Understanding The Scalp Micropigmentation Healing Process

Understanding The Scalp Micropigmentation Healing Process

No matter what it is called, the scalp micropigmentation healing process still must be treated as a tattoo.  It is considered an injury to the skin and is a complicated inflammatory process.   Every time the needle penetrates, it causes a wound that alerts the body to begin the inflammatory process.   Your body’s immune system has a limited amount of energy to allot to healing itself and so it would be recommended that you be in basic good health before your scalp micropigmentation procedure.

If your immune system is a low level or you are recovering from a recent illness or injury, it would be best to wait until you have fully recovered from the previous problem.  For the body to heal itself from two separate circumstances, it will heal more slowly as it is divided between the two.  Avoid extensive exertion, intoxicants, and stress.  Avoid junk foods and eat a nutritious diet to give your body the best possible conditions to heal the scalp micropigmentation as quickly and as effectively as possible.

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Multi-session methods do not permit you to shampoo your scalp for at least four days to a week after each of the sessions. However, improper hygiene resulted in this infection on this man by not being permitted to shampoo his scalp after the multi-session application he received. Any tattoo must be washed regularly through the entire healing process.

IMPORTANT REGARDING MULTI-SESSION METHODS:  Regardless of what the multi-session providers claim, the more often you wash a fresh tattoo, the faster it will heal.  Not keeping the tattoo clean and bacteria-free while it’s healing could cause an infection to take hold within the area. If not treated quickly enough, a tattoo infection can quite easily cause permanent fading and even scarring. This is a long-known fact in the tattoo world and is no different for scalp micropigmentation.  By not washing your scalp as required by the multi-session methods, you dramatically increase the threat of infection.  Not washing your scalp for a week will only prolong the healing process and possibly cause infection from improper hygiene.

HEALING PROCESS:   The healing and aftercare stage of your scalp micropigmentation is immensely important when it comes to fading.  During the first few weeks, the pigment ink will not be correctly set, and therefore you should care for the pigment the best as you can.

If you have a heavy-handed technician and experience bleeding, your scalp may be weeping blood plasma.   However, this is a red flag and not acceptable in scalp micropigmentation!  If you experience any bleeding during a scalp micropigmentation application, immediately stop the procedure and do not proceed forward under any circumstances.

As the body proceeds at working to repair the damaged tissue with special cells called macrophages , these cells activate, attempting to absorb the pigment in an attempt to clean up the inflammation that is happening.  The remainder of the pigment gets soaked up by fibroblasts (skin cells).   These fibroblasts coupled with many of the macrophages, remain suspended in the dermis that later will develop into the final pigmentation.

Once the pigment has been placed, the scalp skin may be slightly swollen, warm and tender. This is due to the fact that the skin has been subjected to many thousands of tiny punctures.  Increased blood flow to the area results in swelling due to the body’s immune response.  This increased blood flow to the punctured area will result in warmth which is the body’s immune system increasing the temperature in order to fight off any possible infection.

During the next week or two, the body will be repairing the skin where the pigmentation has been applied.  This includes a flaking off of the dead or dying layers of scalp skin that the pigmentation was placed under, and repair of the end layer of skin that will contain the pigmentation itself.  During this time, the pigmentation may look darker, blotchy and with an uneven blending appearance.

Once the newly healed skin is ready, the dry flakes will begin to fall away, revealing a shiny tissue beneath.   This shiny skin will eventually return to normal, healthy looking skin after it has settled back into the natural process of exfoliation, which can take another week or so.

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The scalp’s natural exfoliation process drastically affects the multi-session methods as it is a never-ending battle with reapplications after reapplications because the pigment is only placed in the very top layer which constantly naturally exfoliates itself.

CONSTANT FADING WITH MULTI-SESSION METHODS:  To accurately understand the constant fading issue with these methods, this natural exfoliation process drastically affects the multi-session methods as it is a never-ending battle with reapplications after reapplications because the pigment is only placed in the very top layer which constantly naturally exfoliates itself.  It is a constant catch up game.  This is why these methods experience intensive fading as they cannot implant enough pigment under the skin because of the single needles.  The layer in which they implant the pigment naturally flakes or peels off, leaving very little or no pigment behind.  This is why these methods need to reapply every few weeks.  Quality of the pigments used play a large role in the fading issue as well.  Lower quality pigments do not last as long and in addition to fading concern, this is also a health risk.  Pigments are not regulated by the FDA, and it common for them to contain heavy metals.  Many of these pigments are purchased at random with inferior components and simply relabeled with the providers’ name.

MOISTURIZING:  The pigmentation process can also interrupt the skins natural production of oils, which is why it is very important to moisturize the scalp area regularly.  However, do not over-moisturize as this will clog the pores, cause rashes or pimples, dissolve the delicate platelets and re-open the pigmentation area resulting in additional trauma.  Try to simply maintain a moisture level consistent with the parts of you that are NOT healing a scalp micropigmentation.  Using lotions that are too harsh for the very delicate healing skin can actually draw pigment out of the area and cause patchiness. Likewise, using too much lotion can saturate the area and seep into the skin, diluting the pigment thereby contributing to premature fading.

THE BOTTOM LINE:  All metabolisms are different and this healing/curing process can drastically vary form person to person.  Someone in their twenties can reach full healing within a week or two, while older person can take as long as four weeks to experience the final result.    Again, state of health, condition of scalp and other factors can delay the healing process.  Just be sure to follow aftercare and above all, be patient.  After suffering from hair loss for years and years, you can certainly wait another few weeks for the final outcome.

You must also remember that your scalp micropigmentation will only look as healthy as the skin that it’s on.  For this reason, you should try to look after your skin as best as you can. This means that you should moisturize your scalp as frequently as possible to keep the area hydrated and stay out of direct sunlight.  Nothing will fade your pigmentation faster than constant UV exposure.  Drinking plenty of water will also help as well as eating a healthy, balanced diet.  This will ensure your scalp gets the nutrients it needs to remain looking young, while frequent exercise will help to flush harmful waste away from the area.

HAIR TRANSPLANT RECIPIENTS:  Hair transplant recipients with extensive scarring will take the maximum time to cure.  Because pigmentation has been added to already traumatized skin, excess collagen may develop and form overtop of the new pignentation while healing.  This will result in a blurred, milky-looking outcome, much like putting a piece of tissue paper over a small pen point of ink.  This can occur in both the recipient and donor areas.  In many cases, these HT scars will never properly and fully accept pigment as normal, healthy skin does.  Some severe hair transplant recipients may need a second application.


Mark Weston,

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