmentation in this manner and get their hair shaved, they will undergo treatment in the same way that men do.

 

This beautiful result was achieved by Skalptec in Liverpool, UK

Conclusion

There are far fewer published examples of women who have scalp micropigmentation versus men, simply because women are generally less comfortable publicly sharing their before and after photos.

However, make no mistake. Scalp micropigmentation for women is on the increase, and more clinics now offer this service.

If you’re suffering with female pattern hair loss, postpartum hair loss, telogen effluvium or alopecia, and want to do something about it, take comfort in knowing that thousands of women have trodden the path before you, and are very happy with their results. As always, just make sure you choose a clinic that can demonstrate quality results specifically on women.

This is a great article by our friends over at Scalp Guru!

Tricopigmentation explained

There are a number of solutions available to combat hair loss including drug-based remedies like finasteride and minoxidil, surgery-based options like hair transplant procedures and even concealers, be them temporary in fibre form or more permanent like a hair system. Tricopigmentation is a relatively new alternative, basically a form of temporary scalp micropigmentation with a few key differences.

What is tricopigmentation?

Modern tricopigmentation techniques are derived from scalp micropigmentation, a solution from hair loss that involves the placement of tiny pigment deposits within the upper dermis of the scalp. Each deposit is designed to replicate an individual shaven hair follicle. When thousands of deposits are combined and blended with any remaining ‘real’ hair, the result is an incredibly realistic simulation of a full head of shaved hair.

 

Essentially tricopigmentation is a temporary version of scalp micropigmentation, enabling the client to get used to the look before committing to a long term solution. In theory men should then proceed to have a permanent application, however in reality no clinic offers both options, so those who choose the temporary option tend to re-apply the treatment again and again.

The application of tricopigmentation is slightly different to scalp micropigmentation, however the primary difference is in the type of pigment used. Temporary pigments used in tricopigmentation are designed to fade out after 12-24 months, whereas scalp micropigmentation pigments can last for many years, even decades.

Tricopigmentation is fast becoming a popular solution alongside traditional options like hair transplant surgery, wigs and drugs. It is non-invasive and offers exceptional guaranted results when delivered by an experienced and well trained technician.

 

There are four primary applications of tricopigmentation, as follows:

Replacement of lost hair density

For thinning hair, tricopigmentation enables the simulation of the missing density. This applies regardless of how much hair the recipient has lost, and can even recreate a full head of hair on a completely bald scalp.

Hairline restructuring

Recession of the frontal hairline is often the most visible sign of balding. This technique enables the client to rebuild their hairline to its original position, or whatever position is preferred.

 

Scar camouflage

Usually the result of hair transplant surgery, all manner of head scars can be hidden using tricopigmentation. The technique used is highly specialised, however when applied by an experienced technician, even the worst hair transplant scars can be very effectively concealed.

Alopecia correction

The unpredictable and recurring nature of alopecia, particularly areata or totalis, can make the conditions challenging to live with. Tricopigmentation enables the sufferer to completely hide the symptoms of scalp alopecia, even if the affected areas move or change in appearance.

 

There is little doubt that baldness can have a significant and lasting impact on the confidence of a person, regardless of their gender, ethnicity, background or social circle. Losing hair is not a preferable circumstance regardless of what culture the person hails from, how old they are or what they do for a living. The immediate effect is a change in the persons appearance, but longer term issues can also become a problem such as a loss in confidence and poor self-esteem, or in extreme cases, loss of social activity or even contemplation of suicide. Furthermore, any emotional baggage that a person may already be carrying can often be made worse by poor self-image. In a nutshell, psychological issues can arise and any existing emotional disorders can be made a lot worse.

For many people, tricopigmentation may offer a suitable remedy for this problem. Personally I believe there is a stronger argument in favour of scalp micropigmentation, but for those who desire a temporary option, this may be a better solution.

Article by Scalp Guru

Shedding of pigments post-procedure

Scalp micropigmentation is at least a 2-3 session process, sometimes more. The ‘panic phase’ following the first session is extremely common and well documented. The initial thoughts of ‘Oh my God what have I done…’ are perfectly understandable, as it can take time to adjust to your new appearance.

In the days following each session, a lot is happening to your scalp. The most noticeable process is the shedding of pigment, and this is perhaps the most common source of anxiety, so let’s clear this up.

Is it normal?

Yes, absolutely. Shedding pigment ‘dots’ after a scalp micropigmentation session is a normal and expected part of the process. What is actually happening is a combination of two processes – healing and exfoliation.

As the scalp heals, thousands of tiny scabs form over the penetration sites. These scabs are much larger than the eventual dot size, causing many people to worry unnecessarily that their ‘hair’ will appear unnatural. This particular issue is covered in another post, however, so I won’t digress here. As the scabs heal and fall off, they take a significant amount of pigment with them, leaving behind a smaller and lighter ‘dot’.

The natural exfoliation of your scalp expedites this process further.

What if your procedure has lightened too much?

Most people typically refer to this process as fading, but in actual fact fading is not responsible at this stage. All that is happening is that dark scabs are falling off the scalp, creating a lightening effect.

This can leave many people disappointed, usually because they liked the dramatic change they saw immediately after their procedure. However there is no need to worry. Scalp micropigmentation is a process completed over several sessions, and as more pigment is introduced and the density increases, a skilled technician should be able to give you the appearance you’re aiming for.

Patience is key

The best advice I can offer is to be aware of the process. Know what to expect from your first session and learn about expected fading. Understand that this is a multi session procedure, and that a sufficient time gap must be allowed between each session. Trust the process.

A little knowledge, in this context at least, is a good thing. You’ll reduce any unnecessary anxiety and enjoy the experience a lot more if you know what to expect.

Scalp micropigmentation aftercare guide

After each scalp micropigmentation session is over, no doubt you’ll want to get back to your usual routine. Clinics receive a lot of questions regarding aftercare, as do we, and most of these questions are about instructions and limitations for the days following each session.

We have compiled a list of the most important considerations after your treatment. The aim is to avoid disturbing your new pigment deposits, and of course you should do all you can to avoid any interference with the healing process.

DISCLAIMER: Remember that guidelines tend to vary from clinic to clinic. Some of the timescales and actions recommended may not correlate exactly with the information in this post, and you should never invalidate any warranty or guarantee by not following the explicit instructions provided by your clinic. The advice given here is a general guide only.

Day 1-4

  • First of all, relax. You’ve probably been building up to your first session, and pre-treatment anxiety is common. Now is the perfect time to take a deep breath.
  • You should try to avoid any physical effort which might make you sweat. Don’t wash your head or get water on it. The desire to wash your scalp may be strong, but for the first three days you should resist the temptation.

Day 5-6

  • You can consider shaving your head at this point. Use an electric foil shaver as these are less likely to disturb your pigments. However, keep the shaver away from scabs that are still present on your head and don’t try to peel them away.
  • Now is also a good time to get some water on your head. A light shower will do the trick, but avoid shampoo.
  • You can also moisture your head and you can perform activities from which you sweat lightly. Lift some weights at a low pace but avoid tough cardio sessions.

Day 7 onwards

  • At this point, you can resume your showering sessions and get back to your usual schedule. There won’t be any issues with the water or with the shampoo when you wash your scalp.
  • This is the time when you might consider using a razor blade to shave your head. However, avoid using it if there are still healing scabs on the skin.
  • If you’re itching to get back to the gym, you can now get back to your usual routine and sweat as much as you’d like.

Day 30 (after all sessions are complete)

  • Fake tan, saunas and swimming pools are fine from here on.
  • If you live in a warm, sunny climate, take adequate precautions. A quality non-greasy sunscreen is best.
  • Moisturize daily with a light moisturizing cream.
  • Although not compulsory, I recommending taking measures to avoid head shine. 

Scalp Micropigmentation: How to Choose the Best Scalp Tattoo Clinic

Millions of Men and Women are now opting for Scalp Micropigmentation, also known as Hair Tattoo and Scalp Tattoo, as an alternative treatment for Balding, Hair Loss, Scar Camouflage and Thinning Hair. SMP adds pigmented microdots to the scalp to give the appearance of a full head of shaved hair or a buzzcut, or can add density and fullness to thinning hair.

SMP is becoming more popular worldwide, but potential clients have a hard time choosing the Best SMP Clinic to have their Scalp Tattoo or Hair Tattoo Treatment.

Here are some tips from Scalp Society on finding the Best SMP Clinic:

1) Ensure that the SMP clinic is reputable. Reputable Scalp Micropigmentation clinics have been around the longest, or are associated with larger SMP businesses that have partnered up to provide proven and tested results.

2) Ask to have a consultation first. The SMP Artist or provider should have extensive knowledge of the history of Scalp Micropigmentation, as well as the benefits and the risks associated with having a Scalp Tattoo Treatment. IF they seem not to know their material, benefits and risks, or act and say things that just don't make sense (i.e. we can do SMP Scalp Tattoo in one day, etc), then they are most likely a new technician and do not have enough experience in the industry.

3) Ask to see Pictures and Videos. However, be very careful. There are companies that are so new that they are showing clients generic pictures of other people's work on their website and in their photo albums. The Best SMP clinics will have photos and videos of the people they have worked on on their cell phones, computers, cameras, Instagram, etc, with the actual client and the SMP Artist in the picture. If the before and after photos are without the SMP Artist in them, then they are probably a new SMP provider and have very little experience.

4) Ask for references. If in doubt about the Scalp Micropigmentation clinic, ask the SMP Clinic to provide one or two references from actual clients. Most likely, a good SMP Clinic would have a couple of clients that don't mind speaking about their experience and exceptional results from having an SMP treatment.

5) Ask what kind of needles and pigments they are using. The three most important aspects of the Best SMP clinics are: 1) Experience 2) Needles 3) Pigment.

1) Experience. Experience is key to this process as the SMP Artist needs to know exactly where to place the pigment into the skin. Different racial backgrounds have different types of skin (some thinker, some thinner). As well, if the SMP artist is experienced, they will have dealt with the good and bad of different skin types (oily skin, dry skin, etc). If the SMP artist isn't experienced enough, they could place the pigment in the wrong placement and/or use the wrong pigment for the skin type and make the treatment too light or too dark for the skin.

2) Needles. The needles used have to be the smallest in size and diameter in order to properly match the clients' hair follicle size. A new or low cost SMP clinic may not be using the correct size needle and make the hair follicle simulation too large, and thus giving the client a polka dot head (follicles that are too big and look like big polka dots on the head).

3) Pigments. Yes, pigments, not inks. A new or low cost SMP clinic may be using inks instead of stable pigments. The reason stable pigments are so important is so that the pigment doesn't change color over time and turn clients head blue or green. This happens when so called SMP artists use low quality pigments or inks that are not stable. Non stable pigments deteriorate over time by constant Sun or UV rays or the body may break down the pigment, returning the pigment to its natural colors of blue. The Best SMP clinics have been using their pigments for years and know that it is stable and will never turn color. If anything, once the pigment fades, it should fade into a charcoal or black/grey color, which is much more natural.

Unfortunately, Scalp Micropigmentation is a fast growing industry with many, many happy clients, however, there are pop up companies that are offering this service with very little training, poor pigments and the wrong use of needles, which may give this industry a bad name until these companies are weeded out, close down, or choose to take training from a certified SMP company with years of experience in the field. There are companies in the GTA that even after only a few months of being open are offering training courses, and claiming to be recognized "globally", even though they aren't even known or recognized in California.

It is very important for each client to have a thorough consultation with the actual SMP provider and ask questions before choosing the Best SMP Clinic.