How long does scalp micropigmentation last? | A guideline

March 21, 2022
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How long does scalp micropigmentation last?


Scalp Micropigmentation is taking over the male hair loss industry and it is no wonder why. With the plethora of benefits and minimal downsides, the treatment is being used by everyday people to the most popular celebrities.

Whilst it is is a tattoo and a permanent treatment, it is subject to fading. Those with traditional tattoos will already know this. In this article, we outline how long scalp micropigmentation lasts and key points to increase longevity.

What is scalp micropigmentation?

Scalp Micropigmentation treatment is a hair loss solution that replicates hair follicles using ink impressions. Often people use SMP for their head, eyebrows, or facial hairs. The scalp micropigmentation process is unable to treat scalp baldness completely, although it can disguise it ridiculously well. The treatment is perfect for any length of hair, whether it be long or short and many different circumstances for the loss of hair.

The amount of time scalp micropigmentation lasts can vary. Although the micro pigment remains on the skin the colour fades with time and needs replenishment for maximum effect.

It is important to note that scalp micropigmentation is purely cosmetic, meaning it does not create nor destroy your hair follicles, so it will not induce growth for your scalp, but just give the impression of a full head of hair.

It also means you do not have to worry about the procedure affecting your healthy follicles, unlike a hair transplant.

How long does scalp micropigmentation last?

The benefits

  • Long term solution
  • Little to no maintenance upon completion
  • Fast procedure
  • Non-invasive
  • Cost-effective
  • 100% effective solution
  • Short recovery period
  • Safe procedure
  • Customisable appearance

Does Scalp micropigmentation fade?

Although Scalp Micropigmentation is a permanent treatment, it will naturally fade over time. The amount of the fade can differ depending on your lifestyle, immune system and many other factors.

Usually, most of the time people are asked to return every three to seven years. There are no specific durations for performing the top-up, it is up to you. You can come back for some alterations to your hair colour or hairline.

Why does it fade?

The primary cause of discolouring is exposure to ultraviolet radiation/the sun, as well as an immune system. The higher exposure of pigment on the scalp to UV rays, the quicker the treatment fades out.

This is inevitable however it is possible to take practical measures to reduce the severity of the fading, such as wearing sun cream or wearing a hat during excessively sunny periods, of course, you do not want a white scalp though!

The natural exfoliation of the skin increases the possibility of fade. The quality of inks plays an important role. Visionary Scalps use inks specially formulated for scalp micro-pigments, therefore ensuring longevity.

Another reason scalp pigmentation lasts depends on the pigmentation and needle application. Some people prefer darker colours and larger dots which usually make the fading process take a bit longer. Those with darker skin tones may not need top-ups as soon as those with lighter skin tones due to the fading being less obvious, but this is down to the individual.

How do I stop it from fading?

You can not stop the hair tattoo from fading, but you can slow down the time it takes by implementing a few easy things into your lifestyle. The most effective way to slow fading would be to protect your scalp from sun exposure. This is probably the single factor that has a significant impact on the fading process. Another is your immune system. Neither of these can be avoided, but some other ways you can slow down fading are:

  • Ensure your scalp is moisturised (easy to include in your daily routine, and SPF moisturiser is 2 birds with 1 stone)
  • Keep UV ray exposure to a minimum (use high SPF rated lotions or wear a hat)
  • Try to avoid excessively sweating
  • Follow your aftercare guideline strictly


By following the aftercare guidelines given to you by your artist you will ensure long-lasting effects and maximum results.

What does SMP look like when it fades?

With the gradual removal of dots months after treatment, your hair may start to look 'thinner' or less dense. This will happen over different periods for different people and depends on what measures you putting in place to prevent the fading.

What does SMP look like when it fades?

How long does scalp micropigmentation last?

Scalp micropigmentation has always been considered a permanent procedure, after all, it is a tattoo. The treatment is expected to last 3-4 years or more before needing a top-up. SMP begins lightening within 3 months (which is natural) and sometimes requires an additional touch up every 6 to 8 months, but this is purely preference.

How long does scalp micropigmentation last?

Top up sessions

Once you feel your SMP needs to return to its former glory you can book in for a single top-up session to get your fresh look back.


Scalp micropigmentation is an excellent solution to hair loss. It is not only highly effective but also cost-effective when compared to a hair transplant, which can not guarantee results considering the cost.

To ensure your treatment lasts as long as possible, make sure you are following our tips of keeping exposure to UV rays to a minimum and following your aftercare guideline strictly.

We hope we have cleared up your question as to how long does scalp micropigmentation last, but if you have any more questions please get in touch with us - we are always happy to help. Why not also take advantage of our free consultation while you are at it?

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