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What is SMP?

Hair replacement technology evolves every day, and so do techniques. While you may have looked at options like hair transplants, pieces, and medication, you may have not considered or heard of SMP.

SMP stands for Scalp MicroPigmentation and is a completely different approach to treating hair loss. Instead of focusing on transplanting follicles to another area or covering the hair, it works by creating the illusion of shortly cut hair by applying ink to the scalp. This is to create the illusion of a hairline, which may be all that you need to wear that shaved head look with confidence. Let’s take a look at everything you need to know about micropigmentation.

How Does it Work and Who Can Benefit?

SMP works by creating hair like lines on the scalp, pretty much like with microblading eyebrows. The difference in this case is that the technique uses tiny dots of different shades to create the illusion of a shadow on the scalp.

While this can be used to create a hairline, a lot of people use it for different reasons. We can think of people suffering from alopecia who want to fill up certain spaces. Cancer patients can also decide to go for the procedure after suffering permanent hair loss.

Is it Painful?

The straight answer we can give you is that it depends. The practitioner you choose will apply a numbing solution to your scalp that should relieve some of the discomfort. However, you should know that there will likely still be some, and it will depend on how tolerant you are to pain as to how bad it is.

You should also know if you’re a good candidate for the procedure in the first place. People who are prone to developing keloids, for instance, could not be eligible for it. People with psoriasis or acne issues should not go during flare ups.

The Benefits of SMP

One of the best things about SMP is that once it’s done, it’s done. You don't need to use products for months hoping they will work or wait until you see if your transplant was successful. SMP requires little maintenance and there are no ongoing costs. This is especially important when considering all the upfront costs of regular hair transplants and all the costs that come after. Not to mention that these treatments are in no way guaranteed.

Another great thing about SMP is how realistic it looks. Hairpieces never quite look natural on some people, and the same can be said with hair transplants. But with SMP, people will never see the difference, provided you have the procedure done by a skilled practitioner. Even if you tell people that it’s a tattoo, many won’t believe it.

SMP is also fast and non-intrusive. Once you get it done, you can go straight to your regular activities. The whole procedure can be done in 3 to 4 visits over a few months. And since it’s non intrusive, this also means that there are less chances for complications.

The Cons of SMP

We would be lying if we told you that SMP is a perfect solution. It has a few drawbacks. For instance, you could end up with an unnatural hairline if you go with the wrong practitioner. This is why it’s important that you vet your SMP practitioner thoroughly.

You need to ask them for pictures and see their main type of clients. Make sure that they’ve worked with people with similar head shapes, hairlines, and skin tones as yours. This will ensure that they know which type of pattern and shade will be best for you.

The procedure itself is also an issue for some people. While it’s nowhere near as painful as a tattoo, it’s still not a totally pleasant experience, and it will be even more unpleasant if there are any aggravating factors. And, while you can get back to your regular activities after the procedure is done, that doesn’t mean that you won’t have to take precautions.

After treatments, you will have to make sure to not wet your scalp for a few days. This means you’ll need to watch things like sweating and make sure that you keep your hair dry using a cap when you’re taking a shower.

You should also know that the color will slightly fade with age, but will not reflect aging. So, you might not be able to achieve the natural gray or white hair look as you age. And last, but not least, if you don’t look great with a shaved head in the first place, don’t expect it to make you look like a brand new person.


So, now that you know a bit more about SMP, you can start doing more research by calling a provider near you. Make sure that you verify and test their experience, and take your time to find one you can trust.

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