Poor Scalp Micropigmentation Results

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With the popularity of scalp micropigmentation and its clear benefits to those with hair loss, unfortunately comes with it the possibility of a poor end result.  Complaints of pigment migration, blotching and change of initial color to undesired colors such as blue and green.  While most of these complaints are in fact contributed to inexperienced technicians (see featured example above) using incorrect/inadequate equipment and pigments not intended for the scalp, some may very well not be the fault of the technician.

As long as you have done your research and have chosen an established and experienced artist, your results should be satisfactory.  It very well could be YOU.  You ask, how can it possibly be my fault?  There are many factors that can affect the final outcome of your scalp micropigmentation.  This is still a tattoo, no matter what it is called.  Weston has more experience in the tattoo field than all the others artists and techs in the scalp micropigmentation field combined.  With Weston's almost half a century experience in the tattoo field, he has seen what can affect the outcome of a tattoo first hand.

Either at the time of the booking of your appointment or upon your arrival, a respected company will require you to fill out a disclosure very similar to those that you complete at a doctor’s office.  Asking about your general health, medications, prescriptions, health history, etc.  It is very important that you as a potential scalp micropigmentation recipient complete this disclosure.  Many things can and will affect the outcome of your pigmentation, and by not providing disclosure, you will end up with a poor result that is YOUR FAULT and not the technician or the artist.  You need to be completely honest and open, no matter how embarrassing some disclosures may be.  For instance:

     Antidepressants:  These certainly will affect your reasoning and comprehension skills.  This will affect what the artist is advising you regarding the pending procedure and even the aftercare.  By not properly absorbing this information, you may very well agree to something you would not normally agree to, or not understand aftercare instructions.

     Prescriptions: All prescriptions must be disclosed; particularly some of the most important disclosed would be blood pressure, testosterone boosters, thyroid, cholesterol and antibiotics.

     Diabetic: While it is perfectly safe for most diabetics to receive tattoos/scalp micropigmentation, there are limits.  Obviously, anyone who must utilize an insulin pump.  High blood sugar levels, for example, can complicate the healing process and increase the risk of infection. Bear in mind that your blood sugar level may rise while your scalp micropigmentation is being applied.  As this process is quite long, sometimes painful on areas of the scalp and possibly stressful.  You must be stable before the procedure starts.  

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Biosensing tattoo photo compliments of MIT.

 Interesting Fact:  MIT researchers claim they have developed a new color-changing tattoo ink that responds to changes in the body, such as blood sugar and sodium levels.  Called a “biosensing tattoo,” it is still in the early stages of being tested on pig skin. As blood sugar rises, the tattoo ink will change color to alert the person.  As a person’s blood sugar spikes, this very well may be some of the problem for pigment color changes to scalp micropigmentation even if one is not a diabetic.

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Excessive quantities of fish oil can have an effect on the scalp micropigmentation pigment causing color change and/or fading.

     Vitamins/Supplements: As we all lead lifestyles that would make any health guru cringe, dietary supplements are common place for most of us.  While most are perfectly safe before and after your scalp micropigmentation, one particular supplement is not.  Fish oil decreases the risk of heart disease and stroke, but also helps reduce symptoms of depression, hypertension and even attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.  However, when taken in excess as a body-building supplement, it will affect the color of the pigment.  Weston learned of this almost 25 years ago when he applied a black Celtic tattoo to the shoulder of a body builder.  Within a week, the black pigment turned purple; the same pigment he regularly used on hundreds of other people.  More research on Weston's part by trial and error with conventional tattoos proved this fact to him.

     Interesting Fact: Fish oil is now being prescribed as a pre-requisite to some laser tattoo removal procedures.  As an antioxidant, fish oil will kick start your body's ability to produce results quicker for pigment removal.

     Immune System: While you may feel healthy, the immune system is the body's defense against infectious organisms and other invaders. Through a series of steps called the immune response, the immune system attacks organisms and substances that invade body systems and cause disease. For instance, every time the needle penetrates the scalp, it causes a wound that alerts the body to begin the inflammatory process.  That signal sends immune system cells racing to the site of the wound (every point of the needle). If you are feeling poorly because of diet, stress, smoking, excessive alcohol use, “recreational” drugs, etc., these all can affect your immune system by attacking the pigmentation process and pigment itself.  Weston has seen this happen with conventional tattoos throughout his career.  You can read more about the healing process and the effects of white blood cells.  However, if you feel you are generally healthy, unfortunately it is now becoming a common practice with multi-session providers to blame your immune system for the fading.  This is the method, most likely not your immune system.

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Weston himself has blue undertones to his skin and his scalp will look blue in supermarket lighting and in blue painted rooms. This photo was taken under office fluorescent lighting. Weston does not have a drop of pigment on his scalp

     Sweating: In the early stages of curing, sweating will definitely cause pigment to migrate and change color.  That is why The Weston System® aftercare care is specific about no sweating or working out or salt water swimming.  Weston has personally seen what happens; the pigment starts dissolving and migrating together and then turns a clear-milky color.  So absolutely no gym workouts, heavy exercise or physical labor at the very minimum, a week. In the case of multi-session methods, you will be prohibited for up to 4 to 6 weeks by the time all the sessions have been completed.

Interesting Fact:  Before the days of laser tattoo removal and decades ago, it was common practice for old-school tattoo artists (like Weston) to use saline solution in place of tattoo pigment to remove and lighten unwanted tattoos.  The saline solution was applied by the tattoo machine through the needle in the same manner pigment would be applied for a tattoo.  Saline solution is simply salt and water.  So sweating to the scalp in fact dissolves the pigment applied for scalp micropigmentation before the end of the curing and healing process.  The same would hold true for swimming in salt water.

     Topicals: This is also covered in most after care. While you may be anxious to speed up the healing and curing process, don’t take it upon yourself to feel it is acceptable to apply DermMatch, Toppik or any other topical concealer.  In addition, topical Rogaine must be avoided.  Antibiotic ointment must also be avoided as it will attack the pigment as a foreign substance and actually pull the pigment out.

     Sun Exposure:  Most people know overexposure to the sun is harmful to your skin, and it's even tougher on scalp micropigmentation.  Although protecting the skin for health reasons is most important, the fact that your scalp micropigmentation wasn't inexpensive is a reason to cover it up.  Contrary to what some people believe, tanning beds are just as hard on tattoos as the sun, even more so because the ultraviolet rays are more concentrated.   Wear a hat or use at least  45 SPF on your scalp.  While with the multi-session methods it may be difficult to differentiate between the expected fading and the sun, don't return to your technician blaming them for the fading if in fact you sun-baked your scalp.

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Weston himself has blue undertones to his skin and his scalp will look blue in supermarket lighting and in blue painted rooms.  This photo was taken under office fluorescent lighting. Weston does not have a drop of pigment on his scalp.
blue-lighting
Fluorescent lighting casts a greenish-blue hue on skin. This has long been known by aestheticians and professionals that apply film and movie makeup.

Skin Undertones:  This is an important issue.  We all have skin undertones.  Asians have yellow undertones, those men of Italian heritage have green (olive) and many African-American and Caucasian men have blue undertones.    These undertones are accentuated under fluorescent lighting, so don't suddenly think your artist turned you blue or green.  You are just now inspecting the work closer that was done, most likely under fluorescent bathroom lighting.  However, many off-the-shelf commercial pigments used by SMP-MS technicians contain blue and greens.  Weston's pigments do not contain added off-colors.

Interesting Fact:  Fluorescent  lighting can accentuate a blue or green look to a scalp depending on the natural undertones.  Bathroom lighting can make a man with dark pigmentation on his scalp look blue.  Supermarket, airports and most office lighting will have this effect.

     CONCLUSION:  So be open and honest with your disclosures, as it does affect the outcome of your scalp micropigmentation.  After Care instructions are your bible for scalp micropigmentation, do not take them lightly.  A poor outcome could be your own fault and not that of the artist/technician who applied it.

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Post Author and Date: Weston System, June 1, 2018

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