Frequently Asked Questions about SMP
We understand that making a decision to have scalp tattooing can be a daunting one to make, so we hope to put you at ease with our expert knowledge and experience.
Scalp micropigmentation is a great choice for most people who find their way to us- it’s hypoallergenic, non-invasive, works equally well for men and women, is long-lasting and easy to maintain. Read more about it here.
A skilfully applied SMP treatment will last for years under normal conditions. However, its colour will fade over time. This is generally considered a good thing, as few people want to be tied to a single hairstyle & as techniques improve as well as trends in hairstyle, we can update the look periodically.
It is advised to schedule a return appointment for ‘touch-ups’ and any re-application of pigment every 12 – 18 months. This will also allow you to modify the look and colour palette of your scalp to stay in style!
However, that figure is merely a guide. Some clients go several years between treatments. The amount of pigment used in the treatment is variable, and if more is used, the effects usually last noticeably longer. This allows you to select an approximate duration, as well as a specific look.
Before your actual treatment begins, you will have a detailed consultation with the SMP Practitioner who will be conducting your treatment. This will make sure that you are suitable for the treatment you desire, that the artist is confident of your results and that your goals and expectations for the procedure are reasonable.
We will also take your medical history at this time and with your permission, we will take photographs to provide an accurate ‘before and after’ comparison for you.
This consultation can often be scheduled for the same day as your treatment.
Before your appointment, you may wish to take some painkillers to minimise the slight discomfort of the procedure. This is not necessary for all clients, and you should discuss the need for this during your consultation.
Next, the artist typically marks out the area of your scalp that will receive the treatment, using a simple cosmetic pencil. These marks wash right off after the procedure.
Finally, a fully sterilised handheld electrical device – similar to a traditional tattoo needle – is used to apply the pigment just under the outer layers of your skin.
In all, your treatment might take as much as 2 hours or as little as 30 minutes, depending on the size and complexity of the task. Your artist will be able to make a fairly accurate prediction of the procedure time during your consultation.
It is common for a procedure to require more than one appointment, generally three sessions are required to achieve perfect results, as some areas of the skin absorb pigments at different rates. Again, your artist can make a prediction about the number of sessions your desired effect will require at your consultation.
SMP treatments are by their very nature extremely low-maintenance. There is effectively zero recovery time, and the vast majority of our clients resume their normal activities the same day as their treatment.
You may experience a slight redness of the affected skin, but there is usually no noticeable swelling and even the redness fades very quickly. The pigments may appear darker than you desire for the first few days, as they settle into the skin. This is normal, and they will fade to your desired, long-term appearance within days.
Your SMP artist will advise you of any special care procedures, which your chosen treatment may require. This varies from treatment to treatment, but may include any or all of:
Avoiding direct, intense exposure to sunlight for a few days
Not going swimming for a few weeks (bathing and showering need not be avoided)
Not scratching or picking at the affected skin
Very few indeed! The biggest danger, in fact, is going to an unskilled or inexperienced practitioner. They may use the wrong colours for your skin tone or simply apply them in an inartistic fashion, leaving you with an unsatisfactory appearance, which can last for years.
This of course, can be avoided by researching your provider very carefully and going with a qualified, experienced SMP practitioner like Ravi Sabharwal at Scalp Provoco. In fact, we’ve been able to help several clients who chose the wrong provider the first time around, altering their SMP to better suit their appearance, taste and lifestyle.
On some rare occasions, the procedure results in slight scarring. These again are almost always the result of a mistake on the makeup artist’s part. You can mitigate this risk by using an experienced artist like Scalp Provoco.
The least likely risk is that of infection. Again, this should never happen if the equipment has been properly sterilised and all advised safety procedures are followed. The risk is more prevalent if a less reliable artist is used.