There are tons of treatments available for people suffering from hair loss. From hair transplants to hair fibres, more hair loss products and treatments are in development all the time. SMP hair transplant is often used in conjunction with surgical procedures like FUT and FUE to create a natural close-cropped hairstyle that’s popular with men.
Scalp micropigmentation (SMP) is one of the newest hair restoration treatments on the market. It’s quickly growing in popularity — so what exactly is SMP hair transplant, and could it be a solution for your hair loss?
What is scalp micropigmentation?
Scalp micropigmentation (SMP) is a relatively new way for people suffering from male pattern baldness and other types of hair loss to achieve a fuller-looking head of hair.
In SMP, the look of a natural, close-shaved hairline is carefully tattooed onto the scalp. This creates a buzz cut look — a close-cropped but full head of hair. SMP is also often used to create a buzz cut look after a hair transplant.
Is SMP a hair transplant?
Scalp micropigmentation isn’t a surgical procedure like FUT or FUE hair transplants. However, it can complement these procedures by reducing contrast between your hair and scalp. SMP typically traces your new hairline, giving the instant appearance of full, even hair across the scalp.
How does SMP work?
The pigment is known as a stable chromophore. It is tattooed into the dermal layer (second layer of the skin which does not shed like the first layer of the skin) using a multi-needled pigment device.
The technician makes tiny incisions in the scalp. They will then distribute pigment carefully, dot by dot, over the scalp. This continues until the whole area is covered. The size of each pigment dot depends on the desired look, the natural behaviour of the individual’s skin and surrounding hair, and the pressure applied by the practitioner.
Who is SMP for?
Scalp micropigmentation works well for people who aren’t suitable for a hair transplant, such as those with alopecia areata or alopecia totalis. It’s also a great option for those who want a full coverage buzz cut look, rather than a full head of hair.
SMP is also effective for:
- Those not suitable for hair transplant due to complete baldness (hair follicles are now absent), alopecia areata, or permanent hair loss after chemotherapy
- Those who would prefer a non-surgical solution to their hair loss
- Those with scars from either previous procedures or scalp burns
Scalp micropigmentation can also be used as a camouflaging device for those with a strip-harvesting scar from an FUT hair transplant. Learn more about hair transplants on scars.
SMP before and after
Image: a patient with alopecia areata — an autoimmune condition that causes patchy hair loss — before and after scalp micropigmentation treatment 
Image: a patient with a wide scar after FUT surgery has SMP treatment on the scar tissue, reducing visibility of the scar 
Is SMP painful?
Most hair loss patients don’t consider SMP to be painful. Many people describe it as being no more painful than a regular tattoo. Sensitivity to the potential discomfort is also known to decrease with each regular treatment, much like waxing.
Is SMP permanent?
Unlike a hair transplant, scalp micro-pigmentation treatment is non-surgical. That means it may need to be touched up every six months or so to minimise fading and discolouration.
There is a natural level of fading which occurs a few days after every treatment (much like a regular tattoo). This is to be expected. Following that, the pigment will, depending on scalp care, come to fade more gradually. Most men opt to have further treatments to keep their look neat and natural.
How can I keep my scalp micropigmentation looking great?
Similar to regular tattoos, SMP may fade faster with some patients than with others. The lasting effects can be down to the body’s immune system and the behaviour of the individual’s skin.
However, there are 3 key ways you can look after your pigmentation and enjoy your results for longer:
- Avoid lengthy periods of direct sunlight/hot sun-bathing periods. You need to moisturise your skin regularly. The natural colour the pigment creates will fade faster if the skin has cause to renew itself after long or regular periods of tanning. If you are out and about use a hat where possible and an effective SPF cream which blocks the heat.
- Follow post-treatment advice carefully. Avoid heavy scrubbing of the head, swimming, and excessive sweating for four weeks after each treatment. Wearing a hat such as a cap for 12 days post-treatment is also advised. If you’re in any doubt as to the best care tips, ask your specialist.
- Avoid certain hair or skin products such as those which are alcohol or bleach-based. This may include products for treating acne which contain benozyl peroxide, or some hair products or creams which contain alcohol. Be sure to check labels and do the research.
How to achieve natural-looking hair with SMP
Don’t fall foul of these common scalp micropigmentation regrets. As with hair transplants, the natural-looking effect of your SMP is largely down to the skill of your technician. The pressure your specialist uses is key to delivering even, lasting pigmentation in the skin. See how to find the best UK hair transplant surgeon.
Get a natural SMP-hair transplant combination at the Wimpole Clinic
Our technicians at the Wimpole Clinic are experienced, qualified, and skilled. A steady hand takes practice to develop, and each of our SMP and hair transplant specialists have years of experience providing high-end, custom hair restoration solutions. We have hundreds of happy hair transplant patients — just take a look at our hair transplant clinic reviews.
We specialise in discovering and addressing the underlying cause of your hair loss, so we can recommend the best course of action for you to regain the hair you want. Our hair restoration experts take the many variables of a person’s particular skin and hair behaviour into account, so we can provide the best possible treatment.
Our unique service combines SMP with FUT hair transplant to provide natural-looking, undetectable and permanent hair restoration. It’s one of our most discreet, effective and popular treatment combinations. For a free, definitive assessment of your hair loss needs, get in touch with our team.
Talk to a specialist ☎ 020 7935 1861.
Book a consultation
Simply fill in your details in the form below and we'll get in touch with you shortly.