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Is Scalp Micropigmentation Right for You?

Is Scalp Micropigmentation Right for You?

Is Scalp Micropigmentation Right for You?
Is Scalp Micropigmentation Right for You?
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You might have heard of scalp micropigmentation (SMP), but how much do you know about what it involves? This article brings you an overview of SMP, so you can start to think about whether this increasingly popular cosmetic procedure is right for you.

What Is SMP?

SMP is a non-surgical cosmetic procedure that works to give the appearance of fuller hair. A device is used to apply pigment as lines of tiny dots that replicate natural hair follicles. This can provide a shadow effect to ‘fill in’ areas of hair loss, for example along the parting, or to create a ‘shaved head’ look. SMP is suitable for men and women. While it’s often likened to tattooing, an SMP machine uses a thinner needle and the ink does not penetrate as deeply into the skin. The procedure is considered permanent but, in reality, it lasts for between four and six years. Expect to pay between about £250 to £3,500 (or $400 to $4,000+), depending on factors, including the size of the area being treated.

Where Can I Go for SMP?

While you might find SMP offered in locations such as hair salons and tattoo studios, remember that it’s a specialist cosmetic procedure. So, look for a practitioner specifically trained in SMP, who adheres to high levels of cleanliness, with infection control measures in place, and sterile supplies and equipment, such as from  You should be offered a consultation before your treatment. Use this as an opportunity to ask questions about the procedure and to make sure you’re happy with the set-up and the practitioner’s credentials.

What Are the Pros and Cons of SMP?

The main advantage of SMP is that it can provide a satisfactory, long-term solution to hair loss, whether that’s through natural thinning of the hair, baldness, alopecia, or cancer treatment. It can also disguise birthmarks and scars on the scalp. The procedure is non-cosmetic, so you can leave as soon as your session of treatment has been completed. Overall, SMP is cheaper and less invasive than a hair transplant, with less pain involved.

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Disadvantages include the time investment. Each session can last up to four hours, with most clients requiring at least two or three sessions spaced around 10 to 20 days apart. The idea is that the effect builds over time, giving the skin chance to heal between sessions. Further disadvantages include after-care, which can be quite onerous, such as having to keep your scalp dry for several days after each treatment and staying out of the sun.

While SMP should not be painful, as a numbing agent will be applied to the treated area ahead of the procedure, you may still experience some discomfort. Post-treatment, there is the risk of redness, itching, scabbing, infection, and allergic reaction to the ink. Again, you can lessen these by choosing a qualified practitioner who operates in a hygienic environment.

As with any cosmetic procedure, SMP is not suitable for everyone. If you think it might be right for you, it’s important to do your research and to ask lots of questions before you decide to take the plunge.

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