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SMP Aftercare Do’s and Don’ts

  • Post published:September 7, 2022

Ok, you just got home after having your scalp micropigmentation procedure, your mind is swirling and you’re excited and nervous about the results. You can’t stop looking in the mirror. You’re wondering, ‘Will my fiends and family notice? Will I still be happy with this new look tomorrow? When is this redness going to subside? Can I shower tonight? When can I workout again? And wait, what the heck did I do with those aftercare instructions my technician gave me?” Rest assured this is all normal, and in this blog we can discuss Ahead Ink’s specific instructions as well as some general do’s and don’ts of scalp micropigmentation aftercare.

Firstly, you should always follow the instructions given to you by your particular SMP clinic/technician as closely as possible. Why is that? Well, every clinic might have slightly different instructions and good reasons for developing them. These instructions were either developed by the technician who is doing your procedure or the person that trained them. So it’s likely that years of thought went into them. And following them exactly not only increases your odds of a good outcome, but also gives peace of mind that if something goes wrong your technician will stand behind the work because you did your part by following them. You also eliminate the possibility that something could wrong and compromise the result entirely. 

So what can go wrong with an SMP procedure? Scalp Micropigmentation is not an exact science, and there are sometimes issues with pigment retention—if carried out properly, that is the number one, biggest risk you face. So how do we retain pigment? Firstly, you need to understand that your scalp goes through some trauma being poked with a needle thousands of times. These are tiny, superficial injections, but they do break the skin nonetheless so the dermis is wounded and needs to heal. If the skin doesn’t heal properly the pigment that gets deposited, and which mimics a shaved hair follicle, can run out and is therefor no longer visible. So we want to give your scalp optimal and quick healing. 

Most SMP clinics will more than likely tell you no sweating and no showering or shampoo for a certain period of time. This can range from days to months. The latter is a bit extreme as your scalp should be healed over within a few days to a week’s time. We realize people have lives and need to return to normal activity asap, so Ahead Ink has developed a system of aftercare that is less conservative but still provides ample time and optimal healing. 

Can I workout after having SMP?
Let’s discuss sweating. You’re going to sweat. It’s a normal human function that regulates body temperature and eliminates and filters toxins out. So we want you to sweat. What we wish to avoid is intense, heavy sweating. This means don’t have your SMP done, wake up the next morning and start training for a triathlon. Also, don’t sit in a sauna. A light workout is fine so long as you’re not drenched in sweat afterwards. So basically use common sense here! We also don’t want you getting direct sun exposure on your scalp as this can increase risk of sweating and sunburn (which can dry out your skin and increase risk of flaking). A hat is fine if you need to be outdoors. We recommend you avoid intense sweating for at least 3-5 days post procedure and no swimming in a chlorine-treated pool. 

Should I clean my scalp after having SMP?
So let’s discuss showering. You can and should shower! You can get your scalp wet. We do not want you to do any heavy scrubbing or use shampoo for two days post procedure. You may wonder, “Won’t my scalp be dirty and increase the risk of something going wrong with the pigment?” Not to worry, Ahead Ink provides an aftercare kit that includes a topical cleanser which we’ll discuss in a bit. Once you resume using shampoo we recommend getting an all-natural, mild product that is paraben and sulfate free. If you’re unsure what to buy, a baby shampoo is always a safe bet. 

What products can I use to help heal after SMP?
Now to discuss Ahead Ink’s aftercare kit. We use a two-system product from a company called Membrane. These products are all-natural and were developed specifically for use post and during SMP procedures. The first product we provide is a cleansing MicroTonic. From the Membrane web site:

“MicroTonic is a soothing and refreshing natural toner that cleans and soothes traumatized tissue, and is versatile enough for all skin types.  By lightly bathing the skin with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory ingredients, MicroTonic aids in recovery and repair of tissue while the skin is healing. Keeping the skin clean and hydrated both during and after the procedure will help to minimize any discomfort.  MicroTonic’s specialized formula is custom blended, using the finest and freshest ingredients from around the world. It combines the unique properties of honey, chamomile, plantain, comfrey, oats, and other select ingredients into a ‘power punch’ for wound healing. With its beautiful golden appearance and light fragrance (derived from its natural ingredients rather than chemical additives), MicroTonic provides an immediate feeling of freshness.”

We recommend our clients begin using this immediately and should use it once per day for at least three days. When they finish cleansing and the scalp is dry we provide a salve called MicroBalm to be applied also once per day. Also from the Membrane web site:

“This 100% natural concentrated healing salve serves as an important tool to optimize the outcome of all tattoo procedures (I.e- PMU/ SMP, and body tattoos). The power packed, all-natural formula supports the delicate healing process and maintains the skin’s existing nutrients by adding the healing properties of selected herbs, oils, and other ingredients. Combined, these elements help to nourish and protect the skin by providing a clean and stabilizing, non pore clogging, breathable barrier. MicroBalm original formula is basically food for the skin – its vibrant green colour reflects the freshness of its ingredients, particularly the energy-packed chlorophyll.
As a post-care healing ointment, it has been infused with hand-selected, fresh, natural and organic ingredients, which aid in calming inflammation and soothing the skin by reducing itching and providing optimal hydration. 
MicroBalm original formula provides antioxidants, antimicrobial and antibacterial properties— ensuring that all recovery needs are met with a single product.”

As stated earlier, every SP clinic will give slightly different aftercare instructions. We do recommend you follow the as closely as possible to ensure a good result.