Scalp micropigmentation (SMP) is a safe, reliable and detailed cosmetic tattoo for your scalp. The goal of SMP is to perfectly mimic the appearance of hair follicles, helping you restore the look of a full head of shaved hair.
When done correctly, SMP assists in creating a number of realistic aesthetics. These include the illusion of shaved hair, reducing the contrast between hair and scalp in thinning hair, and scar concealment. What makes SMP unique and powerful is its level of versatility. Each client has the power to customize their SMP to the exact look they desire.
If you’re new to my blog series, my name is Rob James. I am a skilled scalp micropigmentation artist and owner of the Vancouver based clinic, Advanced Scalp. I complete hundreds of SMP procedures on a yearly basis with an extensive list of satisfied clients. My SMP artistic style is ultra natural and subtle. Consulting with hundreds of clients a year, I tend get to asked the same question – “will my SMP look natural?”. My specific style is natural and subtle; and I do not do any other style.
Ensuring your SMP turns out realistic and natural may feel like it’s down to luck, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Here are 10 tips to attain natural results from your Scalp Micropigmentation sessions.
- Find your artist
Look for an artist with experience and a style that appeals to your tastes. Make sure their portfolio matches the end results that you’re looking for. If their portfolio is full of natural looking SMPs, then this is a good indication that their work will suit your desires. If their style of work seems too dark, too straight too sharp or box like and monotone, then there is a high chance your end result will not be what you’re looking for. Of course, there is nothing wrong with these styles, but they may not suit your needs of natural SMP styles.
It’s also best to avoid someone whose style is all over the place. For example, I only do one style, natural, diffused, subtle and graduated. Clients who are looking for this end result instantly know that I will be able to achieve this without any doubts.
- Less is always more
Choose to build your SMP slowly, you can always add more as the sessions progress, you cannot take it away. Try to be patient; I know it’s easier said than done, as you really want to see the results fast. But the best SMPs are built using a layering method and final finishing process for that 3D effect. Taking things at a slower pace means you have full control at every step of the process. This way, you can make sure that the work does not deviate from your desired look.
Where you place the SMP makes a big difference when trying to achieve a natural final result, especially the hairline. Once the SMP is blended into the short, existing, surrounding hair one must try not to exceed where you think your natural hairline would sit.
This ties into the less is more rule. You can always add to a hairline over time, but you cannot take it away. Try to envision where you think your natural hairline would sit and start just a fraction behind this point. This ensures your results are accurate. The same tactic goes for building out the temple areas – do not box in the forehead with an unnatural hairline and sides.
- Age Appropriate
You want to consider your SMP a permanent fixture, so try to get something that is age appropriate. A style that suits your current age and stage as well as something that will still suit you in five or six years down the road. To avoid this, look for something timeless and natural.
- Good Communication
Make sure you have good communication with an experienced SMP artist. Bring photos of their previous work that speaks to you; this can serve as a helpful guide for your chosen artist. It’s important to remember that SMP is a building process. So, it’s good to discuss the various stages of the build so as to get realistic expectations of what to expect throughout the process.
I always suggest working with an artist who is patient and has a great track record. It’s also important as a client to be patient and enjoy the journey.
Make sure your artist is well-versed and experienced in colour theory. It’s important that the pigment matches your surrounding, existing hair in order to seamlessly blend. Ideally, the pigment on top should be slightly darker than the surrounding hair in order to take into consideration a fade over the weeks into the perfect tone.
As mentioned earlier, patience is required in order to build a great, natural looking SMP. An artist must know how to build layers of density using a variety of tones and a variety of needle sizes. This is why a good SMP cannot be built in one session. Correct density throughout session one and two then on to the final session where we add a darker, less dense pigment for that hyper realistic 3D effect.
In order to create that ultra natural look, make sure your selected artist cuts your hair to the optimal length. SMP do not look good when the surrounding natural hair is too long, as it creates too much of a contrast between the three dimensional real hair and the flat two-dimensional cosmetic tattoo. Hair that is too long also does not allow for smooth blending. Longer hair is also often too dark on the back and sides to create that realism. Therefore, starting off your SMP correctly with short natural hair helps the overall end result of your natural looking style.
When your SMP is complete, it is important to follow a few general maintenance rules in order to preserve and highlight the natural look of your SMP. It is crucial to maintain a short hair length at all times so that there isn’t drastic contrast between the SMP and your natural hair. I always suggest cutting it to a .5 every two days.
Additionally, keep your scalp chemistry well balanced with an alcohol free moisturizer. Try to limit prolonged sun exposure, as UV will prematurely fade your SMP. Following these basic guidelines will help maintain the natural look of your SMP for as long as possible.
- Own it
Hopefully you did your homework, you found a great artist, and your SMP is complete and looking great. But that’s not all it takes to have good SMP.
Part of a great looking, natural SMP is your attitude and how you wear it, feel the confidence boost and own it.
Still feeling a bit lost? I’ve got your back. As one of Canada’s most experienced and requested SMP artists, I would love to discuss any questions or concerns you may have. Booking a consultation means that we can evaluate your needs with my experience to devise the perfect treatment plan for you.
Are you ready to take the next step?
Vancouver Scalp micropigmentation artist Rob James @ Advanced Scalp
Call 778-917-7772 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org