Scalp Micropigmentation is also known as SMP and is a non-invasive treatment that uses detailed micro-needles to deposit pigment into the scalp. The result creates the appearance of tiny hair follicles or short hair stubble. It can also add density to thinning hair and is really good for covering up scars on the scalp. It gives you that short shaved stubbly look and gives you back your hair line.
What to expect during your procedure
You will meet with your practitioner for a consultation and they will discuss your desired look and the result that you are looking for. The cost will be dictated by the amount of hair loss. You can expect to pay anywhere between £800 and £3000 for this procedure. You should always receive a patch test before commencing with any treatment.
There is some pain involved with SMP, mild to moderate but that all depends on your pain threshold. You can take a paracetamol or ibuprofen before a treatment to lessen the pain and most practitioners will use a topical numbing cream before your procedure.
Unlike microblading, SMP uses an electric tattoo device as the skin on the scalp is harder to penetrate. The needle used is a sterile, single use 3-point micro needle.
Each session takes around 3 hours but can be longer and a minimum of 3 sessions are required. It is a gentle transformation, the first session the pigment is very light, the second session the pigment used is darker and the 3 session you can go darker or stay with the same tone from session 2..
Aftercare and recovery
After each treatment there will typically be some redness which usually disappears and 24 to 48 hours.
You should try not to sweat or get your head wet for at least 4 days. So it is important to plan your schedule around your treatment.
Always use a sunscreen or a hat in hotter weather to avoid colour lightening.
How long will the results last?
Depending on how you look after your SMP, you will require a top up every 3-6 years.
Scalp micropigmentation does not cause any extra hair loss and the treatment is reversible. It only penetrates the second layer of the skin, a conventional tattoo is twice as deep, and SMP could be removed with a couple of sessions of laser treatments if wished.
Microblading is a tattooing technique in which a small handheld tool made of several tiny needles is used to add semi-permanent pigment to the skin.
The process is very precise thanks to the tool that is used which is effectively like a pen with the nib being a sloped blade with 10-12 little needles at the end – needles that don’t penetrate the skin but just delicately scratch the surface, much like a paper cut.
The needle very finely implants featherweight strokes with a medical grade pigment on the epidermis layer of the skin, creating fine, realistic and natural hair strokes.
Can you be allergic to microblading?
There are people who are sensitive and allergic to some pigments, but this is extremely rare. A patch test should always be performed to check you are not allergic prior to the treatment.
How much does microblading cost?
A typical microblading treatment costs approx. £500. This includes a consultation, the initial treatment as well as a top up treatment after 6-8 weeks.
What actually happens when you get your eyebrows microbladed?
- The brow area is shaped by threading the hairs, cleaning up the area and preparing it for the treatment.
- Numbing – this takes 40 minutes using a topical ointment. While this is working its numbing magic, the client will be shown colour swatches and you will have a discussion regarding the best shade for your desired look.
- 10 minutes before the numbing cream has got to a stage of working, the practitioner will begin measuring the area around the brows, taking into account face shape, symmetry, facial features etc.
- The needling process – gently implanting the pigment via featherweight strokes. Each stroke is a superficial line in the skin where the colour pigment seeps in and settles then. If there is any discomfort at this stage another quick layer of numbing cream can be added to the area which will become effective after 5 minutes.
- Once finished with the needling, there may be some redness. Please remember that the colour immediately after treatment is a lot darker than the final colour. Scabs will form and flake off within a week of having the treatment. It is important not to pick at the scabs, let them flake off naturally. You cannot get the area wet for a week after either. Your practitioner may give you a recovery cream to put on the area whilst the scabs form.
- A top up session happens after 6-8 weeks where further strokes may be added and a darker pigment if preferred. The final colour will e revealed after approx.. 30 days.
How long does microblading last?
Microblading lasts anything between 12-18 months, but the longevity of the pigment will depend on your skin type.
People with slightly more oily skin will tend to last around the 12 month mark before needing a top up, but those with normal skin can last up to 18 months.
Your brows will eventually fade away if you don’t continue with top ups every 18 months or so. There is no scaring or discolouration with the pigments used, so you wouldn’t know if you left them to fade out.
Does microblading hurt?
It doesn’t hurt as such, it is more a sensation. The process itself is not painful thanks to the numbing ointment that is applied. It’s sometimes the sound of the blade which people find worse – a small scratching sound.
The whole process is very quick – it’s actually the numbing which takes most of the time (50mins), you aren’t under the needle for the whole 2 hours.
Can microbladed eyebrows be undone/removed?
Yes – the pigment used leaves no scarring or discolouration and a salt/saline solution can be used to remove microbladed brows.
The Pre-Microblading Rules
- Do notpick, tweeze, wax or have electrolysis one week prior.
- Do not use sunbeds or sit in direct sunlight two weeksbefore.
- Do not have any type of facial or peel two weeksprior.
- Stopusing any retinol or Vitamin A products one month prior.
- Noexercising on the day.
- Do nothave Anti-Wrinkle treatments three weeks before.
- Do not take fish oil or Vitamin E one weekprior (these are natural blood thinners).
- Do notwax or tint your eyebrows three days prior.
On The Day
- Do not drink alcohol 24-48 hoursprior to your appointment.
- Do not drink coffee2 hours prior.
- Do nottake aspirin or ibuprofen 24 hours prior.
This is a Microblading alternative; Brow lamination takes your unruly or thinning brow hair and smoothes it out while also lifting the hair in a more vertical direction. The end result is super smooth brows that look like you have brow gel on them.
No matter what your brow concern is — gaps, thinning, over plucking, unruliness — brow lamination is an amazing solution and a great microblading alternative.
It can give people the brows they have always wanted in less than an hour; it hides small gaps and gives the illusion of major hair growth. Most popular with clients in their 30s to 50s that have lost a lot of their brow hair, either through the natural ageing process, illness, or just over waxing. This is a non-invasive, temporary, but impactful way to fix their brows in an affordable way.
It is the first time there is the ability to re-create a client’s brow without the need of needles or semi-permanent makeup, with brow lamination you can raise a client’s arch, extend their tails, give them a fuller brow by lifting the brow hair or give them a messy, fluffy brow.
What is the brow lamination process like?
Brow lamination is basically a perm for your brows, as it gives them a set, uniform shape for an extended period of time. Instead of curls, a setting lotion helps brow hair stay brushed up and lifted upward for about six weeks.
The actual process starts off by painting a lifting cream onto the brow, which creates a chemical process that breaks down bonds in each hair, allowing them to be moved into a new shape. Next, the brow hairs are brushed up into place and a neutraliser is applied to reform the bonds into their new shape. Then nourishing oil is added to the brows to replenish their moisture after the chemical treatment process.
From there, the brows may be tweezed, waxed, or tinted, depending on the look you’re going for. As for price, brow lamination costs £40 to £50. Although you can expect your laminated brows to last up to two months, you can prolong the look with a clear brow wax.
Are there any downsides of brow lamination?
As amazing as brow lamination may sound, there are some words of warning. First and foremost about the eyelid skin itself, as it’s the thinnest, most delicate of the body. Therefore it requires special care and attention from the skin-care products that are used. It is especially prone to irritation, so harsh chemicals from this brow lamination could cause eczema, which is characterised by red, dry, itchy, and inflamed skin.
Another concern is the possibility of getting the caustic chemicals in contact with the eye itself, which could cause potentially irreversible damage.
Brow lamination could harm your brow hairs themselves. Just as over processing the hair on your scalp with chemicals and bleach can cause breakage, dryness, and even loss of hairs, the same holds true for eyebrow hairs. Perms (at least those for the scalp) use a chemical called ammonium thioglycolate to break bonds in the hair, thereby changing the structure and texture of the hair. This is unnecessarily damaging to the delicate hairs.
With this in mind, conditioning and nourishing the brows afterwards with an oil and moisturising cream in the same way we do so with our hair after chemically treating it is essential. Although the overall results give you a low-maintenance look, just be sure to keep the health of your brows (and eyes) in mind.
What is Semi-Permanent makeup?
Semi-permanent makeup, also known as micropigmentation, is a form of semi-permanent cosmetic tattoo. It enables you to have long lasting eye liner, lip liner and blush, beauty spots, freckles, areola ( for ladies who have had breast reconstruction after a mastectomy) and can also cover up scarring. It involves tiny particles of pigment being placed under the skin on the outer layer.
Meeting your Practitioner and the treatment
At your initial consultation, your practitioner will give you a patch test and discuss the desired affect you want to achieve. On the day of your treatment, before pictures will be taken. A topical numbing cream will be used, and the practitioner will outline the area that you will be having treatment on. Once you are both happy your practitioner will start the procedure. This involves the pigments being placed under the skin with sterile single use fine needle on an electrical tattooing device.
There are 2 styles of eyeliner . The traditional kind where the pigment is placed just above the eyelash line in your desired shape or the lash liner that is dotted in between the eyelashes making them seem fuller and giving a subtle line to the eye.
Lip Liner and Blush
Lip liner is just the outer edge of the lips being treated with micropigmentation or you can have an all over blush that is a slightly darker colour to your natural lip colour to give a fresh fuller look to your lips . Lips are the most sensitive area on the face and can be quite sore. They sometimes need more touch ups as they do not absorb the pigments as well as other areas on the face or body. Due to the sensitive nature of lips they can be quite swollen for a few days after a procedure.
A beauty spot is exactly that, a much darker shade of your skin tone applied to your desired area. The quickest procedure out of all the semi-permanent makeup procedures.
Freckles, much like beauty spots, will be drawn on once you are happy with the positioning using a diluted pigment.
Breast reconstruction does not typically involve nipple reconstruction and while some women chose to have further surgery for nipple reconstruction many women choose semi-permanent tattooing. It is advised to wait 4-6 months before you have the areola tattoo. Sometimes referred to as a 3D tattoo. Your practitioner will draw the outline to make sure you are happy with the size and shape and they will create a very life like nipple and areola. The machine used for this procedure penetrates deeper than others for semi-permanent make up and the affects will last longer because of this.
Flesh coloured micropigmentation is placed under the skin to cover up scarring. This usually requires 2-3 sessions around 5-6 weeks apart. Anyone with scars lighter than their natural skin colour is a good candidate for this procedure. Anyone with dark coloured scars would be better to have laser treatments to lighten the scar and then have the micropigmentation applied. This procedure does not work on keloid scars (raised scars) and all scars should be at least 12 mouths old and fully healed before receiving this treatment.
Do not get the treated area wet during the healing process. Sleep on a clean pillow. Do not pick at any scabs. Avoid the sun. Avoid heavy exercise for a few days so you minimise the amount of sweat which can fade the pigment during the healing process.
How long will the semi-permanent makeup last?
It is all dependent on your skin type and how you care for the treated area. It should last anywhere between 12 to 24 months. Some procedures may last longer. Always use sunscreen this will prolong the colour of the pigmentation.
The biggest risk with semi-permanent make up is overly dramatic results and the wrong colour pigment being used. This emphasises the need to highly research your practitioner, someone who is skilled will not make those mistakes.
A rare side effect possible scarring and an allergic reaction, but again choosing an experienced practitioner will help prevent this and always make sure you have a patch test at least 48 hours before any procedure.
Find a practitioner for one of the above treatments HERE.
To watch our Instagram Live on Microblading, Semi-Permanent Makeup, Scalp Micropigmentation & Brow Lamination, click HERE.