Many people associate a scalp micropigmentation treatment with a “just-shaven” look. For the most part, they are correct. There have been many procedures completed exhibiting this kind of hair pattern. It is important to note however, that an SMP’s application goes beyond this style. A prospective patient can also benefit from this highly effective treatment whilst keeping their hair longer, to create the appearance of a fuller head of hair or to cover up scarring.
SMP works to conceal baldness. It needs to be able to blend in with the surrounding areas in order for the pigments to come together as a whole. For a “just-shaven” look, this means that any existing hair must be cropped to a bare minimum, or completely non-existent if possible. This is because the SMP pigments are two-dimensional and hair is three-dimensional. It would make it easier to detect the difference upon the scalp, rendering an SMP procedure ineffective. The same goes for treatments to thicken a thinning scalp or to cover scarring. This underscores the importance of considering the potential areas around the pigments before SMP can work.
Those with androgenic alopecia can benefit from this procedure even if they choose to retain their existing hair. Note that they may only do so up to a certain extent, the “just-shaven” look is still the most hassle free style for an SMP. It may work with longer hair however, provided that the hairline is still intact as well as having a fair amount of existing hair in the crown region. Cases of alopecia areata will make it difficult to use SMP with longer hair because of the round patches of hair being shed randomly throughout the scalp. This will result in large areas of two-dimensional pigments being easily detectible against three-dimensional hair strands. It would be better to just shave off all the existing hair and wear a cropped-style. Those with diffuse thinning that create a loss of hair density all over the scalp are better suited for this procedure because exposed areas are less concentrated in one area. There are just enough hair strands the pigments can work with in order to cover its true nature. This results in an illusion of a denser head of hair.
Male pattern baldness can be treated with SMP while still retaining existing hair, even if the temporal and frontal areas have diminished to a certain degree. This is provided that there is a good amount of thickness in the crown region and that the frontal hairline does not recede beyond certain limits. There will come a point where SMP can no longer work with existing hair when the balding has progressed deeper toward the back of the head. This would require that it be shaved off and the entire scalp be treated by SMP to maintain a more uniform look.
Scalp micropigmentation can definitely work with longer hair. Prospective clients just need to temper their expectations. Hair loss especially in cases concerning androgenic alopecia, is gradual. An SMP patient has to be aware that the eventually shedding of hair would slowly uncover the pigments that it hides. It might come to point where the existing hair would have to be shaved altogether to expose the scalp. A pre-determined SMP hair pattern would be the next appropriate step when this occurs.