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What is Scalp Micropigmenation (SMP)?

There are two types of treatment, A more Permanent one and one that is sometimes called Semi-permanent. Semi-permanent scalp pigmentation is sometimes referred to as Trico-pigmentation. This terminology can sometimes be somewhat mis-leading for the person considering the treatment.

The reason that this can be mis-leading is due to the fact that all forms of this treatment are permanent. However Tricopigmentation does fade quicker and will eventually not be visible to the eye, even though pigment will still be in the skin.

Tricopigmentation can lasts anything from around 2 to 4 years depending upon how the individual person has looked after their head post treatment. Over this period it will gradually start to fade away like a mist on the head before totally disappearing if left. Most people return for top up sessions to keep it looking fresh every 6, 12 or 18 months at a reduced price to the initial session.

Semi-permanent Trico-pigmentation is sometimes considered the safest option to people who are not ready to shave their hair or are looking for a more youthful look, due to the fact that it can be adjusted as it fades. So for example if someone decides 1 or 2 years after a densification treatment that they are now ready to shave their hair this can be done as it has normally faded enough by then to top up and make the shaved effect. Or if someone wishes to change their hairline, again this can be done once faded.

Permanent usually last around 5 to 6 years with the top up sessions again normally being completed every twelve months to two years, of course permanent scalp pigmentation can also be faded more quickly using laser treatment meaning of course that it isn’t so permanent after all. Permanent SMP can be used to give a softer look due to the different pigment used for this treatment.

Both options give amazing results and the best option for you can be discussed during your initial consultation.

Lew Grady is one of only a very small number of practitioners worldwide who is trained to carry out both types of treatments. Having shadowed some of the pioneers of this industry from around the world. Lew also has a bespoke and unique method using both techniques to gain the best results for his clients. This technique allows Lew to perfectly match both hair colour and follicle to the individual person. Meaning the end result is an ultra realistic appearance of a full head of hair.

Want to see the before and afters of the many treatments carried out by Lew? Check out the gallery page or click the link before to visit our Facebook page.

How Does it Work?

It’s a solution for hair loss that involves the placement of tiny pigment deposits within the upper dermis of the scalp. This pigment alongside the equipment used when carried out by a trained experienced practitioner is designed to replicate and give the illusion of an individual, shaven hair follicle.

When thousands of deposits are combined and blended with any remaining ‘real’ hair, the result is an incredibly realistic simulation of a full head of shaved hair.


This then allows the client to top up or re-design the look over time with each visit or alternatively it gives people the chance to try before they decide on whether they would like the more permanent option of scalp micropigmentation.

However some people know what they want and decide to go straight for the permanent option which is great and both techniques combined for optimum results.


Treatment is Scalp Specific

Unlike a tattoo machine, the Tricopigmentation & Micropigmentation equipment has been specifically developed to work only on the particular type of skin found on the scalp.

Even the needles are different from any other needle. It is specifically designed to allow the technician to release the correct quantity of pigment at a consistent depth, the result – perfect looking hair follicles.


The pigments used during Tricopigmentation are temporary pigments that usually last around 1 to 2 years and around 5 years for permanent. The pigments are then absorbed over time by the body. 

SMP is an increasingly more popular alternative to other hair loss solutions. It’s non-invasive and offers exceptional guaranteed results when applied by a well-trained technician.


Restructure Your Hairline

SMP can help replenish lost hair density, help restructure your hairline, camouflage scars and is a great visual correction for Alopecia.


Unlike a tattoo, this pigment does not discolour and will not turn blue or green, but will gradually just fade away in readiness for your next treatment or reshape.

Tricopigmentation treatment from start to finish with a hair line change at the clients request.

What would You Look Like with scalp micropigmentation?

Visit hairsim.com and request a simulation.

Here are some Scalp Tricopigmentation & Micropigmentation Frequently Asked Questions that you may find helpful:

What is the difference between hair tattoos and Scalp Micropigmentation (SMP)?

The main difference is that Tattoos are meant to last a long time and can discolour with time. SMP will last between 2 – 5 years dependant on the treatment you choose, skin type and how you look after the area post treatment. It will not discolour but will fade away allowing for the head to be touched up or redesigned to suit the individuals’ requirements.

I have had a hair transplant and would like a more dense looking head of hair. Also can you get rid of my transplant scars? 

Hair transplants have come along way since the early days and results are far better than they used to be. However surgeons still struggle to place the hair follicles really close together meaning that although the patient has hair in what was a bald area, they still look very thin. SMP can be used to camouflage the scalp area to give the appearance of a more dense area of hair.

Scar coverage is great for this treatment. A patch test would be required as scars can be unpredictable but we can manage this through the patch test results. I have had some amazing results for transplant scar coverage

Will the treatment hurt?

The treatment will vary from individual to individual, however, many people fall asleep whilst having the treatment so it can’t be that painful. It is not a tattoo and does not go as deep as a tattoo in to the skin.

Do I need a patch test?

All clients should have a patch test 48 hours before treatment. Any reaction is extremely rare, 99% of people are fine. You will need to sign a patch test waiver if you do not wish to have one.

What if I have medical issues?

We will go through an assessment of your medical background in the consultation. Some medical issues are contra-indicated for treatment but this is fairly uncommon.

What qualifications do you have?

I have been trained extensively by the best in the business. I have full visibility of all my accreditations and insurance details displayed in my clinical area.

How much will it cost?

The prices can vary dependent on the type of treatment required. My prices are honest and any additional after care will be considered. All this can be discussed at the initial consultation.

What is the difference between permanent and semipermanent?

Both treatments deliver amazing results. Each uses different bespoke equipment, pigments and techniques when carried out. The main differences being that Permanent SMP delivers instant results. As soon as the pigment is implanted into the skin you can see it. If anything over the following days or weeks post treatment it will fade slightly and settle in the skin.

Semipermanent is more gradual. When it is implanted in to the skin it is hardly visible. Then over the coming days or weeks it becomes a little darker and the hair follicle replication dots are more clear to see. Some people prefer this due to them not wanting people to notice straight away that they have had a treatment done.

How long does it take to complete?

Normally done over three sessions with the first two sessions taking around 3 hours due to the designing of the hairline and making sure it is perfect for your face shape. The final session takes around an hour. The first two sessions for Semipermanent is done over two consecutive days or two days within the same week with the third session done around 30 days later. Permanent is very similar but the first two sessions can be done a week or two apart.

Please get in touch with any other questions you may have. I am available by phone, email, Facebook messenger or text message and would love to answer your questions.

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