When SMP Goes Bad

Scalp Micropigmentation (SMP) is the fastest growing hair loss treatment on the market, it’s winning combination of a low maintenance solution with a bang on trend style has made it serious competition for the more established treatments, transplants and hair systems. But what can happen that might see a client regret their choice? And what can be done? We take a closer look.


The Rise and Rise Of SMP

Elite Aesthetics SMP

SMP has surged in popularity in recent years and has become recognised as having a valuable place in the options available to hair loss sufferers. Surgeons have added it to their list of options for those would-be clients deemed unsuitable for transplants. We have yet to see a hair system manufacturer offering SMP as an exit strategy for their clients when the time comes for them to move on… but it seems inevitable that some forward thinking firm will take that step in due course – Hair systems can be a lifesaving emotional crutch for some, but over time the love affair fades and they become a restrictive, not to mention expensive, daily routine that carries with it the stress of possible discovery… overactive children, high winds, sudden downpours… a seemingly endless list of possible threats.

For just about every client who finds their way to a reputable clinic for treatment an SMP can deliver the hoped for result, an absolutely convincing full head of hair buzz cut, that stands up to even the closest inspection. That still leaves a significant number of clients who, having been convinced by a swish website and a convincing consultation, place themselves in the hands of inexperienced practitioners who may be using inappropriate equipment or pigments. These represent almost all the dissatisfied SMP clients, though their “symptoms” can vary significantly. Some will have unsuitable or unrealistic hairlines, too much or too little density, pigments which are too dark, or will have suffered extreme fading. These are all visible issues but there are others which will only present when a fix is attempted… more on that shortly.

Its Just Not Me

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What about the client who has made no mistakes in research, who found their way to a reputable clinic and got an outstanding SMP? We will all suffered buyers remorse at some point. That thing we craved, maybe even saved for, turns out to seriously underwhelm when it finally comes into our possession. SMP, once in a blue moon, can have the same effect. The wearer looks in a mirror and simply does not like what they see.

What Can Be Done

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The good news is that regardless of what bought you to the point of wanting to remove or restyle your SMP there is a simple and quick process for doing so. Laser removal, similar to that for regular tattoos, is highly effective at returning you to your previous condition. The caveat is for people who were treated using those inappropriate pigments mentioned earlier, traditional tattooist inks can contain metallic compounds which can overheat during laser treatment and leave some small scarring.

SMP Debate


So rule number 1 is to find a reputable clinic and practitioner to perform your treatment. Do that and whatever happens down the road can and will be dealt with.  If you are struggling to find a local clinic, or simply have some questions about what you are being told, we are always happy to help. To get in touch please click here

Laurie Downing