Adi Schendel

Scalp micropigmentation is the process of replicating the appearance of shaven hair, by introducing thousands of tiny pigment deposits into the epidermis of the scalp. When placed by a skilled technician, the recipient appears as if they have a full head of hair, shaved to a very short length.

This post is intended for those who have recently discovered scalp micropigmentation, and want to find out more about the process and its applications.

Without a doubt, scalp micropigmentation is the fastest growing solution for male hair loss in recent history. It is non-invasive, has universal appeal and is permanent, but only if you want it to be. Furthermore, it remains the only permanent hair loss fix to offer instantaneous, guaranteed results.

A large number of people who stumble upon this treatment have no idea where it came from. Nor do they know how it was developed, and how far it has come since it’s introduction. I believe that understanding the history of this solution for hair loss is important. This is because without that background information, it is difficult to do effective research and put it all into context.

Numerous terms are used to describe this process. These terms include scalp pigmentation, micro scalp pigmentation, SMP, MSP, hair follicle replication, tricopigmentation and hair tattooing. Please note that all these terms refer to the same basic scalp technique.

Who invented scalp micropigmentation?

Some of the dates that individual clinics came into being are difficult to ascertain exactly. This is because many providers say they’ve been in business for longer than they actually have.

The information in this article is based on my knowledge and is intended to be accurate. I have been involved with SMP for longer than most, and I base the information here on in-depth knowledge of the industry. If I have made a mistake however, please accept my apologies. I invite any comments or corrections below.

The scalp micropigmentation process was developed by Ian Watson and Ranbir Rai-Watson, co-Founders of HIS Hair Clinic in 2002, and later professionalised and commercialised in 2006. However, people around the world have been experimenting with primative hair tattoo or hair replication techniques for many years.

Scalp Micropigmentation pioneers
Ian Watson & Ranbir Rai-Watson, innovators of modern scalp micropigmentation techniques.

Permanent make-up technicians have been around for a long time, and many of them had diversified into scar and burn camouflage to meet the needs of their customers.

There are documented cases of hair replication using pigments dating back to the 1970’s, however the results were poor and were more of a shading method than an actual replication of hair. Often pigments were used as a means to cover up horrific scars from so-called ‘plug’ surgery, the inevitable result of botched hair transplant procedures.

In 2001, Ian Watson lost his brother to cancer. The stress this placed on Ian, his Sister-In-Law Ranbir, and the rest of the family caused Ian to develop stress-related alopecia. After searching the market for a solution and finding nothing satisfactory, Ranbir started to develop a basic scalp micropigmentation technique to replicate hair on Ian’s scalp.

Following a successful (although basic) treatment in 2002, Ian and Ranbir realised the commercial opportunity they had created and flew to Australia to develop skills in permanent make-up, medical tattooing and artistic tattooing. Following four years of development, including the creation of completely bespoke equipment and consumables, the first professional treatment process was offered to the general public in 2006.

Who were the early providers?

To begin with, HIS Hair Clinic was the only game in town. Shortly after their service was advertised however, a couple of competitors surfaced, namely a Spanish company called Headstyl and an American company called Artistry Concepts. Artistry Concepts, headed by Mark Weston, still trades today, however Headstyl is no longer in business.

A developing market

As the industry started to grow and take shape, more providers like Good Look Ink and Beauty Care Nederland launched new scalp micropigmentation services. They were followed shortly after by Vinci Hair Clinic, an established European provider of hair transplant surgery, and the New Hair Institute, a HT clinic based in California. Scalp Aesthetics also emerged in Rochester NY, and Milena Lardi of Italian firm Beauty Medical started offering temporary treatments on a mobile basis worldwide.

More recently the Shadow Clinic in Australia, Skalp in the United Kingdom and ProHairClinic in Belgium have entered the market, although all three have been around for long enough to be considered as ‘experienced’ clinics. Fast forward to today and there are around 15 major providers, around 100 boutique clinics and close to 1000 small scale practitioners, many of them working solo.

Scalp micropigmentation technicians Paul Clark & Simon Lane
Paul Clark and Simon Lane of Brandwood Clinic, two of the world’s most requested technicians, with a client in progress.

The market leaders in terms of the number of clients treated are HIS Hair Clinic, Vinci Hair Clinic and Scalp Aesthetics. Interestingly, all three providers operate entirely different business models and corporate structures.

In terms of quality, it’s impossible to pinpoint a leader. Whilst the major providers already mentioned do amazing work, equally great results are being delivered by boutique providers too. Solo-technician or single-location organizations like Brandwood Clinic, Scalp Micro USA and Skalptec are turning out results that are just as good as any international chain, and even better in some cases.

The world’s fastest growing solution for hair loss, scalp pigmentation has exploded in popularity. More men than ever before, and an increasing number of women, are choosing scalp pigmentation in favor of traditional remedies such as hair transplant surgery, concealers, hair systems and drug-based solutions.

What is the treatment process?

A relatively simple treatment to undertake, the scalp micropigmentation method consists of depositing small ‘dots’ of pigment into the dermal layer of the skin, with the use of a fine needle. Combined with thousands of other ‘dots’, an illusion of a full head of shaved hair is created.

The client usually requires 2-3 sessions, each lasting approximately 2-3 hours, but time does vary depending on individual requirements. The process is repeated until both the technician and client are satisfied that the semblance of hair cannot be distinguished from the surrounding real hair.

Common applications

Scalp micropigmentation can be applied to much wider range of hair loss variations than hair transplant surgery; from general balding to hairline recession, to burn or surgery related hair loss, and of course alopecia (most commonly alopecia areata). It can be also utilised to conceal hair transplant scars or blemishes as a result of trauma to the head. The method can even be adapted to blend noticeable birthmarks into the scalp.

Does the treatment hurt?

Most people experience a mild amount of discomfort during the early stages of the session, though this tends to become more tolerable as the session progresses. Some areas of the scalp have a denser collection of nerve endings than others, particularly at the sides of the head, and can often be the most challenging to deal with, but many choose to focus on the benefits and the final of the treatment to help contain the sensation.

What is the recovery period?

Once the pigments are deposited, the skin needs to heal. A recovery period of one week should be allowed, so that the micro-wounds created during the procedure may dry up and close while the pigments get assimilated into the dermal layer.

The treatment process must likewise follow a fairly strict procedure that allows the patient’s scalp to heal between treatment sessions. The industry standard timescales are as follows:

  • Day 1 – first session
  • Day 8 (or later) – second session
  • Day 15 (or later) – third session

Basically leave a minimum of one week between each session, however there are a couple of considerations.

First, it is feasible to leave just 5 days between each session for clients who have an issue with time, for example when they’re travelling from far away for their procedure. Second, it is common to leave several weeks between the second and third sessions, to allow time for the pigments to fully settle and to establish whether or not a third session is actually needed.

Are there any common side effects?

Micropigmentation in general has very limited side effects and does not tend to cause adverse reactions. This is because the technique addresses the visual symptom, (the hair loss itself) rather than the underlying cause. This makes a full medical diagnosis less important. Whilst the side effects are limited, the advice of a technician prior to starting treatment is still necessary.

How much does scalp micropigmentation cost?

Treatments vary from clinic to clinic, and also depend heavily on the clients requirements. For comprehensive guidelines see our scalp micropigmentation cost calculator.

Experience is key

A successful scalp procedure relies on an accurate appearance of hair follicles. Pigments that do not blend well with surrounding natural hair follicles, for example deposits that are larger or darker, can cause the treatment to look unnatural and lead to its detection by others. The assistance of an experienced technician regarding the style and specifics of the treatment will ensure that the client leaves the clinic with natural looking ‘hair’ each and every time.

This best results can only be achieved by an experienced technician who has received adequate training, and worked with enough clients to hone their skills. In addition to this, the right inks, needles and equipment specifically made for scalp micropigmentation should be used to ensure consistency and lasting results. The technician should also be well reviewed by past clients.

How long does the illusion last?

Everyone wants to know how long their treatment will last. The nature of the process means that it will fade slowly over a period of time. Whilst the pigments will probably remain visible for 20 years or more, regular top-ups are needed to keep your ‘hair’ looking its best. Most clients find they need top-ups every 3-5 years.

For maximum longevity, it is important to keep the scalp in a good condition. Ensure that your head is cleansed and moisturized daily, take adequate precautions in the sun and avoid topical products that contain alcohol.

What makes SMP so good?

If you’ve followed my story on various forums, you may remember that I made reference to a friend who always said that tattooing your hair back on was “stupid”. You may also recall that this particular friend has no idea that I have, in fact, done exactly that.

I’m dying to ask him how stupid an idea it can really be, if nearly two years after my treatment, he has yet to notice. Unfortunately the right opportunity has never presented itself, so I just nod and smile then laugh with my wife about it when he’s not around.

Scalp micropigmentation client of Headstrong NY
A great example of a reconstructed hairline. Work by Headstrong NY.

Within a group of friends last night were four guys – three others and myself. Of the four of us, two of us are follicularly challenged (myself and another gentleman who we shall call Mark), and the other two are not.

Remember that my friends and I live in Yorkshire, England, where people have a reputation for telling it like it is. Shoot first, think later is the order of the day where conversation is concerned. So rest assured, it didn’t take long for the baldy jokes to start coming thick and fast. Only they weren’t directed at me.

Although Mark is about 4-5 years my junior, he and I have a similar amount of hair. His balding pattern is virtually the same, and it is also visibly obvious. Like many men he has taken to shaving his head in resignation and acknowledgement that he simply cannot pull off a longer hair look any more.

The only difference between Mark and I, and subsequently the only reason he was at the receiving end of the constant jibes and I was not, is because I have scalp micropigmentation and Mark does not.

Scalp micropigmentation by Vinci Hair Clinic
Incredible hairline work by Vinci Hair Clinic

When men have any sort of hair loss procedure, whether it is hair transplant surgery or PRP, or buy an off-the-shelf product like Propecia, Rogaine or a shake-on concealer like Viviscal, or if they choose to wear a hair system, by far the biggest fear that all men share is the fear of being found out.

Despite this, I would have no problem telling my friends the truth if they ever questioned me about my SMP, no problem at all. Would I be so comfortable with that discussion if I’d had a hair transplant, was wearing a wig or had a head full of keratin fibres? No way! But somehow telling my friends about my scalp micropigmentation treatment is just fine with me.

Why is that? Honestly, I don’t know. Perhaps it’s because the other options I mentioned are something of a cliche, or maybe my friends would be really impressed with the realism of the technique itself, and would therefore be less inclined to give me a hard time about it? Instead of thinking it’s a stupid idea, they might instead just think it’s really clever.

Scalp micropigmentation by Scalp Aesthetics
A superb natural-looking camouflage of almost total baldness

I believe this subtle difference is important. Why? Because to some extent it removes the fear factor. If you’re ever cornered by your friends, family or work colleagues and are squeezed for an explanation, you could simply tell them how it works and watch the jaws drop.

Get closure

This is something I talk about a lot on Scalp Guru – the importance of putting your hair loss anxieties behind you and moving on. The best thing about scalp micropigmentation is the fact that it gives you a genuine opportunity to do exactly that.

Scalp Micropigmentation in progress
A scalp micropigmentation technician adds the finishing touches to a clients treatment.

Amen to that, but always remember – the purpose of the procedure is to release yourself from anxieties about your hair loss. After your treatment, you must discipline yourself not to obsess over your pigmentation as a replacement for obsessing over your hair loss.

The issue of quality

The scalp micropigmentation industry is not without its issues. There are around 1200 providers in the world right now, and I can put hand on heart and say that at least half offer treatments that I would consider to be sub-standard, or at least not on par with what a paying customer should reasonably expect.

Despite the number of providers that now exist around the world, all the evidence that I see suggests that more than 70% of all treatments are completed by one of the three leading providers.

Scalp micropigmentation in progress at the Shadow Clinic
Ricky Hancock of Australia’s Shadow Clinic hard at work.

It is also clear that the vast majority of poor quality treatments do not originate from the top three. Sadly, many people think they can make a lot of money quickly in this industry, and fail to realise how much time and money needs to be invested into proper quality control measures, not least a quality training program and (just in case), a way to remove pigments applied.

For this reason, it is rare for a botched treatment to be carried out at one of the top three clinics. It happens of course, but the numbers are disproportionately low.

There is nothing wrong with choosing a smaller provider for your scalp micropigmentation treatment, nothing wrong at all, in fact many of them do exceptional work. Just make sure you do your research and see verifiable examples of their recent clients first.

Treat low prices with caution

As demand has rocketed, close to 500 providers have established themselves in various locations around the world. Standards vary enormously from one provider to the next.

Low quality clinics often have no choice but to compete on price, so if you’re offered a quotation that is significantly lower than the guideline rates above, make sure you’re being offered a genuine discount by a quality clinic.

Why are low prices a problem? After all, what do you care if it makes your treatment a little cheaper? It’s a fair question. If price becomes a leading factor when choosing a provider, consumers will focus less on quality and thousands more men will end up with sub-standard treatments. What if some of those clients cannot afford laser treatments to remove the pigments? They’ll be stuck with poor results that could damage their confidence for a very long time.

I have personally witnessed this scenario a million times before. No service at all is better than a low quality service. Honestly, if you had seen some of the things I’ve seen since I first got into this industry nearly seven years ago, you’d understand why this is such a big issue.

For a rough idea of how much you should expect to pay, see our cost calculator.


  1. Hi Damian do you recommend anyone in LA area I went to a consultation at his hair and to be honest I felt more unassured then when I walked in. I asked to see pictures of his work zang I believe and he said he can’t show me because they are locked away in a servers, he told me to call the 800 number to get pics they sent me like 3 pics all of the same Head. He didn’t explain to be the process of the whole thing looked like he just wanted to rush me out of there . Even said I have a combover lol which is impossible because my head is shaved. At 1/2 inch all the way around I have decent amount of hair left on my head just thinner in some areas by no means a combover. It was like their sales tactics is too shoot down your confidence so you get their treatment. Very strange why they don’t want to a show their work.Thisl industry seems very shady to be honest. Oh also Told me it will take 4 sessions didn’t explain the break down of the price or anything standard like that. Said I will get the quote in my email but never arrived . I’ve seen some good result. I’m on my phone hard fore to type but that’s just some of the things that set of alarm bells . I am interested in this treatment i have seen some good result online so if you could recommend to me someone down here would be great

    • Hey, I’m sorry to hear of your experience.

      We do have someone in mind in LA who does AMAZING work, but we cannot recommend specific technicians without photos. Please drop a couple of snaps to with your phone number, and I’ll contact you with some solid recommendations.

  2. Hello Damien,
    Thanks a lot for this article.
    I leave in France and I would likz to get a tricopigmentation because I don’t want to take the risk of a dermo. We don’t really know how it will look like in a few years from now !?
    I am just wondering, with a trico, touch ups a needed every year, do the touch ups have a visual impact ? Would the dots look bigger ?
    What would be the clinic you would recommend ? I heard of Prohairclinic in Belgium and then Men’s Ink and Beauty Medical.
    Thank you very much.

    • Hello Orski,

      The dots will not look bigger over time. Tricopigmentation pigments fade completely, so your technician has an almost fresh canvas each time.

      If it’s definitely tricopigmentation you want, your nearest specialist is Prohairclinic in Brussels. Permanent SMP is very safe as long as you choose the right technician. For this, consider Hughes Pastoret, also in Brussels. Vinci Hair Clinic also has a clinic in Paris, and their work is very good.

  3. Hi Damien,
    Thanks a lot for all the useful info. I wanted to know how different is the scalp care after the procedure? Does one go back doing things one did prior to the procedure or one has to take extra care using different maintenance ointments? Also Pls suggest if India has some good places and if not kindly recommend a place in Dubai. Many thanks.

  4. Beauty Care Nederland is the best company. I had my treatment done by His and Skalp.They were oke, but Beauty Care Nederland give me the best design and hairline. After 2 years I am finally happy with the result. I think they are the best.

  5. Damien who would you recommend as the top 3 for smp in NYC. I had one consultation so far at HIS Hair and I’m looking for a 2nd, and 3rd opinion? Thank you in advance!

  6. Hi Damian,

    I sent you a personal email already but in the interest of sharing in case anyone in my area checks out this column are you aware of any specific, excellent technicians, in the Las Vegas, Nevada area? Thanks.

    • Hello, thank you for your email. I responded last night.

      I do not recommend any technicians in Vegas, as none have been established long enough to have a verifiable track record. As per our emails, I have recommended two clinics, one in LA and one in Fresno. We’ll confirm their quotations shortly.

    • Hi Kurt, there is only one clinic in BC we would recommend. They’re a small company, but among the best in the world. However, they don’t open their new location in Vancouver until July. I know it’s a couple of months away, but I’d strongly advise you wait. No-one else in BC comes close to be honest, the pickings are pretty slim.

      Drop some photographs to and I’ll provide some recommendations for you, and share more information about the new clinic.

  7. Hi Damien and thanks again for your reply.
    I have a linear scar from a strip surgery hair transplant from 10 years ago at the back of my head. I had it treated 8 years ago by a SMP clinic in Melbourne but it has turned blue now. I presume this is an older style ink which has been used? Id like to get it redone with SMP to camouflage it as since the old ink has turned blue it has become visible. Would I need to get the old pigment which has turned blue lasered off or would I be able to go to a SMP clinic and they could go over it and disguise it? If it needs lasering first how long do I have to wait after its lasered off until I can have it redone with SMP?
    I look forward to your opinion. Thanks in advance.


    • Hi Bart. I am almost certain that’ll need to be lasered first, as the blue will still show through any new pigmentation. You might need 2-3 laser sessions depending on how deep the pigment is in your skin, then you need to allow at least 6 weeks before re-pigmentation.

      Permanent SMP would probably be your best option for the scar. If you need a recommendation, fire over your details again to and I’ll point you in the right direction

  8. Hi Damien!

    I’m extremely interests in the permanent procedure and was wondering if you have any recommended clinics in San Diego, CA? Ironically, my tattoo artist is a dotwork artist and thinks she can do it, but I’m leaning towards someone trained who does scalps regularly.

    Thanks so much!

    • Hi, don’t use your tattoo artist unless they’re using specific SMP pigments. Tattoo inks turn blue after a few weeks, regardless of how skilled your artist is.

      There are no clinics I’d recommend in San Diego. Fire me an email to with some photos and I’ll come back to you with some recommendations.

  9. Hi damien , couple of Q’s if you dont mind..just curious on the ball park figure for every 12 to 18 months the touch ups cost? An if you know the best person to see in boston ma… Sick of shaving to the bone and wearing baseball hats so think im gonna go for it but just dont know who is good or where to go… Thanks

    • Hi Gerry, you mean for tricopigmentation? Tricopigmentation is temporary, therefore the procedure has to be completely re-done every 12-18 months and the costs are the same as when you first have it done.

      For permanent scalp micropigmentation, most people pay around $700-900 for a top-up treatment every few years.

      Regarding recommendations, I’m emailing you now.

  10. Hi Damien,
    I have had my first session of tricopigmentation and can see absolutely no difference. I cant even see the dots. I’m not bald, still have a half decent head of hair. Ive been told that it would disguise my thinning areas well where scalp is showing. Ive also been told that I shouldn’t go too dark with the pigment as it may look odd.My concern is I have dark hair. If I don’t get SMP done the same darkness and density as my existing hair wont it be defeating the whole purpose of having it done as it is to hide/camouflage the scalp/thinning areas. If I don’t achieve the same darkness it wont be efficient camoulflage and the scalp will still show through wont it? I value your opinion immensely. This whole smp thing is starting to confuse me a little. I have only had my first session. Surely it would take more than 2 more sessions to achieve the correct darkness wouldn’t it?
    Thanks in advance.

      • Hi Damien, I’m just concerned as my technician said id see a difference after my first tricopigmentation session and I see nothing at all. I also read on smp sites and forums that people see “instant” results? Even SMP businesses say that you will see immediate results. How does this differ from my first session of tricopigmentation?

      • When you get scalp micropigmentation, you get an instant ‘hit’ during your first session. Density is added during session two, and thereafter. With tricopigmentation, the darker shade you’re looking for takes the full 3 sessions to develop.

        I don’t actually know the full answer to your question. Scalp micropigmentation has always been my specialist area, and my understanding of tricopigmentation is nowhere near as detailed. I would advise you to speak with your technician. Remember that the training process for tricopigmentation is extremely thorough and detailed, so there is unlikely to be an issue with your technicians competency.

    • Bart, there is no need to panic. It’s a 3 stage process for a reason. The ultra light appearance you describe is normal at this stage. You should contact your technician, discuss your concerns, and confirm with them that everything is progressing as it should be.

      • Thanks for your reply Damien. Will 3 treatments be enough to hide my thinning areas as I have dark hair and I don’t shave my head due to still having a half decent head of hair. Or would I need more than 3 treatments? Does this mean the second and third treatment is applied darker than the first treatment or how does it work exactly?
        Do you have an email address or something so I can send you some photos of my hair to get your opinion?
        Thanks in advance

      • When retouching permanent scalp micropigmentation, no, you pay a much lower price than when you have your initial procedure. However with tricopigmentation, the entire procedure is completely re-done every 12-18 months. This is not a re-touch, and costs the same each time.

  11. Hi Damien ,
    I live in Montreal and would like to know what are my options for permanent smp, I saw online that there is a Montreal location of scalp-aesthetics downtown , and I was wondering if you are familiar with their artists here in Montreal.
    Thank you

    • Hi Sam, I know nothing about the standard of their work. As far as I’m aware, they only just became part of Scalp Aesthetics and haven’t done any procedures yet.

      Scalp Aesthetics has another place in Ottawa (Cat Foster I think), and a place in Hamilton (Renata Pruszewski). Alternatively, fly to Toronto and book HIS Hair Clinic. Of course you could always fly to NYC. Then you’d have all the options you could ever want.

  12. Hi Damien,

    Are you familiar with Vincenza Palardy at Scalp Asthetics in Fairfield, NJ?
    Live near NYC so have a lot of options. Any recommendation would be greatly appreciated.

  13. Hi Damien,
    Quick question for you. I noticed some SMP providers say they need to do a “test patch” before doing treatment to see how the ink settles etc. Then they say to come back in 4 weeks and if the ink has settled well they will do the procedure. Do you think a “test patch” is necessary as a lot of companies such as vinci clinic etc dont seem to perform test patches. Id value your opinion on this.
    Thanks in advance.

    • Hi Bart. Personally I think test patches are a complete waste of time, except in cases where the customer is prone to allergic reactions. Test patches provide no real additional information that a competent technician can use. Pretty pointless to be honest.

  14. Hi again Damien,

    Just wondering if you have heard of the following providers in Australia as that’s where iam located.

    *face and hair clinic (Melbourne) (Do temporary smp/tricopigmentation)
    *Vinci clinic (Melbourne)
    *Hairline solutions (providers name is Aaron)

    What are your opinion on these providers if you have heard from them?

    Thanking you.


    • Hi Bart, Vinci is the only one of those clinics I’m familiar with, and I would certainly recommend them.

      Also consider the Shadow Clinic. They were the first SMP clinic in Australia and the owner Ricky Hancock is exceptionally talented.

      • Hi Damien,

        The only company that does temporary smp out of these clinics is the face and hair clinic. I want to do temporary smp for my first time. Would you agree that temporary smp results are just as good as permanent smp results?


      • As with all forms of SMP, the skill of the technician is key. I’m not familiar with Face & Hair Clinic, so I cannot comment unfortunately.

  15. Hi Damien

    I’ve been researching this procedure for a couple of months now, and was wondering if you had any recommendations for clinics and specific technicians in London? After looking around, there’s certainly no shortage for choice, but it’s hard to know who’s good.

    So far, I’ve taken free consultations at Skalp and Vinci. Both were helpful, but I was surprised by the large price difference between the two. Skalp (which I think is a smaller operation/business) quoted me £2,500, while Vinci (who you also recommend above) quoted me £1,000. Big difference. And I’m always sceptical about things that seem cheap.



    • Hi Tim, both are good, reputable providers. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend either one of them. However, I do understand why such a significant difference in price might be confusing.

      Are both companies quoting for procedures to the same specification? For example, is one proposing to treat your entire scalp and the other just a scar camouflage or something? Just trying to rule out anything obvious.

      • Hi Damien. Cheers for the reply.

        Na nothing like that. Both were quoting prices for the full treatment as far as I’m aware. I’m someone who still has quite a bit of hair (I’m running the shaved look already anyway) but as it’s thinning out steadily at the crown, I’d like to get this done at some point in the coming months.

        Skalp said they would do a full treatment all the way through, given that I’m going to continue losing hair in the coming years. Vinci seemed a little more cautious in that regard, saying that they’d work on the whole head, but at the front where I still have quite a lot of hair, they’d carefully work around what’s still there.

        Thus, I was thinking of getting a third quote just to see what other pricing is like – i.e. if two reputable places were around the £1000 mark, I’d wonder why the other was charging £2500, whereas if two were around £2500, I’d wonder why the other was at £1000.

        Any recommendations in London for another clinic I could see for a comparison?

      • Hi Tim, £2500 sounds like the right quotation for this procedure, however bear in mind that Skalp and Vinci may have assessed your requirements differently. High level clinics, Skalp and Vinci included, usually charge about the same as each other.

        HIS Hair Clinic is another good option in London, but Skalp and Vinci are at the same level. They’re the three clinics id be most likely to recommend.

  16. Hi Damien, I live in Philadelphia, PA. I’m will to travel anywhere in PA, MD, NJ, NY for right person or clinic. Could you please advice me some best places business for SMP.
    Thank you.

    • Hi Bobby, OK you have a ton of options.

      Your best option near to where you live is probably Dermagrafix. They’re in Doylestown and their lead technician Valerie Weber is extremely talented. Just be aware that Dermagrafix do temporary tricopigmentation, not permanent scalp micropigmentation. This could be a bonus or a deal-breaker, depending on what you want.

      For permanent SMP I would suggest the following options. You should be safe with any of these (in no particular order):

      1. Vinci Hair Clinic (NYC)
      2. Scalp Aesthetics (Daniel Yerenburg in Bethesda)
      3. Scalp Micro USA (Matt Iulo in NYC)

      • Thanks Damien.

        I was going through few forums and found the following. It would be great if you can answer these questions.

        1. can we be sure that the substance that is injected into the upper layer of the skin will in fact stay there and will not travel anywhere else in the body entering the lymphatic system for example and or can we be sure if it is get’s carried away, it will not cause problems down the road like cancer etc?

        2. How safe are this inks, is these inks contains dangers chemicals which in future will create problems if injected on the head/upper layer of skin.

        3. What exactly happens when the ink fades? I would assume it fades because the molecules brake up and some of the molecules get carried away by our system.

        Thank you.

  17. Hi Damien. Any ideas of a good place in Boston or near it? I’m 18 and I have very bad hair loss; unfortunately it has affected my confidence tremendously. Finances are a bit limited at around $1500 – $2000. Any help would be good. Thank you.

  18. Hi I live in Saskatoon Sask Canada. I am interested in becoming an SMP provider and was wondering if you could recommend a school in Canada that i should go to to get the best training.


  19. Hi Alex, I’m sorry to hear of your experience. You won’t find anyone for $1000 unfortunately, but the good news is you have one of the worlds top 10 technicians close to you in Tampa. Look up Jose Santiago, he runs the Scalp Aesthetics place there.

    If finances are a major problem, I can hook you up with a senior level person at Scalp Aesthetics who may be able to help you out, although I can’t promise anything. Let me know –

    • Hello! I’m sorry but right now there are no clinics in India I can recommend. It’s not that I don’t know the Indian market because I do. The issue is that all companies in India offering this service are using tattoo inks and should be avoided.

      Your closest options are in Dubai, Singapore and Thailand.

      • hi damien im from india Dhlindia is providing smp so as you said they are also using tattoo inks what type of ink is used in smp thanks

      • SMP requires specialist pigments that are intended for the task. Most are carbon based but every clinic tends to use a different formula.

      • Unfortunately not. The SMP industry hasn’t developed in India yet, and we do not recommend DHI. If you’re serious about getting this done, you’ll need to travel to Dubai.

  20. Hi Damien. Great and informative piece. I’ve been doing research on having this procedure done, but it’s hard to really find out who’s good out there and who’s not. It’s hard to trust online reviews these days and I know one has to take bad reviews with a grain of salt… to a point. I don’t know anyone who’s had it done so there are no referrals to guide me along. I’ve read good and bad things about Scalp Aesthetics, but nothing really specific about the one close to me in San Diego. HIS Hair Clinic in Los Angeles is a couple hours away but seems considerably more professional. Any suggestions for SMP providers/artist in Or around San Diego, or do you this HIS HC in L.A. is a better choice? Thanks!

    • Hello, thank you.

      The Scalp Aesthetics location in San Diego is headed by Tony Ramos. More information here:

      I haven’t seen Tony’s work in person, but if you call Eric on 855 424-7828, he should be able to provide some examples of procedures he’s done.

      I’m not sure who does procedures for HIS in LA now. If it’s still Zang Miah, he’s an excellent technician. If not, get some examples of work by the resident technician, as per the above.

  21. Damien, can you please tell me which clinic and company does the best work in Houston and or in texas? I live in Houston but I want to go to the best of the best! thanks

  22. Hi Damien, could you please advise me in your opinion which is the best clinic in Australia to get SMP done? I am after the best and most natural looking results possible. Thank you Peter


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