A hair tattoo, also known as scalp micropigmentation, is a permanent and affordable solution for hair loss. With scalp micropigmentation, very small amounts of pigment are deposited into the top two layers of the dermis to resemble growing hair follicles. Hair tattooing is used to fill in bald spots, restore hairlines and give the appearance of thicker, fuller hair.
Will a Hair Tattoo Affect the Hair Follicles on my Scalp?
It is reasonable to wonder if scalp micropigmentation (SMP) can cause damage to hair follicles. The process involves inserting a needle and pigment next to or directly above follicles. Your hair will continue to grow in the same way it did before SMP treatments.
Think of a hair follicle as a vase and a single hair as the flower sticking out of it. The bottom of that vase is approximately 4mm deep. During SMP, pigment is deposited only about 2mm deep—that’s half the depth of a follicle. The microneedles used for hair tattooing do not reach the follicle and can’t cause damage or affect the growth of hair in any way.
You may wonder, what about the ink, will it slow my hair growth? Pigments used for scalp micropigmentation are different from typical tattoo ink. However, there is no indication that tattoo ink slows hair growth either. In fact, tattooed men with thick body hair often opt to shave or remove their body hair to make their tattoos look better. Hair tattoo pigments are designed to look natural, like the short hairs of a tight buzz-cut.
What if My Hair Growth Slows after a Hair Tattoo?
Hair growth naturally speeds up and slows down in cycles. If someone who has received scalp micropigmentation notices slower hair growth, it’s not related to the treatment. It is just part of the normal hair-growth cycle.
The average person has around 100,000 hair follicles on their head and many more over their body. Hair grows out of these follicles in three phases:
Anagen Phase. The anagen phase is also called the growth phase. This is when hair starts to grow from the root. This can continue for three to seven years for most people.
Catagen Phase. This is called the transition phase. Follicles begin to shrink and growth slows down. On average, the catagen phase can last between two and four months.
Telogen Phase. This phase is also known as the resting or regenerating phase. Hair begins to fall out so new hair can grow from the same follicle. The telogen phase lasts about four months for most people.
Not all your follicles are in the same phase at the same time. It is normal to lose 50 to 100 strands of hair every day. That’s a small number compared to the 100,000 follicles on your scalp.
Does Scalp Micropigmentation Cause Folliculitis?
First, it’s important to note that folliculitis is a skin condition, not a hair condition. Bacterial or fungal infections can cause hair follicles to become inflamed and swollen. They may look like small bumps or pimples and can itch or feel sore to the touch. If you’ve ever had razor bumps, you’ve had folliculitis. Folliculitis can appear on any part of the skin, not just the scalp.
Like razor bumps, most cases of folliculitis are mild and clear up easily on their own. Serious infections can occur and may need medical treatment. Causes of folliculitis are:
Acne or dermatitis
Soaking in a poorly maintained hot tub
Some medical conditions such as diabetes or HIV/AIDS
Permanent hair loss due to damaged follicles is an extreme complication of folliculitis. However, scalp micropigmentation does not cause this condition. With or without a hair tattoo, if you shave your head it is important to maintain proper scalp care. Remember, your scalp is skin. With a small amount of care, you can avoid irritation and razor bumps that could lead to infection.
Can I Pursue Regrowth Treatments after Scalp Micropigmentation?
Client feedback is overall incredible positive with scalp pigmentation at Scalp Micro USA. At Scalp Micro USA we frequently hear how happy our customers are with their decision to try scalp micropigmentation and have over 500 5 star reviews. However, if you still want to use regrowth products or even get hair transplants after receiving a hair tattoo, you are free to explore all your options. There is nothing about the scalp micropigmentation process that will prevent success with other treatments. We recommend waiting at least 6-12 months before getting a scalp tattoo before a hair transplant and vice versa. Before your scalp micropigmentation treatment, we recommend you suspend the use of topical regrowth products during their SMP treatment and for 30 days before your first session and after the final session. This ensures proper healing and gives the pigment time to settle without chemical interference.
If you have concerns about hair loss after a hair tattoo or other questions about scalp micropignmention, we invite you to contact us today. Our knowledgeable technicians can walk you through the treatment process and help you decide if SMP is right for you.