Scalp MicroPigmentation – What You Should Expect

With the rapid proliferation of Scalp MicroPigmentation (SMP) clinics all over the world it has become increasingly difficult to spot the rogue providers. The more recent wave of training schemes delivered by under qualified tutors means we can only expect more. But there are tell-tale signs that you might not be in the best of hands – We run through what you should expect to hear when having your treatment described.


A Growth Market



Since being launched in the UK a little over a decade ago, SMP has gone from strength to strength. In the hands of a skilled and experienced practitioner it is possible to go from being a Norwood 7 to a Norwood 1 or 2 (your choice), with a replicated buzz cut so convincing it will fool your nearest and dearest. A few years back you needed to live within reach of one of the handful of clinics providing the service. Today there are clinics absolutely everywhere with some cities boasting half a dozen different providers. This exponential growth has made it extremely difficult to spot your best option.. especially when the answer may not even be in your city. A parallel problem is the differences in how they approach SMP – if a clinic is making a virtue out of using metal oxides in its pigments, for example, it would require some investigation on your part to establish this as a red flag warning to steer clear.

While there are variations in the approaches of different clinics, you can be certain of a combination of equipment and events that will underpin a bona fide treatment.

The Consultation

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To begin at the beginning, take note of the environment when you go along for your consultation. Is it hygienic and well laid out… does it look like a professional space? It is much more important for the clinic to look and feel right than for the salesperson to be a snappy dresser who can make you feel at ease with a smooth line in patter.

Before you attend, spend a little time on SMP forums and arrive for your meeting with a list of questions… because you have been on the forums you will have a good idea of what the answers should be – So how does your consultant stack up? Your thinking should involve what style and finish you want to achieve, your consultant should be able to offer a great choice of shade, density and hairline. This is also the time to enquire about their pigments… you want to hear that they are very simple molecules with absolutely no metal oxides.

This is also the time when costs will be discussed. You want to hear that the price quoted is for achieving satisfaction… as opposed to two treatments with subsequent touch ups being chargeable.

The Treatment

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The needle you are expecting to see will typically have 3 very small needles at the business end. A single needle of the type a tattooist would use should have you running for the door!

When you are sitting the chair waiting for treatment to begin take a look around. Are the needles new? Is everything clinically clean in the area (including the practitioner)?

The treatment should comprise of an initial session, a first coat if you will. A week or so later you should be scheduled for your second session where the practitioner will study the results closely. They are looking for small areas where fading has been less or more pronounced than the surrounding scalp and at the general condition of the treatment. They will then decide on the correct pigments to complete the look – more than one pigment would be used to achieve a realistic finish.

Where Are The Safe Hands?

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These are offered as a guide to good practice, points on the journey that should be expected if you are in safe hands.

Of course if you do not have the time to perform this sort of due diligence for yourself, or lack the confidence, SMP Debate are here to help. Let us know your situation and what you are hoping to achieve, attach a picture or two if you can, and we will get in touch to discuss the options in your area.

Laurie Downing