With scalp micropigmentation, touch-ups are advised every 3 to 4 years. The reason touch-ups are advised is due to the pigment fading; touch-ups revitalize and refresh the appearance of the scalp micropigmentation. Fading is likely to happen slowly and gradually and will do the same for everyone that has received scalp micropigmentation. One touch-up session will get everything back to what it was like after your initial treatment, although some people prefer to get the treatment completely removed and then reapplied after years. One thing you do want to avoid is the ‘painted’ or ‘helmet hair’ look. This look can happen easily if you find someone that doesn’t have the right qualifications. Another reason this might happen is that if you have had too many sessions, it is practically impossible to implant all the same microdots that have already been made in the past; the more touch-up sessions, the more dots are created on the scalp. The pigment will then begin to spread and become more of a block color rather than individual replicated hair follicles.
Why Does Scalp Micropigmentation Fade?
The pigment is not the same as permanent traditional tattoo ink. Cosmetic pigments are made up of smaller pigment particles that are suspended in diluter. This makes the cosmetic tattoo have a more natural, softer color in the skin, and it can be layered to create a much more realistic finish. Whereas traditional tattoo inks are much more concentrated, making them much stronger in color and very bold and bright. If you compare the two, you will notice traditional tattoos are much deeper and richer, but cosmetic or medical tattoos are more subtle, giving a more realistic natural look. Fortunately, due to the pigment’s natural components, it will never turn blue, green, or any other color, the way traditional tattoos do.
The depth of traditional tattoo ink is into the reticular layer (second layer) of the Dermis. The cosmetic pigment is implanted into the papillary layer (first layer) of the Dermis, this is composed of loose connective tissue that is highly vascular. The upper layer of the Dermis holds the shape of the implanted pigment, this I just slightly under the Epidermis. The Epidermis is responsible for our cell turnover -the continuous process of shedding dead skin cells and subsequently replacing them with younger cells. This causes the pigment to lighten over time with each cell replacement. The deeper the implant depth, the more blurred the pigment becomes.
Ultraviolet light (i.e., sunlight) breaks down the chemical bonds, causing the pigment to fade.
So, what will scalp micropigmentation look like in 10 years? Hopefully, if you have followed the correct guidance, and by now, you should have had about three touch-ups or at least be due your third since the original few sessions. If you have had your touch-up, your scalp micropigmentation should look fresh and natural, unnoticeable to those who do not know you have had it done. If you are due another touch-up, then your scalp micropigmentation will have faded sufficiently and just look like your hair follicles are thinning.