Voted SMP Artist of the Year 2021 by MPUK
On this page you will find a list of questions that commonly come up when people are thinking about scalp micropigmentation. If you’re based in and around Bristol and considering coming to our INKonHair clinic for treatment, our FAQ page aims to answer the questions you may have.
As you may know, the shorthand term for scalp micropigmentation is SMP. Scalp micropigmentation or SMP refers to a kind of cosmetic tattoo that is also known as a medical hair tattoo. It aims to provide a solution to those suffering from hair loss by imitating the appearance of hair follicles, resulting in a shaved buzz cut look. SMP can be applied anywhere on the scalp, whether your hair is thinning or you are totally bald.
The length of time your SMP treatment takes will depend on the area to be covered and the level of treatment needed. We will let you know an estimated length of time, but we make sure not to restrict the time so as to give you the best results possible. We only carry out one procedure each day to ensure the time is dedicated fully for you. On average, SMP will take between three to five hours for each session, usually requiring a total of three sessions, with the final session being shorter at around two hours.
We believe that by offering three treatment sessions, you will be able to see the best results. The time between the first and second treatment allows for healing, where you can see the colour and shade, then have the opportunity to increase the density. The final session allows us to put the finishing touches to your new hairline.
The minimum amount of time we can offer for a complete SMP treatment is just over a month. It is vital to have a gap of at least a week, up to around ten days between the first two sessions, and a further two weeks before the last session.
We start with looking at your natural hair colour in person or by using photographs. As some skin types hold the pigment better than others, we start slightly lighter, so we can build up to some darker shades for the second treatment to ensure the perfect colour match.
As the aim of SMP is to give the shaved buzz cut look, it will be virtually impossible to tell the difference between the pigmentation dots and hair follicles. Even when people know you prior to your treatment, they are sure to be pleasantly surprised at your new head of hair.
As this type of technology has only been used for SMP for around six years, it is difficult to know exactly how long it will last, despite claims that it will last between a decade to fifteen years. Whilst a permanent solution to hair loss, the pigment will fade over time, and this will depend on various factors such as sun exposure. You can get top-up treatments from us for free within the first year, and any subsequent touch-ups will be discounted, and it will likely be just a few touches that are needed.
The main point that is important when it comes to your front hairline is that we make sure not to aim too low towards your face from the initial session, as we can add to this if you require a lower hairline. We look at photos and mock-up hairlines on your scalp to make sure you are pleased with the look, aiming to achieve the most natural look as well as one that most suits your face and frame.
Although SMP is not designed as a hair replacement treatment, it can actually promote hair growth as it creates more blood circulation within the scalp, so it certainly won’t damage any existing hair.
Whilst the concept of SMP is similar to regular tattoos, it differs in that the ink used is a natural pigment, and makes use of different tools and needles. To perform SMP, it is vital to have professional training.
As your skin is healing after the treatment, you should not exercise at all for at least four days from your first session, and even after this point, heavy training and gym use should be avoided, as you should not sweat excessively for at least ten days.
You can expect that the area being treatment may be red, but this should fade after 24 hours, depending on your healing time. The area shouldn’t scab as it heals differently to other types of tattoos.
You can rest assured that the treatment is safe and we carry out each treatment with fresh needles, which we open in front of you, disposing of it properly. We clean the treatment area to the highest clinical standards, and your treatment will be carried out under full insurance and licencing for SMP.
The level of pain differs from person to person, with some reporting no pain, and others benefiting from paracetamol to make it less uncomfortable. If you do find it painful, it’s important not to take aspirin or other blood thinning pain killers.
As we know that everyone has a different schedule, we can provide early morning, evening and weekend appointments in addition to daytime slots. We are not able to offer walk-in sessions, so it’s advisable to book ahead.
Whilst it is best keep the area clear, a cotton baseball cap or silk lined cap shouldn’t cause any harm, but beanie hats or woollen hats may irritate the scalp and cause infection. Again, this is to avoid sweat on the scalp.
We offer a free consultation, where we make sure to take our time with you as we understand that it is an important decision. As well as answering any questions specific to your needs, we can discuss your scalp appearance expectations and go through the medical questionnaire to make sure we can go ahead with the SMP treatment to make sure SMP is a good fit for you.
For further questions, simply get in touch and we will be pleased to answer any other questions you may still have for us.
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98 Kings Parade, Clifton, Bristol, BS8 2RE