HIS Hair Clinic might have been the first SMP company, but Skalp Clinic is undoubtedly their biggest competitor in the UK and they’ve been catching up fast over the last couple of years. Following our recent review of HIS Hair Clinic, it seemed the most appropriate thing to do to offer the same unbiased analysis of Skalp by way of some sort of comparison.
First, a little background. Skalp Clinic has three offices in Edinburgh, Manchester and London. At the time of writing, Skalp does not operate outside of the UK. The business is owned by Stephen Leach, a serial entrepreneur and self-made multi millionnaire who resides in Edinburgh, hence the location of their first office and clinic.
Mr Leach has a number of other business interests, but made the lions share of his income when he sold Big Mouth Media, one of the original and largest digital marketing agencies in the UK.
So what is the connection with scalp micropigmentation, and why did Stephen decide to enter this market? Clearly I have limited access to this knowledge, and what I do have is based largely on rumour, however following discussions with a number of well placed individuals in the industry my best understanding is that Stephen Leach was disappointed with the customer service he received (or didn’t so the story goes) with HIS Hair Clinic. Seizing the opportunity to do things differently, Stephen invested in a competitive business and Skalp was born.
Allegedly Stephen never had a treatment at HIS but set about to hire the best hands in the business. His first hire was established HIS practitioner Damon Ashcroft and later recruited former HIS colleague Jason Piris to form the backbone of the company.
How are they doing so far?
Now the history lesson is over, lets get to what really matters and what you no doubt want to know…… are Skalp any good?
On paper, they should be very good indeed. Two of the longest established HIS practitioners, working together with a point to prove and almost unlimited pool of resource. Sounds like a recipe for success on the face of it.
The company has not been established for very long (we believe Skalp began operating as a fully fledged service provider in June 2013), and at the moment this appears to be their only weakness. Well it’s not a weakness exactly, but those considering treatment may consider it a concern if nothing else.
Skalp offers all its clients a 12-month guarantee, always a sign of a confident service provider. Perhaps they’ve had less experience as a market leader but you could also argue they’re less tied by the constraints of a bigger business with aggressive growth targets and expectations. Its a matter of perspective and interpretation.
How are their results?
So far, what we’ve seen is very good. It is difficult to judge with any degree of accuracy however, as all that is generally available is what the company makes available on their website.
Are there any drawbacks if I choose Skalp?
In my personal opinion, no more than any other provider.
Skalp offer a 12 month guarantee period and finance, which is a major plus.
Skalp also have a public forum, in common with only one other UK provider. This does offer a significant degree of reassurance although as yet it is not as well used as the HIS forum.
The third and final consideration is the potential longevity of the business. Although it is perfectly possible nowadays to go elsewhere for future requirements such as refresher sessions, it is reassuring to know that the company that does your treatment is in it for the long haul. Stephen Leach’s directorship history is certainly impressive, and as long as Skalp continues to flourish after any such event when the current owner sells out, any change of hands is likely to go unnoticed by their clients.
Do we recommend Skalp?
Regular visitors to this site will be aware that we do not recommend any particular company or practitioner, as we wish to remain unbiased for the benefit of all. This is an honest review as I see it, not a recommendation for or against.
Skalp appear to be doing all the right things and as time progresses, their results will do the talking. There are a few minor considerations as detailed above, but they are exactly that – minor.
To put it another way, I believe Skalp are definitely worth adding to the shortlist, however there would be a few requirements if I were a potential client. First off, their biggest advantage is the pedigree of their two lead practitioners, so if another practitioner is assigned, make sure you ask for examples of their work. Second, as the number two provider in the UK I’d be looking for a competitive quotation at least equal by comparison to their larger rival. Third, with a formal 12 month guarantee in place I would want to know what action I could expect them to take if things went wrong, or if I needed more sessions than originally anticipated. In other words, how does their guarantee work exactly?