Scalp MicroPigmentation (SMP) is a long-lasting or semi-permanent cosmetic ‘tattoo’ that mimics the very short hairs of a closely shaved scalp. It is a fantastic technique that offers an alternative styling option for men who are not interested or good candidates for hair transplant surgery, or would like the appearance of more density. It involves the use of a custom designed needle, digitally controlled superficially into the skin, which applies colour pigment into the scalp.

SMP can be used for a variety of scalp conditions including: genetic androgenic alopecia (AGA) otherwise known as male or female pattern hair loss, scarring alopecias, autoimmune diseases of the scalp (e.g. alopecia areata, alopecia totalis), and scarring from surgical procedures, accidents or burns. This is a non-surgical procedure, and at Farjo hair Institute is carried out by experienced and well-trained technicians under the guidance of hair restoration specialists. We also offer the option to have the procedure performed under local anesthesia.

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SMP is a great adjunct to hair transplant surgery by creating a thicker/denser look to the transplanted area. Today’s hair transplant surgery can create a completely natural appearance using your own hair to provide fullness in thinning areas. The SMP process adds to the look of fullness by reducing the contrast between your scalp and your hair color.

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It can also camouflage scars found on the scalp including those that form from ‘strip harvesting’ if the patient wishes to cut their hair very short now. With the current predominance of the FUE as a hair transplant harvesting technique, the impression is that scarring is not a problem in the donor area. This is far from true. Done properly and sensibly, the scars should be hardly visible. However, when too many hairs/grafts are done in the one procedure, such as typical of cheap medical tourism centres and even ones here in the UK, you can get what’s called ‘overharvesting’ where the scars can become obvious and very hard to disguise and of course destroys your prospects of further transplants. SMP works very well to hide this scarred effect.

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At non-medical scalp micropigmentation centres, the typical client is bald and then the SMP is applied throughout the whole scalp. If you choose your SMP provider carefully, then some of the results look truly great giving the appearance of an all over shaven look.

Here at Farjo however, we feel sometimes it can look a bit ‘painted’. Additionally, if you or someone else runs their hand on your head, you do not get the feel of hair. Worse still it can feel oddly smooth. This is why we like the idea of combining surgery with SMP in these cases.

If you do not have the donor supply, or you can only have a limited amount of surgery, we suggest one procedure to cover as much scalp as possible. We can then supplement the rest of your scalp with SMP whilst keeping the transplanted hair cropped. This achieves a more realistic 3-dimensional look, as well as the feel of real hair when you touch your scalp. When the hair is cropped short, it is very difficult for the observer to see the difference between the hairs and the SMP.

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Brian Marsden - Before 1
SMP without transplant
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Brian Marsden - After 1
SMP with FUE
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Brian Marsden - Before 3
SMP without transplant
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Brian Marsden - After 3
SMP with FUE

For the option of regaining actual hair, today’s hair transplant surgery procedures offer fantastic results in terms of naturalness and density in the suitable candidate.  SMP is a fantastic alternative non-surgical option for others or those wishing to supplement surgery where appropriate. Please get in touch if you want to discuss further!



What is Scalp MicroPigmentation (SMP)?

SMP is the use of a digital needle, which applies colour pigment into the scalp. It simulates the appearance of hair follicles and creates the illusion of close shaven hair.

Is it permanent?

Typically we would expect this treatment to last between 1-4 after which 1-2 touch-up session may be required to maintain colour.  However, it is impossible to predict the exact length of time it will last as lifestyle and other variables can affect treatment and some individuals may have the remnants of this treatment for a longer period.

Is it like a regular tattoo?

No. Unlike a traditional tattoo that would use ‘ink’, SMP is performed using specially designed pigments that will not have the colour change or migration (blurring) that a body art tattoo would have. Although it may appear to be a similar technique, the needles and treatment depth into the skin are very different. Both use needles to implant colour, but that is where the similarity ends. This treatment will need a small number of maintenance treatments to keep it looking even over the years to come.

Is it safe?

Yes. We use sterile one-time use needles and all other materials used are disposed of immediately after treatment.

Will it hurt?

Most clients do not feel the need to have anaesthetic depending on the size of the area to be treated. Farjo is a medical and registered hair transplant clinic so there is an option for local anaesthetic to be applied by a qualified doctor.

What if I want to grow out my hair?

Depending on your balding pattern this may be possible. Consultation between a prospective patient and an experienced hair restoration doctor or their well trained staff before undergoing SMP is invaluable.

What if I am not bald but I use a concealer or camouflage (Toppik and Dermmatch)?

SMP decreases the contrast between your scalp and hair colour, giving an illusion of fullness. SMP can be a bit like permanent concealer such as Toppik or DermMatch.

What happens if I turn grey?

Because the pigments are designed to fade we can adjust tone and change the hairline to suit our clients as they mature. You often find that even if hair does turn grey, when it is shaved the natural hair follicles or roots may still have a darker appearance.

What if I lose more hair?

At the consultation, we will discuss in depth all the possible outcomes. We work in such a way that if there is more hair loss we can blend and increase the treatment area. Due to advancements in Hair Transplant surgery, you may choose this option or other future treatments when they become available. Farjo is world renowned for research work in all areas of Hair regrowth and understanding the reasons for hair loss in the first instance.

What if I want a hair Transplant later on?

Having SMP will enhance any transplant surgery FUT or FUE, by creating an illusion of thicker ‘hair’ at a root level. This treatment works very well with hair transplant surgery and many patients use SMP as a way to create some coverage whilst waiting for surgery, as the result is instant and a financially effective option.

Do I have to commit to the treatment in one go?

No. If you are not sure if SMP is for you then we would suggest that you have a small test patch of approximately 1 cm, in a location to be agreed by you and your practitioner, which is usually where the balding scalp meets the side hair. This way you can see what the treatment will look like and if you decide not to proceed with the whole treatment it will not be noticeable. We would never undergo any treatment unless we felt that you were fully aware of all options and are 100% happy with the treatment plan.

Does it look real?

Yes. This treatment will create the illusion of a shaven head or 5 o’clock shadow but it is not actual hair so on very close inspection or touch, you will not feel the stubble as you would with real hair. Some clients choose to have some FUE to create the feel of stubble if the donor hair is available.

Will my head turn a funny colour?

Traditional body art tattoos do have the tendency to change colour. If it was black to start with, very often they will turn blue as a result of migration (blur), which is due to the type of ink used, and the tissue level the tattoo was implanted. SMP is not implanted at a deep level on the scalp and the simulated hair follicles are implanted in the very top layers of the epidermis. Factors such as sun exposure will have an effect on colour retention, which is why it is important to adhere to the aftercare instructions for your SMP treatment and to use a high factor sunblock every day. The explanation for an ashy or green/grey appearance can be likened to how blood vessels appear green under the skin; the increased absorption of the red spectrum of light gives rise to this phenomenon (i.e. if you absorb red you will perceive green). When pigment is deposited beneath the skin, there is ‘no true’ perception of black. The deeper pigment is deposited, the more potential for change in perception of colour.

Can you make an irregular natural hair line?

As we are hair restoration specialists and experts at creating natural looking hair lines, the answer is yes! Most clients want a soft and natural fading front hair line, while others prefer a more distinct and linear look. We advise and work with our clients individually to obtain the look they want.

What makes you different to the other Scalp tattooing centres?

Farjo has been established for over 27 years, researching and developing the very best techniques for Hair Transplant surgery and hair stimulating medicines. We are recognized world leaders in the field. As a result, we have an excellent understanding of what will create the most natural look with the most important being the correct hairline. The most common pitfall in SMP and Hair Transplants is not achieving a natural and subtle hairline, giving the appearance of a ‘Lego Head’, which looks totally unnatural.

Does SMP work on women with thinning hair?

Yes, in many women it’s an ideal solution, However, we need to investigate the cause of the hair loss or hair thinning first and rule out medical conditions.

Will it damage my existing hair?

No. In fact there is evidence to show that this treatment can be beneficial for clients suffering from Alopecia as this treatment creates hyperaemia, bringing blood flow to the surface as a by-product of micro trauma to the area. In some cases, this means that natural hair re-growth can occur in the areas treated but is not something we can guarantee or promise.

How long does the treatment take?

The first treatment takes the longest time and depending on the size of the area to be treated can take around 2 – 4 hours. The second treatment is usually shorter and if a third treatment is required it is shorter still.

How much does it cost?

For a treatment quote please contact Farjo to book a face-to-face consultation. Alternatively, for a quicker quote, you can email photos of the area you wish to be treated. We would require high-resolution headshots of the front, right side, left side, back and of the top of your head to give us a panoramic view. These photos will be treated in the strictest of confidence and should you decide not to proceed with the treatment they will be immediately disposed of. All quotes are valid for 30 days from the date of quotation.

What will I look like immediately after treatment?

You will look like you have hair. If you have a lighter complexion, your scalp will have ’redness’ for approximately 24-48 hours after treatment. On darker skin, this does not tend to show at all. The results are immediate, so you will have the appearance of a closely shaven head although it may take 2-3 applications for the completed look. The pigment colour may appear darker until it has had time to settle and you have washed off the excess pigment, approximately 5-7 days.  Again this is more noticeable on lighter skin. It is not uncommon to lose implanted colour, which is why you will require 2-3 treatments to ensure an even colour match all over. We recommend at least 7 days between HPT treatments to ensure a true colour match. That way we can amend colour and make any minor changes before the next treatment to guarantee the best outcome possible.

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