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Scalp Micro-Pigmentation

What is SMP?

Scalp micropigmentation is a process that uses microneedles to “tattoo” pigment into the scalp. It creates the appearance of tiny hair follicles to restore the look of a fuller head of hair. The procedure replicates your natural hair follicles while strengthening and adding density to thinning areas, ultra helpful for scarring, alopecia, hair loss, male pattern baldness and more.

It is an advanced technique best suited to those who has mastered the permanent make up tattooing techniques 

SMP Facts

Losing your hair is not fun!

The moment we realize our follicles are thinning is the beginning of the end for a lot of peoples self-esteem.

Thankfully this is a widespread problem and it has caused a variety of options to flood the market.

Women are also affected

Scalp Micropigmentation was once thought to be a male only treatment - as the treatment does resemble short shaved hair/stubble. Though the same technique is now able to help women increase the look of density to lighter sections. 

Creating an illusion of fullness

Restoring confidence


Much less common – though no less brutal – is an autoimmune condition called Alopecia Areata. Essentially, the immune system begins mistakenly taking healthy hair follicles to be a threat and attacking them.

This leads to hair loss. But the cruel part is, it tends to occur in small patches, which are at first unnoticeable. So many people wake up one day to find they suddenly have a bald spot they’d never noticed before.

Lifestyle and Nutrition

Growing hair requires nutrients – like iron and biotin – as well as plenty of protein and various vitamins (in particular, vitamin D).

An unhealthy diet will stunt the growth of hair and as we age, this will exacerbate other hair growth issues quite dramatically.

You also need to exercise to keep the body healthily pumping all that nutrition around. And stay away from smoking and other vices, which will also do no good for your body’s ability to grow healthy, natural hair.

The Lifespan of Treatment

How Long does it last?

Generally speaking, SMP lasts 4-6 years before the patient requires any proper retreatment.

While it does fade, it fades exceptionally slowly, making it an essentially permanent solution.

As we age our skin changes - so do hair styles and trends - it is preferable to have a 'permanent' solution that can adapt with the times.

*excessive sun exposure without sunscreen will increase the speed of the fade, so if you wish your hair to last longer - wear sunscreen!

42% of Men Between 18-59 have moderate to significant hair loss

The fact that hair loss is so widespread explains the huge number of preventative methods and solutions now at our disposal: from Minoxidil and specialized shampoos to full hair transplants; the options are numerous.

Growing in popularity in recent years, however, has been Scalp Micropigmentation:

Also known as the ‘Hair Tattoo,’ SMP restores receding hairlines, thickens remaining hair, and hides transplant scarring.


According to the American Hair Loss Association, 95 percent of hair loss in men is caused by androgenetic alopecia – AKA Male Pattern Baldness.

MPB is essentially a hereditary sensitivity to dihydrotestosterone (DHT) – a by-product of testosterone.

Hair follicles that are sensitive to DHT shrink over time, which has the knock-on effect of shortening each hair’s lifespan, and eventually, they just stop growing altogether.

This is why so many men have receding hairlines and get the classic ‘horseshoe’ thinning.

MPB is extremely brutal: around 25% of men who have inherited it start losing their hair before they turn 21. And by 35, around 66% of men will have at least started to lose their hair.

Stress and Trauma

Stress and trauma are bad in a number of ways: they weaken your body and cause all manner of illnesses. But they can also cause your head to start shedding hair.

The fancy term for this is Telogen Effluvium: it’s generally a temporary condition, and the hair usually grows back within 6 months.

But it isn’t unusual to have lasting damage from the condition, leaving many with a need for urgent action.

Telogen Effluvium can also become a chronic condition when excessive hair shedding can last for years.

The Start of SMP

Arguably starting as far back as the 1970's, SMP as we know it today began in 2002 and was readily available from 2006.

Gaining popularity thanks to illusion of tiny hair follicles.

Pigmentation can be matched to any hair colour and is relatively pain free and simple procedure.

The idea is to restore the look of a fuller head of hair by ‘filling in’ spaces where thinning has started. The procedure replicates your natural hair follicles while strengthening and adding density to thinning areas.

The Norwood Scale

The Norwood scale is a classification system used by hair loss professionals to diagnose different stages of Male-Pattern Baldness (MPB).


It consists of 7 major stages and various subsets.


This scale, also referred to as the Hamilton-Norwood scale, was first developed by Dr. James Hamilton in the 1950s.

SMP : How Much Does it Cost?

If only there was an exact figure, SMP cost is based on your personal needs:

 The cost of SMP depends on a variety of factors, including

Hair density

From the color which is used and the number of follicles you have to replicate to the style you want to achieve, the density of the SMP will determine not only the price but also the length of the process.

Skin type

Unfortunately, if you have particular skin challenges – very dry or extremely sensitive skin, for example – there will be additional considerations to ensure your skin isn’t damaged during the process.

Treatment Type

Full scalp hair replacement, small patches, receding hairline, scarring etc


Most clients will require 2-3 sittings to complete the desired look 

The first session will need to heal before the treatment can be completed as the pigment needs time to settle, shrink in, and any mild swelling to resolve before we can assess where any remaining replica follicles need to be placed for the best - natural look possible. The quoted price includes both of the two expected sittings, should it be estimated that you need more than these, then this will be discussed with you at the start, All additional sittings are priced by the hour at the standard rate of £200 per hour.


However, we do like to give clear costings: most clients can expect to pay the following:

Any additional needs to allow for thick scar tissue etc will be discussed in person

{this covers the first and second session inclusive: additional touch ups are at a per hr price}

Small Scarring : £400

Medium Scarring : £500

Large Scarring _ Broken in to three categories for size/price : £600 - £650- £699

Extra Large Scarring _ Broken in to three categories for size/price: £700 - £800 -£900

Hairline Alteration ~ Class 1: £200

Hairline Alteration ~ Class 2 : £250

Hairline Alteration ~ Class 3 : £300

Norwood Class 3.1 : £300

Norwood Class 3.2 : £350

Norwood Class 3.3 : £375

Norwood Class 3.4 : £400

Norwood Class 3.5 : £449

Norwood Class 4.1£450

Norwood Class 4.2 : £525

Norwood Class 4.3 : £600

Norwood Class 4.4 : £675

Norwood Class 4.5 : £749

Norwood Class 5.1 : £750 

Norwood Class 5.2 : £800

Norwood Class 5.3 : £850

Norwood Class 5.4 :  £900

Norwood Class 5.5 : £999

Norwood Class 6.1 :  £1000 

Norwood Class 6.2 : £1125

Norwood Class 6.3 :  £1250

Norwood Class 6.4 : £1399

Norwood Class 6.5 : £1499

Norwood Class 7.1 : £1500

Norwood Class 7.2 :  £1700

Norwood Class 7.3 :  £1950

Norwood Class 7.4 :  £2250

Norwood Class 7.5 :  £2500

Top up : Per Hour £200

Consultations are Free

Before your first SMP treatment at the consultation, you will meet with the aesthetic practitioner who does the treatment: At Body TLC this is Jaycee. A qualified aesthetician with a full board of distinctions in the aspects of SMP and PMU, alongside a long established career in Laser Therapy.

Jaycee understands your needs and emotions around hair loss after suffering stress related alopecia many years ago, and a happy client herself in both hair transplant and SMP ! - feel free to ask for more information on her journey if you'd like her take on the whole experience.

At your consultation you will discuss your requirements, including the shape of your hairline, its positioning, as well as the density and shade of your pigmentation, any scarring, skin concerns, allergies and sensitivities.

In part, this is to make sure the practitioner has a full understanding of your specific needs and can plan your full treatment schedule.

However, it is also important to have a consultation so that you can know up front how much your treatment is going to cost, and so that you can make sure you are fully comfortable with what the procedure entails.

We offer very competitive pricing - in fact we believe we are the most affordable professional body offering this service, and to help our clients get the confidence boost they deserve now, we are also offering interest free instalment payment plans through the PayPal platform.


Each treatment will last – generally speaking – 3-5 hours. This might seem like a lot, but it generally goes by very quickly- and of course is less for smaller areas.


Different treatment sessions include the application of different shades of pigmentation. Different shades are needed to enable some pigment deposits to stand out from among the rest.

Lighter pigments are usually applied during the first session, while subsequent sessions introduce the applications of darker shades.

You should be briefed in full before each treatment, so you’ll know what to expect. And the sessions are several weeks apart, so you’ll have plenty of time to prepare.


Proper preparation for each treatment is fairly minimal: just like getting a tattoo, you will need to prepare yourself for a tiny bit of pain and, of course, make sure you have enough free time to actually meet the appointments.

The most important thing to bear in mind is that you won’t be able to wash your scalp for several days after each treatment, so make sure you get a really good wash in before each appointment.

Does it hurt?

While most patients experience mild discomfort during the procedure – especially in its earlier stages – the discomfort typically becomes more tolerable as the session progresses.

Some areas of the scalp have much more densely packed nerve endings than others, but the majority of patients focus on the benefits of the treatment rather than any discomfort they may experience.

The bottom line, however, is that SMP hurts less than having a regular tattoo and much less than a hair transplant. Anaesthetic cream is available to numb the scalp, although many men choose to go without them, this is personal choice.


There is no downtime or recovery period following a scalp micropigmentation treatment, although slight redness on the skin from each tattoo session may last between 24-48 hours.

Many patients return to work the next day, though it is important to note that the scalp may be a little tender to the touch and you might experience the sensation of tightness across and around the treated area. 

Much like any PMU application the pigment looks much darker on the initial healing days, It is not expected to look 100% natural until completely healed and all stages are complete.  During healing the pigment will be darker and slightly larger than the settled result. Pigment always shrinks in when healing.

The basic time table between treatments is seven - fourteen days.

It is important to take a few simple precautions in the short term:

  • For at least 5 days, you’ll need to avoid heavy exercise or strain, which could cause sweating.

  • After four days, you should start moisturizing the treated area – though it’s important to be gentle!

  • After 10 - 14 days, most can then shave with a razor blade, but you will need to ease yourself back into it to avoid any unwanted pain!

  • For 28 days, you’ll need to avoid swimming and stay out of the direct sun (after this period, you’ll still need to use strong sunscreen to avoid fading)

Not convinced yet?

Take a look at the gallery below and book your free consultation online.

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