Frequently Asked Questions
What is Scalp Micropigmenation?
Scalp Micropigmentation is the process of recreating the visual effect of stubble or hair density on the scalp by making quick and shallow micro indentations with a tattoo machine and specialized inks. The procedure is also known as SMP, hair follicle replication/simulation, and hair tattooing.
Is SMP for me?
If you are experiencing hair loss or thinning in any form, whether permanent or temporary, moderate or major, then YES, SMP is for you. Even scars on the scalp can be camouflaged to blend into natural hair utilizing this method.
Though the scientific reasoning for many types of hair loss is largely unknown, the effects are very real and measurable. Many people suffer clinical depression, gender dysphoria, and social anxiety due to hair loss. The loss of hair can be hereditary, or it can also be caused by medication side effects. Often, it is hormonally induced due to age, post pregnancy, menopause, or gender transitioning.
SMP is a non-invasive, easily approachable, and cleverly undetectable way to resolve the visual and emotional effects of hair loss and thinning. Because the process is highly individualized and requires a fine tuned artistic approach, the procedure is tailored to suit your unique desired result.
Is SMP painful?
SMP is non-invasive. The instrument used is very lightly inserted into the the top most layer of skin. Every person scales their pain differently, however, SMP is largely agreed to be on the low-end of the pain scale. Most would rate it as an annoying 3-4. It is not at all comparable to the pain of a traditional tattoo as the needles implemented aren’t much larger than an acupuncture needle and do not go as deep as traditional tattoos.
How long does the procedure take?
Because the procedure aims to create realistic, natural results, the best outcomes occur when the process is implemented over 3-4 appointments, each ranging 3-5 hours each.
There are multiple reasons that the best practitioners of SMP prefer this method, reason one being the health of your scalp. Though it is non-invasive, SMP is still introducing a degree of trauma to the scalp, and too much trauma results in less ink retention. The best ink retention is achieved over many shorter appointments. As every layer is put in lightly, it results in a gradual visual density over time.
Secondly, when each layer is put in lightly, you gradually achieve darkness and density, which makes it nearly undetectable to those who see you every day. They’ll know something is different about you, but it wont be a sudden, glaring, and obvious change when it appears slowly.
The third reason is the overall appearance and end result. Naturally your hair follicles lay at different depths under your skin, so many appear larger and darker, while some are lighter and smaller. Achieving the final result over a 4-8 week period produces the same visual appearance as real hair.
Is SMP permanent? How long does it last?
The inks used in SMP are natural carbon based pigments, which over time are metabolized by the body, which makes SMP semi-permanent. Like any tattoo, the permanency is based on many factors, such as quality of aftercare, amount of sun exposure, and the patients natural proclivity to shed skin. Most people won’t see a need to refresh or retouch their SMP until years 3-4 or beyond. Because cosmetic inks are used, the fading ink ALWAYS stays on tone and will never fade to blue or green as metallically dyed inks often do.
What is the recovery time?
There is literally zero downtime, and the aftercare is a cinch. You may experience some mild redness for a day or 2 following the procedure, which will feel and look like a very mild sunburn on the scalp. In the week following, you will experience some minimal peeling and will need to administer a light ointment to keep the skin hydrated.
What are the benefits?
There are so many benefits to SMP as your hair loss solution, the best of which is confidence! The most gratifying benefit is immediate results, and the most interesting is possible hair regrowth. Many clients report new hair growth following SMP treatment, because the skin goes into overdrive when experiencing stress, which helps it produce mega amounts of collagen and experience a serious increase in blood flow, resulting in a wakening of dormant hair follicles.
This is not new science! People have been “needling” their skin for decades to combat wrinkles and increase blood flow for brighter, younger skin. This is also known as collagen induction therapy and can be practiced on the head without ink as well to promote some new hair growth and tighten the scalp.
Does it look real?
The proof is in the pudding. The SMP industry is experiencing rapid fire growth because when implemented by a talented practitioner the results are FLAWLESS, guaranteed, and a tiny fraction of what hair transplants would cost! Undoubtedly you see people every day with SMP, but you can’t tell, even up close. When done correctly and with care, it is truly unbelievable.
What is the cost of the procedure?
The cost varies greatly depending on the severity of the case. We treat areas as small as simple scars to totally hairless alopecia patients. Relief from the weight of hair loss shouldn’t be reserved for those with complete financial freedom. For cases requiring heavy coverages over multiple appointments, financing is available. Consultations are the best way to get a clear estimate and can be done in person or through email with clear pictures.