It depends on a few factors. Here we lay out what you can expect and offer some thoughts on what you might do to reduce any pain on the day.
Does It Have To Hurt?
The process involves needles, very fine needles that are only inserted to a shallow depth but needles nevertheless. If you ever stood in a queue at school for an inoculation you will recall a variety of reactions, from the ones who barely felt a thing and thanked the nurse with a smile, to the ones who needed a sit down and a glass of water. Not that there should be any confusion between an injection and SMP but there is a similar, much smaller, range of reactions in regards to the level of pain.
In addition to the range of overall experience there is usually a range of experience across each individual head, with particular areas being more sensitive than others. Often this is at the very crown of the head and/or the temples. Many technicians, once they have established where those more tender areas are, would work on them in stages.
What Are The Indicators?
There aren’t too many factors that will indicate prior to treatment that any given client will be prone to higher than usual levels of pain. Older men will usually have skin that has become desensitized to pain over the decades, at least to some extent. Men with a thin scalp are marginally more likely to feel more pain too… even this needs to be taken in context as a large minority will have no problem at all.
Scar tissue is no less unpredictable and if anything has a wider range of experience than regular skin, it can vary from being totally numb to hyper sensitive. The same is true of skin that has been affected by a complaint or burn.
What Can I Do About It?
There are off the shelf painkillers available which you can take ahead of a treatment, Ibuprofen chief among them probably. Avoid Aspirin, alcohol and anything else that will thin your blood, bleeding excessively is not pleasant for anyone and makes the technician’s job harder.
If you have a related phobia, or any other reason why visiting a clinic for your treatment might warrant it, you can always ask your Doctor to prescribe something to help.
Not much beyond that, although meditation has been known to help those practiced in the art. Which in turn suggests that arriving for your appointment calm, unflustered and completely prepared can only help.
Pain is completely subjective, so much down to the individual that it becomes impossible to predict any given experience. You may even have some idea already about where your own pain threshold sits, that will possibly provide an indication for you of what to expect. Technicians know that a book cannot be judged by its cover, that a man weighing in at 100lbs might be fine and it will be the world class weightlifter that asks for occasional breaks.
What we will say is that a treatment can be uncomfortable, more so for some than others. The range is between “no problem at all” and “a painful process” on a typical bell curve with most sitting in the middle somewhere. Nothing some soothing music while chatting idly with your technician wouldn’t overcome.