Does Scalp Micropigmentation Affect Hair Growth in Any Way?

By Emily M.| Last updated on March 16, 2023
does scalp micropigmentation affect hair growth
⏱️ 4 min read

Scalp micropigmentation, commonly known as SMP, is a long-term hair restoration treatment that camouflages head scars, bald patches, thinning hair patches, and receding hairlines. It can also add visual volume and make hair look denser.

Hair loss can have a big negative impact on one’s confidence, self-image, and self-worth. A properly performed SMP treatment can restore them, provided that you are a suitable candidate for micropigmentation.

But with all of that said, does scalp micropigmentation affect hair growth beyond the visual effect? PMUHub is here to answer the question once and for all.

Do Head Tattoos Affect Hair Growth?

The short answer is no, head tattoos usually don’t affect hair growth at all.

When you do a traditional, decorative tattoo on the head, you do need to shave off your hair for the appointment. Afterwards, it grows back as usual, so you need to keep your head shaved smooth in the tattoo area for your ink art to be visible.

With a cosmetic tattoo, you don’t necessarily need to shave your head.

While SMP is usually done on naturally bald, freshly shaved, or closely cropped heads, SMP can also be done on areas with regular hair growth, long hair, light hair (fair or gray), and facial hair.

Now, you might be wondering how you can be sure that a head tattoo (be it traditional or cosmetic) will not interfere with your natural hair growth. The answer is fairly simple: the needles in either case are not inserted deep enough to affect the hair follicles.

With SMP specifically, the needle used for applying the pigments is inserted either next to or directly above the follicles.

The bottom of individual follicles from where the hairs grow is located at 4 mm deep in the skin, on average.

The SMP needles deposit the pigments at the depth of around 2 mm. They never reach the follicles and therefore can’t cause any kind of damage that would affect the natural growth of your hair.

Does Scalp Micropigmentation Affect Hair Growth
Image source: Instagram @scalpculture

Does Scalp Micropigmentation Make Hair Grow?

Not really, at least not by itself. But the hair restoration effect still makes it worth considering as a hair loss solution.

Scalp micropigmentation can make hair look denser than it really is. That’s not genuine restoration, but it is a powerful visual solution, and the effect lasts for several years.

The average time is 3-6 years, but it can persist for up to 8 years or even longer. It depends on a few factors, the most important being:

  • The person’s skin type,
  • The pigments used,
  • The depth at which pigments were deposited,
  • Artist skill level,
  • Size of the treated area,
  • Aftercare routine,
  • Sun exposure,
  • General lifestyle,
  • Overall skin health,
  • Overall metabolism (SMP pigments are made to be broken down over time).

However, for all its great visual help, SMP doesn’t give you a 3D result. The “hair” that you get from a scalp cosmetic tattoo has no texture. If you pass your hand over a micropigmented scalp, it still feels like a hairless head.

Does Scalp Micropigmentation Make Hair Grow
Image source: Instagram @scalpmicropigmentation_

Alternatives That Do Promote Hair Growth

SMP can be combined with hair derma rolling or dermapen microneedling as an additional cosmetic component.

Hair derma rolling has a high chance of restoring your hair growth, so micropigmentation can help you tide over the period of waiting for noticeable results.

Of course, if you’re not a good candidate for SMP, skip it altogether and just do hair derma rolling instead.

Hair derma rolling, a.k.a. derma rolling hair regrowth, uses tiny rolling needles to inflict controlled microtrauma onto the skin of the scalp. This triggers the skin’s natural recovery response:

  • Improved blood flow in the area, meaning more nutrients for the hair follicles
  • Needle contact with the follicles themselves, stimulating the local stem cells to make hair start growing again
  • Increased collagen and elastin production, which makes new hairs thicker, stronger, and healthier

As a bonus effect, the surface of the skin is broken just enough to let hair growth products penetrate into the inner layers and be absorbed extra-efficiently.

If you combine hair derma rolling with a quality hair growth serum or oil, you get even better results, even sooner.

It takes some time, but as long as you are patient and persistent, you’re more or less guaranteed to see dramatic hair growth improvement.


Image source: Instagram @joliejoliestudio

Final Note

If you’re anxious about the potential negative effects of SMP, and that’s the reason you’re researching does scalp micropigmentation affect hair growth, we have a word of encouragement – as long as you choose a good SMP technician, you’re good.

So take the time to do your research, browse technicians in your area, look through their before and after examples, make sure they are experienced, and above all, don’t base your decision on the price.

SMP can be expensive, but it’s an investment that will improve the quality of your life. Trying to save a few hundred dollars on it isn’t worth it.

Cover image source: Freepik

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