Scalp Micropigmentation Frequently asked questions



Everything you need to know about Scalp micropigmentation. If we haven’t answered your question please email us at and we can get back to you as soon as we can.


What is Scalp Micropigmentation?

Scalp micropigmentation (also known as a hair tattoo, hair pigmentation or SMP for short) is a form of cosmetic tattooing typically for balding men that gives the realistic appearance of hair follicles. Whether you are worried about your thinning hair, suffer from male pattern baldness or want to recreate your hairline with a buzz cut look. Scalp micropigmentation can be the non-surgical hair loss solution for you.


Does SMP look real?

SMP, when done by an experienced practitioner, gives hyper-realistic results. Clients say that even up close in the mirror, they can’t distinguish where their real hair ends, and the pigmentation begins. See the results for yourself in person at a free consultation – most of our team have scalp micropigmentation treatment done.


Is Scalp Micropigmentation permanent?

Scalp micropigmentation is classed as a permanent cosmetic treatment. Although the results are permanent, they can fade slightly over the years to a lighter color. For advice on avoiding premature fading, visit our aftercare instructions.


How much does Scalp Micropigmentation cost?

At Skalp®, a full treatment includes 3 sessions and a 12-month guarantee. You can see a visual price guide on our website here, but we do recommend visiting for a free consultation to get an accurate quote.


Can I pay monthly for my treatment?

Yes. We offer a finance option where you can split your treatment cost into affordable monthly payments, with 0% interest available at some clinics.

You can apply to finance your SMP treatment here.


How long should I expect my treatment sessions to take?

The human head has an astonishing 2000 follicles per square inch. Not surprising then that it usually takes around 3 hours per session, and a minimum of 3 sessions to achieve the final desired look on a mainly bald head. As part of our diligent, results-focused approach, we apply a lighter pigment during treatment number 1. Session 2 sees us adjust to obtain a perfect match, whilst adding density and the crucial blend into your remaining hair. In session 3 we focus on completing the appearance and adding detail.


How soon can I have the procedure?

We believe this is a very important decision in your life. Whilst we are very confident you will love the results; in the interest of professionalism, we insist on a cooling-off period of a minimum of 24hrs between consultation and treatment – to allow you to be committed and prepared.


What are the hygiene standards in your clinics?

Our clinics adhere stringently to the health protection unit’s standards for infection control practices. Sterile medical gloves are used and single-use needles are disposed of immediately after use into sharps containers.


What qualifications do your practitioners have?

All of our practitioners have completed our in-house advanced scalp micropigmentation training program, they also carry full practitioners’ insurance. As Skalp® is the longest-running SMP clinic, we are proud that our practitioners are the most experienced in the industry!


Where can I find Scalp Micropigmentation reviews?

Skalp® has been providing scalp micropigmentation treatments for over 10 years now so have thousands of reviews. Check out our reviews, gallery and video testimonials from real clients here. You can also check our 5-star reviews on Google, Trust Pilot, and Facebook.


How will I look after a treatment?

You can expect to see visible results and even a new hairline instantly. Straight after each session, there may be some redness. Redness on the scalp usually lasts between 24-48 hours after each session. During the healing process, the scalp pigment dots will typically appear darker or larger for up to four weeks- this is normal, as then the pigment softens to its desired color and natural size. All of our full treatment quotes include 3 sessions. Like in the example below, there is a gradual build-up of coverage, density, and color to get the perfect result.

Scalp Micropigmentation Process


Do I have to shave for Scalp Micropigmentation?

In most cases, yes. For a standard SMP treatment, you will need to shave your hair using hair clippers, facial shaver or a razor. We recommend the best length to shave your hair for your treatment to look natural would be a 0.5-grade length or shorter. Of course, we encourage you to experiment with what shaving routine looks and works best on you.


Is Scalp Micropigmentation for long hair?

Scalp micropigmentation can work on long hair to give the appearance of thicker hair. A thickening treatment works the same as on a shaved head by mimicking the appearance of hair follicles so that less of the scalp is visible on thinning areas. To ensure a natural result, we would ask that you visit for a consultation so we can assess in person and talk thought your options. If there is not enough existing real hair for the treatment to blend with, we may advise that you would need to shave.


SMP for long hair


Will Scalp Micropigmentation work with grey hair?

Yes. Scalp micropigmentation works well on grey hair, as when any color hair is shaved short it has a grey tone it already. So it will not make a difference if your hair is already grey or your hair turns grey in the future.


How long will my Scalp Micropigmentation last?

Scalp micropigmentation is a permanent treatment but may fade to a lighter version over the years. Typically, we recommend a touch-up session to freshen up the treatment every 3-6 years.


How will my Scalp micropigmentation look after 5 or 10 years?

After 5 years your scalp micropigmentation treatment will look a lighter version of how it did when it was first done. If you want to see the treatment on a real person after having it done for years, speak to Skalp to arrange a free consultation – all of the Skalp team have the treatment done, some for 10 years now.


I have scars from a Hair Transplant, can Scalp Micropigmentation be used to camouflage them?

If you have had hair transplant surgery then you may have been left with scars. We can camouflage all forms of HT scarring, Strip/Punch/FUE, so you can wear your hair as short as you like.

Not only we cover your scars but we can also enhance your results of your transplant surgery by adding density thin thinning hair.


Scalp Micropigmentation Scar Camouflage


Scalp Micropigmentation hair transplant scar


Is there a Guarantee?

Yes, there is a 12-month guarantee from your first session for full treatments, just in case any area of the treatment is not quite perfect. Simply give us a call and we will book you in for one extra session at no extra charge. However, any style or color changes to your original treatment are chargeable at an hourly rate.


I’m nervous about how we design my hairline shape.

It’s normal to be a little nervous, but there is no need to be! We will work with you using a wax pencil to sculpt and craft a hairline that you love. Some clients will want a firmly defined hairline, others prefer soft and natural, or perhaps even a mature, slightly receding effect. Generally, we advise a soft line at the first treatment with adjustments made to reach your perfect hairline during the following treatments.


Will a shaved head suit me?

The buzz cut look is a style that has stood the test of time. It’s easy to maintain, looks smart, and is effortlessly cool. If you are not sure if a shaved head will suit you, we recommend experimenting with shorter hairstyles before committing to SMP. If you already rock a bald head, we offer free virtual hairline mock-ups at consultations to give you an idea of how your new hairline will look.


Is Scalp Micropigmentation safe?

Yes, when done by an experienced practitioner, is totally safe and non invasive.


Can Scalp Micropigmentation cause hair loss?

As Scalp micropigmentation is non-surgical, like a regular tattoo, it does not affect the real hair follicles and cannot cause hair loss.


How Painful is the Procedure?

The procedure could not be described in any way as painful. Using a pain scale (see below) – pain is usually in the 1-3 mark rating

0 No Pain
1-3 Mild Pain
4-6 Moderate Pain
7-10 Severe Pain

I prefer to avoid any pain – can I take a painkiller?

If you are keen to minimize any pain, we recommend you try paracetamol and/or ibuprofen an hour before treatment.


Will the pain continue after the treatment procedure is finished?

Happily, no. The discomfort is only during the actual medical tattoo procedure and it is considered to be discomfort rather than pain.


How long do I need between treatments?

The normal scheduling would be something like:


What is the downtime? Do I need to take time off work?

Following the treatment, the hairline tattoo treated areas will look slightly red for roughly 24 hours, a lot of our clients can go back to work the next day. Scalp micropigmentation requires no downtime as it is a non- invasive treatment. Compared to a hair transplant surgery that can take up to one year to recover from, the results from SMP are almost instant. Once the redness goes away, it takes about a month for the pigments to settle in and fade to the desired shade. The entire healing process only takes about seven days.

For a full list of our aftercare check out this page.


Can I wear a hat after a Scalp Micropigmentation session?

Yes, clients are allowed to wear a hat straight after the session. We do advise to wear it as little as possible and to take it off when at home to allow the skin to breathe and aid the healing process.


What size is the needle used for SMP?

The needle used is a sterile, single-use, 3 point micro needle specifically designed for Scalp micropigmentation.


How flexible can you be about appointment scheduling?

We understand that you’ll want the treatments to impact your work and family life as little as possible. Many of our clients fly in for treatments so we always ensure we are flexible, open late and at weekends. With our highly effective booking system, once you are happy with your dates, we ask for a non-refundable deposit to secure them for you. If you need guidance or advice when planning your treatment, please get in contact as our team is happy to help.


What if I need to change my dates?

No problem, if for any reason you need to change your dates just let us know as soon as you can and we’ll find you some new dates as long as you let us know 48 hours before your appointment time. If you cancel your appointment within 48 hours of your appointment time you will forfeit your deposit.


Is there a long waiting list?

We try to be as light on our feet as possible. We know that when the decision has been made, you’ll be keen to get the process underway ASAP, however, our clinics are very busy so expect a minimum of a 2-week wait period depending on the clinic.


What age restrictions are there?

It is a treatment suited to all ages. We have treated clients in their 60s and 70s. At the other end of the scale, we can treat clients as young as 18, no younger I’m afraid for insurance purposes. We’ll make sure you have full verbal and written after-care guidelines, but in reality, after-care is remarkably straightforward. Sweaty exercise is not recommended in the 5 days after treatment nor is shaving or washing the scalp and you’ll need to wear a good sunscreen and avoid chlorinated swimming pools for 21 days. That’s it!


Does the treatment cover for future hair loss?

Yes! We do not just treat the areas that are already bald, we blend well into your remaining hair so when you lose more hair in the future you won’t even notice. If a few years down the line you feel you need more treatment on bald spots, you can pay per hour for a touch-up session.


What if I want to change my look or even reverse the process?

Although classed as a permanent treatment, scalp micropigmention is reversible. We’ve never had a customer to date want a reversal process however the removal process would be similar to that of tattoo removal. The difference is that scalp micropigmentation is only situated within the 2nd dermal skin layer compared to a conventional tattoo being almost twice as deep. A full reversal could easily be achieved with a laser within two sessions. We can envisage our clients looking to change their look, perhaps soften a hairline or maybe even recede slightly as an individual becomes older. To soften a hairline is possible with only 20 minutes of laser treatment.


How much does a touch-up cost?

After 3-6 years you may feel the need for a touch-up. Whether you want to adjust your hairline, change up your treatment style or just fancy going a bit darker. Touch-ups are charged at an hourly rate which is £300+VAT, €300 or $450 per hour. A touch-up is usually only one hour long, sometimes two hours depending on the size of the area needing treatment.


Can I see or talk to other people who’ve had SMP done at Skalp?

Yes of course! Our clinics are always busy and we are happy to arrange for you to meet another client. Also, take a look at our before and after gallery of our clients, or watch some of our videos.


Spend some time on our forum make friends with clients past and present. There are many photos to see and you can discuss your hair loss journey with others.


Is there a Scalp Micropigmentation clinic near me?

Skalp® has 8 clinics around the world and is still growing. We have SMP clinics in the following cities: London, Manchester, Edinburgh, Dublin, New York, Los Angeles, Marbella, and Milan. If we do not have a clinic yet in your city, we welcome clients who travel to us from all over the world. Our team is happy to assist you in arranging your appointments to make your travel and treatment convenient for you.


Where are our SMP UK clinics located?

We have three clinics in the UK. We are based in London, Manchester, and Edinburgh.


Our Harley Street clinic is easily accessible by tube, train, and bus in the center of London. Just round the corner from both Oxford Circus and Bond Street tube stations. On the corner of Cavendish square, you will find us at 1 Harley Street.


Our Manchester clinic is on one of the most prestigious roads in Manchester city center.


Edinburgh clinic is located in the center of the Scottish capital. Find us on West Preston street, where Christine will offer the very best scalp micropigmentation treatment available in Scotland.


Where is the best Scalp Micropigmentation clinic in Ireland?

Our Dublin clinic welcomes clients from north of the border as well as south. Easy to get to by public transport and by car. Expect a warm welcome from Geraldine, she can show you her extensive gallery of happy clients. Just a 4-minute walk from Malahide train station you will find us at 8 James’ Terrace, Malahide.


I am based in the US, where is my nearest SMP provider?

We have two scalp micropigmentation clinics in the US right now Skalp New York & Skalp LA but have more planned to open in 2020. Next year, we hope to offer our hair restoration services to more men suffering from baldness in the USA.


Our New York scalp micropigmentation clinic is in the heart of midtown Manhattan. Easy to get to, whether you are traveling into the city to Grand Central, Penn or by subway. You will find us on 135 W26th st. Serving the 5 boroughs and beyond since 2014, Mike has treated thousands of clients and is sure to deliver amazing results.


Our Los Angeles scalp micropigmentation clinic is conveniently located off the 405, you find plenty of parking at our LA clinic in Westminster Boulevard. If you choose to fly for your stay in LA you are spoiled for choice, we have LAX, John Wayne, Hollywood Burnbank and Long beach all within driving distance. Andreas will be there to offer his expertise and transform your look.


Where are your European clinics?

We have clinics in Marbella, Milan, and Amsterdam at the moment but let us know where you would like us to open next!



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