Scalp micropigmentation for black men

Following my recent post about a video I’d found showing SMP on dark skin, I promised to post a more comprehensive article on how scalp micropigmentation can work for black men specifically, as men of colour have slightly different requirements. This post is aimed primarily at those of African American, Afro Caribbean and African origin, although some of the advice here also applies to those with Asian, Middle Eastern or Hispanic skin tones.

Why is the process different?

It isn’t different exactly, its more to do with the exact method of application and the style choices available. Black men are statistically more likely to request a sharper, bolder hairline for example. Their natural hair is thicker than caucasian hair, therefore the follicle replications should be slightly larger, and the pigment shades should be darker in almost every case.

For men who have worn tight hairstyles such as cornrows, the risk of traction alopecia is higher. Those with this condition have a different hair loss pattern than the norm, and this must be taken into account during the procedure.

Finally, removal options should be considered. Laser removal processes are usually used to break up pigment deposits in a similar way to traditional tattoo removal, however on black skin the risk of hyperpigmentation is increased, so ensure you are dealing with a company with specific experience. A company like Vinci Hair Clinic that offers a Rejuvi-based removal service might be a safer option.

What is achievable?

Here are some examples offered by a selection of providers:

A black client of Vinci Hair Clinic
This result was delivered by Vinci Hair Clinic
SMP on a black client of HIS
This result was delivered by HIS Hair Clinic
SMP on a black client of AC
This result was delivered by Artistry Concepts in Florida
SMP on a black client of SC
This result was delivered by The Shadow Clinic in Australia

Hairline selection

You may recall my post yesterday about the different kinds of broken hairline that can be achieved with SMP. These guidelines are less relevant for black guys because the available options (and the most common preferences) are different.

For example, faded hairlines do not work on black men. The requirement for miniscule dot size combined with a smaller variation in colour between the pigment and the skin, usually results in the pigments fading very quickly or being less noticeable than desired from the moment they are applied. Broken and jagged hairlines are still a popular option.

Preferences are also different. Males with darker skin are better at pulling off super-sharp styles, straight hairlines and aggressive angles, styles that would make most caucasian men look odd. Defined styles are perfectly feasible, but if this is what you want, it is crucial that you discuss your requirements in detail with your technician as complex preferences are sometimes harder to understand. Illustrate your desires in any way necessary to ensure they know what you want before they proceed.

What are the risks?

The scalp micropigmentation procedure itself poses no additional risks for black men, in comparison to those from other ethnic backgrounds. It is crucial however, that you consult a provider that is well versed in treating darker scalps.

This is important because the combination of super-dark pigments on dark skin, deposited as larger dots, can create a blackout effect. Individual dot definition is lost, and the result is basically a smudge. The following removal video by HIS Hair Clinic illustrates this problem perfectly.

Please allow me to be very clear however, before you go running for the hills:

Scalp micropigmentation works just as well for black men as it does for men of any other ethnicity. In fact, many would argue that black guys achieve the best results of all. My advice is not intended to put anyone off, but to stress the importance of using a provider with specific experience in treating men with darker skin. When delivered correctly, the results can be absolutely flawless.

If you need assistance in finding the right provider to suit your requirements you should see our provider reviews, my complete provider list or use my free recommendation service.

Laurie Downing

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