You may have heard about tattooing to achieve fuller brows or to fill in thinning areas. This is known as micro-pigmentation and it is not the same as a regular parlor tattoo. These two methods of depositing ink into the skin not only use different equipment, but they have entirely different processes to achieve their goals. Micro-pigmentation is a solution for many people suffering from male or female pattern baldness, alopecia, cancer, or thinning hair. It does a fantastic job of bringing shadow, depth, and color back into the scalp or hairline giving the illusion of fuller hair and effectively covering noticeable patches of bare skin in affected areas.
Like traditional tattoos, micro-pigmentation uses an electric tattoo machine, but the needle, in this case, is much thinner than one in your standard tattoo gun. The thinner needle is necessary because the goal of this method is to create realistic shadows and highlights to mimic the presence of real hair in areas where thinning occurs. Tiny dots of dark and light hues will fill in these areas, similar to an art style known as pointillism. Also unlike traditional tattoos, pointillism lacks the “ink-bleeding” standard tattoos suffer after the ink settles into the skin. In other words, style tattoos tend to lose their sharpness or fine lines while micro-pigmentation uses finer dots, resulting in smooth details that blend perfectly.
The artist will decide the colors to use on a client’s scalp after a thorough consultation. They will take pictures of the surrounding skin tone and hair to choose the shades that will best match the client. Unlike bold, stylish tattoos, the goal of micro-pigmentation is to naturally blend with the skin and hair so as not to be noticed.
The Science Part
The scalp is a sensitive area, so it is not uncommon to apply a topical numbing agent to the client’s scalp before a micro-pigmentation session. There is a chance for discomfort during or after the procedure, but in most cases, the doctor can prescribe pain killers. Luckily. Micro-pigmentation clients will likely feel less pain than those who get professional tattoos, as it is rare to numb the skin beforehand. Healing after micro-pigmentation takes about three days. The client should avoid washing or stressing the scalp during this period, so, avoid sweating until irritation ceases.
Micro-pigmentation is also a lesser commitment than a permanent tattoo. While a traditional tattoo lasts virtually forever, the ink in a client’s scalp is deposited closer to the surface for fine detail and lasts from three to six years. The lifespan of a micro-pigmentation treatment depends on how long the client spends in the sun and how their body reacts to it.