balding Archives - Pure Ink SMP


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Should I Shave for Scalp Micropigmentation?


A common question during an initial scalp micropigmentation consultation is: “Should I shave for scalp micropigmentation? This question, unfortunately, only sometimes has a straightforward answer. Depending on the amount of hair loss and age, an in-person consultation is recommended to discuss the pros and cons of shaving or keeping the hair.

Hair loss is something that most guys will experience in their lives. According to the American Hair Loss Association, by age 35, two-thirds of American men will experience some degree of hair loss, with 85% percent having significant thinning by age 50. Unfortunately, 25% of these men will begin the process by age 21.

Scalp Micropigmentation (SMP) can serve those with hair or those who shave it. In this case, I will discuss individuals who opt to shave their heads during treatment but want also want the option to grow their hair out. However, this is only an option when hair is still present on the top of their heads.

As artists, a shaved head provides us with a clean canvas without the obstacle of having to work around existing hair. Since treatments are commonly completed in 3 sessions, the results are very gradual. I’ve even had clients keep their treatment from their spouses. They get questions like, “Did you get a new haircut? Are you using vitamins for hair growth? And so on. I’ve had clients tell their barbers they had the treatment, and even the barbers can’t believe it; instead, they think they had a hair transplant. Scalp Micropigmentation achieves very natural results.

If you have extensive hair loss and shaving down is your only option, then there are a few things to keep in mind.
It is critical to keep the hair shaved if this is the route you have chosen because, not doing so, the SMP will practically look like it has disappeared, or worse, it won’t look right, specifically if a hairline was created. Since SMP is a tattoo, it sits on the skin in one dimension. Hair is not one-dimensional, so it will always look darker than the SMP. Also, when hair is lost on the scalp, the skin on the scalp changes. The hair follicles shrink and turn into skin cells; this causes the sebaceous glands to increase when the hairs are lost. The scalp will secrete more oil than when hair exists. So, if you have hair on the sides but missing hair on the top, the top of the head will be shiny and stand out.

I have another blog dedicated to matting lotion recommendations, which will help reduce shine during the day so that your treatment looks natural. Before bed, however, you should have a skincare routine that will help keep your scalp healthy.


This image is of a client that just had SMP completed. He previously had a hair transplant and came in for SMP. He wanted the option to grow out his hair or shave it down. This is possible in his case because of a previous hair transplant. When working with these clients, it is critical to stay behind the hairline. Working on a clean canvas is much easier, so the client’s hair is shaved upon arrival. Although with the existing hair, the SMP reduced the shine on his head and created a bit of density, once shaved down, the SMP becomes visible. The difference is impressive; it’s like an optical illusion. He did come in with a dry scalp, so I used a moisturizer during the treatment making his head shiny in this picture.

Here is a second example: Not all treatments were completed in this picture, but you can see some of the SMP dots. Simply shaving down makes a big difference and looks so much better. He also wanted the option to grow out his hair. Not everyone is ready to shave down and commit to the change. So for these two clients, we shaved for the treatment to ensure all the impressions were consistent; we stayed behind the natural hairline and ensured there was no over-saturation of ink, which is very difficult to achieve when working around existing hair. This way, in the future, if these clients continue to lose more hair and are ready to shave down, then they have the perfect SMP foundation to do so.

Always communicate openly with your artist to see which long-term solution is best for you. Scalp Micropigmentation should be done with longevity in mind. An experienced artist can help determine if it is viable to keep your existing hair and create density or if it is best to shave when there has been or will be significant future hair loss.



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Micropigmentación Capilar | Hair Tattoo | San Diego


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Advantages and Disadvantages of SMP

The most important thing to establish is that SMP is a tattoo. Many clients think they will be leaving with a full set of hair or that SMP will help with regrowth. There have been cases where it did help with regrowth, but this is so rare that it’s not worth mentioning. The goal with SMP is not to regrow the hair; its purpose is to reconstruct the hairline or create density for existing thinning hair. SMP is also used to cover scars like those after hair transplants, a burn, or patches of hair loss.

Advantage #1 No Need For Lifelong Drugs

SMP is a considerable advantage because it is the #1 hair loss solution that does not require taking medications. You may be unaware that after a hair transplant, many are prescribed medication for the rest of their lives to maintain the success of the surgery. Medications such as Minoxidil and Finasterdine, along with treatments such as Derma rollers and PRP may be recommended. Minoxidil is a vasodilator prescribed as a topical solution to treat hair loss. Minoxidil is also prescribed as an oral medication to treat high blood pressure, and just like any medication, it comes with its risks. It may increase your heart rate, so be aware if you suffer from a heart condition. While some may not experience any side effects, the most common complaint is dryness, itching, and redness of the scalp.

Finasterdine, also known as Propecia is the other commonly prescribed medication given topically or orally. It helps control the production of DHT. Finasterdine is frequently used to shrink an enlarged prostate in hopes of avoiding prostate surgery. Both drugs help control hair loss but will not cure it. Also, halting the use of either one of these medications will cause the loss of any hair that grew back while you were taking them. The most significant side effect of Finasterdine is sexual dysfunction and even depression. Like all medications, they usually come with a long list of side effects.

Advantage # 2 No Need For Daily Use Of Toppik

For those who are unaware of what Toppik is, let me explain. I use it occasionally and think it’s a fantastic product; however, I can assure you I would not want to be using it daily. Toppik are hair-building fibers made of keratin protein that you powder onto your existing hair strands to create the appearance of naturally thick, full hair instantly. The downside is that, of course, they wash off. The two other significant downsides are that it can be challenging to blend in, so sometimes, I get a big blotch of fibers on one section. The other big downside is that they get all over the floor, sink, and even in your nostrils. I feel if you ever should wear a face mask, this is the time.

Advantage #3 No Downtime

You can go to work immediately after your treatment, and no one would know you had anything done. Unfortunately, with hair transplants, there is a significant time to heal. With surgery, your scalp will be very tender and may need pain meds. Your surgeon will have you wear bandages over your scalp for at least a day or two and prescribe antibiotics or an anti-inflammatory for several days.

There are two types of hair restoration surgeries FUT and FUE. FUT surgery is where a surgeon cuts a strip of skin from the back or side of your head and extracts individual hair follicles. This surgery is best when trying to achieve the most coverage and fullness. However, it does leave a large scar.

The second type of surgery is FUE. This surgery consists of taking individual hair follicles from your skin. This type of surgery leaves behind tiny white scars where follicles are extracted and thins out the donor site. I have had many clients who also had failed hair transplants or never received the coverage they hoped for. There is only so much donor site a surgeon can take from, and remember, everyone, heals differently. Hair transplants have a success rate of 10-80%. It rarely only requires one surgery; instead, it takes multiple, and if genetics are working against you, results will not be what you expected.

Advantage/Disadvantage #4 SMP May Stop You From Other Treatments

For the most part, you can continue with any treatment after SMP; however, using topical medication like Rogaine can fade your SMP faster due to the high alcohol content. Otherwise, you can still opt to have hair transplants in the future or a hairpiece.

Disadvantage #1: It’s Not Hair!

As mentioned in the beginning, SMP is not hair. Sometimes expectations can be too high. If your goal is to regrow your hair, hair transplants or a hairpiece may be your only option. Hairpieces can range in cost from $275-$800, not including monthly maintenance.

Disadvantage #2- Getting Bad SMP

Make sure to do your research and find a skilled technician. It is a particular skill that takes time to master. Sometimes, SMP is done incorrectly; it can be corrected by an experienced artist who can camouflage the bad work. Otherwise, laser removal might be the only viable option if the damage is too extensive. Lasers are very painful and can take multiple sessions to remove.

Hair loss is a journey and is very individually based. I highly recommend you do your research before any treatment. It is possible to get SMP after a hair transplant, but there is a healing time of 9-12 months before we can proceed with SMP. SMP is low maintenance and effective. It doesn’t require any downtime and is significantly less expensive than other procedures. Make sure you address your gut health through diet, stress, and any other factors that can contribute to your hair loss. We can be experiencing many other symptoms in our daily lives and not realize that they are not typical, but it is our bodies’ way of telling us that something is out of balance.


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SMP for Men: https://pureinksmp.com/services/smp-for-men/

SMP for Women: https://pureinksmp.com/services/smp-for-women/

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Micropigmantción Capilar | Hair Tattoo | San Diego





Have you been considering scalp micropigmentation (SMP) but concerned about how long it will last?  Well, I will be answering this commonly asked question in depth.  First, I will explain where the ink is implanted within the skin and the reason it is considered a semi-permanent treatment.  I will also discuss ways you can help make your treatment last longer and looking sharp.

See the source image

Our Skin:

Our skin is the largest organ in the human body and is composed of three layers.  The outer layer, that is visible is the epidermis, this layer works to provide protection from the outside world. The second layer is the dermis, contains connective tissue, blood vessels, oil and sweat glands, nerves, hair follicles, and other structures. The third layer, the most innermost layer is the hypodermis or subcutaneous tissue. This layer is mainly composed of fat cells, connective tissue, large nerves, and blood vessels.


Scalp micropigmentation is very different from a traditional tattoo because instead of implanting the ink purposely into the second layer, the dermis. SMP ink is placed just below the epidermis into the very top part of the epidermis. Traditional tattoos are placed deeper to assure they are permanent, the downside of implanting the ink that deep is that over time there will be some migration. This however can be very detrimental with SMP the last thing we want is migration because we are attempting to replicate tiny hair follicles. The ink is only place between 1.5-2mm deep, for this reason SMP is considered semi-permanent. However, I consider SMP permanent because it will never go away 100% but will however slowly fade over time. Normally SMP will last between 2-5 years before a touchup is desired.


Take into consideration that we are all have different skin types and thickness of skin and for this reason it is critical to find a skilled technician that understands skin, its conditions and has that finesse to find the sweet spot. This skilled is learned over time and with a lot of practice. It is imperative that your artist is using the correct machine and needles to practice this technique.

Skin types also affect how long SMP will last. Dry, flaky skin will slough off taking the ink with it faster compared to healthy moisturized skin, therefore it is important to care for your skin and use a good moisturizer. I discuss moisturizers in a different video but an easy to find moisturizer to use before bed is AVEENO.


Skin tone also is a major factor for SMP. Someone with darker skin can tolerate the sun much longer than someone with fair skin. UV light is SMP’s #1 enemy. Someone with light skin will require a lighter shade of ink to be used whereas someone with a darker complexion will need a darker tone. What this ultimately means is someone with lighter complexion may need more touchups. This is very important to understand, many clients want to go much darker than recommended. Our #1 priority is that your treatment looks natural, and it’s your artist’s job is to find a color that is appropriate for you.

I always recommend wearing sunscreen or protecting your head with a hat if you plan to be in the sun for an extended amount of time. Chlorinated pools and the ocean can also affect your SMP, but this is the reason we provide touchups.


Another factor is the amount of hair loss you first started off with. Someone who just had a small area to cover like a Norwood 1-3 can go longer without a touchup compared to someone with extensive hair loss, a Norwood 5-7.

See the source image

Touch up sessions are much shorter than the original treatment and can range from 1 to 2 hours. The cost will also be less. I hope this information was helpful and answered some of your questions regarding SMP and touchups.


SMP FOR MEN: https://pureinksmp.com/services/smp-for-men/

SMP FOR WOMEN: https://pureinksmp.com/services/smp-for-women/

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Micropigmentación Capilar | Hair Tattoo | San Diego


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Before discussing the 5 steps, you need to take before your Scalp Micropigmentation, make sure you have done your research. Pick your artist by having several consultations, looking at their work on their website and social media. Do they have work similar to what you are looking for? And speak with them; you will be spending multiple appointments, each several hours long, so make sure this is someone you feel comfortable with. Although cost is essential, don’t pick an artist for their lower fees as we all know a mistake can be costly to fix.

Now that we got that out of the way let’s go into those 5 steps

  1. Understand your treatment goals and have realistic expectations

SMP is a tattoo, not hair implantation. Whether you are looking to recreate a hairline or create density for thinning hair, it is essential to understand the limitations of SMP. Although it can be a bit daunting initially, enjoy the process by finding before and after pictures on Youtube, Instagram, or Pintrest for the hairline you would like to achieve. You may opt for a very soft hairline, a receded hairline, or a sharp edge up. If you are unsure, don’t worry; your artist is always willing to recommend a look that will best suit you.

  1. Begin to moisturize your scalp 

If you completely shave your head, we recommend starting to moisturize your scalp. You can begin days to even weeks before your appointment. A healthy scalp is the best canvas for your artist. Use a non-irritating, fragrance-free soap and moisturizer and moisturize 1-2 times per day. An easy to find and acceptable moisturizer is Aveeno. We are working at a very superficial surface, and dry, tough skin will not allow the needle to enter the skin adequately to deposit the ink. If you suffer from skin conditions, including dandruff, ensure it is well treated and under control. We are unable to work if there are any present flare-ups. If you have a dry scalp, you may need a hair scrub. In addition, If you do have any of these issues, make sure to address them before your treatment date with your artist.

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  1. Avoid using alcohol-based products.

It is best to stop using any harsh topical products on your scalp for at least 48 hours before your appointment. These products include Rogain, Toppicks, or a hair system if you wear one. We need to allow your skin to be clean and clear before your appointment.

  1. Cut your hair

If you shave, it is best to do it the night before. This way, we can minimize the redness and soreness the clippers, razors, or foil shaver may cause. It also saves on treatment time. However, if you have never shaved before and prefer us to do it, we are well equipped to provide that service for you.

  1. Eat and Hydrate

Plan on being at your appointment anywhere from 1 to 3 hours. Make sure you eat and, if possible, avoid blood thinners, like caffeine, alcohol, or aspirin.


Scalp Micropigmentation | Micropigmentación Capilar | Hair Tattoo [San Diego]

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By SMP FOR MENOne Comment

5 Important aftercare steps for SMP

You are either interested in getting Scalp Micropigmentation, or you just had your treatment done; now, what do you do next. First of all, SMP is very low maintenance, and soon enough, you will be resuming your everyday life but with much more confidence and less stress because you will stop hiding underneath a hat. Following are the 5 most important aftercare steps for SMP.

STEP #1- Stop using any alcohol-based products

Read labels carefully; Rogaine and some shampoos contain alcohol, for instance, Head & Shoulders. The high alcohol content will extract the ink that was just placed. Also, consider this for long-term care; your SMP will last longer.

STEP #2- Do NOT get your head wet

You can use a shower cap or keep your head out of the water stream and avoid too much steam while showering for the first 4 days. On day 5 you may rinse your head with cold water and shave if you’d like. After day 7 you may resume routine care and shampoo your head with a mild shampoo.

STEP #3- Avoid excessive sweating

Stay away from gyms and saunas for the first 4 days. Also, gyms can be places where bacteria may be harvesting, and you want to prevent any chance of infection. If you do happen to sweat, pat your head dry very gently with a paper towel.

STEP #4- Treat your SMP gently 

There are tiny scabs attached to the pigment underneath your skin. Before your skin heals completely, these scabs need to be treated very carefully, so avoid touching or rubbing your scalp. If possible, avoid wearing a hat for the first 4 days. If you must wear a hat, make sure it is clean to prevent infection. Also, if your work requires you to wear a hardhat, I recommend carrying around several clean bandanas, wearing them loosely, and changing them often whenever moisture is present.

STEP #5- Avoid the Sun

Sun does the most damage to your skin and your SMP. Like any tattoo, the more it is exposed to the sun, the faster it will fade.

I recommend placing a dark clean towel on your pillowcase for the first week to avoid ink or oil on your pillowcase.

SMP has no actual downtime. You can walk out of the studio, and no one will know you had SMP done. You will notice some redness, and it may feel like you have a sunburn on your scalp, but that goes away in a couple of hours.



Apply a minimum of 50+ SPF whenever you know you will be out in the sun or protect your SMP with a hat. You will require touchups more frequently if you are out in the sun and the SMP begins to fade. Also, chlorinated pools can make the SMP fade quicker. On the other hand, you had SMP treatment to live a more unrestrictive life, so take off that hat and enjoy life. SMP is low maintenance, and a touchup is much less expensive than your original treatment because the foundation is there. All you need is a refresher, and you may want to get this done anywhere between 1 to 5 years. The critical point is to keep your scalp healthy; you can do this by moisturizing your scalp, and we are here to keep your SMP looking fresh.


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Scalp Micropigmentation | Micropigmentación Capilar | Hair Tattoo [San Diego]

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By SMP FOR MEN5 Comments


According to a 2014 survey by the International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery, approximately 35 million men and 21 million women suffer from hair loss. It is normal to lose about 50 to 100 scalp hairs each day. If you start to find more than that falling out, say in your hairbrush, clothing, sink, or tub, and as well notice your hair generally thinning, you may be experiencing hair loss.

Harvard Health has categorized some of these reasons for hair loss:

⦁ Hereditary pattern baldness, or androgenetic alopecia: Most typical type of hair loss, for some men, can even begin during their teenage years
⦁ Telogen effluvium: Occurs two to three months after a significant bodily stress
⦁ Drug side effects: commonly affect the entire head.
⦁ Symptom of a medical illness: either from a deficiency, imbalance, or systemic disease
⦁ Tinea capitis: A fungal infection of the scalp
⦁ Alopecia areata: An autoimmune disease
⦁ Traumatic alopecia: caused by hairdressing techniques or over-treatment with strong chemicals

If you are struggling with hair loss, then this blog is for you. Many are unaware of many services, treatments, and hair systems available to them. Some of these treatments can become very costly. What if I told you I have a solution that won’t break the bank and does not require topical medications or surgery.

That’s correct; scalp micropigmentation, known as SMP, can be your perfect solution. I will help answer any questions you may have in regards to this topic. I also had many unanswered questions about SMP because I also suffer from hereditary female pattern hair loss.

I will explain what scalp micropigmentation is, how it is applied and who is a candidate for scalp micropigmentation.

Scalp micropigmentation is the simulation of hair follicles using micro tattoos. SMP can give the look of a recently shaved hairstyle or create the illusion of density to fine thin hair. In these cases, the micro tattoos are placed around the existing hair without causing damage.

Scalp micropigmentation is both suitable for men and women.

After your treatment, you can style your hair without the concern that your scalp will be as visible as when you come out of a swimming pool. The point is to reduce the contrast between the scalp and the existing hair.

The pigment is deposited on the superficial layer of the scalp, causing very minimal discomfort. SMP is not the same as a traditional tattoo; the pigment, needles, and machine are different. We use an ample selection of colors and scales of gray to combine with all skin colors.

SMP is applied over three sessions, and each session can last from one to four hours, depending on the amount of coverage the client requires. The results will be seen immediately. We use a gradual technique to assure proper consistency and density. Every client is different, and we will find a style that will suit you. We can produce a defined hairline, one much softer and natural or one in between.

Scalp micropigmentation can also be used to camouflage alopecia or cover scars that were caused by hair transplants or accidents.

The healing time after SMP treatment is not long at all. You will notice redness and a bit of swelling the first day after treatment. You will need to avoid the sun at all costs and avoid sweating for the first week after each session.

It is essential to understand that scalp micropigmentation is not hair, nor will it help regrow hair; it is simply a type of tattoo. But it will not look like a tattoo; it will look like hair follicles.

It fades differently compared to a traditional tattoo, in a more natural form. It will also not turn blue over time.

On a pain scale between one to ten, most clients feel a two or three. Some clients say it feels as if their scalp is being scratched and sometimes even fall asleep.

We do not recommend scalp micropigmentation if you suffer from skin conditions.


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Scalp Micropigmentation | Micropigmentación Capilar | Hair Tattoo [San Diego]

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