How & When Can I Wash My Hair After Scalp Micropigmentation?

By PMUHub Editorial Team| Last updated on May 17, 2024
when can I wash my hair after scalp micropigmentation
⏱️ 4 min read

Scalp micropigmentation, known as SMP for short, is a popular treatment for combating hair loss. While it’s most often used to remedy receding hairlines, it can also be used on existing sparse, thin hair to create an illusion of fullness and volume.

But this might leave you wondering: when can I wash my hair after scalp micropigmentation? It’s not the same as a cosmetic tattoo on a completely bald head, right?

Well, it’s not really all that complicated. We bring you all the info on the do’s and don’ts.

How Does Scalp Micropigmentation Affect Hair Care?

SMP will affect your routine insofar as you’ll have to adapt it until the skin of your scalp completely heals. In terms of hair care, SMP doesn’t affect hair growth or the health of the scalp.

However, you have to follow your artist’s aftercare guidelines to make sure the skin heals well and the pigments are retained properly. This means you’ll have to change your hair care habits for a short period of time.

Specifically, your scalp micropigmentation aftercare routine will mean you can’t get your scalp wet for a while and can’t use harsh products. This period is usually 7-10 days long altogether.

These are the main rules, but for more information, head over to our guide through SMP aftercare.

So When Can I Wash My Hair After Scalp Micropigmentation?

After a few days, but you will have to do it in a specific way for a while.

First, you need to keep your scalp completely dry for 3 days after your appointment. This means no washing, swimming, saunas, steam baths, or sweaty exercise.

After day 3, up to day 7, you can gently wash your head with plain water. No shampoo, no soap of any kind.

After day 7, you can use mild soap to gently wash your head. Still no shampoo, no harsh soaps. Only mild cleaning.

Stay away from any conditioners, oils, or styling products on the scalp for the first week.

After that, it’ll probably be time for another SMP session.

Keep in mind that this timeline is very general. Your artist will tailor your aftercare regime to your specific case, so follow their advice to a T.

The same rules apply after every appointment. Considering that you’ll need 2-3 appointments to achieve your desired result, you can expect to go through the adapted washing cycle 2-3 times.

Only after your scalp has completely healed after the final SMP session can you go back to your normal washing routine. That said, we recommend you use a gentle shampoo, as harsh products, and especially exfoliating ingredients, can speed up the fading of your SMP.

when can i wash my hair after scalp micropigmentation
Image source: Freepik

What to Pay Attention to When Washing Your Hair After Scalp Micropigmentation

You have to pay attention to timing, products, temperature, and method. Let’s explore each in a bit more detail.


First off, as we mentioned, you should wait for at least 7 days before you start washing your hair with anything other than plain water. Your artist will give you more detailed aftercare instructions, so make sure you follow them to the letter.

Products & Water Temperature

When you do wash your hair, remember you must be gentle. Look for a mild, sulfate-free shampoo, and wash in lukewarm water. Hot water opens up the pores, and harsh shampoos can strip the pigment, both of which will cause your scalp tattoo to fade.


It’s also a good idea to avoid scrubbing when shampooing. Instead, use your fingertips to apply your shampoo in a gentle massaging motion.

Then, make sure to rinse your hair and the skin underneath thoroughly to remove all shampoo and avoid leaving any residue on the scalp.

Don’t rub your head after you’re done washing. Pat your scalp dry with a clean towel, and keep your hair dryer on a low or medium setting. If it’s summertime, you might even let your hair air-dry (but not in direct sunlight).

Avoid using any styling tools that generate heat.

What Hair Care Products to Use After Scalp Micropigmentation

After scalp micropigmentation, make a point of choosing hair care products that are gentle and non-irritating to the sensitive skin of the scalp.

Baby shampoo is a good choice if you’re not familiar with hair care ingredients and don’t know where to start.

Avoid using shampoos, conditioners etc. with harsh chemicals, as they can damage the scalp and cause the pigment to fade sooner.

The same applies to hair styling products, such as gels and hairsprays, as they can dry out the scalp and again make your SMP fade faster.

Harsh hair care ingredients include:

  • Sulfates – they strip away the natural oils from your scalp
  • Alcohol – it dries out the skin and causes irritation
  • Fragrances and dyes – they can irritate sensitive skin
  • Parabens – they can cause allergic reactions

Consider looking for products that are specifically formulated for sensitive or colored hair. They’re usually more gentle and might be better suited to your scalp after your SMP sessions are all done.

Opt for natural and organic hair care products that are gentle and nourishing to the skin of the head, and be sure to follow the aftercare instructions provided by your scalp micropigmentation artist.

Here’s a Couple of Good Picks:

Final Notes on Washing Hair After Scalp Micropigmentation

SMP doesn’t affect hair growth or scalp health, but does require a temporary change in hair care habits until the skin completely heals.

Use mild, sulfate-free shampoo and wash with lukewarm water. Pat dry with a clean towel and avoid using styling tools that generate heat.

Avoid harsh hair care ingredients, such as sulfates, alcohol, fragrances, dyes, and parabens. Opt for natural and organic hair care products with gentle and nourishing formulas.

Cover image source: Freepik



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