Frequently Asked Questions
About the Treatments & Options
Q: What is Scalp Micropigmentation?
A: Scalp Micropigmentation is a hair follicle replication procedure which helps individuals who are experiencing hair loss, or who may have scarring on their heads that they wish to cover up.
Our highly-trained practitioners utilize meticulously designed colors and a unique application method to mimic hair follicles in the scalp. The procedure is a completely non-intrusive treatment and requires no surgery whatsoever. Our procedure boasts vastly lower costs and much lower risks compared to alternative hair replacement medications and practices.
Q: What is the difference between Scalp Micropigmentation and a regular head tattoo?
A: Although some people may label Scalp Micropigmentation as a hair tattoo, it’s actually quite different. Firstly, and perhaps most importantly, is the skill of the practitioner. Our practitioners have treated thousands of clients and are able to skillfully replicate a 3D look of natural hair. Needles are firmly embedded into the dermis which is one of the more controlled layers of the skin. This is what prevents the dispersion of any ink. Also, the needles used for this technique are single-use needles that are three quarters smaller than any available tattooing needle.
Q: Can Scalp Micropigmentation disguise scars?
A: Absolutely. Scar camouflage is a service offered by Hairline Ink.
Q: What is the cost of this treatment?
A: Prices can vary, but generally speaking from $1,200 for a scar cover-up up through to around $3,600 for an individual who virtually has no hair at all and needs a more extensive treatment. The majority of our customers experiencing male pattern baldness spend between $1,800 – $3,200 and have a horseshoe pattern that requires a hairline, top, sides and blending. All treatments are priced individually based on the exact requirements of each client.
Q: How long will the treatment take?
A: Treatments will take roughly 3-4 hours for the first session, then around 2-3 hours for the second session. Some clients may request or require a third session to complete their treatment, and session time is around 1 – 2.5 hours, depending on the amount of work needing to be done.
Q: What are the sizes of the needles which are used, and what is the pain level felt?
A: The needle that is used is a quarter of the size of a 3-round needle used by companies that implant pigments using permanent makeup guns. This gives us the advantage of creating actual follicles that look the same as hair. Other companies have no choice but to create a shade or fill that gives the illusion of hair. Our needle can make the dot of a small pin. If you look closely at the impressions, it is impossible to tell the difference between the hair and the impressions. When we talk to our clients, they say they would rate the pain level at 2-5 out of 10. Both women and men who have scarring from hair transplants will often have a little more discomfort due to sensitivity of the area.
Q: Can you explain what occurs when the pigmentation needle machine goes into the scalp?
A: The follicle shaped needle implants go directly into the epidermis, not reaching the dermis. The skin is made of a mixture of cross fibers that have lumen within the cells. The lumens allows the ink to deposit into the dermis and stay consistent in size and shape.
Q: Can you explain precisely how the pigment is injected?
A: The ink is injected using a specialized rotary machine, similar to a permanent makeup machine. The difference is the stroke, how we lay the ink, and the depth at which we implant the ink. We are able to implant ink on the top layer of skin because we inject more ink. The excess ink will fade away while the rest will remain. This leaves behind a small follicle shaped impression that will not alter in size due to the fact that it is sitting on the dermis. The epidermis has blood flow and over time, the ink will spread, becoming one shade and blending into each other. This is why you see many men and women actually ending up with a slight shade on their head 1-2 years later when done by other companies.
About the Appearance
Q: Will people be able to tell I have had this treatment done?
A: The look we provide is unbelievably realistic. If you don’t tell them, they won’t know. Not one client that we have treated has ever reported an incident where someone could tell. Our procedure has the age-renewing aesthetics to make the hair of someone who is balding look younger and improve their overall appearance. Just take a look at our client before and after pictures to see real examples.
Q: Will this work on light-skinned people with blonde or light brown hair?
A: Absolutely. Every member of our All-Star team of practitioners is a true artist, and can custom blend colors precisely to match your individual hair color, whether blonde, brown, red or black.
Q: How will I look immediately after the procedure?
A: Following the treatment, there is a redness for anywhere between 2-10 hours, depending on your skin type. The pigment’s initial color will appear darker than the “cured” result, but don’t worry, getting to your ideal color will only take up to 1-2 weeks.
Q: Will the pigment used change colors or fade at all?
A: We use a specially formulated ink that is custom created for Scalp Micropigmentation — it is not tattoo ink. As a result, there is no risk of the color turning blue or green.
Q: Does the end result look like a tattoo?
A: Although this is a form of tattooing, the process and end result are far different than that of a regular tattoo. Both our technique and our equipment are specifically engineered to create an end result that appears natural.
About Getting Started
Q: I see that Hairline Ink is located in New York, Chicago, & San Antonio. Do I have to go to travel to you to get treatment?
A: Currently, we are only accepting clients at our locations in New York, Chicago, & San Antonio. If you need assistance traveling to us, we can connect you with a partner travel agency. Alternatively, ask us about our trusted referral partners in other cities & we’ll point you in the right direction!
Q: How quickly can I make a face-to-face appointment?
A: Consultation times depends on availability and your proximity to our clinic. If you are not located close to our clinic, we can arrange a telephone consultation.
Q: How soon after the initial consultation can the treatment be scheduled?
A: After you have had an initial consultation, we can move forward and book your first treatment. Appointment times are arranged based on availability. We will always aim to accommodate all of our clients’ schedules.
Q: What is the average time between sessions?
A: We always suggest to our clients to wait at least six days after their initial treatment to have a second session. Every procedure package comes with at least two treatments. This secondary procedure ensures optimal results while allowing for minor adjustments to the hairline and color after the product has had the necessary time to cure.
Q: How many hairs are placed in each session?
A: Clients generally receive around fourteen thousand tattooed hair follicles, using our point-by-point placement system. This is the general treatment that includes the hairline, front, top and crown with a blending.
About the Aftercare
Q: If I am unhappy after my treatment, or if I need touch-ups or think I require additional work, how much would this cost me?
A: Roughly 60% of all clients will need a third-session within 1 year of their treatment. If after the initial 30 days of healing you would like a 3rd session to add more density, darker pigment, or to make any adjustments to your treatment, it is a flat cost of either $700 for 1-2.5 hours or for more extensive work taking 2.5+ hours it will be $1,050. If you would like an additional 4th touchup, we will provide it to you free of cost within the first year after your treatment.
Q: How long is it until the procedure fades, discolors, or looks less realistic? How much does it cost to have this corrected?
A: Many clients go years without having any touch ups. Following post-care procedures and keeping your scalp from overexposure to the elements helps ensure longer-lasting results. Clients are highly encouraged to wear SPF 50+ sunscreen on their scalp anytime you plan to be in the sun.
Q: How long will my head take to fully heal after the procedure?
A: We provide specific post-care protocols that should be followed for the first week and thereafter. Your body’s own healing ability will determine when your scalp is fully healed. You will be a little red the day of the procedure, but you will almost certainly be able to live normally and even go to work the day after. For clients who are getting SMP after using a hair system, hair fibers, or topicals, expect 24-72 hours of redness due to sensitive skin.
Q: Do you offer a satisfaction guarantee?
A: Here at Hairline Ink, client satisfaction is our main concern. We provide two sessions with every package. If you would like a 3rd session to add density, darker pigment, or to make any adjustments to your treatment, it is a flat cost of either $700 for 1-2.5 hours or for more extensive work taking 2.5+ hours it will be $1,050. If you would like an additional 4th touchup, we will provide it to you free of cost within the first year after your treatment.
Q: I want my hair to look clean when it is shaved with a razor. Will I need my entire head done with Scalp Micropigmentation in order to get this look?
A: The look that we create for you is one that will be blended into the hair that you already have. During your consultation or after reviewing your photos, we will be able to advise you about the exact length to keep your hair in order to achieve the best look.
Q: Do I need to shave my head before the procedure?
A: Every case is different. After viewing images of your scalp, a member of our All-Star team of practitioners and their care team will make sure you are prepared and fully informed before your procedure. Generally we encourage our clients to not shave for 72 hours before their treatment, so that we can find where your existing and remaining hair grows. This is important for us to blend into your existing hair properly.
Q: How long do I have to wait after receiving my treatment before I can shave with a razor?
A: At the very least, one week. Your scalp is still in the healing process for at least one week after this treatment. We also recommend an electric foil shaver for the first few shaves after your treatment.
Q: What if my scalp is feeling dry?
A: If we notice your scalp is dry, we will recommend a moisturizing regimen to start one week after your procedure.
Q: When am I able to expose my head to sunlight?
A: You should wait at least 30 days after your procedure date before exposing your scalp to the sunlight without a hat or sunscreen. We recommend that you use a sunscreen with SPF 50, or a cap / hat for any time that you are out in the first month.
Q: I noticed a slight shine, what anti-shine product would you recommend?
A: Max Anti-Shine Gel, Milk of Magnesia, and Headblade Head-lube Matte Lotion are all highly recommended and really effective choices to combat any issues with shine.
Q: What should I be cautious of in the days following my treatment?
A: In the first four days following your treatment, you must avoid getting your scalp wet. This includes both washing the treatment areas and sweating in the treatment areas. When showering, ensure that neither water nor shampoo does not reach your scalp. Avoid activities that may cause you to sweat, such as running, weightlifting, and over-exposure to the sun. Going about normal daily work and home activities in the first four days is fine, so long as they do not cause you to sweat on the treatment area.
Q: My job requires physical work, will sweating interfere with my healing?
A: Although you can’t completely control sweating, we recommend waiting at least four days before doing things that cause little to now sweating, if possible. After 10 days, any level of sweating should not affect your healing at all.