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Scalp Micropigmentation: A Hair Raising Solution to Baldness!

Scalp micropigmentation is the process of replicating the appearance of shaven hair by applying thousands of tiny pigment deposits into the scalp. When applied correctly, the scalp appears to have a full head of hair, shaved to a very short height. Scalp micropigmentation is a form of permanent cosmetics.

Scalp micropigmentation is one of the fastest growing solutions for male hair loss. Scalp micropigmentation is also known as micro scalp pigmentation, SMP, MSP, hair follicle simulation or replication and tattooing. Whatever you call it, the reasons for its popularity is that scalp micropigmentation is non-invasive, fast and permanent. Scalp micropigmentation or as we’ll call it, Hair Follicle Simulation, is the only truly permanent hair loss solution to offer instantaneous, guaranteed results.

The inventor of Hair Follicle Simulation or (HFS) is difficult to ascertain as many clinics boast to have been in business longer than they actually have. Some believe the process was developed by a hair clinic in 2002, and later commercialized. However, people have been experimenting with hair tattooing or replication techniques for some time so it’s tough to know.

Over the years, HFS has grown in popularity as a solution to male pattern baldness and alopecia, camouflage scarring or blemishes from transplants or to blend birthmarks into the scalp. Men and an increasing number of women are choosing this procedure in favor of traditional remedies such as hair transplant surgery, concealers, hair systems and chemical-based solutions.

The Process

Hair Follicle Simulation consists of applying small dots of pigments into the skin. Rather than filling in the scalp, this method uses a machine to gradually build up the area, creating definition and softness for a natural look. HFS has advantages as it is suitable for a variety of skin types. The process usually requires 2 to 3 sessions, each lasting at least an hour or so.  The process is repeated until the technician and the client are satisfied and cannot distinguish the scalp micropigmentation from the surrounding real hair.

Clients often experience a small amount of discomfort during the early stages of the session. However, any discomfort seems to ease as the session progresses. Sometimes, though, the side of the scalp may be a bit more sensitive and more of a challenge as this area has a dense collection of nerve endings.

Once pigments are applied, the skin needs to heal. Typically, recovery of one week is long enough so the skin closes and the pigments are assimilated. Often there is a minimum of one week between each session; however, many technicians leave several weeks between the second and third sessions to allow for pigments to fully settle and to determine if a third session is necessary.

HFS Side Effects

Hair Follicle Simulation addresses the visual symptom of hair loss and not the underlying medical reason. Aside from tenderness, HFS has few side effects. Clients should follow the post-procedure instructions following each session to ensure optimal results.


Even though HFS is a permanent cosmetic, it will fade over time due to skin type and environmental conditions. Even though pigments will likely remain visible for up to 20 years or more, touch ups will be needed. Clients often get refreshed every 3 to 5 years.

To get the most out of HFS, the scalp should be kept in good condition. Daily cleansing and moisturizing is recommended as well as the use of sunscreen. Any products with alcohol should be avoided as it is a drying agent for the skin.


The cost of HFS  treatments can range from $1200 to more than $6000, depending on the session. Treating scars is often on the low end of the range, while treating severe alopecia being at the high end of the range.


Only certified technicians should apply scalp micropigmentation or HFS. Technicians should complete a certified course to ensure proper technique and optimal results.

NPM offers a certified Hair Follicle Simulation course, providing a thorough review of the equipment needed and actual hands-on work. Students will master the art of HFS while using the NPM ORON-57 permanent makeup machine and learning the tips and tricks from professional instructors. This course is perfect for the permanent makeup professional wanting to add HFS to their service portfolio or anyone wanting to learn the fundamentals of permanent cosmetics. Visit the NPM website to learn more about certified NPM trainings.

For more on an exciting career in HFS and permanent makeup, contact NPM and check out our onsite or online trainings that will help you kick start your career. Visit our permanent makeup trainings page or contact us for more information. Please note: NPM permanent makeup trainings are regulated by your individual state so contact NPM for additional information.