What You Need To Know About Scalp MicroPigmentation (SMP) Removal

Whether it be because you were the victim of a rogue clinic, or because you have simply come to terms with your hair loss and want to return to your natural state, it is important to understand the process of laser removal. We take closer look at the details.


Most, at some point in performing their research on Scalp MicroPigmentation (SMP), will ask themselves the question “what about when I want to remove it”. Prior to laser the alternatives were pretty poor for any unfortunate with a tattoo they wanted to see the back of. The carefully named Dermabrasion, basically sand-blasting enough skin to hope the pigment came with it… difficult given the depth at which a tattooist delivers their pigment. Excision was a procedure that saw a surgeon remove the tattoo with a scalpel before sewing up the wounds…, which of course left scars. The development of laser has seen these terrible treatments consigned to the waste paper basket of surgery. Fortunately for us the development of laser removal preceded the development of SMP and by the time SMP removal was required the process of laser removal was well developed.

A Light Touch


Laser works by emitting a series of short bursts of intense light. The frequency of the light needs to be tuned to the colour of the pigment the technician is removing. For regular tattoos this can mean some very high frequencies are required. For SMP however, which simply uses shades of black, is relatively easy to remove. Crucially the pigments are made of simple molecules, this is important because of how the pigment is broken down by the UV light.

The energy of the tuned light frequency is absorbed by the pigment, this breaks down the molecule into its component parts. In turn these components are carried off to the lymph nodes where your body simply absorbs them. The process can take two or three weeks to complete, which is why you will be asked to wait that period between sessions. Often a single session can do the job.

Reasons To Be Lasered

laser light

There are three principal reasons why clients will ask to be lasered. By far the most common is a desire for a change. So after a period of time carrying the same style some will choose to come back and request some amendment. Some of these options require a prior laser session. Raising or softening the hairline are good examples, as is a general softening of the original treatment. The second most popular reason is for remedial work to be done on a sub-standard treatment – a problem that can be exacurbated if the clinic used metallic compounds in their pigments… these larger molecules require a much higher setting which can result in minor scarring. Also, although the molecule will be broken down to some extent by the UV light it may still leave leave large molecules which, with their simpler elements torn away, can present as blue or green. Finally, there are clients who, having lived very happily with their SMP for years, will decide they are ready to embrace nature and bare their head to the world.

Whatever the reason, laser is a reliable, quick and efficient method of removing pigment. As long as the work was originally done by a reputable clinic using appropriate pigments and needles.

SMP Debate


Here at SMP Debate HQ we are happy to provide advice and support through the process of getting your SMP. Whether you need to sanity check what you are being told or are just starting your research we are happy to recieve your questions. Maybe you are ready for a consultation and just need some help finding a reputable clinic. Whatever stage of your journey you are at we are always happy to hear from you, to get in touch just drop us a line to info@smpdebate.com

Laurie Downing