August 1, 2022

8 Surprising Scalp Micropigmentation Side Effects

Scalp micropigmentation (also known as micro-pigmentation) is a form of cosmetic surgery that uses a small fine needle to inject pigment into the scalp. This can be a non-evasive alternative to hair transplants.

Scalp micropigmentation enhances and highlights natural hair colour, corrects hair loss, or addresses other cosmetic concerns. It can also be used to conceal bald spots or make a person appear to have thicker, fuller hair.

Here are eight surprising side effects of scalp micropigmentation.

How It Works

Let's first examine what it is before we jump into some surprising downsides of scalp micropigmentation. Scalp micropigmentation relies on the same principle as the tattooing of human skin. The tattooing process involves injecting dye into a person's skin. The coloured dye is absorbed by the cells of the tattoo, leaving a permanent, visible mark. 

Scalp micropigmentation uses a similar process. It uses fine needles to inject pigment into the hair follicles to create a hair tattoo. The stain stays in the scalp cells for a short time, allowing the results to be seen. However, while a tattoo marks the location of the tattooed area, a scalp micropigmentation treatment generally marks the entire scalp. 

This pigment is used to change the look of hairlines as well as make thinning hair appear fuller and give you a thicker head. However, this procedure isn't risk-free. Therefore, let's take a look at some surprising scalp micropigmentation side effects.

Compared with hair transplant procedures, scalp pigmentation is more affordable, and it's the perfect way to enhance your features without breaking the bank. 

It will depend on how quickly your hair grows but you might need to shave at least twice a week. Even though this is relatively low maintenance, it can prove tiring for some. A good way around this is to find a shaving routine that works for you. It might be an electric shaver, hair clippers or a wet shave in the shower. Fading pigmentation It usually takes 3 sessions to successfully complete the initial treatment. You may need to visit once more within a year to manage any fading that has appeared. After that, you will be fine for between 4-6 years.


Disadvantages of Scalp Micropigmentation

There are pros and cons to any treatment, you need to look at each for each procedure you are considering and weigh them up.

Loss of sensation in the area of the treatment is a common side effect of micro scalp pigmentation. Skin dryness is another common problem associated with scalp micropigmentation. Common side effects of micro scalp pigmentation include redness, itching, chapping dryness, hair loss, bald spots, and hair thinning, eczema, hair loss, and itching burn. Fevers Flu-like symptoms, including fevers, are another potential side effect of micro scalp pigmentation.

It can be a good idea to take fever-reducing medication before going through with treatment. Most of the time, scalp micropigmentation side effects are very mild and will resolve themselves. However, some people experience more severe side effects like itching and swelling.

Let's look at 8 of the most significant side-effects and downsides of an SMP procedure.

Loss of sensation

Some people who have had the procedure experience a loss of sensation in the scalp, which is similar to an injury or burn.

Excessive Drying Of The Skin

When you undergo micro-pigmentation, your skin is usually soaked with an anaesthetic solution. The skin should not be dried out. However, it can happen with some people who undergo this procedure. This can make the scalp dry and uncomfortable.

Itchy, burning skin

Scalp micro pigmentation can leave a person with highly itchy, red, inflamed skin. In addition, when the hair on the scalp is being injected, the skin around the area may become tender and painful.

A purple or red, open-pore rash is often a side effect of micro scalp pigmentation.

In rare cases, this rash can be excruciating. Those who have a history of contact dermatitis or allergies to pigments, skin medications, or metals should try to avoid micro scalp pigmentation or seek medical attention if they develop this rash.

Allergic Reactions

Sterile equipment and fragrances sprayed during the procedure can cause an allergic reaction, especially in people with sensitive skin or eczema.

One report found that one in 10 people undergoing micro scalp pigmentation had at least one allergic reaction.

Change in Hair Color

While micro scalp pigmentation can create a brighter, lighter, or more reddish appearance in some people, it can change hair colour significantly, primarily if the procedure is not performed correctly. Some people report that their hair colour changes slowly and then rapidly throughout the process.

It's only natural your hair ages, but since micro-pigmentation doesn't involve the actual presence of hair, it will not change colour (maybe fade) as you would expect from one ageing. 

People who have undergone scalp micro-pigmentation usually do not develop scars or keloids. However, there are exceptions, and you can end up with permanent scarring at the procedure site.


In rare cases, some patients noted bleeding during and after the procedure. But, most people will notice only a few drops of blood, usually after the procedure.

Bumps and Redness

Another potential side effect of micro scalp pigmentation is bumps, redness, or swelling around the area where the needle is injected. Also, excessive bruising can occur if the needle tip is pressed too hard while it is inserted into the scalp. It is usually possible to clear this up with ice, as long as the practitioner avoids any physical trauma to the area.

Temporary side effects

If you choose to have micro scalp pigmentation done, you may experience some temporary side effects. Temporary redness, irritation, and inflammation can be expected after scalp micropigmentation. These conditions can be treated with a warm compress, pain relievers, and antibacterial ointment. 

Loss of colour 

Some people experience a change in their hair colour after receiving micro scalp pigmentation. It may be a new shade or a loss of a hue. For example, some people notice a more orange tone or a lighter or darker tone than before. This symptom of the procedure, however, generally fades in time.

male pattern baldness

Permanent side effects

If micro scalp pigmentation goes wrong, permanent damage can occur. As micro scalp pigmentation involves tiny, fine needles, the scalps involved can be vulnerable to accidental trauma or other health problems. These problems can cause permanent side effects.

Complications During the Procedure

Some people experience significant complications following micro scalp pigmentation. Common complications are: 

  1. Pain around the area of the procedure 
  2. Necrotic swelling, redness, or flaking skin, accompanied by itching or redness around the procedure site 
  3. Permanent scarring 
hair smp

How To Get The Best Results With Scalp Micropigmentation

Getting a good result depends largely on how well the skin under the scalp is prepared for the procedure and the type of pigment used. 

But, the most important thing to do to get the most natural-looking results is to choose an experienced doctor and ask lots of questions to the doctor before the procedure.

What To Expect During the Procedure

The process is generally a straightforward one. Before the procedure, a person may have to have a numbing cream applied to the skin. Then, the doctor will draw a small amount of local anaesthetic onto a tiny needle inserted into the skin near the hairline. The doctor will then remove the pigment, place it onto a bit of a paper dot. Finally, the paper will be taken to a particular machine that will inject the dye into the skin using the needle.

SMP Treatment

Procedure Time

The entire procedure typically takes about 30 to 45 minutes to complete.

When to Expect Results

Results will appear gradually. They typically show up about a month after the procedure. The doctor will advise that a person avoid using any products that could irritate or further disrupt the process.

Some people will experience minimal or no side effects.

Now that we have covered the potential side effects of scalp micropigmentation, it's important to note that most people who receive the procedure have minimal adverse reactions. But it's essential to consider the potential outcomes if you decide that micro pigmentation is the right choice for you. 

Remember, some people may experience more severe side effects, such as hair loss, infections, and allergic reactions. The best way to learn about the procedure and discuss the risks is to schedule a consultation with a well-respected practitioner with a proven track record for great results. 


Scalp micropigmentation, as with many cosmetic procedures, can be painful, discomforting, and can take a while to heal. As with many procedures, the success of micro scalp pigmentation depends on the individual. There is a wide range of risks with micro scalp pigmentation, including: 

  • Intense pain, redness, and blisters 
  • Bleeding skin that turns white, pale, or black 
  • Skin that is stretched too thin 
  • Skin that bruises and swells 
  • Tenderness and irritation 

Suppose you are considering undergoing scalp micro pigmentation or any other cosmetic procedure. In that case, it is crucial to talk with a doctor or trusted specialist before having any procedures, including micro scalp pigmentation, to help determine the most suitable options.

Non-invasive procedures offer a faster healing time with less chance of irritation. 

When you visit our clinic for a free consultation you can ask any question you want. This means giving the best advice for your personal situation. Getting a head tattoo is a big decision and we want you to feel completely comfortable. 

Article written by CraigSMPLiverpool
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