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Why do I get a flaky Scalp after my SMP sessions?

Occasionally I get asked “why is my scalp so flaky after my SMP sessions?” Let’s explore this question.


There are a few reasons why your scalp might become flaky a few days after your SMP session.

SMP and a Dry Scalp

One reason is that during your SMP session your scalp receives thousands of tiny micro abrasions. These tiny micro abrasions, which deposit the pigment into the upper layer of the dermis, are essentially causing superficial damage to the skin. This causes the blood to congregate into that area in order to begin the healing process.

Over the coming days these tiny micro abrasions will dry and possibly flake off adding to the volume of naturally occurring dry skin turnover.

(It’s important to note that not all scalps are the same, everyone will react differently, and we can only go on the average individual.)

All SMP recipients will have a certain amount of redness after each SMP session. However some scalps will go more red and for longer than others. Some people may find that their scalp itches a few days after their SMP session. Most of these things on average are all quite normal, so do not panic, just follow the aftercare and try to keep the scalp as clean as possible.

Whilst some people will naturally have a minimal amount of dry skin, others might have an excessive amount of dry and flaky skin based on their healing and skin chemistry.

Often oily skin if not washed on a regular basis will cause a build up of oil, which in turn dries on the scalp and can appear as dry, flaky skin.

Regardless of your scalp condition I find the following protocols help to reduce dryness and flaky skin in the weeks following your SMP.

Excessively oily scalps can become excessively dry due to not being able to wash the scalp with soap for seven days after the treatment.

Cleanse the scalp 

Immediately after your SMP session it’s imperative that you do not get the scalp wet for at least 3 days. After 3 days you can wet the scalp with warm water but no soap, shampoo or conditioner for another 5-7 days. If an individual is used to washing their scalp on a daily basis with shampoo the sudden change to not washing hair can cause a build up of dry skin, as the skin is not being exfoliated as before. This in turn can turn into dry, flaky skin.

If you’re someone who is suffering from an excessively dry scalp I will recommend using a very simple natural cleanser after four days to help prevent a build up of extra dry skin. However I usually like to make this decision when seeing my client for their second session.

Keep it moisturized

I always encourage my client’s to keep their scalp moist during the healing period. Recommending a natural, light, simple moisturizer or oil. There is a plethora of moisturizers available, however avoid anything with alcohol in it as this will eventually dry out the skin.

I personally tell clients to use a tiny amount of coconut oil or olive oil.

SMP artist

After Care

Following a good aftercare routine will help to ensure a quality end result.

If you have any further questions regarding scalp micropigmentation or have been thinking about getting SMP contact

Rob James is a Vancouver Scalpmicropigmentation artist working

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