Exactly what is SMP and how does it work?Scalp Micro Pigmentation (SMP) was originally introduced by the HIS Hair Clinic back in 2002, it is a relatively painless yet permanent solution which works by adding pigmentation the scalp to imitate a naturally shaved head.

The process itself requires a highly skilled technician and cannot be correctly carried out by tattooists or cosmetic pigmentation specialists, as the equipment and technique used are different to cosmetic tattoos. Essentially SMP requires the technician to replicate the look of thousands of hair follicles as they would on a freshly shaved head. When done correctly, SMP looks extremely natural and realistic – even from up close.

Key points about the SMP procedure

Clients do need to work out with their technician their desired hairline shape, which colour pigments will be used and the density of the pigmentation; however the technician will discuss and plan with the client beforehand. As the procedure is relatively quick, painless and cheap in comparison to hair transplants and also requires minimal upkeep afterwards, it is easy to understand why more people are opting for SMP.

The treatment can last anywhere from six to ten hours but needs multiple sessions, yet it is all dependant on the size of the area to be covered, the extent of balding and the style the client has chosen. Multiple sessions are required as the pigments from each session need time to settle in and the scalp needs to heal. Eventually, the dots will appear lighter, softer and any redness will subside so that by the next session the subsequent layer can be carefully deposited. This gradual build-up of colour density allows for the technician to create a more natural appearance of hair follicles.

Does it hurt?

Many potential clients do worry whether the procedure will hurt, however most people describe it as uncomfortable at most. Taking a painkiller beforehand is advised if you have a low pain threshold. Clients also need to keep in mind that as each dot will create a minor wound on the scalp which will eventually scab over. As the scab comes away, a portion of the pigment may get removed, this is what causes shrinking and a softer look of the dots. Therefore multiple sessions are also a way for the technician to judge which pigment shades and size of needle should be used next.

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By Ian Watson

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