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Scalp Micropigmentation Forum Questions

If you’re thinking about having a scalp micropigmentation procedure, it can be hard to know where to turn. There is a lot of conflicting information, fake reviews and competitive bias out there, so getting the right advice and choosing the best clinic can be hard. That’s where our mini forum and private advisory service can help.

  • What treatment style would suit you?
  • What questions should you be asking?
  • Which clinics can be trusted?
  • How much should your treatment cost?
  • Who can help to fix a bad treatment?

The Scalp Guru team is 100% independent. We know what it’s like to go through the process, and we’ve seen 1000’s of great results, and some not so great. We know almost every technician in the world, and the standard of their work. If you need help, we’re the best people to ask. Our forum and private service is 100% free of charge, and available worldwide.


FORUM QUESTIONS

45 thoughts on “Scalp Micropigmentation Forum Questions

  1. Damien says:

    Yes, they do shed. Actually what is happening is that tiny scabs are forming. As these come away from the skin, they take pigment with them, leaving behind a smaller deposit. This is what people refer to as shrinking, when actually what is happening is that a large proportion of the pigment is coming away with the scabs. Its a perfectly normal part of the process.

  2. Damien says:

    I think Scalp Aesthetics have opened a place in Sacramento, but I’m not 100% sure. They certainly have a center in San Francisco if not. HIS Hair Clinic are also in San Fran.

    I saw some work by ScalpMP and thought it was pretty good, but to be honest they’ve been off my radar for more than a year, so much so that I suspected that they went out of business. I have no idea what they’re doing right now, how many clients they have or what their work is like.

  3. Damien says:

    I think Scalp Aesthetics have opened a place in Sacramento, but I’m not 100% sure. They certainly have a center in San Francisco if not. HIS Hair Clinic are also in San Fran.

    I saw some work by ScalpMP and thought it was pretty good, but to be honest they’ve been off my radar for more than a year, so much so that I suspected that they went out of business. I have no idea what they’re doing right now, how many clients they have or what their work is like.

  4. Damien says:

    I tend to agree actually.

    It is difficult to determine how many sessions a client will need when scars are involved, and the advantage of buying a fixed number of sessions is that the clinic doesn’t feel compelled to over-quote to allow for unforseen additional sessions. However your logic makes perfect sense. If you pay for something, you should get it.

    I can see it from both sides to a certain extent. I think as long as both parties are happy with the deal, and provided the customer fully understands what they’re agreeing to, that’s all that matters.

  5. Rahim says:

    Hiya Bud i made some comments yesterday not heard anything! its great to see someone doing this for people that have had SMP. ive had my hair done by Skalp which has been a great customer service and would suggest to anyone to go. I have one question the right side of my head is darker than the back right part! i am going back to get it sorted and they have said its normal? i keep looking at other peoples photos and it dosnt seem that way? not sure if i should get it lasered of that side and done again only cause me left side looks amazing!!!!

    • Damien says:

      Sorry buddy, not seen your other comments?

      Anyway, people are very quick to assume they need laser removal. I know how you feel, it can be a rollercoaster to say the least, but you need to allow time for your treatment to settle. Different people, and indeed different parts of the scalp, fade at different rates. There is often no rhyme or reason to it.

      I doubt you have anything to worry about. Drop me some photos in a couple of weeks if you like, and I’ll take a look.

  6. e.j. says:

    Hi Damien,
    Thanks for all the great and honest info regarding smp. I have 3 linear strip scars in back of my scalp that i want to eventually address. I am thinking about going to his hair nyc for treatment and patch test etc,,. i realize though that his hair recommends having the entire head done for the best effect and result. Although i am not entirely ruling it out but would like to start slowly and address the scars first and see how that looks. Do you find this feasible and also i know everyones skin/scar is different as it relates to fading but is it safe to say that after the initial treatment i can expect decent and sustainable result/coverage after some fading occurs? my last question is, . If i receive a quote on the scars does that include 2nd and 3 rd treatment if needed? thank you kindly,, e.j.

    • Damien says:

      Hello,

      Scars can be treated on their own, although remember there is a sizeable blending area required, especially if you have 3 FUT scars. This is the area above and below the scars that also needs to be treated to ensure an effective camouflage. Personally I agree with HIS – get your entire treatment done at the same time. You won’t regret it.

      You will not achieve a sustainable camouflage after one session. Two perhaps, but three will most likely to be required before you’re at (or approaching) the finishing line. Your first session pigments are likely to be soaked up by the scar tissue very quickly.

      Yes, assuming you’re referring to a HIS quote, it includes all sessions necessary. Other providers may operate a similar structure, I’m not sure.

  7. henry says:

    greetings damien,

    i greatly appreciate the information you provide us. either my computer screen or my eyes are not that good, but based on the photo i see of you i can’t really see the SMP on your head. is there another link to see more/other photos of you.

    please continue with your awesome advice.

    dhenry

  8. Anders says:

    Dear Damian. Is it possible to meet up with you to see your results in real life, if I visit the his hair clinic in London ?

    • Damien says:

      Hi, I would love to help but I am based remotely in the north of England, about 200 miles away from London 🙂

  9. D says:

    What’s up Damien,

    Your site has great information… I’m considering SMP as u can see crowning in my head causing a line in the back and the crown looking lighter… I keep my hair short and lined up.. I’m curious on how soon i can return to my job as u cannot wear hats to cover redness or scabbing from treatment… How long after treatment is healing process noticeable?

    • Damien says:

      Hey,

      The healing process isn’t really an issue. Redness goes within 24 hours, although some people notice bruising for a few days on rare occasions. The main issues are dot size and dot density.

      To start with, your dots will be too big to pass close scrutiny, and the distribution will be too sparse to match with your remaining hair. Don’t let this worry you though. The only way anyone is going to notice is if they’re right up close to your scalp and looking for it, which of course, they won’t be. After a few days (usually 3-5), the scabs will come away and your dot size will reduce right down. A lot of people take just a day or two off work before returning, although the ideal scenario is to have it done on a Friday, so you have the weekend.

      After session two, all this is history as the blending improves dramatically.

    • Amel says:

      i have scalp folliculitis for years , and now im on a drug caleld AKAMIN which is helping alot , sometimes i use a another thing on it caleld sigmacort ointment which kills the swelling and redness and lasts for over 2 weeks with one apllication well it does contain cortisone which is why its works best , but i have not tried dandruff shampoo yet , but i have been using goat soap on my scalp and its going really goood

  10. Bryan says:

    Hello Damien, great site keep up the good work, right here we go. I have just had my first treatment wed 25th mar,all going ok i,i have had all the redness calm down, not too much flakey skin etc ,apart from that one thing my hairline. Sadly i did not come on this site until after treatment,so idid not know about the 3 various hairlines. The person who done my treatment did not explain this to me either, maybe a breakdown in communication. Anyway the hairline i have been given is i think what you would class as a DEFINED hairline. This is way to straight and noticeable. My 2nd treatment is on wed 1st april, i am hoping to explain to who does my hair that i would like a BROKEN hairline look. I am hoping this can be done with minimum fuss, you reckon.

    • Damien says:

      There is not a set ‘menu’ of 3 hairlines to choose from as such. There are some basic options (defined, broken, feathered etc), but it’s not a tick-box system by any means. It is common for a defined hairline to be created during your first session, because most people ask for their hairline position to be changed during their second session, and defined hairlines are easier to move. Just ask your practitioner to break up your hairline during your next session. This kind of request is routine.

  11. enrico taranta says:

    hello Damian, i am very interested in doing a SMP for myself, just wondering where are you based?
    thanks enrico

  12. Susan says:

    Hello Damien,

    Thank you for providing both men and women with this informative site. Here’s my question, I am a woman in my early 50’s who had hair transplant surgery about 18 years ago. I have brown hair that is kept short all around. The transplant surgery left a long scar in the back of my head that is visible unless I mask it with makeup. I recently went to a company here in the NYC area and they assured me there would be no issue; SMP could be done and it would cover that scar completely. They said it would last around 5 years. Do you think I would be a good SMP candidate?

    • Damien says:

      Hello. I think SMP would reduce your reliance on makeup, definitely, but I don’t know whether the level of camouflage would be acceptable. If your hair were longer, would that not solve the issue?

  13. Hb says:

    Hi Damien,
    I have several scars in the back of my head from HT procedures which were done in the mid 90’s.

    Because the front/top coverage is so sparse, even with the transplants, I am considering scalp pigmentation with a closely-trimmed look. I’m pretty sure I want to have a relatively high hairline (I’m in my late 40’s), one which matches the hairline from the HT.

    Where I’m undecided is this: One practitioner with whom I have consulted recommends leaving the sides alone (my sides have receded slightly). Another practitioner is okay with bringing the sides forward a little bit to help shape my face. Both companies have good reputations.

    What are your thoughts? Will coming forward a half to 3/4 of an inch on the sides/temple area be an obvious giveaway that I’ve had the procedure?

    Also, one company suggests to use pigment all over the back and sides and the other company suggests for the sides and back to just pigment the scars, but not the area where hair is growing. Do you have any thought/recommendations in this regard?

    Thanks in advance for your reply.
    HB

    • Damien says:

      Hello, good questions.

      I would always recommend leaving your side profiles alone, if you can get away with it. There is nothing wrong with filling them in a little if your hair density is sparse, but I would leave the boundary of your side profiles to be just real hair. Of course if your sides are receded, re-shaping them is always an option.

      Personally I would treat your entire scalp, otherwise the closure that SMP can achieve will be out of reach. If you’re going to get this done, make it count and put hair loss behind you. Isn’t that the purpose, after all?

  14. HS says:

    I have had 6 SMP treatments into a HT Scar and I still don’t think that it looks good at all….I understand that all scars are different and I am trying to manage my expectations, but how many treatments is reasonable to think that it just wont get any better? Will post some before/after pictures.

    • Damien says:

      Hello, photos would help to answer your question. Six treatments is a lot though. Were they at HIS, or somewhere else?

  15. nb says:

    Hi. I just had my first session and although I am interested in this technique, I have experienced significant fading. A lot is said here of the immune system and how it affects the treatment. The question is… Is this whole thing even a healthy thing to do? They say they use an organic coal type of ink, however I am concerned about any possible health implications of this and other sessions that will be needed to get this thing completed. I’m also concerned that subsequent sessions will also just fade out like the first one did. Can you offer any guidance and/or support on this?

    • Damien says:

      Hello,

      It’s difficult to comment specifically because each provider uses a different type of pigment. When you say coal-based, I think I know which one you mean.

      Tattoo inks have been linked to cancer for decades, and this causes many people to worry about potential health implications of SMP. From what I can see however, there is no widespread fear around tattoos and no cases where cancer has been directly linked to a tattoo. Considering how many millions of men and women around the world have had tattoos, often multiple tattoos that were applied many years ago, and the fact that there is no widespread concern or indeed any hard evidence around this, logic should tell us that any health risk is virtually negligible.

      SMP uses less pigment than the average tattoo, and the pigments are generally regarded as more ‘natural’. Of course this depends on the pigment used in your case, and the nature of your specific treatment, and remember I am not qualified to give medical advice.

      Regarding fading, it is common to have 1, 2 or even 3 sessions and fade out almost entirely. It’s frustrating, but sooner or later the pigment will ‘stick’, and fading will stop. You could ask about using a darker shade, but don’t be over-eager with this. Follow your practitioners advice, as long as they explain the reason for their recommendations and you feel comfortable with the advice you’re receiving.

  16. Kevin says:

    I wear a system and it looks great. My systems have a very thin base and you can see my scalp – which makes it look natural. I get a new system every 2 months because they don’t last. I have no concern about the look – I am not one of those guys you can spot in a mall with a bad hair piece from a mile away.

    What I HATE?… the itchiness!!! I have it removed and reattached every 3 weeks and I go crazy from the irritation between sessions.

    I would LOVE scalp micropigmentation but I have fair hair and I understand scalp micropigmentation does NOT work for blonds. The fact that no sight ever includes photos of blonds confirms this belief.

    What can you tell the fair skinned/haired among us and do you have any before/after photos of (strawberry) blonds??? Also, is scalp micropigmentation for fair hair more likely to fade or turn blue?

    Thanks!

    • Damien says:

      Hi Kevin

      I can answer your question quite comprehensively because I have fair hair, and I had SMP 18 months ago 🙂

      The pigmentation must usually match the shade of your real hair, in order to achieve the most natural result. The issue for us fair haired guys is that when we shave our heads, the ‘shadow’ is generally much less visible than on our dark haired counterparts. This issue was particularly prevalent in my case because my natural hair colour is VERY light.

      Scalp micropigmentation CAN work for men with lighter hair, no problem at all, but the technique needs to be adapted and applied by someone with a lot of experience, as pigment shade judgment is very important.

      You ultimately have two options:

      1. Match your pigments to your hair shade. This will provide a very natural look, but your treatment will be very light and sometimes hard to see in exceptional lighting conditions (such as exposure to camera flash etc).

      2. Commit to wet shaving your head every day or two, and you can get away with using darker pigments than your natural hair shade. This is what I did. You have to be careful of course to ensure your shade is in keeping with your complexion, eyebrows etc and the difference is very subtle, but it’s perfectly feasible as long as you don’t allow your hair to grow, and creates a slight fade look. I’ve included a photo (below) to show how this looks on me.

  17. brianfoster77 says:

    Hello Damian, happy new year to you.

    Just a quick question. Do you believe there is any merit in using fraxel to repair a scar before SMP? Does it work, and is it worth the money?

    • Damien says:

      Hi, thank you and happy new year to you too.

      It depends. Remember that fraxel is intended to repair the skin. It can only be effective if the scar needs to be repaired. In other words if the scar is indented, raised or significantly different in texture to the surrounding skin, yes you can probably benefit from fraxel.

  18. Steph says:

    Hi Damien, I am pleased that you have created a website to help people.
    I hesitated to do the procedure and finally I contacted several companies and HIS is the only one that did not answer me.

    I had a FUE transplant there 7 months. The work was done by doctor assistants and I’m not satisfied with the result.
    I have seen positive and negative opinion on SMP, and each time it depends on the practitioner.
    I saw that very often customers do not know their HIS practitioner.

    My question is:
    I wish to make a 2 or 3 procedure by Simon and ONLY by Simon “HIS”, it is possible ??

    I live in France and I can move to England

    • Damien says:

      In theory yes, but it would depend on availability of course.

      Choosing your specific practitioner is overrated, honestly it is. Most of the negative publicity around SMP is to do with mid-treatment or post-treatment fading, and this is not something a practitioner can control to any great extent. Fading is not caused by practitioner error, and cannot be avoided. It is however, easy to remedy.

      The right company with the right support network in place is important. Choosing one practitioner over another is a nice option to have, but really not that important to the final outcome.

  19. Steven4LFC says:

    Hi Damien.

    I came across this treatment about a year ago and I’ve been wrestling with the idea ever since. The one thing that concerns me is the recovery time because I have a great job in the legal sector, and I can’t take a lot of time off. How long do you think I need to let my head rest before I’ll look convincing enough to step back into the boardroom?

    Appreciate your advice, thanks!

    • Damien says:

      Actually for most people, this is less of a problem than they think it will be. There are two things to consider – the redness you’ll get straight after your procedure, and the time it takes your dots (particularly around your frontal hairline) to soften.

      Redness is the only factor you really need to consider with any level of concern, because it is pretty obvious. Most of the redness will be gone within 24 hours. Any that remains should be history within 48 hours. The softening of the dots takes longer, anything from a few days to a few weeks, and is evidenced most noticeably by a softening of your hairline. Whilst you will notice this and you’ll no doubt be waiting anxiously for it to soften, trust me no-one is likely to notice other than you. If you go for a soft broken hairline, the chances of being called on it are very slim indeed.

      Have your treatment on a Friday or a Saturday, and you should be fine to return to work on the Monday.

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