- Best Results2-3 sessions
- Treatment Recovery1-2 days
- Procedure Time1-3 hours
- Skin SpecialistArtist
- Duration of ResultsYears+
- AnaestheticNil required
- Back to Work1-2 days
Scalp micropigmentation for hair loss
Scalp micropigmentation is a procedure that deploys a stippling pattern tattoo that closely resembles hair follicles. The purpose of scalp pigmentation is to replicate your natural hair follicles with individual tattoos. For this to work well, you require a very short haircut. This procedure is cost effective and is heavily reliant on your cosmetic tattooist.
FactsFacts on Scalp Micropigmentation
- Scalp micropigmentation or SMP is a non-surgical method for thinning hair
- This involves cosmetic tattooing the scalp to resemble hair follicles
- SMP can give the illusion of increased hair density
- SMP can also hide white dots & scars from FUE hair transplantation
- SMP can also give the illusion of a buzz – number 0 haircut
- 2-3 sessions are recommended for best coverage
- Frontal hairlines can also be created with SMP
What is scalp micropigmentation?
SMP or scalp micropigmentation is essentially tattooing ink dots on the scalp. These dots give the appearance of tiny hair follicles or short hair stubble. Great for thinning hair to add density. I can also be used on a bald head to give you the buzz cut look. It can be used to disguise unwanted scars from previous hair transplants.
How natural does it look?
It really depends on the artist. Good tattooists with heaps of experience will give an outstanding result. SMP artists require two skill sets-
- Knowledge of tattooing, including the art & craft of ink.
- The science of hair loss & reconstructing a natural hairline.
Can scalp micropigmentation create a new hairline?
Yes, an experienced artist can customise a bespoke hairline & style that suits your facial feature & your age. Skilled artists will know exactly what is achievable & what looks natural as they will know that the end result will look like. Be guided by them.
What are the advantages of scalp micropigmentation?
This procedure does have many benefits, including-
- It makes it look like you have a fuller, thicker head of hair
- Results are instant
- It only costs a fraction of the price of FUE
- It can actually cover up the donor site of FUE transplantation
- It combines well with a hair transplant to offer additional density
How long does it take to perform?
1-4 hours, depending on the extent of tattooing. Your artist has their own way of working. Some like to do mega sessions, others prefer shorter ones. Be guided by them.
View our Treatment Gallery
Is the procedure permanent?
As ink is implanted in the dermal layer of skin, akin to a tattoo, SMP will last a long time. You may require a touch up every 4-10 years depending on the level of sun protection. The most important factor that determines longevity of pigment is photoprotection.
UV light accelerates fading. Simple hats & sunscreens markedly increases the longevity of SMP.
Can you erase the ink if you change your mind?
Yes. I use tattoo removing lasers (both pico & nano lasers). 1-4 sessions are required depending on the density & colour of your SMP tattoo. If iron oxides are mixed in with the pigment, it is more difficult as oxidation can occur. If in doubt, we conduct test spots.
How can scalp micropigmentation add density to a balding scalp?
By adding follicular impressions into the area with subtle blending, cosmetic micropigmentation can give the impression of density. Essentially it produces shading of thin areas representative of hair loss.
How do you know if scalp micropigmentation is right for you?
Book an appointment with a reputable artist to discuss treatment options. They take into consideration your hair style, head shape, colour of your hair, as well as your goals. Much like tattooing, this is both an art & science. Be guided by your artist!
Can FUE scars be treated with scalp micropigmentation?
Yes. SMP can add colour to donor sites of FUE & also colour in the scars from follicular hair transplantation. In fact, up to 30% of people who undertake SMP have had previous hair transplant surgery.
Does the colour of scalp pigmentation change with time?
No. Most artists do not use blue or greens. The pigment will however fade with time. You can slow this down by adhering to sunscreen.
What can you do to help maintain the results following SMP?
Following your SMP treatments it is very important to take care of the treated area to prolong the results. Dermatologists recommend the use of SPF 50+ sunscreen and hats while exposed to the sun. These small measures will help to ensure the appearance of your hair tattoo and ensure your procedure stays looking as it was originally intended by your artist, protecting you from damaging UV rays.
Simple skin care including retinol, & AHA/BHA washes and serums can preserve ink & extend the longevity of your SMP, as well as improve your skin quality.
Medical therapy with minoxidil & DHT blockers should be part of your hair loss program.
Is the treatment painful?
It is like having a micro-tattoo, hence there is some pain. Most people tolerate this very well as pain subsidies within 15 minutes. In some cases your artist may apply some numbing cream prior to the procedure.
How long does it take to recover from SMP?
About 48 to 72 hours, depending on the extent of the procedure. Ideally you should restrict heavy exercise (running, weight-lifting) for 2 days. Swelling is not uncommon in the forehead area if an extensive hair line is created. Be guided by your artist.
Davin’s Viewpoint on Scalp Micropigmentation
Any hair transplant surgeon needs to know this procedure (when to use, when to refer). It can make a significant difference in hiding FUE scars, especially white-lighter scars in the occipital donor area.
SMP is a good choice if you are on a budget, full coverage is only a fraction of the cost of FUE or FUT hair transplants. Never underestimate the power of a good tattoo artist. In the ideal world, SMP is combined with medical therapy to help halt progression of hair loss.
Join the conversation
Join Dr Davin Lim on Instagram to stay up to date