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Does SMP Fade?

Many people are just learning about the wonders of scalp micropigmentation (SMP). The prospect of gaining their hairline back can be very exciting. However, there are a few fundamental things you should know about the procedure before embarking.

And one of those things is, “does SMP fade?

When done correctly by an experienced artist SMP can be life changing in a positive way.

Over the next series of blog posts I will be going over the basics of what SMP is, what is involved and what are the most common questions I receive during my consultations.

One question I receive on a regular basis is, “Does SMP fade?”

This is a common question that deserves a thorough answer.

Does SMP fade?

Does SMP fade

Will my SMP fade over time?

The short answer is, SMP does fade, and if done correctly it will lighten gradually over 3-5 years.

If applied incorrectly it could last a lifetime, and will no doubt look horrendous.

On average your SMP should last about 3-5 years before a refresh is carried out (preferably by the same artist).

The refresh should only take around 2 hours to revamp. Usually a well-placed darker scatter is enough to return the SMP to its original aesthetic.

A refresh does NOT mean that you have to go through all three sessions again.

It’s important to note, that this is based on an average. Some people might need a refresh after 2 years. And some (not many) will have to come back in for a refresh after only one year.

Why does SMP fade?

SMP fading is primarily down to two things.

One is your own immune system ability to hold on to the pigment. Immune systems have a tendency to whittle away at anything foreign in the body to varying degrees.

Another reason could be down to an individual’s lifestyle, excessive sun exposure, excessive sweating, and excessive skin exfoliation.

It is important to follow the aftercare immediately after the procedure as well as over the long term.

A good SMP artist should be able to explain the healing process and aftercare rules in detail.

Again, I can only go on averages, some individuals have great retention, whilst other have poor retention.

Why do conventional tattoos last almost a lifetime, but SMP will fade out over 5 years?

traditional tattoo

SMP a superficial cosmetic tattoo compared to a traditional tattoo

The reason why a conventional tattoo will last such a long time and your SMP will fade out in a handful of years are all down to needle and pigment depth.

A conventional tattoo is applied at a much deeper depth with a very different needle size and process.

 If SMP were applied at the same depth, using the same process as a conventional tattoo, the results would not look like real stubble at all. In fact it would probably be discoloured, blotchy and look like a matte finish tattoo.

SMP dot placement on the other hand is placed at a very superficial depth in the dermis. This area is not rich in blood vessels, thus it is able to retain shape and not spread with dilution.

However on the downside, due to it’s proximity to the surface of the skin it does not last as long. As it is more exposed to the elements (UV) and the skin’s natural exfoliation cycles.

If SMP is done correctly the fading should be uniform over the years and as long as the surrounding hair is kept consistently short, the SMP should look good for a long time.

Will my SMP eventually completely fade away?

Some people want to know, if they do not like the SMP but do not want to remove it via laser, can they just wait for it to completely fade?

In short, yes, you can, but again only if it is done properly.

If done properly and blended successfully into the surrounding hair, your SMP should eventually fade to almost nothing.

Keep it Light

If a client insists on super dark and super dense, they must understand that as the pigment fades it perhaps will not fade uniformly. Resulting in a patchy appearance or matte look.

SMP artist

Make sure your SMP is done correctly

An over zealous practitioner can also cause blowouts in an attempt to satisfy a client’s want for darker and denser results. This is why experience and good communication is essential.

So, in closing, SMP can look great years down the line as long as some fundamental rules are followed.

About Rob James SMP

Rob James is an experienced SMP artist who runs Advanced Scalp Clinic in Vancouver Canada. For more information on SMP or to find out if you’re a suitable candidate, contact Rob James at his Vancouver SMP studio: info@robjamessmp.com

How does SMP look after years?

As one of Canada’s busiest SMP artists I consult with many potential clients on a weekly basis.  Most of the questions I answer revolve around the SMP procedure and the desired look the client wants to achieve. However, occasionally someone asks me “How will the SMP look years from now?”

This is a very good question and one I think deserves some attention.

So today’s blog post I will try to answer this often overlooked question.

So, how will your SMP look in years to come?

How will my SMP look years later?

First off let’s assume that you have done your homework, you’ve searched for good, experienced artists, who are creating work you like. You’ve had your consultation with your chosen SMP artist and you’ve set a date to begin your SMP.

(In order to answer this question correctly I can only go on my own experience and style as a reference.)

Typically, my own SMP style focuses on realism and a natural aesthetic. Over the years I have learnt to stick to and perfect the one style, and that’s subtle realism. My goal with every SMP is for it to go unnoticed, nothing makes me happier than when a client returns to my clinic and says, “I love it, and no one has said a thing” to me this is a result.

However, one of the downsides to a subtle, realistic SMP (in my experience) is longevity. It might not last as long as a heavy, solid SMP. A good SMP is finding that happy medium between realism and longevity.

As with all tattoos, conventional and cosmetic there will always be fading. On average I tell my clients that my style of SMP will last anywhere between 3-5 years before a touch up is needed. However some will perhaps need a small touch up after 2 years, whilst others won’t need to touch it for 5 years. This all depends on your own individual immune system as well as how you follow the aftercare.

A conventional tattoo will last a lifetime, primarily due to the pigment depth and placement technique. SMP due to its shallow depth and delicate placement technique will not. The reason being is that for an SMP impression to look like a hair follicle, the pigment must be placed at a shallow depth, with a very tiny needle. Bad SMP is often simply due to pigment depth (too deep) and/or needle size (too thick) resulting in patchy, discoloured blobs, throughout the scalp.

So after several years how will the average properly applied SMP look?

SMP on the left, faded & in need of refresh / SMP on right, immediately after refresh

When applied properly and aftercare is followed adequately, the SMP should evenly fade throughout. The pace of fading does vary from client to client. On average after about 3 to 5 years you will need what is called an SMP touch up. The touch up is not a completely brand new SMP, as the base tone from your original SMP is already there. The touch up usually takes about 2-3 hours to complete and usually brings the SMP back to what it was like 3 years prior, essentially a fresh SMP.

If an SMP which is done correctly and is simply left alone, it will eventually completely fade away.

When an SMP becomes heavy and monotone looking,

This is usually the result of an initial SMP being applied too dense, heavy, dark or deep, and the pigment has merged into one. This risk is also possible if a client insists on too many touch ups in too short a period of time.

A heavy, deep SMP faded out after several years

To minimize these risks, it is best to always wear your surrounding hair as short as possible and to apply a subtle, lighter SMP. It is better in my opinion to have a touch up after two years than be stuck with something unrealistic looking that you’re not happy with.

For more information regarding the correct application of SMP or to find out if SMP is for you. Please do not hesitate to contact me at my Vancouver SMP clinic, Advanced Scalp with Rob James. I am always more than willing to answer any SMP related questions.

 

How much does SMP cost in Vancouver?

As one of Canada’s busiest SMP artists based in Vancouver, I receive many emails each week from individuals interested in SMP. However, frequently I get email or DM’s with a simple question “How much does SMP cost?”

This is a very difficult question to answer without specifics on the individual’s hair and hair loss situation.

When I receive a generalized none specific question like this, I can only provide a broad range of my SMP prices. As it is impossible for me to see the individual’s own hair loss pattern and therefore give an accurate price.

So in order for me to best advise, I always recommend that they come in for an in person consultation. If this is not possible, then I will request they send me some photos of their scalp or do a Face Time consultation.

This way I can assess their hair loss, hair colour, hair pattern and hair density, and once I’ve seen this, I can provide an accurate price.

Price of SMP

As a general rule my own personal prices here at my Vancouver SMP clinic are based on the five procedures which, on average I perform on a regular basis. These are as follows:

  • Full SMP: $3200-$3600 (Occasionally $4000)
  • Full male/female density: $2800-$3200
  • Crown density: $1800-$2200
  • Hairline density: $1800-$2200
  • Scar concealment: $1200-$2200

I believe in being as transparent as possible with my procedure prices and expectations.

However, these are an “average” price example, of course there are always exceptions.

Most full SMP’s are achieved in 3 sessions and cost between $3200-$3600

Most full SMP’s and full density treatments will be achieved in 3 sessions. Hairline and crown densities can be achieved in 2 sessions, as well as most scar concealment treatments. All sessions come with a complimentary touch up, 2-6 months after the final SMP session.

Price is based on hair loss and sessions needed

As mentioned earlier, there are exceptions to every rule; the prices and the amount of sessions recommended are based on past results and my averages. Occasionally and for reasons out of my control some individuals may fade faster, have pigment retention issues and therefore might require additional sessions.

Also as mentioned earlier, I do not give final prices without seeing an individuals scalp either in person or via Face Time or photos.

Many times I will suggest to an interested individual to take a look at my Instagram page @robjamessmp . Once there, they might find something similar to what they are looking for.

As a side note, most of the SMP’s on my Instagram page are full SMP’s, therefore three sessions plus a touch up. Prices of which, would range from $3000 to $3600.

If you have any questions regarding SMP or SMP pricing in Canada, do not hesitate to contact me for a consultation.

I am always available to offer free advice and information from

Our Vancouver based SMP clinic.

 

Is SMP better than a hair transplant?

As one of Canada’s busiest SMP artists a frequent question I receive is:

“Is SMP better than a hair transplant” or “should I get SMP rather than a hair transplant?”

It’s important to note SMP and a hair transplant are very different procedures with very different results, so let’s explore this topic further.

Hair transplant vs. SMP

Is SMP better than a hair transplant?

As you probably know a hair transplant is a medical procedure where actual hair is harvested from the back of the recipient’s head and transplanted on to other areas, where the hair has thinned or disappeared from (usually hair line to crown).

If the transplant is successful the individual will generally want to keep their hair a little longer, rather than sport a shaved look, which is traditionally the SMP aesthetic.

Asking the right questions

So, the primary question you need to ask your client when they are trying to choose between hair transplant and SMP, is what is their long-term hair goals? Do they want to grow their hair? Maintain it at the current length? Cut it short? Or add density to their existing hair? The answer will help guide the client and SMP artist.

SMP Artist

Adding density to transplanted area short hair

Adding density for longer hair

If they want to sport a dense super short, shaved look then I would absolutely recommend SMP. However if they want to wear a fuller head of mid length to long hair, then only a transplant can accomplish this.

However, there are those who receive a hair transplant and then choose SMP to help conceal scarring as well as to increase the appearance of more volume (density treatment).

When done properly this is often a good pairing of the two procedures.

Pros and cons of a hair transplant

Several things to keep in mind when it comes to a hair transplant are:

Cost, a hair transplant is significantly more expensive than SMP.

Scarring, weather you’re receiving an FUT or FUE, there is always scarring to contend with.

Down time, a hair transplant is a medical procedure, with a significant amount of down time and recovery.

Continued hair loss, many times a recipient will receive a transplant to a certain area of the scalp, but continue to lose hair elsewhere.

Rejection, sometimes the newly transplanted hair is not suitable and fails to grow.

Pros and cons of SMP

Several things to keep in mind when it comes to SMP are:

Longevity, SMP will not last forever (about 3-5 years before refresh is needed).

Realism, SMP is a two dimensional cosmetic tattoo, which can only produce the illusion of increased short hair or conceal bare scalp and lighter coloured scar tissue.

Quality: SMP results can vary greatly depending on your selected artist’s experience, your skin chemistry or immune response as well as your aftercare adherence.

It is difficult to change the style or repair heavy, blown out areas without laser removal. For these reasons experienced guidance, clear communication, realistic expectations are vital in order to avoid negative outcomes.

Adding density to longer transplanted hair

About Rob James:

Whether you’re considering a hair transplant or SMP, it is always advisable that you sit down with an experienced practitioner. This way you can garner all of the right information in the right order and make the best possible decision.

My mantra when it comes to SMP is, slow and steady wins the race and you can always add more, you cannot take away.

Rob James works out of his private clinic in Vancouver BC and is always available for a stress free, pressure free information session regarding SMP.

How to find a Vancouver SMP Specialist

SMP

Rob James SMP

As an experienced SMP artist I am frequently meeting and consulting with clients. On average, my client consultations span a huge variety of ages, needs, budgets and knowledge on the process of SMP. I always try to give un bias, helpful and clear information, in an attempt to help those thinking about SMP get the best possible results, regardless of where they end up getting their SMP done.

For those who might not know what SMP is

SMP is a sophisticated cosmetic tattoo 

SMP is the abbreviated name for Scalp Micropigmentation, which is essentially a cosmetic tattoo used as a practical solution for hair loss.

The SMP procedure uses a tiny disposable needle attached to a mechanical tattoo machine (wand). This needle is dipped into a pigment, which is then deposited at a superficial level into the scalp.

These deposits, which are called impressions mimic the appearance of tiny hair follicles, helping the recipient restore the look of a full head of hair.

When a skilled and experienced artist performs the procedure correctly at the right depth, tone and density, it replicates natural hair follicles perfectly. And can be used for a myriad of hair loss situations.

But how do you know if an SMP artist is right for you?

Take your time

The first thing I always tell a prospective client when searching for an SMP artist is not to panic, do not rush into a decision. Make sure you do your homework and find the right fit for you. You will potentially be working with an artist for 12-15 hours so make sure you have good communication and a confident feeling regarding the process and your chosen style.

Artist Style

Scalp Micropigmentation

Choose a style that suits you

It goes without saying that your chosen Vancouver SMP artist should have an eye for detail, proven results and have an SMP style that suits your desired final look.

Studio

Make sure your artist is working out of a suitable studio or clinic one where you can feel comfortable and at ease. Make sure the environment is clean, sanitary and feels safe.

Communication 

Part of the consultation process should be an open and honest discussion about the pros and cons of all the SMP styles and the varying SMP procedures. Some styles might now suit some individuals and some procedures might also not be suitable for some individuals. This is where clear, concise, honest communication comes into play. Often times this knowledge is usually acquired over years of experience.

SMP treatments

SMP do it once, do it right

As SMP treatments are typically split over three separate sessions, I usually encourage my clients to be conservative regarding hairline shape and placement. Remember you can always add more as the session’s progress, but you cannot take away.  As the saying goes, slow and steady wins the race. Remember you can also still add more during the two-month touch up session.

SMP Aftercare

Unlike a hair transplant there is little to no downtime. However there is aftercare to follow and the aftercare is an important aspect, which leads to higher quality final results.

It is important that your artist provides you with clear easy to follow instruction on how to care for your SMP in between the sessions as well as after the entire procedure. Your artist should provide you with a pamphlet highlighting the aftercare instructions.

So, where can I find a quality Vancouver SMP artist?

Work should be open and honest 

An artist should have his or her catalogue on display either on their website of on some other form of social media.

As a side note, make sure all the work you’re seeing is theirs.

I do hope this helps finding you the best possible SMP experience.

Rob James is one of the most experienced SMP artists in Canada, known for his ultra realistic styles. If you are looking for a cost effective, solution for hair loss, Rob James is a Vancouver SMP specialist who can provide you with the right information.

 

What can I expect after each scalp micropigmentation (SMP) session?

Yesterday a new client told me that he couldn’t find any information regarding what to expect after each SMP session.

He explained that he could find plenty of before and after photos of completed SMP procedures, but nothing regarding what results to expect after each session.

This got me thinking, and doing a little online research for myself. He was right, there is a lot of information and photos of before SMP and after SMP, but very little regarding what to expect after each SMP session. Understandably some clients are anxious about what the scalp micropigmentation will look like in between each session.

So I decided to write a blog post, which highlights, what to expect during and after each of the 3 SMP sessions from a typical full procedure.  And the subsequent touch up session two months later.

Highlighting what an individual might typically expect after each Session. And answering such questions like “Is there a difference between session one and session two? And how long will session three be in comparison to session one?

Please remember that this is based on the average. Some individual’s results do differ based on immune response, pigment retention and skin chemistry/condition.

Typically before we begin your SMP procedure, we will have already met, for a consultation either in person or via a video conference call.

SMP session one

We always begin with some formal paperwork (waiver)

Followed by a brief discussion regarding the procedure, this allows you to ask any lingering questions you may have forgotten to ask during the initial consultation.

When you feel comfortable to proceed we will typically go to the hair trimming station. This is where I like to trim the hair to what I feel is the optimal length for SMP (this is presuming you’re having a full SMP and not density work).

We then begin work on your hairline design. This is a very important aspect of the process and can often take some time. Careful attention is placed on appropriate placement and design. I personally like to emphasize, a less is more mindset, as we can always add more as the session’s progress, but we cannot take it away.

SMP

Hairline design Vancouver SMP with Rob James

The scalp is thoroughly cleaned with alcohol before we begin the session.

Once we begin my clients are usually pleasantly surprised as to how painless the procedure is. However, if you do find any discomfort or sensitivity we can stop and apply numbing cream.

For a full SMP (usually two or three sessions plus touch up) you can expect to be at the studio for 3-4 hours.

All areas where we are adding microdots will be covered during each and every session. The typical dot ratio is about one dot every 1/8 to 1/16 of an inch.

Sometimes clients are a little disappointed after session one as there isn’t a significant amount to see just yet. Patience must be applied, as the best results come to those who allow the process to unfold gradually.

There maybe some redness of the scalp and this will subside within a few hours. A clean baseball cap may be worn after the session.

SMP

Typical first SMP Vancouver session results with Rob James

Once the session is completed, we will go over the aftercare and provide you with your aftercare instructions.

SMP Session two 

Session number two is typically 10-14 days after session one. Once you arrive we will take a look at the healed results and take note of any fading. We will then give the hair a trim and clean the scalp with alcohol. We can now discuss any changes that you would like to make with hairline symmetry. As mentioned more can be added, that is why I always encourage a conservative approach during the initial hairline design.

Session two will continue much like session one; all areas of the scalp receiving microdots will again be covered. We will be essentially doubling up on the density during session two. And beginning our layering process.

Same rules apply, if there is any sensitivity, numbing cream can be applied.

Once the session is over there will again be some redness that should subside within a few hours.

We will recap aftercare instructions just the same as after session one.

Clients begin to get excited after session two as the results are now becoming evident. After session two your scalp will look fuller and more of a shadow is now seen.

Vancouver SMP

Typical second session results with Rob James Vancouver SMP

SMP Session three 

Session three is commonly our last session in the process. It is here that we add further layers and added dimension. We also feather out the hairline for that natural finish. The session can be the same duration as session one and two or it can be shorter depending on a client’s retention.

After session three, the same rules apply; there will be a slight redness, which will subside within hours. Aftercare rules also apply and again must be followed.

Once the ten days of aftercare is completed it’s life as normal with your new SMP.

There are some long-term aftercare rules, which we will also go over before you leave the clinic.

Typical third session results Vancouver SMP with Rob James

Touch up 

A touch up session is included and recommended two or three months after your SMP. As you get back to life as normal, there might be some slight fading in areas. The touch up fortifies any areas, which might need some added attention.

A touch up session typically lasts one to two hours.

Hope this blog post helps to outline what to typically expect on your SMP journey.

Rob James is based in Vancouver BC and is one of Canada’s most requested scalp micropigmentation artists, known primarily for his ultra natural hairline creations.

For further information please contact info@robjamessmp.com or info@advancedscalp.com

 

10 Tips for Achieving a Natural Looking SMP in Vancouver

SMP  in Vancouver

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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. Placement

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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. Colour

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.

  1. Density

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.

  1. Length

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.

  1. Maintenance 

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.

  1. 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: info@robjamessmp.com

 

Will my SMP look FAKE?

As one of western Canada’s busiest SMP artists, a common question I receive is whether or not scalp micropigmentation (SMP) looks real or fake. This is a concerning question for many and most clients want reassurance that their SMP will look realistic.

scalp micropigmentation

Will my SMP look real or fake?

So, when clients ask me “does scalp micropigmentation look fake?” there’s usually a lot to this question which needs to be explored. The truth is, scalp micropigmentation when done correctly can look good on almost everyone, but there are variables that must be considered to make sure you will receive exactly what you’re looking for.

In case you’re new to my blog, let me reintroduce myself. My name is Rob James. I am a skilled micropigmentation artist and owner of the Vancouver SMP clinic, Advanced Scalp. My blog posts are part of a series aimed at easing newcomers into the world of SMP. And expanding upon the frequently asked questions found on my website www.robjamessmp.com

If you’ve wandered onto this post, you’re probably curious about the benefits of SMP but have concerns that it might look fake.

If you’ve read many of my earlier posts, you are probably now well versed in what Scalp Micropigmentation actually is and how it is performed. So now let’s explore how to make sure your SMP looks real and not fake!

Does experience makes a difference?

As with any art or trade, scalp micropigmentation results can drastically vary in its aesthetic based on a specific artist’s style, method, experience and expertise. SMP is a purely visual medium, so the proof of an artist’s work can primarily be seen in their final results.

So to begin your process of finding an artist that performs “realistic” SMP, start by looking at images online. Ask yourself which styles of SMP speak to you the most. This is a great time to question what style you think would suit you.

COST 

A good SMP by a reputable, experienced artist is not and should not be cheap. I realize that everyone has to start somewhere, including SMP artists. But just remember, this is your head, it’s not something you want to have removed or repaired and it isn’t something you can easily conceal if the results are less than desirable. So choose your artist wisely.

STYLES

What’s your style?

It’s helpful to start by identifying your own existing (or former) natural hair pattern. Is it peaked, straight across, or slightly receding? Being able to tell your natural hairline apart from a generic hairline an artist reproduces is a very important step in securing realism. This will make sure the outcome you are looking for will naturally suit your face shape and is less likely to look fake and out of place.

Once you’ve established your natural hair pattern, it’s time to start thinking about the SMP style that appeals to you the most. However it’s important to be honest with yourself and be realistic with your expectations. In my opinion the style, density and hairline placement must be appropriate for your age, stage, style and shape.

As an artist, my personal SMP style is ultra natural. I like to perfectly blend into your surrounding existing hair, with an identical needle to follicle size and identical pigment tone. Recreating the hairline to what it would look like if you had a full, natural head of shaved hair. If your natural hair is/was peaked or rounded, I like to create just that, and in addition add diffusion to give it that natural soft appearance.

To figure out what style appeals to you the most, I suggest looking at images of finished works from a variety of SMP artists. Of the ones that speak to you, try to break down what it is about them that catches your eye. Make sure to also pay attention to the end results. Are the tattoo impressions matching and blending into your surrounding hair? Are the impressions random or uniform? Oh and as a side note, make sure the work you’re viewing is actually by the artist and not a stock image or someone else’s work.

Having a general idea of the style of SMP work you like can serve a few purposes. Firstly, it will help you determine the SMP artist that you think will be right for you. Secondly, it can help you articulate the style you’re looking for better. This will help eliminate miscommunication between you and your SMP artist.

Once you think you’ve determined the best style for your personal SMP journey, try to ask yourself a few more questions to make sure you’re happy with your choice:

Will this style suit my face?

Choose a style which suits you

Choose a style which suits you

Will it age appropriately with time?

Will it bring unnecessary attention?

Is it completely different from my original hair?

Answering these questions may help you make sure you’re on the right track. At this stage, getting second opinions from close friends and family who know you best may be very helpful as well.

ARTIST

Now, you’re ready to seek a reputable artist within your town, city, province or state whose work and experience suits your needs. Be sure to pay close attention to their finished works from previous clients.

If you’re happy with a chosen artist, it may be time for a quick consultation. Openly speaking with your SMP artist will help you be more confident about your choices. With their expertise, they’ll be able to help you solidify your choices. They can confirm the style you want, whether it will suit your surrounding hair loss patterns and answer any other questions you may have about SMP.

I hope this post has helped you understand what you should be looking for to make sure your SMP will look picture perfect. 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 (with a none bias approach) any questions or concerns you may have.

Booking a consultation means that I can evaluate your needs with my experience to devise the perfect treatment plan for you.

Are you ready to take the next step?

Advanced Scalp, Vancouver Scalp micropigmentation with artist Rob James

Call 778-917-7772 or email: info@robjamessmp.com

 

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: info@robjamessmp.com

SCALP MICROPIGMENTATION AFTERCARE

Many times during consultation at Advanced Scalp I will be asked what exactly is the scalp micropigmentation aftercare procedure. And how does it compare to other cosmetic procedures.

Advanced Scalp

Rob James at Advanced Scalp micropigmentation clinic Vancouver.  Every Client will receive thorough instruction prior to and after each SMP session.

 

As a side note, every client who has their SMP procedure with Advanced Scalp in Vancouver will be given detailed written instructions immediately after their scalp micropigmentation session with Rob James.

However for those who are simply curious or are still in the information gathering stage, here are my aftercare guidelines. 

At advanced Scalp we work in a highly sterilized environment at all times

You’re advised to adhere to the following guidelines: 

  1. Do not touch your scalp with unwashed hands after your SMP procedure as they may have bacteria and cause an infection.
  2. Do not scratch or rub the newly pigmented area, do not pick any micro abrasions (scabs) while it is healing as infection could occur as well as pigment being removed with the healing skin.
  3. Do not use any products that contain alcohol or AHA on the newly pigmented area as it will excessively dry the scalp and fade your pigment.

DAY 1 -3: 

Avoid touching, showering or shaving the treated area.

Avoid any physical activities that may cause excessive sweating.

When showering, do not wash your head or get any water on it.

Avoid swimming, swimming pools, saunas, steam rooms and tanning beds.

DAY 4 -10:

Gently wash your scalp with warm water do not aggressively scrub the scalp or exfoliate. After showering gently pat dry.

Apply a natural moisturizer two times daily, to prevent dryness and flaky skin. I recommend using a non-perfumed, alcohol free moisturizer such as virgin coconut oil, extra virgin olive oil or a simple all natural moisturizer.

If the hair on top of the scalp grows too long in between SMP sessions or if you need to shave your head, I advise using an electric clipper such as an Andis T outliner. If you still have micro abrasions avoid shaving all together. Do not take a wet razor to the scalp for at least 10 days.

You are now permitted to perform activities which may cause you to sweat lightly, such as light cardio and lifting light weights.

DAY 10:

At this point you may use shampoo. Gently massage the scalp using a natural, mild soap such as an infant shampoo. You may also get back to your usual gym/cardio routine and sweat as much as you’d like. If you’re in the middle of your SMP sessions it is at this point where you will probably be coming back in to continue your SMP sessions.

SMP results

Following the aftercare protocol is an important aspect of maintaining superb SMP results

 15 days after your completed procedure 

All regular activities including swimming, saunas, steam room, tanning booths are now permitted.

I recommend using a quality non-greasy SPF sunscreen for everyday use and scalp protection.

Continue to moisturize daily with a natural, simple moisturizing cream.

Try to avoid direct, intense sun exposure as best as possible.

If you have any further questions regarding the SMP process or aftercare protocol please do not hesitate to contact Rob James, Advanced Scalp clinic, Vancouver.