SMP – The Essential Guide to Everything Pt. 1

This comprehensive guide, answering as many questions as possible, will hopefully save time and avoid the confusion of mixed messaging that is occasionally possible when relying on the received wisdom offered as advice on boards. It is aimed specifically at the new reader, the recent discoverers of their own hair loss who are looking through their options. It aims to give them a clear understanding of what is involved and what they might expect if they choose this increasingly popular route for their own solution.

The Discovery Journey


To date, Scalp Micropigmentation has only made occasional forays into the mainstream media. Over the years it has had some coverage on TV, radio and newspapers. Several lifestyle magazines have also ran articles. Like many hair loss solutions the client almost invariably chooses privacy over promotion. Which is completely understandable to most of us.

It means that the discovery journey taken by almost all future clients uses one of two routes. Either they have a friend who has had a treatment and are inspired to follow them, or they stumble upon it while interrogating the internet for answers and help.

For the first group there is the advantage of being able to ask their SMP wearing friend their questions. For the majority, who find the treatment on the internet, their early questions are answered by reading providers websites and joining the forums. Chief among those questions are the essentials… What is it? How does it work? What can (and can’t) it do? What should I expect in my personal situation?

Since it was introduced by SMP pioneers HIS Hair Clinic back in 2002 the treatment has developed in quality through the introduction of improved equipment, advances in pigment technology, the development of new techniques and not least a leap in understanding of how our body works. Testifying to its popularity and success are the plethora of available providers these days, spanning the globe from Northern Europe to Australia and the USA to India. Today you can find a number of respected practitioners in operation, though the growth has forced the need for some serious due diligence – something this site aims to help with using our Provider Reviews where you can find details of a host of respected providers operating from clinics around the world.

So what is Scalp Micropigmentation?


Scalp Micropigmentation, or SMP for short, is the process of using state of the art tools and products in the hands of a highly trained professional to make it look like you have a real head of shaved hair. It is most definitely not something to be attempted by cosmetic artists or tattooists… either of whom would require a great deal of training to become proficient with the equipment and considerable artistic flair to achieve perfect results every time. Not least they would need the experience of having seen a huge number of treatments to appreciate the needs and potential of each individual client – all manner of considerations are necessary from colour and fading to expectations and desired style.

Aesthetically speaking, a shaved full head of hair appears as so many small dots on the scalp. SMP’s simple aim is to replicate that appearance with pigments inserted just beneath the skin.

The treatment is also used to camouflage scars, usually those left behind by Hair Transplants.

Does it look realistic?

Absolutely. The forums are strewn with pictures and video posted by happy Scalp Micropigmentation recipients. In the hands of a skilled practitioner using the right tools and pigments you can be certain that your outcome will meet with your expectations.
Often you can get to meet up with men who have had their treatment, either by contacting local people through the forums or indeed by getting along to your local provider. Open days are usually a cast iron opportunity to see one “in the flesh” so to speak. Or you can simply ask the clinic whether they are able to arrange a meeting for you… some clinics have clients who are so enthusiastic about the impact of SMP on their lives that they become evangelists for the provider and offer their services for these meetings – as I said, there are other evangelists who offer these meetings through forums rather than through their provider.

How Can I Tell if I am Looking at a Good One?

If you arrange to meet with a former client you will want a few pointers on how to judge its quality. If it passes the test of first sight, where you take a mental photograph and make all sort of sub-conscious assumptions, it is well on its way to being a success I would suggest. But the areas to focus on are the hairline, it is very noticeable if this is not done well, and the space where the pigmented scalp meets the living hair follicles, previously masquerading as the hairline.

Tomorrow – How Does it Work and more…

Laurie Downing