ABOVE: Treatment completed by HIS Hair Clinic

Fading is one of the most contentious issues when it comes to scalp micropigmentation. The crazy thing is that it doesn’t need to be, because once you have a real understanding about why pigments fade and what can be done about it, the whole fading issue becomes less of a big deal.

First things first. Lets clarify what type of problem we’re discussing here because pigments fade at two different stages:

Mid and post treatment fading

Okay, this is the fading that occurs between your treatment sessions, and also up to about a year after your final session. This type of fading usually means that your scalp micropigmentation treatment simply isn’t finished yet, and more sessions are required.

More sessions? It sounds simple, but of course I know this can be intensely frustrating and inconvenient for some people. Each session potentially means time off work, travelling time and cost, possibly accommodation cost and (depending on whether you’re covered under your providers guarantee) the cost of the additional sessions themselves.

It is easy to blame your provider and I know it’s irritating. In some cases it may be that the pigments used were too light, but most of the time excessive mid or post treatment fading is the work of your immune system, a variable over which neither you nor your technician has any control.

You need to be able to recognise what constitutes excessive fading. It is perfectly normal for your pigmentation to appear too light between sessions, because your treatment is not yet complete. Expected fading and excessive fading are two different things.

If you’re genuinely experiencing excessive fading, you need more sessions. It really is as straightforward as that, whatever the cause.

Long term fading

This occurs a year or more after your treatment and is caused in part by your own immune system rejecting the pigment, and also by your lifestyle choices.

The number one culprit here is sun exposure. I’m not suggesting you avoid sunlight, but you do need to take sensible precautions, just as you would have done prior to having your treatment. This is easy for those who have always used adequate SPF creams for example, but it may represent something of a culture change for those who enjoy the sun and have never bothered with sunscreen.

The other culprits are products that contain large amounts of alcohol. I’m not referring to the Jagerbombs you demolish on a weekend, but the kind of alcohol you put on your head, like minoxidil lotion for example. Most moisturisers and toners contain some level of alcohol and that’s fine, but products like Rogaine that are particularly high in alcohol should be avoided.

When should you be concerned?

It sounds like an over-simplified answer, but fading of any kind should never be something to lose sleep over. As long as you are using a competent technician and your chosen provider is committed to your satisfaction, you should have nothing to worry about.

Additional sessions are inconvenient and certainly not preferable, but they’re hardly the end of the world when you consider the difference your new look is likely to make to your appearance, your confidence and your general outlook on life.

Common myths

A lot of marketing hype is wrapped around the fading issue, so you need to be vigilant and separate fact from fiction. Here are some popular myths:

  • Our pigments/inks don’t fade
  • Our treatments are completed in one session, guaranteed
  • We use special pigments that intelligently match the colour of your hair
  • Our pigments are three dimensional (treatments can be 3D, but pigments cannot)
  • Our treatments last 20+ years between touch-ups

All of the above are inaccurate and dishonest statements, and are all used to further confuse the fading debate. If you’re unsure, please feel free to contact our team.


    • Forced regulation is the only way that’ll ever happen. There just isn’t enough consensus in the industry for regulation to take place voluntarily. Besides, who would regulate the industry? So-called professionals from the hair transplant arena? They’re the most likely candidates, but they’re also collectively responsible for some of the worst results.


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