rebecca fisher micropigmentation and medical tattoo artist

feel great, inside and out

frequently asked questions

Q: What are the consultation costs?

A: The 1st ½ hr of a Brows/Eyeliner/Lips consultation is FREE of charge. After the 1st ½ hr and up to 1hr is $50 (this is taken off the total when you return for your treatment).

A Medical consultation (skin/scar camouflage & nipple/areola) is up to 1hr $65, up to 2hrs $120 – (this is taken off the total when you return for your treatment).

SMP Scalp Micropigmentation consultations are $120 for up to 2hrs (non-refundable).

Q: How much does a treatment cost?

A:
$650 – Brows (includes 1st and 2nd visits)

$550 – Eyeliner (both lids)

$450 – Eyeliner (upper lid)

$350 – Eyeliner (lower lid)

$600 – Lips (full)

$450 – Lips (lip line and blend)

$350 – Lips (lip line  only)

$250 – Paramedical (skin & scar camouflage) per hour or POA

$300 – SMP Scalp Micropigmentation per hour or POA

$600 – Nipple/Areola reconstruction per nipple/areola

$250 – Nipple/Areola refresh in future after 3-5 years per treatment session

Contact Rebecca for future top-up and repeat treatment costs.

Q: Does Micropigmentation hurt?

A: People often ask whether micropigmentation will hurt.  It’s important to remember that pain is an individual experience that varies from person to person, so some people feel it more or less than others.

To make the procedure as pain-free as possible, a topical anaesthetic pre-numbing cream (lidocaine) is applied to the surface of the skin.  This begins the numbing process.

Once some superficial marks with the needle are made in the skin, we go on to use an additional anaesthetic on the area which provides further numbing.  This is a quick acting gel that further relieves pain and/or swelling and can contain bleeding if there is any. It has 5% Lidocaine hydrochloride, 2% Tetracaine and 0.02% Epinephrine.

Some people receiving scar camouflage micropigmentation don’t require any anaesthetic at all as they are able to tolerate the needle intrusion into the skin because the scarred area has already been de-sensitised.

Some women experience more pain during a procedure when they are having a period. This can also occur if people are particularly tired or under a lot of stress.

Q: How long does the procedure take?

A: A cosmetic consultation is normally 1/2hr, if you go straight on to have the procedure, you should then allow approximately 2 ½ hours, so all together allow 3 hours.

A medical consultation is usually between ½ hour and 1 hour, dependent on the complexity of the job, this will also determine how long the procedure will take. Some are 2-3 hours or longer.

A scalp consultation can be anywhere from 1-2 hours and scalp treatments vary from 2-4 hours per treatment.

Q: What will the colour look like?

A: We select pigment colours to work with your skin tone (scar camouflage and nipple/areola), your hair and eye colour (brows/eyeliner/lips) are also taken into consideration.

Patch testing on the skin near the site to be tattooed can help to obtain the best colour(s) to be used.  Patch testing simply involves placing a small amount of pigment on the surface of the skin, watching it dry and gauging the colour we might expect to see.  You can patch test by implanting pigment into the skin with the needle, however this is usually only necessary when attempting to colour match an existing nipple/areola, however this can also be done on the surface of the skin to find a good and close match.  Any pigment implanted into the skin will pull its truest colour in 4-6 weeks time once healed. It is important to patch test (whether it’s done on the surface of the skin or implanted into the skin) because the colour as seen in the bottle may appear different, once it is placed on the skin or under the skin.  Also a colour will look very different from person to person depending on their skin tone.

If you later decide a different colour is required, it can be lightened, darkened, tweaked or changed entirely.

Q: Does it fade and how long does it last

A: Yes you can expect the pigment to fade.  It is ALWAYS darker directly after the treatment but it fades to its true healed colour in 4-6 weeks time.  This is a semi-permanent procedure, the ingredients in the pigments are natural and will eventually be absorbed over time by the body. But how much the pigment fades varies from individual to individual.  Factors such as medication, lifestyle, skin characteristics, skin undertones, alcohol intake, smoking, general stress, a compromised immune system (eg diabeties), diet and attention to pre and post care treatment all effect the retention of the pigment in the skin.  Colours are always appear darker initially then fade to a lighter colour through the healing process and time.

Why we use semi-permanent pigments is explained further down.  In brief, it’s because they are SAFE!

For Brows, Eyeliner & Lips, 2 treatments are required, your ‘perfection’ visit happens 4-6 weeks after the first treatment so you always need two, it’s a bit like 2 coats of paint, the 2nd to make any tweaks, changes or correct any irregularities through the healing process as well as push more pigment into the skin to ensure longevity of the tattoo.  Procedures for skin and scar camouflage may require multiple treatments.

Because the pigments used are natural and inorganic, the body will eventually (over time) absorb some of the minerals in them, so the tattoos have varying approximate lasting times:

  • Ombre Brows (a natural and soft looking filled in look – great for little/sparse to no brow hair) – last 2-3 years
  • Powder Brow (a more dense and striking filled in look) – lasts 2 to 3 years
  • Featherstroke (not good for oily skin, best when there is enough hair to blend the tattoo into) – lasts 8 months to 1 year
  • Hybrid Brows (a mixture of ombre/powder with featherstroke) – lasts 2 to 3 years
  • Lips – lasts 2 years
  • Eyeliner – varies a lot – lasts 1-2 years
  • Skin & Scar Camouflage – huge variance here depending where on the body the tattooing takes place, exposed areas will receive more fade from the sun, also any chlorine exposure will affect the tattoo, can last 2-3 years or longer than 5 years, huge variance dependent on the individual.  A refresh may be required after the 3-5 year mark, but not necessarily – everyone is different.
  • Nipple/Areola – like skin and scar camouflage, a lot of pigment is implanted into the skin over a course of 2 or 3 treatments, a client may require a top up or refresh after the 3-5 year mark, others may not require a top up at all.

Q: What if I don’t like my cosmetic tattoo?

A: There is flexibility with this procedure.  You can change the colour and/or shape to some degree.  Initially colour will always appear darker directly after the procedure, you can be reassured that it will soften and lighten during the healing process.  You can normally see a 20% fade within the first 1-2 weeks, then around 30% total fade by the 4 week mark.  Lips fade even more by up to 50%, this is by way of the nature of the surface we are tattooing on.   The healing time is different for each individual and procedure. But there should be at least 4 weeks between each procedure. The skin is normally fully healed by this time and it is when the true colour will be revealed.

The healing time for Scalp (SMP) micropigmenation is different – it is 1 week between treatments due to the minute size of the tattooed dots and fast healing time.

Q: Can you remove a micropigmentation procedure?

A: During the first treatment, using a “less is more” or conservative approach is best because if you have used a lighter colour a darker colour can always be used on the follow-up/perfect visit rather than vice versa, although it is possible to come in with a lighter colour over a darker colour using a colour corrector and the use of flesh or camo/skin tone pigments.  The shape can also be changed at a follow-up visit.  Remember this is a semi-permanent procedure so over time the body will eventually absorb the natural minerals in the pigments, especially if the follow-up treatment 4-6 weeks later does not take place.  If clients don’t return for the 2nd treatment, their tattoo is less likely to last as long as someone who does both treatments.

It is actually a good thing that the pigments fade over time, for example with brows, as our faces age with time and gravity plays a role our skin changes and drops and shifts over the facial bones, where the pigment fades and our skin drops, we are able to move the tattoo higher and higher, where and if we need to – that’s a good thing!

Q: Are the pigments used safe?

A: The Nouveau Contour and Biotouch range of pigments used meet the highest and safest criteria for use on the face and body. They meet international standards (ISO) and have been rigorously tested with microbiological harmlessness confirmed.  All ingredients also exceed the safety requirements of the European and American Cosmetics guidelines. All ingredients in these pigments are known and allergic reaction to them is extremely rare.  We use them because they are safe and safety comes first.

Q: What are the ingredients in the pigments?

A: The pigments contain cosmetic colourants containing natural inorganic minerals (so that’s iron oxides/minerals ground down from rocks in the earth) added to this is water, glycerine and isopropol alcohol – these all evaporate in the skin but are used as carriers to get the grainy iron oxides from the bottle into the skin.  Once they evaporate, you are left with the coloured pigment in the skin.

The Scalp (SMP) pigments are slightly different some containing carbon, these are explained further down in the scalp section.

Q: Do I need a doctors/surgeons/medical practitioners consent?

A: Usually a procedure can be done straight after a consultation once all the paperwork has been completed and your medical history obtained, however if the consultation raises any medical issues or queries you will be asked to obtain a doctors consent.  There are certain medical conditions and procedures that can require a medical practitioners consent and/or advice to proceed with micropigmentation, eg:– heart conditions, anaemia, cosmetic surgery/brow/face lift etc, cancer, diabetes, seizures/epilepsy, stroke, thyroid abnormalities.

Pregnancy is contra-indicated – I do not work on pregnant clients.  I can work with breast-feeding clients given they have consent from their medical practitioner, knowing that they will need to express milk for 4-6 hours post a tattooing procedure to allow for the topical anaesthetics to pass through the system and not contaminate the breastmilk.

Q: Who can benefit from cosmetic and medical tattooing?

A: Cosmetic and medical tattooing helps all sorts of people, anyone who wishes to boost their confidence and/or self-esteem by changing their appearance.  Whether it is from trauma, accident, disease, cancer, hereditary conditions or aging.

When people are unable to wear cosmetics due to allergy or skin sensitivity, micropigmentation can help.  Or if you simply have a busy lifestyle, want to speed up your morning routine or are very active and don’t want to worry about your cosmetics sweating or washing off.

Micropigmentation can also help those who have trouble seeing to apply cosmetics or those who have sustained a loss of motor skills from accident, aging, disease or chemotherapy.

Q: How safe is it?

A: Safety always comes first. Rebecca adheres to strict hygiene practices at all times and is certified in hygiene protocol. Micropigmentation is a tattooing procedure that deals with broken skin, the following guidelines are observed to ensure a bacteria free environment where cross contamination is prevented:

  • All Needles are single use and sterile, a new needle for a new client and each procedure.
  • Used needles are disposed of in sharps containers.
  • Pigment is never re-used, it is always disposed of at the end of a treatment session.
  • Single use disposable pigment cups are used and disposed of at the end of a treatment session.
  • Distilled water is used to water down pigment if required, or an approved diluter liquid is used.
  • Machinery, the bed and tools are all sterilized after every treatment and every client.
  • Disposal equipment and tools are disposed of in a sanitary manner.
  • Other equipment and supplies are kept in a clean and sanitary manner.
  • Personal protection clothing is worn and disposed of at the end of a treatment, eg gloves, mask, apron, eyewear, hairnet.
  • Clean disposable bed sheets and supplies are used for each patient and each treatment.
  • The treatment room is in an area free from other contaminants.
  • Protective disposable film is placed over the tattoo machine, lights, bed button controls, chair controls, draw handles and other high touch areas to prevent contamination and disposed of at the end of each treatment.

Q: Can I donate blood after a micropigmentation procedure?

A: Yes but The New Zealand Blood Service requires you wait at least 6 months

Q: I have been receiving Retin A preparations

A: You just need to avoid these treatments 1 month before and 1 month after the micropigmentation procedure.

Q: I have had shingles

A: If you have had shingles it is still possible to have micropigmention as long as the area to be tattooed is not in the region of the shingles.  But you should wait at least 6 months post the condition before having a cosmetic enhancement.

Q: Is there anything I should avoid prior to a micropigmentation procedure?

A: Yes. Try to avoid makeup/cosmetics and moisturisers for two weeks post procedure on the area if on the face. Prolonged exposure to water, chlorine/pools/spas and the sun as well as excessive perspiration should be limited for up to two weeks following the infusion process. For Ombré brows please avoid excessive perspiring exercises for 1 week.

Q: Is there anything I should avoid after a micropigmentation procedure?

A: Yes. Try to avoid makeup/cosmetics and moisturisers for two weeks post procedure on the area if on the face. Prolonged exposure to water, chlorine/pools/spas and the sun as well as excessive perspiration should be limited for up to two weeks following the infusion process.

Q: Can I go back to the gym after I have had a micropigmentation?

A: Yes. You can resume your normal daily activities but excessive perspiration should be limited for up to two weeks post treatment. Avoid exercise (heavy perspiration) for 1 week for Ombré brows.

Q: Are there any reasons why I can’t  have a micropigmentation procedure?

A: It is not advisable to have micropigmentation if you have:

  • Epilepsy - (although it is acceptable with your doctors consent and approval)
  • Lupus - (this is normally related to the poor ability of the skin to heal)
  • Pregnancy – (this is always contra-indicated) – we cannot risk the anesthetics passing across into the unborn child.
  • Breastfeeding (get your doctors consent prior and be aware you will need to express milk for 4-6 hours after)
  • Cataracts – a person with cataracts should not have any eye micropigmentation procedures performed.
  • If you have psoriasis is not advisable to tattoo directly onto any areas where psoriasis or varicose veins are present.
  • If you have gortex implants (like in the nose) tattooing should be avoided in this area.

 

Q: Smoking

A: Smoking causes poor pigment retention and can cause excessive bleeding during a tattooing procedure.  It can also thin the blood and can cause some patients to feel more pain.  If you smoke more than 5 cigarettes a day, the retention of pigment can be very poor over time.

Q: I have been on the drug Acutane – can I have micropigmentation?

A: Clients who have been on this drug should wait at least 6 months before having micropigmentation because Acutane makes the skin very thin and fragile, this is not ideal skin for tattooing.

Q: I have been using AHA (Alpha Hydroxy Acids) treatments – can I have micropigmentation?

A: We advise clients to stop using these products two weeks prior and two weeks after a micropigmenation procedure because the thinning agent in these product could cause stinging and excessive fading of the tattoo pigment.

Q: I have vitiligo – can micropigmentation help me?

A: Micropigmenation can help vitiligo, however it is important that you get your doctor to diagnosis the status of your vitiligo.  Micropigmentation should only be used where your vitiligo has been confirmed as dormant or in remission for at least 1 year by your health practitioner.  If the areas to be treated are large and widespread, the client needs to consider the time, discomfort, cost and commitment required.  Smaller areas of vitiligo are easier to treat.

Q: I have had a facelift

A: The waiting time for a semi-permanent cosmetic enhancement is 3 months from the time of the facelift surgery.  All incisions/scars should be completely healed with no signs bruising and with the swelling completely subsided. You must obtain consent from your surgeon to go ahead.

Q: I get the herpes virus on my lips

A: You can have a lip enhancement, however it is a requirement that you take preventative measures by using medication prior to and after your cosmetic enhancement.  There are over the counter creams like Zorvirax that your pharmacist can advise you on, we suggest you take it one week prior and one week after, although they will further advise you on this.  It is still no guarantee that the virus won’t be stimulated by the intrusion of the needle into your lips.  There is another preventative measure in pill form, Famciclovir, which is taken on the day, your pharmacist can advise you on this.

Q: I have had laser eye surgery

A: It is recommended that you wait at least 8-12 weeks after your surgery before having a cosmetic eye enhancement.

Q: I like to use a sunbed for tanning

A: If you do use a sunbed it is best not to commence a cosmetic enhancement for 10-14 days after the last sunbed session. It is also a good idea not to recommence use of the sunbed after the micropigmentation treatment as this will not aid retention of the pigment in the skin.

Q: What is the first step?

A: Call Rebecca Fisher on 027 292 7362 to arrange a consultation or appointment.  Rebecca is also happy to answer any of your questions over the phone.

SCALP Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is Scalp micropigmentation?

A: Scalp Micropigmentation can create the look and give an impression of natural hair where hair has been lost, is patchy or is thinning due to balding, alopecia, surgical scarring or follicle transplant scarring, illness, trauma, aging or hereditary causes.

By tattooing very tiny ‘dots’ on the scalp the impression or illusion of a hair follicle is made – these ‘dots’ also create an overall darker hue on the scalp to help disguise hair loss. As well as ‘dots’, fine hair strokes can also be tattooed onto the scalp or within existing hair for both men and women who suffer from alopecia or hair thinning.  This gives the scalp the impression of a thicker and fuller looking head of hair and reduces the look of patches in amongst remaining hair.

The goal for both balding and alopecia is to get a look as natural as possible and utilize what hair remains by blending the tattooed dots into existing hair patterns.  Equally a fully bald head can be tattooed entirely with dots to give a natural looking shaven head, or razor look.

Q: I have had laser treatment, how long should I wait before I can have scalp micropigmentation?

A: You can wait a minimum of 2 weeks, however it is preferable to wait at least 1 month before having micropigmentation.

Q: Are the pigments for the scalp and hair loss tattoos different to the cosmetic tattoo pigments?

A: Yes. Unlike the Nouveau Contour and Bio Touch range of pigments which are semi-permanent, the Ecuri range of pigments used on the scalp are permanent.  They are formulated to last and often stay ‘sharp’ and retain their colour for 8-10 years before a touch-up may be required.  We suggest that clients may choose to return for a ‘refresh’ around the 5 year mark to sharpen and brighten up the tattooing up if it is needed or desired.  The Ecuri scalp range of pigments are also less likely to turn blue or green the way regular tattoo ink can.  This pigment range contains a protein that causes a quick drying effect on contact with the scalp and blood which helps prevent the dots from ‘blowing out’ and looking oversized or becoming blurry.

Q: Can you have an MRI if you have had scalp micropigmentation with Ecuri scalp pigments?

A: Yes. Ecuri’s scalp pigments do not conflict or interfere with having an MRI scan.

Q: Are the needles in scalp micropigmentation different to body art tattooing needles?

A: Yes.  The needles used in scalp micropigmentation are up to 75% smaller than regular tattoo needles so they very precisely match the size of a hair follicle. Like cosmetic and paramedical tattooing, the needles are only inserted into the dermal layer of the skin (approximately 0.5mm deep) which is more comfortable for the client and gives a very natural result.

Q: If my forehead hairline has completely receded, can you tattoo a new hairline?

A: Yes. With scalp micropigmentation you can design and relocate a new hairline around the forehead, side of the face and back of the head as well as fill in areas where hair loss is present. This may be a small area, larger patches or a full head. A variety of hairlines can be achieved, whether conservative, natural/soft or hard/defined.

Q: Are there any reasons why I could NOT have scalp micropigmentation for balding or alopecia?

A: Yes. We do not perform scalp micropigmentation or hair simulation for:-

  • Women who are pregnant or nursing
  • People undergoing Chemotherapy
  • People on antibiotic therapy
  • People on blood thinners
  • People with blood clotting disorders
  • Anyone with infectious diseases, eg HIV, Hepatitis
  • People with Epilepsy
  • People with Diabeties (paramedical and cosmetic micropigmentation to the body is different – with a doctors consent you can perform the procedure on someone with diabeties but not for scalp).
  • Albinism (Albino – we do not have a white scalp pigment available to us)
  • People with heart/liver and high blood pressure.

Q: Does scalp micropigmentation hurt?

A: Pain is individual to everyone.  But our goal is always to help make you feel as comfortable as possible.  We use a pre-numbing cream applied to the scalp at home 1-2 hours before the treatment session commences. This helps alleviate any initial discomfort.  Most people describe the pain as a 3 to 4 on a pain score out of 10 with 10 being the worst pain.  If pain persists a numbing gel can be applied. This is a quick acting gel that further relieves any pain and/or swelling and contains bleeding if there is any. It has 5% Lidocaine hydrochloride, 2% Tetracaine and 0.02% Epinephrine.  It is the same gel as used for paramedical and cosmetic micropigmentation.

Q: I have some scars on my head, can you use scalp micropigmentation to tattoo over the scars
to conceal them?

A: Yes. Scars, whether from injury, surgery or follicle transplant can be blended and camouflaged to lessen their appearance.

Q: I wear a hairpiece/hair system – what should I do?

A: You need to allow your skin to breathe prior to coming to a scalp micropigmentation procedure. It’s very important. So you must not wear it for between 10-14 days prior.  If you don’t adhere to this, you run the risk that the pigment will not implant nor remain in your scalp.

Q: What should I avoid after I have had scalp micropigmentation?

A: We will advise you of the full aftercare instructions but for the first 3 days you should not:-

  • Wipe the scalp
  • Get any sun exposure to the scalp
  • Get the area wet (includes swimming and sweating) – it must be kept DRY for 3 days.
  • You must not scratch, pick or peel at the area
  • No creams, moisturisers or other materials are to be used on the area

After Day 7, many of your normal activities can be resumed, water and shampoo are now fine.  After 1 month, getting a fake tan is fine as are saunas and swimming pools.  Care should be taken to use a sunblock on the head as a matter of course from now on.

Q: How much does scalp micropigmentation cost?

A: The hourly rate for scalp micropigmentation is $300 per hour. As a guide only most treatments normally begin from $2000 ie or minimal receding hairline and then range in price up through to $7-9000 for a full head, so the cost is dependent on the amount of hair loss and coverage required. If you contact Rebecca on 027 292 7362, she can discuss your specific requirements based on the amount of hair loss you have experienced and how the pricing will work for you.

Q: How many scalp micropigmentation treatments would I need to have?

A: A 1-2hr scalp consultation with Rebecca is $120.  There we can discuss how many treatments we think you might need, your specific requirements, how your expectations can be met and how the pricing structure will work for you.  As a guide only, a client might require at least 3 x 3-4hr treatments sessions, these can be spaced as closely together as 7 days apart, sometimes dependent on the degree of hair loss, a 4th or 5th treatment may be required, these can also be spaced at a minimum of 7 days apart.

Q: Is there any preparation I need to do to my scalp before the actual treatment?

A: Yes, once you have had a consultation with Rebecca, she will advise you on the care program for the two weeks leading up to the first scalp micropigmentation treatment.  Some people (especially those with exposed bald areas) will require a preparation of cleansing, exfoliating and moisturizing in the lead up to an SMP treatments. This helps prepare the scalp for tattooing and encourages the best possible uptake or retention of pigment through the tattooing process. It’s a bit like ‘preparing the canvas’ before ‘painting’ commences. A kit for $120 can be purchased from Rebecca to help you with this pre-program.  Others (usually those with more hair coverage and where the skin is less exposed to the elements) will not require the same pre-treatment preparation.