Scalp MicroPigmentation , Pain Explained

Needles are involved in Scalp MicroPigmentation (SMP), even though that can be a litte off-putting for some they are far from the needles of nightmares. But what does that actually mean in terms of pain and what should you expect during a treatment?


Tools Of The Trade

The application of SMP

The latest Scalp MicroPigmentation (SMP) equipment features very small slim needles, far smaller than you would expect to see in the hands of a traditional tattooist for example. As well as being extremely slim they are also very short. Perfect for delivering the pigments just beneath the surface of the skin, where they settle into the collagen network to live out their useful lives.

What To Expect

pain assessment

Without some heavyweight research equipment to measure it, pain is a highly subjective experience. This is a broad truth, for most the memory of pain is a pale shadow of the reality – a sensible coping mechanism if we are not all turn into nervous ninnies. Ask someone sat in the chair of an SMP practitioner while they are being treated and they will tell you there is some pain. Exactly how much pain is very much down to the individual, some will need to take recovery breaks and others will breeze through while reading a newspaper or book.

There are a couple of predictable aspects to the experience. All of us have variations across our scalp, one element of these variations will eventually present as differences in fading of the treatment, particularly noticeable between the first and second sessions and before the correcting pigments are added. During treatment it presents as variations in the level of any discomfort being felt – often the most sensitive areas are around the temples and crown.

Be Prepared


On the day of treatment you can take ibuprofen to help with the pain. If you can time it so that you take your second dose of the day 20 minutes before treatment is due to begin, then so much the better. This is usually enough to take the edge off the worst and make the experience comfortable.

Other than pain relief, distractions are good. Music or a talking book can really help take the mind off things. For those that practice any form of meditation it would be well within your powers to cope with even a sensitive head.

It really isn’t that bad. Check out the industry forums and those who made it through and take the time to post will tell you, it might have been uncomfortable but the change is profound and would have been worth it if it hurt many times more… We take the view that it is a necessary evil to get rid of what can be the permanent sense of discomfort that is being bald.

One important last piece of food for thought gathered from the forums, people who post to ask questions about their upcoming second session never mention the pain… Once it is a known quantity it ceases to be important.

If you have questions about pain, or anything else SMP related, we are happy to help.

Laurie Downing