Have you noticed that more and more men are rocking that short buzz-cut look lately? If you are not very familiar with SMP you may assume that this now popular look is the style of choice because it is so easy to maintain. With ever-swelling schedules, it does make sense that men would be looking for a neat and convenient cut to shave off time and money spent at the barbers.
While busier schedules are a reality, the truth is that the bulk of men you come across rocking this look are probably products of a well-done SMP job.
Here is why there are suddenly so many tattooed scalps around and why this method is gradually changing the landscape of hair restoration for men.
Growing Popularity of SMP
A few decades ago, men experiencing age-related hair loss had limited options for hair restoration. Many simply resigned themselves to an increasingly bare scalp believing there was nothing they could do about it. All the while masking an eroded self-image and sinking self-esteem.
Since it first came to the fore in the early 2,000s, SMP and the surprisingly simple technology behind it has grown in popularity and seems to be altering the dynamics of hair restoration for men.
Let’s take a look at why SMP can be credited for ensuring that hair loss in men need not be such a devastatingly dreadful experience anymore.
Table of Contents
It Is a Non-Invasive Method
Unlike hair transplantation, SMP is a non-surgical, non-invasive procedure. Where hair transplantation requires a professional surgeon to harvest hair follicles and then make hundreds of punctures on the scalp, SMP is a lot simpler. It doesn’t involve the breaking of the skin. The technician uses a specialized tool, much like a tattoo needle, to deposit minute dots of pigment on the scalp. These create an illusion of stubble, therefore creating that characteristic short buzz-cut look.
With the minimal invasion, it follows that you will need minimal recovery time after treatment. There are no open wounds requiring care so men typically need between 4 and 7 days to heal completely.
Cost of SMP Treatment
How deep will I need to dig into my pocket for quality SMP treatment? If you hear some hesitation in response to this question it is probably because there is a wide cost range when it comes to amounts charged. What we can say for sure is that it will set you back somewhere between $1,800 and $5,500. The key factors which determine how much you spend are the size of the treatment area and the location of the clinic you choose.
A large treatment area such as a full head will of course cost more than cases where one needs SMP to cover a small thinning area or to conceal a scar. Location is a key dynamic because clinics and technicians in large metropolitan cities charge significantly more than those in smaller towns.
Much cheaper than a hair transplant
That said, even the priciest SMP treatment cannot be compared to the hefty amounts required for hair transplantation surgery. A hair transplant in the US will cost you between $4,000 and $15,000. In the UK, you will only afford a hair transplant if you can set aside between £2,000 and £15,000.
Friendlier costs make SMP a lot more accessible, therefore making it the go-to method in the hair restoration industry.
Access to financing
Despite being the more affordable option for hair restoration, some men may still struggle to raise the full amount required for SMP treatment. If you can relate to this, fret not because top SMP clinics now offer financing enabling clients to spread the cost of the treatment over several months.
Clinics don’t offer the financing themselves but instead partner with vetted healthcare financing companies and simply connect them to clients. Hairline Ink, a reputed clinic in the UK for instance, partners with United Medical Credit. Scalp King, another well-known SMP clinic works in partnership with Care Credit which allows clients to spread their payments as far as 24 months.
Scalps clinic in the US has a financing program dubbed Cherry which allows clients to choose varying payment plans ranging between 3 and 24 months.
SMP technology has its roots in the US but it sure has spread its tentacles across the globe. Today you would have to be in a fairly remote part of the world to be without at least two or three quality SMP clinics in your time zone.
Whether you are living abroad or are looking to combine SMP treatment with a vacation, it is within reach. Here we give you a list of the best SMP clinics around the world including Australia, the Middle East, and Africa, confirming that this treatment is now available all over the world.
At first, I was skeptical about the quality of SMP service available in some distant regions. Is it realistic to expect that I can get quality treatment so far away from home? How could the skill and technology have spread so wide so fast? Well, the rapid ripple-like transfer of skill can be explained.
For one, lots of skilled technicians who started out practicing in the US and UK have ventured across borders and set up clinics in different parts of the world. Secondly, there are many highly skilled SMP technicians offering training and apprenticeship opportunities. It is successful products of such programs that have returned home and established SMP clinics that meet international standards.
The fact that you can move from completely bald to a full head of stubble in a matter of weeks is another reason many men cannot resist this method of hair restoration.
Let’s break it down
Assuming significant hair loss, you would need an average of 3 SMP treatment sessions to achieve the desired look. Sessions are typically spaced over a maximum of 10 days apart so this comes to about 30 days.
This means it takes about a month for a client to enjoy the full benefits of SMP treatment.
With hair transplantation on the other hand, patients go through a series of phases after the surgery; before any regrowth can be observed. It takes at least 12 months for full hair growth and in some cases as long as 18 months. Yes, you could be waiting a year and a half to see the full results of hair transplantation.
If you are in hurry to enjoy the benefits of your hair restoration method, then there is no debate. SMP is the way to go.
Such immediate results also make SMP a good option for men who are not yet totally sold to hair transplantation and still need some time to make a decision. Perhaps the decision to explore transplant surgery is made but he needs some time to save up for the not-so-cheap surgery.
SMP serves as a great solution in the meantime.
Regulations and Licensing
Yes, scalp micropigmentation has indeed shifted the dynamics in the hair restoration industry. It is undoubtedly the best method of hair restoration from a cost standpoint and is now available in just about every part of the world.
But we cannot afford to rest too easy. You see scalp micropigmentation is not federally regulated like other healthcare services. You cannot always be certain that you are dealing with a skilled, experienced professional when you walk into an SMP clinic.
In the US, scalp micropigmentation is categorized as body art. Body arts are regulated at the state level by cities and towns and not the FDA (Food and Drug Administration). This means that there are no common, national regulations to be followed by all clinics. Each state determines its own guidelines. Some have impressively strict protocols while others are not regulated at all.
This, therefore, places responsibility on you as a client to do your research on an SMP facility before settling on it for your treatment.
Take time to establish if it is licensed to practice and what local regulations require of facilities. Of equal or perhaps greater importance is determining the skill level of the specific SMP artist who will be doing your treatment. Is he, or she licensed? How many years have they been practicing?
Be sure to see before and after pictures of past clients and if possible get testimonials from a few of them. With these, you are assured of quality service under a skilled set of hands.
Finally, membership in professional bodies adds to their credibility as professional artists.