Hair loss Vancouver options

Vancouver Hair Replacement

Hair loss Vancouver options

 As a busy and in demand Scalp Micro Pigmentation artist living and working in Vancouver BC, I consult with many men on a weekly basis who are looking for solutions regarding their hair loss.

So I thought I’d take this opportunity to go over the myriad of treatments available. Highlighting the positives and negatives of every option. In hopes of adding some clarity, as to what options are available in Vancouver for hair loss.

Hair fibres:

Many clients who have thinning hair use what is called  thickening hair fibres. These tiny, sticky fibres when applied to the hair, stick causing the hair to appear thicker. The drawback of these hair fibres this that when wet they become sticky and can drip onto clothing.

Hair Fibre thickens existing hair

Hair Fibre thickens existing hair

The hair fibres work great and look good on thinning hair up until a point in time where your hair has simply become too thin to sport the fibres.

The hair fibres have a limited functionality, rain; swimming, profuse sweating can all interfere with the practicality of the product.

Topical treatments 

I see many clients who use Finasteride and or Minoxidil. These can be used either in a topical treatment such as a foam or liquid or in the form of an oral medication.

Hair medications

Hair medications can have positive results as well as side effects

Finasteride (brand name Propecia) prevents hair loss by stopping your body from converting testosterone into DHT. Minoxidil (brand name Rogaine) is a vasodilator. When applied to your scalp, it widens the blood vessels, facilitating the flow of blood to hair follicles. These products seem to work for many people, preventing any continued hair loss and sometimes promoting new hair growth. They usually require long term, sustained use, and can be costly due to duration. However, both often come with some unpleasant side effects.

Hair systems:

Toupée, hairpiece, wig, or weave. These hair systems can be made from real hair or synthetic hair. Many of these hairpieces can look very convincing indeed.

They are placed onto the scalp with a strong bonding agent and trimmed into shape.

Some hair systems look incredible

Some hair systems look incredible

Other hair systems use an individual hair attachment made up of multiple synthetic hairs, which are essentially tied onto your existing hair follicles, multiplying the volume.

Downside is they have to be replaced frequently, glues can irritate the skin, limited practicality and function, surrounding hair grows out, artificial hair eventually falls out and can begin to look tired. Costly and unpractical over the long run.

Hair transplants: 

Hair transplants are a surgical solution to hair loss, where hair is removed usually from the back of the head and surgically placed into other areas of the scalp.

Successful hair transplant

Successful hair transplant

There are two main methods of follicle extraction. FUT harvesting, where a donor area of hair is extracted, usually in a linear strip. The donor area is then stitched often leaving a linear scar. And FUE harvesting is a relatively newer method of extraction, where individual hairs are extracted from a wider ranging donor area and placed into the desired transplant area.

FUE is more costly and is said to leave less scaring than FUT.

Transplant scar concealed using SMP

Transplant scar concealed using SMP

However in my experience FUE does leave scaring in the form of multiple hairless dimples or patches at the back of the scalp.

Many people are satisfied with their hair transplants; however there are those whose procedure did not produce the desired results. Often the transplanted hair just didn’t grow thick or abundant enough to keep it. Sometimes the hair can grow at an unusual angle if not place correctly and be of an unusual texture.

Another downside of a hair transplant is the cost some transplants will be in excess of $20k. There is also a significant downtime and healing period.

Scalp Micropigmentation: 

Scalp micro pigmentation is essentially a cosmetic tattoo that uses a tiny needle to deposit pigment into the scalp.

If done correctly by an experienced and skilled technician the effect replicates your natural hair follicles perfectly.

The SMP process mimics the appearance of tiny hair follicles, helping the recipient restore the look of a full head of shaved hair.

SMP can be used to add density to thinning hair for both males and females, conceal scar tissue from hair transplants and disguise skin conditions such as alopecia.

It can also be used in conjunction with a hair transplant to add further density to the scalp within the transplanted area.

Although the effects are different from a hair transplant, (SMP is two dimensional as opposed to real transplanted three dimensional hair). SMP is a cost effective and there is very little downtime.

shaved hair

If done correctly SMP can look identical to shaved hair

If SMP is performed incorrectly the results can be less than desirable. SMP will fade over time. There is a minimal set of aftercare instructions to follow in order to maintain the optimal quality of your SMP.

I do hope this has helped highlight the options available to those seeking a solution to thinning or balding hair.

Rob James is one of Western Canada’s most requested SMP artists working out of Advanced Scalp Clinic Vancouver BC.

Rob James SMP is always open for consultation and provides a wealth of experience and advice on the topic of hair loss in Vancouver and Scalp micropigmentation Vancouver.

Does Scalp Micro pigmentation (SMP) Look Real?

As one of Canada’s busiest SMP artists, I receive a lot of Emails on a weekly basis from people curious about SMP. My blog serves to help people interested in scalp micro pigmentation make informed decisions regarding SMP.


A question I frequently receive is:


 “Does scalp micro pigmentation (SMP) look real?”

 realistic SMP

Does SMP look real? Example of  a quality, realistic SMP


The answer to this depends on several variables, so let’s explore this topic further.

Client expectations

The first thing to manage as an SMP artist is your client’s expectations. It’s important to fully explain the entire SMP experience and process to your clients in a very clear manner. Many times unsuspecting people can be misled by advertisements, cunning marketing, doctored photographs and or untruths in order to get business.

It’s important to clearly explain and map out the entire procedure relevant to your clients particular pattern of hair loss.

Photo Misrepresentation

Client has more actual hair than most

Client has more actual hair than most


Many times a photo of someone with a lot more hair than a typical Norwood 5, 6 or 7 can be used as an example of what SMP can do. It’s important to be realistic, make sure you see before after photos of someone who has a very similar hair loss pattern as yourself. As an SMP artist make sure you highlight to your prospective client, that their results will vary depending on their hair loss pattern.

SMP artist Experience and Skill 

In order to get a clear picture of what SMP can and cannot do for you. It’s important that your chosen artist has enough experience and skill to show you examples of what to expect based on their own body of work. Hopefully they will be able to show you examples of former clients who had a very similar scalps and hair loss patterns as yourself, in order to give you a realistic expectation.

Appropriate Hairline design and density 

Once you have decided on getting SMP it’s important to make sure you work with your artist on designing a realistic and appropriate new hairline. Do your homework and decide whether your chosen artist has a style that resonates with your desire and expectations. An appropriate hairline design depends on a variety of things such as age, existing surrounding hair pattern, existing hair density, hair colour and head shape.

SMP equipment:

The ability of an artist being able to create a convincing head of realistic looking impressions heavily relies on the equipment they have and how they use it.

It takes time, patience and an eye for detail to expertly combine pigment shades and needle widths to create that realistic 3D effect over the sessions.

Making sure that your chosen SMP artist is well equipped with the latest in needle technology and pigment quality is essential. Although this is hard to tell for someone who doesn’t know the details of the SMP business.  An operator should be open to sharing their product knowledge in order to make you feel at ease and able to do some research of your own.


Keeping your surrounding hair short and following aftercare

Keeping your surrounding hair short and following aftercare

Following the aftercare instructions in between SMP sessions is essential for quality end results. And following the SMP aftercare for years after your SMP is completed is paramount for prolonging the longevity and quality of your SMP.

Short Surrounding hair

One of the most important things you can do to make sure your SMP is always on point is to keep the surrounding hair short and well kept. Other than having a bad SMP job, there is nothing more that will make an SMP look washed out and unrealistic than long surrounding hair.


Long hair surrounding your SMP will cause a contrast between the 3D real hair and the 2D cosmetic tattoo.

SMP can never compete with longer unshaved hair for darkness.

So for optimal effect, keep that surrounding hair short.

I do hope that this blog post highlights some of the things you can do to ensure your SMP results are realistic and rewarding.

Rob James SMP operates out of Vancouver’s premier Scalp Micro Pigmentation clinic and training facility Advanced Scalp Clinic.

Does SMP damage hair follicles?

As one of the busiest and most experienced SMP artists in Canada, I receive many emails and DM’s from people who are considering Scalp MicroPigmentation. The aim of my blog is to answer as many of the questions that I received in order to help you make an informed decision.


A common question I receive is;


“Will SMP damage my hair follicles”

Will the SMP needle damage a hair follicle?

Will the SMP needle damage a hair follicle?

During consultations I often hear people say they are conflicted, stuck between getting a full on hair transplant or going with SMP.

As you probably know SMP is far less invasive than a hair transplant and certainly a lot cheaper.

However I am always asked if SMP will damage hair follicles and ruining their chances of having a hair transplant at some point in the future, if they so choose.

In my opinion, this is an important question to ask.

But please remember I am not a medical doctor. So, if you’re really concerned about it, please visit a hair transplant doctor or discuss this with your GP.

Over the years I have had Doctor’s as clients and I have personally spoken with hair transplant specialists on this very topic. So I will relay the information to the best of my ability and experience.


Does SMP damage hair follicles?

At Advanced Scalp Clinic here in Vancouver we use an array of tiny needles to suit the individual scalp. However most commonly you’ll find us using a tight 3 needle, which penetrates the dermis at about 2mm depth.

Hair follicles are much deeper and will not be affected even if pigment is placed above them.

The hair follicle is deed in the dermis

The hair follicle is deep in the dermis

Scalp Micropigmentation does not cause hair loss

Along with the concern that SMP will damage hair follicles comes the question “will SMP cause more hair loss in the future?”

Good news! SMP will not cause any more hair loss to take place. In fact many people seek out dry needling in hopes that the stimulation to the scalp will promote new hair growth.

Rob James SMP is one of Canada’s most sought out artists, known for his ultra realistic hairline creations.




Always available for free consultations

How long does SMP last?

Hi I’m Rob James from Advanced Scalp clinic in Vancouver. As one of Canada’s busiest SMP artists I receive a lot of questions via email on a weekly basis regarding SMP.

So through my blog I try to answer as many of the most commonly asked questions in order to educate and inform those who are interested in SMP. Clear up some of the confusion and myths and hopefully paint a clear picture as to what SMP can or cannot do for you.

I recently had a visit from a client of mine who had his SMP done two years ago and the results were still stunning. So it got me thinking about a question I frequently receive.

“How long does SMP last?”

Scalp clinic

2 years old, SMP Still looks great!

When SMP is done correctly, by an experienced artist you can expect it to last (on average) 5 years before a refresh session is needed.

However there are a few factors, which can contribute to less than desirable longevity results for your SMP. The good news is most of these factors are in your control.

For arguments sake we’ll use a full SMP as an example. My full SMP service consists of three sessions, plus a touch up session.

In between your SMP sessions you will experience fading to varying degrees, however do not be alarmed, as this is perfectly normal. Once the sessions are all over you will be required to follow some basic aftercare.

SMP aftercare for longevity

Let me set the record straight, everyone will experience fading. If someone tells you that your SMP will never fade, or can be successfully done in one session, run a mile.

Gradual SMP fading

Gradual SMP fading

The truth is EVERYONE will experience fading to varying degrees and at varying speeds. No two scalps are alike we all have different skin chemistry and different immune systems.

What are the reasons for fading?

As stated above everyone’s skin is different, some people’s skin is more oily, some more dry. Skin cells turn over and renew and with this a cosmetic tattoo will eventually grow lighter. These elements are to a degree out of our control. However if the SMP was done correctly you should see (again on average) your SMP retaining its structure and tone for 5 years.

Is there anything I can do to prolong my SMP longevity?


Maintain your SMP

Yes, there are absolutely things you must be doing to prolong your SMP. Proper maintenance of your scalp micropigmentation is essential and will allow you to enjoy your fresh new look for as long as possible. So lets explore a few easy but vital steps you can take to get the most out of your SMP.

Avoid sun damage

As with any tattoo UV light will fade it, however with that being said, you don’t have to completely avoid all sunlight. I tell my clients to enjoy the sun for twenty minute and then wear a hat or put on an SPF protectant and enjoy the rest of your day.


Make sure you keep your scalp moisturized with a natural alcohol free moisturizer. Coconut oil is a good natural choice, however it might be a little oily for some. I have another blog post on anti-shine matte moisturizers here:

It is recommended that during your SMP and once the SMP is complete, that you avoid using topical chemicals, which contain alcohol, such as Minoxidil or Finasteride.

Healthy lifestyle

As with all things in life a healthy lifestyle determines the outcome and longevity of many things, your SMP is possibly one of them. Healthy life usually results in healthy skin. Healthy skin usually results in a happy, healthy good-looking SMP!

What should I expect to happen over 5 years?

An SMP done by an experienced and skilled practitioner should not vanish over 5. However, it will lighten and to what degree will vary from person to person. You should not need a completely new SMP and a refresh usually will suffice. The refresh usually only takes a few hours and your SMP will be back in top shape.

A healthy looking SMP

A healthy looking SMP

Rob James runs the popular and successful Advanced Scalp Clinic in Vancouver Canada. Approachable, friendly Rob James SMP is always available for free consultation.