Scalp Micropigmentation

Why do I need multiple Scalp Micropigmentation sessions?

As a busy Vancouver scalp micropigmentation artist, a question I frequently receive is; “why do I need more than one SMP/ Scalp Micropigmentation session?”

In order to achieve a natural looking scalp of replicated follicles your SMP artist must take several factors into consideration such as fading, inflammation (redness during procedure) pigment retention, tone adjustment, healing time and blending.

No two scalps are the same. It takes skill to design a realistic hairline and time to build the desired density. Let’s explore this topic on a deeper level.

Scalp Micropigmentation results

To get the natural Scalp Micropigmentation results seen here (by Rob James SMP) there are many variable to take into  consideration

If for example an SMP artist told you (the client) that they could do your entire SMP in just one session, the respective smp artist is not really taking into consideration the multiple facets which usually cause fading in the coming weeks. This is due in part to the body’s own immune response. Neither are they taking into account skin flaking, due to dry or excessively oily skin. Each individuals skin chemistry varies widely so it’s impossible to tell these things without multiple sessions.

For example, I frequently see scalps loose up to 20% of the impressions in between the first session and the second session. Whilst some others might only loose 5%.


Typical fade in between 1st and 2nd session.

3rd session density

There is also the very real danger of over crowding the impressions due to limited visibility from inflammation, which causes redness of the skin. Or simply doing too much too soon, which in turn is painful for the client and painstaking for the artist, leaving too much room for tiredness and error.

Then there’s pigment tweaking, which might happen in between the multiple sessions, i.e. gradually increasing, or decreasing the pigment tone.

The ideal SMP length for most people sporting a Norwood 5,6,7 is three sessions, which are a minimum of ten days apart. Plus a final touch up two months down the road.

During that two-month period the client can get back to life as normal as the SMP fully settles.

It is the final touch up where the artist can see exactly how the scalp has taken the pigment over an extended period and can then blend any uneven areas accordingly.


A typical two month touch up session

This system of three sessions plus a touch up allows for all the uncontrollable variables and procedural necessities, such as fading, gradual density building, hairline extension, diffusion and of course the subtle final touches to maximize that realistic quality.

So in order for us to create the best-looking SMP possible the artist and the client both must practice patience.

But hopefully you will have done your homework and you will be comfortable with your chosen artist’s level of experience and knowledge on the subject.

Rob James is a highly experienced Vancouver scalp micropigmentation artist working out of advanced scalp.

He is always ready to answer any questions and give his best advice to anyone interested in SMP.

What is SMP?

Hi my name is Rob James I am a Vancouver scalp

micropigmentation artist currently working out of my clinic Advanced Scalp.

As one of western Canada’s busiest SMP artists, each week I receive dozens of emails and DM’s from people considering or curious about Scalp micropigmentation in Vancouver.

Many of these messages are from people who have just heard  about SMP for the first time and they are perhaps not ready to sit down for a consultation just yet.

Other inquiries might be from people who know more about the process but just need a little more in depth information about the process or the artist before taking that next step.

Either way I thought I’d write a series of posts over the next few weeks to help answer the most common questions I receive. In order to help create a clear picture of what scalp micropigmentation is and what it can potentially do for you. 

So I guess the best place to start is; what is SMP?

SMP is the abbreviated form for Scalp micro-pigmentation, which is essentially a cosmetic tattoo.

cosmetic tattoo

SMP is performed using a small, lightweight, relatively silent machine with a tiny, sterile, disposable needle attached to the tip. This needle is then dipped into an SMP specific pigment. Small micro deposits of pigment are then implanted at a superficial depth into the scalp.

If done correctly, by a skilled technician

The process should perfectly mimic the appearance of hair follicles, thus helping the recipient to restore the look of a full head of shaved hair.

shaved hair

These replicated follicles perfectly, create the illusion of shaved hair or can add density to areas of the scalp where hair is thinning, reducing the contrast between hair and scalp.

Another fantastic use for scalp micropigmentation is scar concealment. Mainly scar tissue from FUE or FUT hair transplants.

SMP when applied properly by an experienced and skilled artist can help to mask strip scarring and plug scarring by blending the scar tissue with the surrounding healthy hair.

SMP is also perfect for disguising conditions such as alopecia.


SMP is a multifaceted, practical, relatively low cost (compared to surgical options) and has zero downtime.

For all of the above applications it’s important to seek out an experienced and skilled artist. As with any trade or skill competence and ability will vary greatly.

A good first step is to view a scalp micropigmentation artist’s body of work and see if their style resonates with you. What you want to be looking for is realism, an artistic eye and a subtle attention to natural detail.

An experienced artist will know needle depth and duration, in order to perfectly replicate the surrounding natural follicle density. The artist should also have an experienced knowledge of pigment and tone in order to blend all hair patterns and colours seamlessly into the existing hair.

If you would like to learn more about SMP why not request a thorough consultation with Rob James SMP at Advanced Scalp in Vancouver BC.

As one of Canada’s most experienced and requested SMP artists I love to share my knowledge and help you make the right decision.

Thank you for reading.

Vancouver Scalp micropigmentation artist Rob James @ Advanced Scalp

Call 778-917-7772 or email: