3D SMP illusion

Is a 3D appearance using 2D SMP dots possible?

A discussion currently going on over at the HIS Hair Clinic forum has grabbed my attention. One of their customers believes he’s found a way to produce a 3D effect within the constraints of what is ultimately a 2D solution. Unlike other methods of creating a 3D effect that have been discussed, this idea does not involve a new concept as such, but rather a simple adaptation of the existing technique.

Many people wish for an appearance of hair that is more three dimensional than standard scalp micropigmentation can deliver. Historically this has only been possible for those who have a large amount of hair remaining (in fact providers like Hair Ink specialise in treating men with a lot of hair left). Whilst I am a huge advocate of SMP as a solution for male hair loss, the fact remains that pigment deposits within the scalp are two dimensional, and therefore for the majority of men, SMP has limitations.

This has led to a couple of (I believe) important innovations. These include 3D SMP, a process that uses carefully crafted lines instead of dots and is currently offered by Minnesota provider Good Look Ink. The other viable option is a combination procedure that is now offered by a growing number of clinics such as Vinci, Evolve and Pro Hair. This involves the dual use of scalp micropigmentation together with FUE transplant techniques to provide depth and texture to your pigment deposits.

How is this different?

Forum member Troy291 believes that by applying comparatively light pigments to the scalp during his early sessions, then layering significantly darker deposits on top in a scattered pattern, he and his HIS Hair Clinic technician have achieved a subtle 3D illusion. This is a different approach to what is currently out there because the process is still based on existing ‘dot’ techniques, and obviously doesn’t involve any surgery.

This is the effect the poster is referring to. Click the image for a larger version:

3D SMP illusion

Is it viable?

Honestly, I’m usually skeptical about claims like these. So many ideas have come and gone over the years, and as a general rule they tend to be too risky, unrealistic, not commercially feasible or are too specific to individual cases to be rolled out on a wider basis.

Although in this case, I think Troy291 could be on to something. His logic makes perfect sense, although there are a few questions that need answers:

  • Does the effect diminish when the pigmentation has faded further?
  • Is dot size a factor, or is using darker pigments enough to achieve this effect?
  • Why have we not seen more examples like this one?

I think we need a little time to allow the idea to develop, but it certainly looks promising at this stage. If you’re considering an SMP treatment, it might be worth asking your chosen provider if they believe this layering technique is something they can offer, and if indeed they believe it would benefit your final appearance. Any feedback of course would be greatly welcomed.

Laurie Downing