Almost everyone I speak with who is considering SMP, wants to return to work in a manner that enables their procedure to go unnoticed. This means they worry that their scalp micropigmentation treatment looks fake somehow . I’d like to make some recommendations that should make the process a little easier.
First and foremost, let’s create some realistic expectations. If you’ve lost most of your hair already, unless you’ve been wearing a hair system, a significant amount of concealer or wear a hat on a day to day basis, it’s going to be very hard to explain your new ‘hair’. Discussions around this dilemma take place frequently, and I have some suggestions below if this is your situation, however if you had no hair then all of a sudden you do, the task of returning to work requires a little more consideration.
However, contrary to my comment above, let me tell you something:
Your hair might be of paramount importance to YOU, however it is of little interest or consequence to anyone else. People will notice your new ‘hair’ a lot less than you think they will.
Trust me on this. As humans we tend to live in our own little world, and although we show interest in the lives of those we care about, generally speaking our colleagues don’t fall within that category.
If you’re anxious about returning to work, the chances are you’re worrying a lot more than you need to. Your treatment probably doesn’t look fake at all, and the chances are good that you’re worrying about nothing.
Anyway, here are some practical tips that should make the transition back to your workplace a little more straightforward.
Plan your treatment dates
Your treatment always appears the least natural or ‘passable’ during the two days following each treatment session. Your scalp will probably look a little red, your dots will be dark and your hairline and side profiles will look more angular than they should. You can avoid letting your colleagues see you during this time with a little careful planning.
Most technicians insist that at least 7 days should elapse between each treatment session, and the typical client will require three sessions. Scheduling your sessions on consecutive fridays, or even saturdays, enables you to take advantage of the weekend for your head to ‘calm down’ a little, meaning your ‘hair’ will look more natural when you step back into your office or other place of work.
If scheduling your sessions at the end of the week simply isn’t possible for whatever reason, or if you don’t get a clear two days off each week, there is a simple way to reduce post-treatment redness.
Certain products exist that help reduce redness, sometimes very quickly indeed, and reduce any anxiety about the treatment looking fake. This product for example, contains epinephrine, a vascular constrictor that can significantly reduce redness within 15-20 minutes. Please note however that most scalp micropigmentation clinics do not carry this product in stock, and some will refuse to use it due to a lack of understanding, or because the product cannot be lawfully used by that particular technician.
I must also make clear that I am not a qualified medical professional, therefore you should always consult a suitable individual for advice before using this product, and be careful to follow aftercare guidelines provided by your clinic.
Finally, a small number of clinics use pigments that contain astringents like witch hazel or similar. Astringents can also reduce the time taken for the redness to dissipate.
Wear a hat
This may seem counter-intuitive, given that most of us want to ditch the hat immediately after our treatments, but if a hat is acceptable attire at your place of work, it’s an easy solution for a few days until your treatment settles.
Choose your style carefully
If you’re concerned about returning to work, the chances are you’re not the type of person who wants a ‘statement’ look. More likely, you probably want an ultra-natural treatment that really does look like your real hair.
It sounds obvious, but I’m still surprised by how many people opt for low, razored hairlines and pointy side profiles. If you want your procedure to remain incognito, then make some sensible choices when it comes to selecting your pigmentation style.
Come up with a plausable excuse
If you still have a lot of real hair left, this is your number one ‘excuse’:
I just wanted a change, so I shaved my head.
However if you’re not so lucky in the follicular department, or just REALLY want a backup plan in case someone at work quizzes you about your new look, here are some classic explanations that may help:
- I’m taking a trial drug that grows back hair
- I’ve always had hair, it just looks darker when I shave it
- I suffered with alopecia, but now my hair is coming back
- I was going bald, so I decided to shave it
Consider coming clean
The excuses above can only go so far. Your final option is to do what I did – just tell people you’re getting SMP.
In all seriousness, if you choose the right technician and receive a great treatment, your confession is more likely to be greeted with surprise and awe, than ridicule. Remember that most people still don’t know what scalp micropigmentation is, so your colleagues will probably be fascinated by the illusion.
When I told a few select people about my procedure, not only were they very supportive, it was surprising how many of my male friends approached me in private to ask questions. Two of my friends actually proceeded to have treatments themselves.