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Future of Scalp Micropigmentation

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It is no secret that there is still a lot of controversy about scalp micropigmentation, even though this industry has increasingly evolved into an accepted practice in the last few years. It is a genuine desire of mine to understand and predict the future of this service industry and to drive forward with beginning steps to regulate same.

There are several sociological changes that may explain this dramatic shift to the male appearance that has no reason to slow down.  An increased number of men employed in the service sector, increased competition in the workplace, aging baby boomers eager to stay stylish, and the young generation influenced by changing standards of male beauty. A heightened personal interest in male allure and grooming has been increasingly fueled by the culture of high-profile male role models, such as celebrity sports legends and actors.  We men are now feeling the same exhausting pressure that women have felt for decades.Changing lifestyles are driving men to opt for surgery for cosmetic procedures, dental enhancements and/or teeth whitening, and numerous other self-esteem enhancements.

Before we leave the house each day, we have likely undergone our personalized ritual, including the daily shower and shave, clean and pressed clothes, shined shoes. Men whom have not yet decided on scalp pigmentation, will undergo the application of topical hair loss products. Sometimes this daily ritual can last up to an hour each morning. Increasingly, men are also taking a more holistic view of their health, and their ritual may now include a periodic massage and trip to the male spa. But our concern with our appearance is hardly anything new; the boom in male grooming products has been expanding and growing for all of recorded history.Male grooming products steadily show record increases.

The scalp pigmentation industry is actively progressing and will continue to do so. Heightened awareness has given the scalp pigmentation candidate a new choice for hair loss. This is an exciting time for this industry, but not always in a good way. Unfortunately, the battle between providers to achieve scale to survive in this new global market can produce victims (the recipient with a poor result). In 2010, I saw a sudden influx of dozens of new scalp pigmentation providers, but within less than a year’s time, only a handful remained.

REGULATED INDUSTRY I see and support a future regulated industry comprised of the following:

  • Approved and mandated training facilities:

The technician performing scalp pigmentation must have completed a state-approved and mandated training course. In addition, the future technician must obtain specific apprenticeship training or experience at the table (hands on) under the supervision of an appropriately trained or experienced scalp pigmentation artist for a minimum period of three (3 months). In addition to the technique, training must include required instruction in local health laws and sterilization practices.

  • More stringent state licensing reflecting the above;
  • Approved scalp-only FDA pigments;
  • Strict Standard of Care Guidelines;
  • International Scalp Pigmentation Board/Affiliation

PREVAILING PROVIDERS The prevailing predominant providers will offer the following in addition to the items required for a regulated industry:

  • Continuing research and technology to enhance the scalp pigmentation industry;
  • Scalp Pigmentation will be their only service;
  • Pre scalp pigmentation counseling and informed consent:

Detailed consent form listing details about the procedure and possible complication and/or actual projected outcomes should be signed by the recipient.  The consent form should specifically state the limitations of the procedure and if more procedures are needed for proper results, it should be clearly stated.  Recipient should be provided with adequate opportunity to seek information and ask questions through a proper consultation.

  • Recipient candidacy:

Scalp pigmentation recipients with poor overall health, scalp/skin conditions or those expecting unrealistic expectations should be avoided as candidates. Providers will carefully screen each recipient and practice turning down clients for the long-term benefit of the client. Providers must cease accepting all potential candidates to enhance their bottom line only.

  • Will not practice misleading or deceptive advertising

It is my firm belief that a regulated industry will force providers to step up to the plate and help alleviate misleading and deceptive advertising claims that seems to be running rampant.  In the meantime, it is up to this industry to self-police.  Potential scalp pigmentation candidates should also call out misleading and deceptive claims on the part of providers.

I have been diligently pressing forward with many of these points for the past few years. I have recently opened the M. Weston Educational Center for scalp pigmentation training programs only.  These courses will be offered to applicants whom I feel will ultimately make successful and superior technicians. I feel a professional and personal duty to this rapidly-growing industry to provide the proper training on the proper equipment to ultimately offer the scalp pigmentation recipient the best option in technicians.

I have already voluntarily submitted my SMART Pigments℠ to the FDA for preliminary testing. While the FDA moves slowly, I have been anxiously waiting for their response for the next steps to take in making these pigments the benchmark for future regulations.  Currently, the FDA does not regulate tattoo or permanent cosmetics pigments, only some of their ingredients that are shared with the cosmetics industry.  So this is a difficult undertaking to push the FDA to move on such a regulation that has not had similar regulation in the past.

The scalp pigmentation industry will continue to grow and most likely will become the foremost option for hair loss. But the industry providers must band and work together. We all need to take steps to insure that the potential recipient receives the most accurate and honest information available.

 

©2014 Mark A. Weston

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