Scalp Micropigmentation

What are the benefits and results?

Scalp Micropigmentation or SMP is a cosmetic procedure which involves using microneedles to inject a special ink pigment into the scalp area, drawing on a technique similar to tattooing to imitate the appearance of closely-cropped hair. Micropigmentation can be helpful in creating an impression of greater density, and it can be used on its own or alongside other hair restoration methods.

The back of the head of a male before and after MSP on a white background.

Immediate result without inconvenience.

The benefits

One of the main benefits of micropigmentation is that it is a relatively easy procedure from the point of view of the patient. It can be performed under a local anaesthetic and will not normally take longer than four to five hours to complete. Nor will it constitute an obstacle to patients continuing with their daily activities, other than a few basic precautions such as avoiding swimming pools and saunas for a short interval after the treatment. Unlike other hair restoration methods, micropigmentation produces results which are visible immediately.

Although the pigmentation can fade over time, meaning that ‘touch-up’ sessions may be required, there is no need for any kind of continuous, ‘on-going’ maintenance. This is something of an advantage over other treatment methods such as PRP, mesotherapy and pharmaceutical treatments, which generally need to be continued over time in order to maintain results.

SMP Candidates

Micropigmentation can be applied after a hair transplant (after a suitable amount of time has elapsed) or it can be used as a standalone treatment method. Micropigmentation can be particularly useful for people who are not good candidates for a hair transplant, especially those whose donor area is limited.

The micropigmentation treatment can also be used on areas which are not necessarily always well-suited for hair transplantation, such as scar tissue. In general terms, micropigmentation can be considered a good ‘all-round’ treatment method, as it can be applied to virtually any skin type. It will normally produce good results in patients of every background, irrespective of their skin colour or hair type.

The Drawbacks

One of the biggest drawbacks of scalp pigmentation is that the ink tends to fade over time, which means that after a couple of years it will normally be necessary to do a ‘touch-up’ session in order to boost the overall appearance. A further drawback is the fact that it is normally better to wear the hair relatively short after a micropigmentation treatment, as this will create a better visual ‘balance’ between the tattooed hair and the residual hair. Although the pigmentation treatment can create an appearance of greater density, it will not change the actual thickness or texture of the residual hair, nor will it have an impact on the hair loss process or the factors that caused this.

Micropigmentation at SHIFT

SHIFT works with a dedicated SMP artist who has years of experience in creating the best results in a variety of skin and hair types. Scalp Micropigmentation is quite a delicate procedure which demands concentration, a high level of attention to detail and a strong artistic calling. However, in the hands of professionals the results can be excellent, and SHIFT is proud to present this option to patients as part of its select but highly specialised portfolio of expert services.


Hrovatin, D. 2017, The Hair Tattoo AKA Scalp Micropigmentation: Should You Do It?, Balding Beards, accessed 2 July 2019.