Edge Scalp Ink

Scalp Micropigmentation Side Effects

Are you someone who’s researched how to rejuvenate your youthful appearance through Scalp Micropigmentation (SMP) but is nervous about the potential side effects?

In this comprehensive guide, we will take you through the need-to-know aspects of scalp micropigmentation side effects, addressing immediate reactions, mild discomforts, and even the rare serious concerns. But fear not, we’ll also provide you with expert guidance on how to minimize these risks, ensuring your SMP experience is as smooth and rewarding as possible.

At Edge Scalp Ink, our skilled SMP technicians prioritize your satisfaction and safety, ensuring that your scalp micropigmentation experience is free from unnecessary complications.

Schedule a free consultation with Edge Scalp Ink today.

Scalp Micropigmentation after treatment SMP

Immediate Side Effects After SMP


Scalp Micropigmentation (SMP) is an exciting journey for men and women looking to regain their confidence by achieving realistic-looking results for thinning hair or balding. But as you embark on this transformative path of a hair tattoo, it’s essential to be prepared for what lies immediately ahead. Right after your SMP procedure, you may experience some immediate side effects that are a natural part of the process, including:

After photo of scalp micropigmentation treatment on black man

Common Skin Reactions

Once you’ve undergone Scalp Micropigmentation (SMP), it’s normal to encounter immediate skin reactions. Your scalp, having just received a cosmetic makeover, may respond with a range of sensations, including inflamed skin, tenderness, and slight swelling around the treated area. This natural response occurs as your skin adjusts to the micro-pigments that have been deposited beneath its surface. 

The good news is that these skin reactions are no cause for alarm and should start to subside within a few hours to a single day after your SMP session. As your skin heals and the pigments settle into place, the redness will gradually fade, and the tenderness and swelling will diminish. 

Minor Pain and Discomfort

In addition to skin reactions, some individuals may experience mild pain or discomfort during and immediately following the SMP procedure. The sensation of discomfort varies from person to person, with some reporting nothing more than a mild stinging or tingling, while others may describe it as slightly more painful.

Over-the-counter pain medicine can provide relief for those who experience it. It’s important to keep in mind that this discomfort is typically short-lived and should begin to subside relatively quickly. Your scalp is a resilient part of your body, and it’s adapting to the changes brought about by SMP.

Mild Side Effects of Scalp Micropigmentation


There are mild scalp micropigmentation side effects that can occur. While not everyone will experience them, it is important to note that there is a possibility they will occur.

These side effects can include symptoms like swollen lymph nodes, redness, itching, scabbing, and more. They are manageable and temporary.

Swollen Lymph Nodes

This occurrence is a natural response of the body to the changes taking place in your scalp. The lymph nodes play a crucial role in the body’s immune system and may become slightly inflamed as they respond to the SMP procedure.

It’s important to understand that this phenomenon is nothing to be overly concerned about, and no medical intervention is typically needed. Swollen lymph nodes, in this context, are a sign that your body is responding to the changes initiated by SMP. In most cases, the swelling will subside on its own as your body adapts to the transformation. 

Redness & Swelling

Redness and swelling are common scalp micropigmentation side effects that can persist for a few days following the procedure. The redness and swelling are your body’s way of signaling that changes are occurring beneath the surface. 

This is a normal phase in the SMP journey and signifies that your scalp is in the process of healing and adapting to the pigmented dots. Over time, these side effects will gradually fade away, leaving you with the desired natural look you’ve been seeking.

Itchy Scalp

Although rare, as your scalp heals during the post-SMP phase, you may experience an itchy scalp. Itching is a common side effect and is usually a sign of the healing process in action. It’s important to resist the urge to scratch the treated area, as doing so can lead to complications.

To alleviate the itching sensation, your SMP artist may provide specific post-procedure care instructions or recommend products to soothe your scalp. Patience is key during this phase, as the itching will subside as your scalp fully heals and the pigments settle into place.

Flaky Skin

Flaking can occur as your scalp heals following SMP. These are normal reactions, and it’s crucial not to pick at the flakes. Picking can disrupt the healing process and affect the final outcome of the procedure.

The flaky skin is part of the natural exfoliation process as your scalp sheds old skin and adjusts to the newly applied pigments. This will gradually disappear as your scalp continues to heal, revealing the beautifully pigmented results beneath.

Dots Turn Blue

In some cases, you may notice that the pigmented dots appear slightly blue or gray immediately after SMP. This can be surprising, but it’s a temporary phenomenon. These initial colors are due to the interaction between the pigments and your skin’s healing process.

The good news is that the blue or gray tint is not permanent. As your skin heals and the pigments settle into place, the color will shift to the desired shade, giving you the natural-looking results you anticipated.

At Edge Scalp Ink, the dots never turn blue because of the pigment we use.

Reduced Sensation

It’s not uncommon to experience temporary changes in sensation on the scalp following SMP, including numbness or tingling in the treated area. While this may be disconcerting initially, it’s important to note that these sensations usually resolve fairly quickl  as your scalp heals and adjusts to the pigmentation.

Pigment Migration

In some instances, you may notice pigment migration, where the pigments shift slightly from their original placement. While this can be concerning, it’s essential to understand that this is generally a minor issue and can often be corrected with touch-up sessions.

Your SMP artist can assess the situation and make the necessary adjustments to ensure your desired outcome is achieved. It’s essential to communicate any concerns you may have with your technician so that they can provide you with the best possible results.

Serious Side Effects of SMP

While SMP is generally considered safe and effective, there are rare instances where more significant concerns may arise. Serious scalp micropigmentation side effects, while uncommon, require your attention and awareness. These may include the risk of infection and allergic reactions, which can pose significant challenges if not addressed promptly.

It’s essential to remember that being informed and proactive is your best defense against these potential complications, ensuring a safe and satisfying SMP experience.

Risk of Infection

While scalp micropigmentation is generally considered a safe procedure, there is a minimal risk of infection if proper aftercare guidelines are not closely followed. It’s essential to be vigilant and aware of the signs that may indicate an infection.

One of the primary signs of infection is excessive redness and swelling in the treated area. These symptoms can be more severe than the initial redness and swelling expected after SMP. Additionally, if you notice any discharge, particularly if it is yellow or greenish in color and has an unpleasant odor, this could be an indication of an infection.

If you suspect that you may have developed an infection following SMP, it’s crucial not to delay seeking medical attention. Infections can escalate quickly and may require prompt treatment with antibiotics or other medications to prevent complications. 

Allergic Reactions

Allergic reactions to the pigments used in scalp micropigmentation are very rare but not impossible. Pigment allergies can manifest in various ways, and it’s essential to be vigilant for any unusual symptoms following your SMP session.

If you experience severe itching, a persistent rash, hives, or any other unusual skin reactions in the treated area, these could be signs of an allergic reaction. It’s important not to dismiss these symptoms, as allergies can escalate quickly and require immediate attention.

Seeking medical attention right away is vital if you suspect an allergic reaction to SMP pigments. A healthcare professional can assess your symptoms, provide appropriate treatment, and recommend steps to mitigate further reactions.

If you think you may be allergic to ink, please address this with your dermatologist.

At Edge Scalp Ink, we can also provide a patch test to check for allergies.

Common Regrets or Concerns With SMP

Along the SMP journey to rejuvenating your scalp with the appearance of closely shaved hair, it’s crucial to acknowledge that common regrets and concerns can arise. These include the inaccurate belief that the process can be completed in a single visit, the impact of choosing the wrong SMP artist, and the pitfalls of setting unrealistic expectations.

Believing the Process Is Completed in a Single Visit

SMP is an art that aims to replicate the look of natural hair follicles on the scalp. Achieving this goal often necessitates multiple sessions. During each treatment session, tiny dots are tattooed on the scalp, gradually building up the desired density and appearance of thicker hair. The number of sessions required can vary based on individual factors such as the extent of hair loss, skin type, and the desired outcome.

Be patient and realistic when undergoing SMP. Multiple sessions are typically needed to ensure that the scalp pigmentation achieves the desired look, mimicking natural hair color and growth. Understanding this from the outset can help you manage your expectations and appreciate the gradual but ultimately transformative process that SMP offers.

Choosing the Wrong SMP Artist

One of the most critical decisions you’ll make on your SMP journey is selecting the right SMP artist. Unfortunately, one of the most common regrets is choosing an inexperienced or unqualified artist, which can lead to disappointing outcomes that look unnatural or uneven.

To avoid this regret, it’s imperative to invest time in researching and selecting a skilled and reputable SMP artist. Look for artists with a proven track record of delivering natural-looking results and a portfolio that aligns with your desired outcome. Read reviews, seek referrals, and schedule consultations to assess their qualifications and expertise. 

Setting Unrealistic Expectations

While SMP can work wonders in creating a natural-looking appearance, it’s essential to have a clear understanding of what it can and cannot achieve. SMP is not a cure for hair loss, and it cannot replicate the exact texture or appearance of longer hair. It is a cosmetic procedure that aims to provide the illusion of a closely shaven head of hair, and its success lies in its ability to create a convincing appearance.

To avoid dissatisfaction, it’s crucial to discuss your expectations openly with your SMP artist during the consultation process. They can provide you with a realistic understanding of what SMP can deliver based on your unique circumstances.

How to Prevent SMP Side Effects


Scalp micropigmentation treatment holds the promise of a renewed and confident look for those facing hair loss, alopecia, or wanting to cover up scarring. While the scalp micropigmentation procedure itself is generally safe, like any cosmetic treatment, there are steps you can take to ensure a smooth and hassle-free experience. Understanding how to minimize potential side effects is crucial, as it empowers you to proactively safeguard your well-being and the integrity of your SMP results. Here’s how you can help yourself:

Choose a Qualified SMP Artist

The first and most crucial step in preventing SMP side effects is selecting a qualified SMP artist. The expertise and skill of your chosen artist will significantly impact the safety and success of your procedure. To minimize the risk of side effects, research and select an experienced and certified SMP artist. A certified SMP artist has undergone specific training and adheres to industry standards, reducing the likelihood of complications during and after the procedure. 

Opt For Pre-Screening to Ensure You’re a Good Candidate

Before embarking on your SMP journey, it’s essential to undergo pre-screening to determine if you are a suitable candidate for the procedure. Consulting with your SMP artist during this phase allows you to address any potential concerns or contraindications that may affect the outcome. Factors such as your skin type, current medical conditions, and previous treatments can influence your eligibility for SMP. 

Avoid Sun Exposure After the Procedure

Protecting your scalp from sun exposure is a crucial post-SMP care step. Sun exposure can lead to pigment fading and potential complications, compromising the results of your SMP procedure. To prevent these issues, it’s essential to shield your scalp from the sun’s harmful UV rays for at least a few weeks after SMP. We recommend wearing a hat or using sunscreen when you’re outdoors.

Monitor Your Scalp’s Reaction

Vigilance is key to preventing side effects after SMP. It’s crucial to keep a close eye on how your scalp is reacting to the procedure and to follow post-procedure care instructions diligently. Pay attention to any changes in color, texture, or sensation on your scalp. If you notice any unusual symptoms or reactions, promptly consult your SMP artist or a healthcare professional for guidance.

Don’t Wash Your Scalp

In the days following your SMP procedure, it’s essential to adhere to the recommended guidelines regarding scalp hygiene. Avoid washing your scalp for the specified time frame provided by your SMP artist. This allows your scalp to heal properly and ensures that the pigments settle into place as intended. Washing too soon can disrupt the healing process and may lead to complications.

Avoid Heavy Exercise

Strenuous physical activity, including heavy exercise, should be avoided immediately after SMP. Sweating can potentially lead to complications, and it’s essential to give your scalp the time it needs to heal undisturbed. Opt for lighter forms of exercise during the initial recovery period and gradually resume your regular routine as advised by your SMP technician. 

When to Call a Doctor About SMP Side Effects


While scalp micropigmentation treatment is generally a safe and well-tolerated procedure, there may be instances when you should seek medical attention promptly, including:

  • Severe Pain: If you experience severe and unrelenting pain following your SMP procedure, it is not normal and should not be ignored. Severe pain could be an indication of an underlying issue that requires medical evaluation.
  • Signs of Infection: Although rare, infections can occur after SMP if proper aftercare guidelines are not followed. Infections can escalate quickly and may require antibiotics or other medications for effective treatment.
  • Unusual and Persistent Side Effects: If you experience symptoms that do not improve over time, such as severe itching, a persistent rash, hives, or any other unexpected reactions, it’s essential to seek medical attention. These symptoms may indicate an allergic reaction or underlying issues that require professional evaluation.

Choose Edge Scalp Ink and Avoid SMP Side Effects

Your choice of provider can make all the difference in the success of your scalp micropigmentation. At Edge Scalp Ink, we prioritize our clients’ safety and satisfaction throughout the SMP journey. Our team of experienced SMP artists is dedicated to delivering exceptional results while minimizing the risk of side effects by providing expert guidelines and setting realistic expectations.

Don’t let potentially rare scalp micropigmentation side effects deter you from achieving the natural look of hair that you’ve been longing for. Contact Edge Scalp Ink today to consult with our SMP professionals.