Pride and Prejudice around SMP


Scalp Micropigmentation has attracted news articles for years, one of the measures of the success of the treatment has been its wider acceptance in the media. Of course there will always be those who choose to produce cheap copy by writing articles taking swipes at the providers and their clients, in the same way that there is plenty of money made by low grade journalists writing about the latest celebrity to start losing their hair.
There is no doubt that Scalp Micropigmentation has profoundly improved the lives of thousands of clients, as regular visitors here will know. The leading providers continue to raise the bar on every aspect of the treatment with results ever more capable of achieving the clients’ aspirations with predictable outcomes.
Another sign of the rapidly maturing market is the increased understanding of, and appreciation for, what Scalp Micropigmentation can achieve when used in conjunction with other hair loss therapies. The leading SMP providers are invariably working closely with others from across the industry to improve outcomes… a great example would be transplant surgeons who benefit from scar camouflage but also from the ability of the treatment to add to the appearance of density.


So it was with some disappointment that I read a blog post from the UK’s largest provider of hair loss solutions suggesting that head tattoos might cause a permanently itchy scalp, reading on it suggested that this might affect as many as 6%.
Where to start with this nonsense? The nuts and bolts of it are that these results were based on a survey of just 300 people in Central Park, New York. This small survey was conducted for part of a students’ course… so to begin with it should not be confused with a significant study conducted by a professional body. To be fair it is not even the study that we are taking issue with, it is more a question of some fantastical interpretation of the results to support a nonsense story.
While I am not challenging the results, that significant numbers of those New Yorkers experienced itching from their tattoos, it is scandalous to associate that report with the business of Scalp Micropigmentation. The statistical likelihood that they spoke to a single person with SMP is effectively zero… 1 in 5 Americans have tattoos but only a few thousand out of a quarter of a billion have had SMP.  They are comparing traditional tattoos with SMP when there are fundamental differences in both the pigments and where those pigments are positioned. Even the needles are different… SMP is, if anything, closer in technique to a form of Mesotherapy with very shallow insertions and tiny amounts of pigment deposited.

What the Experts are Saying

But don’t take my word for it, we can hear from the experts. Sheena Benson is the Clinic Manager at Q Esthetics in Toronto and brings a wealth of experience to the matter, she points to three principal differences. First is the process, compared to traditional tattoos an SMP treatment delivers a tiny amount of ink very superficially and using a super fine needle. Second is the ink itself. Traditional tattooists generally use inorganic inks packed with potentially harmful chemicals including metals which are the likely cause of irritations and triggered allergies. SMP by comparison uses only natural pigments. Finally, of utmost importance according to Sheena, is that any skin condition or contra indications in the client’s medical history should be reviewed by a suitably qualified dermatologist or similar… possibly not something you should expect in most tattoo parlours.
Bart Verbeek is the proprietor of Prohair, in Belgium, and an experienced provider of SMP. He said “We have never experienced itchy scalps, and I have never heard of a case at another SMP clinic”.

In Conclusion

So there you have it. For thousands of satisfied clients SMP has been a salvation, but for some existing providers of alternative hair loss solutions it is apparently a threat worthy of undermining through this type of misinformation. Rest assured that here at SMP Debate we will continue to watch out for them.

Laurie Downing