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Why NPM Hair Follicle Simulation is a really bad idea

NPM roller in progress

Many people around the world want to learn the art of scalp micropigmentation. It’s hardly surprising. This is a multi-million dollar industry worldwide, and growing faster than any other hair loss service. There is a lot of money to be made, and understandably people want to be involved and to ride the wave. There is no shame in pursuing profit – it’s how the world works.

However, technicians offering to replicate hair for their clients have a responsibility to ensure the standard of service, and ultimately the realism of their hair simulations, are up to scratch. These are real people with very real anxieties about the loss of their hair, and every technician has a duty of care to ensure they achieve quality results for their clients.

NPM International offers Hair Follicle Simulation, a service referred to as HFS. They manufacture a scalp roller, similar in concept to the Dermaroller, except this one is designed to pigment the scalp. Before we proceed any further, please watch their main promo video below:

OK, now allow me to explain my concerns.

It takes skill to become a competent scalp micropigmentation artist. There is constant debate in this industry about which is the best company, or who is the best technician. This debate exists for good reason – because the skill of the artist and the technique they use is important. The NPM Hair Follicle Simulation roller is an attempt to remove the human element (the skill) from the process. It’s just never going to produce comparable results.

What pigments are they using?

As I mentioned in a previous post, the pigments or inks used for scalp micropigmentation MUST be fit for purpose. NPM International is a permanent makeup distributor. Predictably they sell their own permanent makeup pigments for use with this roller, however permanent makeup pigments are NOT suitable. The evidence to support this absolute truth is overwhelming, and is agreed upon by EVERY major scalp micropigmentation provider in the world. These materials contain hues of blue, and within a real short time your head will start to look blue too, no matter how skilled (or unskilled) your technician may be. Check this post for more information.

Where are all the happy clients?

Trying to keep an open mind, I hunted for before and after photographs showing real world results offered by the NPM roller. I really struggled to find anything, utterly absurd for a product claiming to revolutionize the industry. Their USA website contains ONE photo of a female client, but the client has so much hair and the photo is zoomed out so far, it is impossible to see any detail whatsoever. Their international site has an empty gallery that is (apparently) coming soon.

I found ONE photograph on the company Instagram account, showing a poor result:

After NPM Hair Follicle Replication
After NPM Hair Follicle Replication. This is the only photograph on the company’s main Instagram account. If a result like this was delivered by a scalp micropigmentation technician, the client would have grounds to demand a full refund and remedial action.

Now go back to the video further up this page, and pause it at 2:02. The result is nothing like what you would expect from a leading clinic.

Multiple videos removed from YouTube

Go to this page on the NPM USA website, then click the HFS tag link above the photos. Try to view the “Hair Follicle Simulation 2” and “HFS Before & After” videos. See that? They were forcibly removed from YouTube for violating their terms of service. YouTube doesn’t remove videos without a good reason.

Bryce’s experience

This is perhaps the scariest part. NPM USA approached Bryce Cleveland, CEO of Scalp Aesthetics, to try to convince him to use and distribute their product. Intrigued, Bryce bought one roller and tested it with the pigments NPM supplied. This was the result.

Bad result using the NPM roller
This was the result when Bryce Cleveland tested the NPM roller, following their guidelines exactly and using their pigments

Bryce describes his findings:

I just couldn’t believe that a product so flawed, could be used and recommended so highly. It doesn’t even make any sense. What it’s doing is creating tracks. It’s not penetrating the skin as well, and you’ll have some areas where it went too deep, and others where it didn’t go deep enough, and it looks horrible. And not only that, but it’s the color that they sell with these tracks – they all have hues of blue in them. If somebody tries to do your head with this, be forewarned – your head will look a mess. It’s scary what we’re seeing when people are buying this and just rolling it on someone’s head.”

If Bryce Cleveland, arguably the most experienced scalp micropigmentation artist in the world, can’t achieve an acceptable result using this product, I am extremely concerned about the consequences of putting this roller in the hands of a permanent makeup technician or tattoo artist. Needless to say, Bryce chose not to use or distribute this product, or the pigments sold with it.

Cashing in on scaremongering

There are some really bad scalp micropigmentation services out there. We all know that, hence why research is so important to make sure you receive treatment from a competent technician using the right equipment and materials. NPM are trying to cash in on this uncertainty by directly attacking the scalp micropigmentation industry.

See this photo on their Instagram account. They’ve taken the worst example of scalp micropigmentation they could find, and compared their product against it. Sales tactics like these are misleading, and give the industry a bad name without any real justification. The reality is that a competent clinic would never deliver results like that, and NPM with their scalp roller would never achieve anything like the level of realism we see from the leading providers.

A message to permanent makeup artists

It has become clear that the NPM sales team is targeting permanent makeup artists around the world, trying to get them to buy this product. Please, don’t.

Scalp Aesthetics offer a proper training program for scalp micropigmentation. I know I may be a little biased, but to be honest I don’t care who you train with. Just don’t buy this product. Despite your very best intentions, no matter how skilled or experienced you are, you will deliver poor results and your clients will complain. This will undermine your reputation and damage your business. See this product for what it is – a get-rich-quick scheme for the owner – and steer clear.

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