Jill Woodring, owner of Rejuve Scalp Micropigmentation, located at 915 Eighth Avenue within Salon Bellezza, was the first hair stylist in the state of Iowa, and only one of three in the state, to offer scalp micropigmentation (SMP).

SMP is a process that leaves tiny impressions in the scalp that replicate the look of hair follicles. It provides men and women with balding spots a nonsurgical way to fill in those patches in a natural pattern. It can also assist in camouflaging scar tissue.

“It’s considered a form of tattooing, so I had to get a license. But the needle is much, much smaller than what a tattoo artist uses,” said Woodring. “It places the pigmentation into the second layer of the skin.”

The dye, mixed to match both the client’s skin tone and natural hair color, is laid down in three sessions, scheduled about a week apart. The skin needs time to heal between applications. A touch up is necessary about every five years. Once completed, SMP gives a fuller look on the client’s head. It does not interfere with the natural hair follicles growing, nor damage the existing hair.

The area where the tattooing will take place is numbed with a local anesthetic before work is done. Most people report little to no pain either during or after the procedure.

“Doing this is one of the most rewarding things I’ve ever accomplished. It can be life-changing by helping people with so many conditions and eliminating self-consciousness, embarrassment, and even bullying. And it’s much less expensive and more effective than any other process or procedure,” Woodring said

In the Midwest, estimated costs for SMP range from $500 for fills to $2,000 for full head, versus a hair transplant that can run from $4,000 to $20,000, and is not a permanent solution.

SMP started making a significant impact in 2005, in the United Kingdom, but took another few years to come to the United States.

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