Top Ten Reasons For Getting SMP

Beginning to understand what SMP has to offer you all at once can be extremely overwhelming. This is especially the case if you’re still weighing all of your hair loss solutions that are available to you. (If this is you, consider reading my blog post What Options Do Men Who Are Suffering From Hair Loss Have In Vancouver? first!)

As an expert scalp micropigmentation artist who consults with a number of clients on a daily basis, I have become very familiar with the initial concerns that arise. Oftentimes, clients want to be reassured why SMP is the right choice for them.

Competing online narratives about hair loss solutions may make your decision more stressful than it needs to be. That’s why I’ve decided to break down the top ten reasons to choose SMP as your  hair loss solution of choice.

If you’re new to my blog series, my name is Rob James. I am a skilled scalp micropigmentation artist and owner of my 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. I take pride in my work which starts with building an open conversation with my clients to ensure satisfaction.

Now that we’re acquainted, let’s jump into the list:

  1. Safety

Scalp Micropigmentation is one of the safest hair loss solutions out there. SMP grants you freedom and security before, during and after the procedure has been completed. This is due to the fact that you won’t have to worry about long term medications, topical creams or special protocols to follow anytime during or after the procedure.

Other hair loss solutions come with risk depending on how your body may react to medications and topical creams you would have to take. With SMP, you won’t have to worry about any of these risks. You will be able to enjoy your results worry free.

2. Instant Results

Some hair loss solutions can take months before you even begin to see whether or not the treatment is working. With SMP, your results are immediate and don’t have to wait for recovery time. You won’t have to worry for months on end whether your treatment is worth your time, you won’t feel anxious about your hair transplant to take or medications to work. Instead, you’ll have the opportunity to reap the benefits of your procedure right away.

This also means, there are no expensive maintenance programs for you to follow afterwards. You will be giving yourself the opportunity to leave your procedure fully satisfied and worry free.

3. Permanence

When SMP is done correctly, the procedure can last you anywhere between 4-6 years before you have to even think about coming in for a touch up. Compared to other hair loss solutions, scalp micropigmentation guarantees results with ease. You won’t have to worry about following a long term drug regimen or go through a time consuming maintenance process to keep your hair loss solution from failing.

SMP gives you the opportunity to continue your day to day routine without any major lifestyle changes. It’s a hair loss solution that really feels like one.

4. Cost effective

Since scalp micropigmentation provides you with instant results that have a high degree of permanence, it is relatively inexpensive compared to procedures with long recovery times and post procedural maintanence. The process itself is also relatively inexpensive compared to other popular hair loss solutions such as hair transplants.

Solutions such as hair fibres or hair systems not only cost more in the long run, but cost you constant maintenance time you could be otherwise saving. SMP on the other hand is a one time initial procedure with a 2 hour refresh 4-6 years into the future.

5. Non-invasive 

SMP is a procedure that does not involve any surgery, is relatively pain free and does not require any post procedural medication. The non-invasive procedure will not inconvenience your body, your schedule or your day to day routine.

6. Zero down time 

With SMP. you will be able to complete your procedure in the morning and go about your regular day by early the same afternoon. Due to the non-invasive nature of the SMP procedure, it does not require any major recovery time. This makes finding the time to book an appointment even easier.

Anyone with a busy schedule can easily find time to book an appointment without worrying about major delays or inconveniences to their lives. The little aftercare that is required from SMP is just as quick and manageable as the procedure itself. 

7. Looks great 

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.

If your SMP procedure is done by a skilled SMP artist, your results will look fantastic almost immediately. If your chosen artist is in popular demand, has an eye for realism and detail, and has an impressive body of work on happy clients, chances are you’re in good hands. 

8. Low Maintenance 

If SMP is applied correctly by an experienced artist, your next 3-5 years will be relatively maintenance free! Your only requirement once the sessions are over will be to follow some basic aftercare and keep the surrounding hair short for maximum aesthetic appeal. 

9. Boosts Confidence 

People ask me if there are any major side effects with SMP and I always point to the most important one. If you’ve chosen the right artist the major side effect will be a dramatic boost to your confidence and feeling of well being!

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. 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. I believe SMP is an art, and I believe my background in fine arts has tremendously helped me cultivate my unique style and attention to detail. 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:

Is Scalp micropigmentation (SMP) a realistic solution for hair loss?

Advanced Scalp

In Vancouver SMP is gaining in popularity

Hi, I’m Rob James. I am a skilled micropigmentation artist and owner of the Vancouver SMP based clinic, Advanced Scalp. If you’ve wandered onto this post, you’re probably curious about what exactly scalp micropigmentation (SMP) is, and how it works.

Well, don’t worry, you’re not alone.

As one of western Canada’s busiest SMP artists, I receive at least a dozen inquiries a week from individuals wanting to learn more. These questions often follow a few patterns.

First, there are those who have just heard about scalp micropigmentation for the first time and are curious to learn more. Most times, they are not ready to sit down for a consultation just yet, but are itching to explore the possibilities SMP has to offer.

Then are the individuals who have done extensive research on the topic itself and want to hear more from an industry professional before taking the next crucial step.

Whether you are someone with similar types of questions or not, I thought simplifying the process of scalp micropigmentation through a series of blog posts would be a helpful first step towards easing newcomers to the world of SMP. Get ready to become an expert on SMP within the next few weeks!

Tell me more about SMP

“I’m hearing all about the thing called SMP, but I have no idea what it is?”

No problem, let’s start with the basics.

Scalp micropigmentation 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.

SMP uses industry specific technology to ensure quality and detailed results. It is performed using a small, and relatively silent machine. Attached to the machine is a tiny, sterile and disposable needle. To ensure quality results, the needle is dipped into an SMP specific pigment matched to your stubble tone, so as to mimic your surrounding hair follicles. Then, small micro deposits of this pigment are implanted at a superficial depth into the scalp.

SMP assists

When done correctly SMP is seamless and looks realistic

When done correctly, SMP assists in creating a number of realistic aesthetics, these include:

  • The illusion of shaved hair
  • Reducing contrast between longer hair and scalp for those with thinning hair.
  • Scar concealment primarily for those with FUT or FUE transplant scars.
  • Concealing alopecia patches

Other less known applications of SMP

Primarily known for creating the effect of a shaved head for balding men. SMP has some lesser-known applications.

Let’s explore the aspect of scar concealment in scalp micropigmentation a bit further. SMP helps conceal scar tissue that is often present after a FUE or FUT hair transplant. A highly skilled and experienced SMP artist can help to mask strip and plug scarring by blending the scar tissue with the surrounding healthy hair. Concealing scars left from hair transplants using SMP can help you further enhance the overall look you desire.

In addition to hair transplant scar concealment SMP also helps disguise medical conditions such as alopecia.

SMP is also gaining a lot of traction and attention in the female population, as a viable and practical solution for female pattern hair loss and hair loss due to repetitive styling techniques.

scalp micropigmentation

SMP for females is gaining popularity in Vancouver

So we can see how ground breaking scalp micropigmentation is due to its multifaceted uses, none invasive application and relatively low cost.


I like the sound of SMP what is my next step?

Now that we’ve gone into a little more detail, you may have already decided that SMP is right for you. So, let’s talk about your next steps.

As with any trade or service you may be seeking out, the level of experience, skill and competence within the field may vary greatly. That’s why it’s important to seek out an experienced artist who understands your needs.

Before even asking about a consultation, it is a good idea to explore the artist’s body of work to ensure it is what you’re looking for. Does their style match your vision? Does their work look realistic and detailed? Or does their work look too heavy and look more like a tattoo? How much experience do they have?

These are the types of questions you should be asking yourself while looking for an SMP artist.

Next step would be booking an in person consultation with a few artists, so that you can get a feel for their personality, communication skills and discuss their work and experience in more detail. At the same time giving you an opportunity to discuss your SMP style, desires and schedule with the chosen artist.

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. 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.

Booking a consultation at my Vancouver SMP clinic means that we can evaluate your needs and devise the perfect treatment plan for you.

Vancouver Scalp micropigmentation

Consultations are always free and highly informative

Are you ready to take the next step?

Vancouver Scalp micropigmentation artist Rob James @ Advanced Scalp

Call 778-917-7772 or email:

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 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

Scalp Micropigmentation

How to prevent a shiny scalp before and after SMP

As a busy SMP artist working out of Advanced Scalp Clinic in Vancouver Canada I get dozens of emails on a weekly basis regarding Scalp Micropigmentation.

One question that stands out is;

“How do I prevent my scalp from being so shiny?”


“Will SMP stop my scalp from being so shiny?”

Will SMP prevent a shiny scalp?

These are two interesting questions! So let’s dive right in. 

Firstly let me make it clear that for many having a shiny scalp isn’t an issue whatsoever. But for those who are troubled by it and who ask me how to prevent it, this blog post is for you.

Let’s start by answering and potentially clearing up any misconceptions surrounding SMP and scalp shine. Scalp Micropigmentation will not completely get rid of scalp shine. It might mitigate it slightly by being less of a contrasting, reflective colour and this new tone might appear less oily looking. But it’s mainly stubble diffusion, which absorbs the light and makes for less reflective surface, therefore a less shiny scalp.

So, for example someone who has a Norwood 6 has far more of a reflective surface than someone with a Norwood 2. The Norwood 2 will have more stubble to break up and absorb light.

So if you do have slight stubble, try not to shave too close in order to preserve the light absorbing effects of stubble. We suggest shaving close with clippers such as the Andis outliner, rather than shaving super close with a blade or a foil.

scalp shine

SMP can lessen the glare, but not eradicate it

But let’s, for arguments sake assume you have a Norwood 5. How can we make this level of hair loss less shiny?

Could it be the oil?

oily scalp

Is an oily scalp the reason for shine?

All scalps’ produce oil, we all have it and it’s a totally natural and necessary process. It serves a purpose, from protecting the skin from bacteria to keeping it supple and young.

It’s true that some people’s skin is oilier than others. However, you cannot choose where your skin is oily and where it’s not. But there are things you can do to conceal, control or absorb the oil.


Step 1:

Washing. Washing the scalp on a regular basis and using a gentle soap with an exfoliate will wash away dead skin and regulate oil production.

Wipe. Whilst you’re out and about keep a packet of wet wipes available. These can be fantastic for on the go oil absorption.

Make sure they are gentle, alcohol free wipes, which contain a soothing astringent like witch hazel. Refrain from putting anything that contains alcohol on your scalp as this has a drying effect, which is counter productive as it later produces  more oil.


Wipe the scalp to absorb excess oil.

Moisturize. After washing the scalp use a natural, light, quick absorbing moisturizer to keep oil levels in balance.

Step 2:

Sweating. is healthy but can make your scalp look even shinier, here’s what to do. You cannot try to not sweat, it’s a natural process our body undertakes to eliminate and regulate. But you can be prepared, a pack of absorbent, soft towels to discretely wipe the scalp or a clean handkerchief strictly for this purpose is useful for staying on top of the shine.

Shaving. If you’ve done your research on SMP and quality SMP artists they’ll tell you that the optimal way to sport your new SMP is to keep the hair at an optimal, shaved length. But, there is a way to offset the shine by the way you shave and prepare your scalp.

SMP artists

Keeping the hair at an adequate stubble length helps mitigate reflection.


Instead of using a bic razor or a foil you could opt to shave the hair just a tad longer. I find the Andis Outliner to be the optimal length for SMP. It just shaves the scalp enough to leave a tiny, little bit of stubble on top for that added diffusion. Shaving your scalp with the grain of your hair and not against it is also a way of keeping just the right length to offset the shine.

So to summarize, wash daily with a gentle exfoliating, none drying soap. Moisturize with a natural none oily, quick absorbing moisturizer. None alcohol wet wipes for oil control throughout the day. Manage sweat with quick, clean absorbent towel or towelettes (when needed).

Daily shaving to the ideal length with clippers (such as Andis Outliner) and shaving with the grain as opposed to against it, therefore maximizing any stubble.

Mattifying. Finally I’d like to discuss matte products. These are typically moisturizers or sun blocks and come in the form of powder or creams. Their aim is to provide a matte look rather than a glossy look for the skin. There are a few quality ones on the market. I personally always recommend the Banana Boat dry balance sunblock as it provides sun protections as well as a dry mattifying effect.

Some people use milk of magnesium, I have mentioned it to clients, but I am yet to hear any feedback on it, so I will refrain from comment.


 Rob James SMP is a scalp Micropigmention artist who works out of his private clinic in Vancouver Canada. His ultra realistic, natural hairline creations have made him one of the most in demand SMP artists in the country.

He is available for consultation at or 778-917-7772

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.