A scalp micropigmentation procedure is delivered over a series of treatment sessions. Exactly how many sessions will be required is hard to predict accurately in advance, however it is most heavily influenced by the rate of fading experienced by the client, the combination of their hair and skin colour, the shade of pigments used and any scar tissue that requires treatment.
The majority of ‘standard’ clients, those without scars or symptoms of alopecia or other skin conditions, will require 2-4 sessions to complete their treatment. Some clients believe their treatment is complete after 2 sessions, but return to their chosen clinic a short while later to correct minor fading here and there. Most clients need 3 sessions and around 20% of clients will require a fourth session. Of course this is influenced heavily by your practitioner and the particular technique and approch they adopt.
Why do some people need a lot of sessions?
There are those who require 5 or more sessions to complete their treatment. Some have as many as 6 or 7 sessions before their process is considered complete. These cases are rare, however these are the primary causes:
- The client has a particularly active immune response
- Scar tissue absorbs and disperses the pigment more readily than expected
- The client requests a number of adjustments during the process
- The technician uses a pigment that is too light
- The technician (for whatever reason) is playing it safe
- The penetration depth is too shallow
In an ideal world, no client should need more than 4 sessions to complete their pigmentation. However taking into account all of the variables within the process, it is inevitable that some will. It’s not ideal, but it’s not a problematic scenario either, albeit a little inconvenient for the recipient. Some of the best clinics can reduce the number of sessions required through greater experience, but this is not guaranteed.
Why is the number of sessions important?
During each session, a layer of ‘dots’ is placed on the scalp. Too many sessions can cause the loss of individual dot definition because the technician runs out of space, meaning the dots are placed very close together, or layered on top of one another. This can be a real problem, and the main reason why technicians discourage clients from requesting more and more sessions when they are unnecessary. Such requests are especially common among clients who are overly self-conscious or experiencing body dysmorphia (BDD).
Of course there is the cost of the sessions themselves. Depending on your choice of provider, you may be charged for each session. This is especially likely if your technician believes the session to be unnecessary or potentially counter-productive.
Even if the session is provided free of charge, you will incur additional travel costs, possibly accommodation costs, and of course you’ll need to take time out from work, plus any time needed after the session for redness to subside. If you are travelling any significant distance for treatment, these costs can soon stack up.
Why do some providers say they can do it in one session?
The majority of clinics can not (and will not attempt to) deliver a high quality scalp micropigmentation treatment in just one session. Most of the major providers have tried to offer a single session process. After all, it would enable them to be more profitable and win more customers, however most clinics have almost unanimously come to the same conclusion – it cannot be done reliably and consistently.
There are some clinics around the world that do offer a single session scalp micropigmentation treatment. These usually take the form of a ‘mega session’ followed by a short touch-up the following morning, so technically, it’s a two session process.
Details pertaining to the one-session process are hard to obtain, as the technique is considered proprietary and top secret. If you’re considering this option, ensure you have discussed with your technician exactly how the process works, before committing to a procedure. I’m not saying it cannot be done – but the evidence simply isn’t in the public domain.
Continue reading for more information about SMP.