Weston Pushes for Regulated Industry
It is no secret that there is still some controversy about scalp micropigmentation, even though this industry has increasingly evolved into an accepted practice in the last five years. It is a genuine desire of mine to understand and predict the future of this service industry and to drive forward with beginning steps to regulate same.
There are several sociological changes that may explain this dramatic shift to the male appearance that has no reason to slow down. An increased number of men employed in the service sector, increased competition in the workplace, aging baby boomers eager to stay stylish, and the young generation influenced by changing standards of male beauty. A heightened personal interest in male allure and grooming has been increasingly fueled by the culture of high-profile male role models, such as celebrity sports legends and actors. We men are now feeling the same exhausting pressure that women have felt for decades. Changing lifestyles are driving men to opt for surgery for cosmetic procedures, dental enhancements and/or teeth whitening, and numerous other self-esteem enhancements. Botox for men has skyrocketed.
Before we leave the house each day, we have likely undergone our personalized ritual, including the daily shower and shave, clean and pressed clothes, shined shoes. Men whom have not yet decided on scalp pigmentation, will undergo the application of topical hair loss products. Sometimes this daily ritual can last up to an hour each morning. Increasingly, men are also taking a more holistic view of their health, and their ritual may now include a periodic massage and trip to the male spa. But our concern with our appearance is hardly anything new; the boom in male grooming products has been expanding and growing for all of recorded history. Male grooming products steadily show record increases.
It is now well-known that the multi-session scalp micropigmentation providers are scrambling to entice clients to make profits. SMP-MS is the method that I have proven in my demonstration video that does not work and why. Clients now understand to not waste their time and money to opt for a method that is increasingly becoming disfavored with a rapidly decreasing demand. Men have gone through the horror of watching their hair loss and then only to pay thousands to SMP-MS companies to recreate their hair over and then again every few years. It’s time for these SMP-MS companies to admit their out-dated method is no longer in demand, much like the old punch (plug) hair transplants from the 1950's to the 1980's which have gone by the wayside. Many formerly well-known providers have admitted their defeat and are closing locations and laying off technicians. At the same time, I am expanding and opening Weston Centers across the country to handle the overwhelming increase in demand for my proven single-session application.
INDUSTRY’S REGULATED FUTURE
I see and strongly support and lobby for a future regulated industry comprised of the following:
Approved and Mandated Training Facilities: The technician performing scalp micropigmentation must have completed a state-approved and mandated training course, differentiating from tattooing and/or permanent cosmetics. In addition, the future technician must obtain specific apprenticeship training or experience at the table (hands on) under the supervision of an appropriately trained or experienced scalp micropigmentation artist for a very minimum period of six (6 months). I have already been operating the M. Weston Educational Center since 2015 to provide training that I feel would be approved under a regulated industry.
More Stringent State Licensing: State laws must require proof of required training and include required instruction in local health laws and sterilization practices. All states will be under federal mandate; there will be no states such as Arizona where there are no tattooing laws. States will also require that scalp micropigmentation be the provider’s only service.
Approved Scalp-Only FDA Pigments: I have already voluntarily submitted my SMART Pigments® to the FDA for preliminary testing. While the FDA moves slowly, I have been anxiously waiting for their response for the next steps to take in making these pigments the benchmark for future regulations. Currently, the FDA does not regulate tattoo or permanent cosmetics pigments, only some of their ingredients that are shared with the cosmetics industry. This is a difficult undertaking to push the FDA to move on such a regulation that has not had similar regulation in the past.
Strict Standard of Care Guidelines: Standard of care is typically defined as the level and type of care that a reasonably competent and skilled professional, with a similar background and in the same field, would have provided under the circumstances that led to any alleged malpractice. This would be pattered after medical standard of care.
1. Pre scalp pigmentation counseling and informed consent: Detailed consent form listing details about the procedure and possible complication and/or actual projected outcomes should be signed by the recipient. The consent form should specifically state the limitations of the procedure and if more procedures may be needed. Recipient should be provided with adequate opportunity to seek information and ask questions through a proper consultation.
2. Recipient candidacy: Scalp pigmentation recipients with poor overall health, scalp/skin conditions or those expecting unrealistic expectations should be avoided as candidates. Providers will carefully screen each recipient and practice turning down clients for the long-term benefit of the client. Providers must cease accepting all potential candidates to enhance their bottom line only.
3. National Scalp Micropigmentation Board/Affiliation: Only those providers whom meet federal and state standards are eligible. Simply paying an annual membership fee would not constitute affiliation. Providers whom operate in states with no tattoo health laws are not eligible until such states pass tattoo legislation.
Misleading/Deceptive Advertising: Providers will not practice misleading or deceptive advertising. False advertising is the use of false, misleading, or unproven information to advertise products to consumers or advertising that does not disclose its source. A false advertisement can further be classified as deceptive if the advertiser deliberately misleads the consumer, as opposed to making an honest mistake. Much like the ads for fast foods; the burger you actually get looks nothing like the ones in the ads. Scalp micropigmentation companies are notorious for altering photos to enhance the look of their work. Videos are not exempt; they can easily be altered as well. The Federal Trade Commission also frowns on “disparaging the goods, services, or business of another by false or misleading representation of fact.”
A regulated industry will force providers to step up to the plate and help alleviate misleading and deceptive advertising claims that seems to be running rampant. Potential scalp micropigmentation candidates must also report misleading and deceptive claims on the part of providers to their state’s attorney general’s office.
SUMMARY: I have been diligently pressing forward with many of these points for almost a decade. I have been expanding the availability of The Weston System by opening licensed centers to thoroughly vetted applicants only. I feel a professional and personal duty to this industry to provide the proper training on the proper equipment to ultimately offer the scalp micropigmentation recipient the best option in technicians and final outcome.