Without question, I have corrected more Scalp MicroPigmentation (“SMP”) than any other “expert”. I have seen just about everything. In fact, there are many things that I have witnessed on scalps that I wish I could “unsee”.
From this experience, I’ve learned that of all of the possible problems that can arise from pigmentation, the least serious is pigmentation “rejection” (where the scalp resists absorption of applied pigmentation).
If you experience rejection following your SMP procedure, BREATHE. Rejection is BY FAR the least serious of all Scalp MicroPigmentation issues. Rejection is completely fixable with an additive enhancement. If you’ve lost some impressions through rejection, a simple enhancement will restore your lost density.
SMP enhancements come in two flavors: additive and subtractive (lighter and darker, basically).
Additive enhancement is easy—pigmentation is added. Subtractive is far more difficult and requires specialized laser technology. Although subtractive SMP Correction is a specialty and a passion of mine, it can be a lengthy process and should absolutely be avoided by choosing an experienced SMP expert in the first place.
What is the basic science of rejection? It is the body’s job is to expel foreign substances and objects from the dermis. When a sliver embeds itself in your finger, over time, the sliver is pushed back to the surface and sloughed off. The same is true for pigmentation. Expert SMP Providers strive to manipulate the scalp environment such that this natural rejection process is limited during the healing process.
It is for this purpose that I have developed preparation protocols and the BRAVI HeadFirst™ product line that support pigment retention.
In Scalp MicroPigmentation, there is a narrow “sweet spot”, particularly as it relates to the depth of the impressions. SMP Providers should not over-treat or under-treat. However, between the two—under-treating is far less problematic. Overly aggressive or inappropriate SMP implementation treatment results in the need for laser SMP Correction which is complex, expensive and time consuming.
Rejection is on the other end of the spectrum. And, while SMP rejection is sometimes the fault of under-treatment, it can also be the result of the actual physiology of the client, and have nothing whatsoever to do with the clinic. For example, high blood pressure, anemia, and excessive alcohol use in SMP clients can cause a far higher rate of pigment rejection.
Just as in all things medical, some people simply heal more quickly than others. Similarly, some SMP clients reject pigment more than others.
Rejection results in only one serious problem—cost. Particularly when air travel is a consideration, the costs associated with a SMP rejection can be considerable. This can be particularly devastating to clients who were promised “one-and-done” results, and who were not prepared for the possibility of rejection.
When SMP clients adopt a “pay as you go” incremental treatment plan, there is no cost protection for them in the event that they experience rejection. In the case of SMP clinics who guarantee their results, these clinics are incentivized to get their clients to “Satisfied” as quickly as possible.
What can SMP clients do to minimize rejection?
First, a proper preparation protocol optimizes scalp health and sets up the SMP client for success. In the case of scar tissue, highly-specialized BRAVI pre-treatment protocols have been established and are proven to increase retention.
Likewise, it is critical to follow sound after care recommendations, including avoiding swimming and profuse sweating immediately following SMP. Part of proper SMP after care includes using the proper care compounds during the proper time frame.
(for more information on scalp preparation, and for your free BRAVI HeadFirst™ Starter Pack, please schedule a consultation)
Sun protection is also critical. As a new resident of Austin, Texas in July, I have a whole new level of dedication to sunscreen application. Repeated sun exposure exponentially speeds the fading of Scalp MicroPigmentation. Likewise, sun damaged skin will prevent even the most beautifully-executed SMP results from looking their best.
My advice for avoiding SMP rejection: Choose the right provider and use the right products before and after your procedure to keep your scalp healthy and looking its best.