5 essential questions before getting SMP

5 Essential Questions to Ask Before Getting Scalp Micropigmentation

Choosing to undergo Scalp Micropigmentation (SMP) is a significant decision that can transform not just your appearance but also how you feel about yourself every day. To ensure you get the best possible outcome, it’s crucial to ask the right questions before committing to a practitioner. Here, we delve into five vital questions to guide your journey toward a successful SMP experience.

1. Certification and Insurance: A Must for SMP Practitioners

When considering Scalp Micropigmentation (SMP), the legitimacy and professionalism of your artist are paramount. Certification ensures your SMP artist has undergone rigorous training, mastering the intricacies of the procedure. However, certification alone doesn’t suffice. Many artists have taken a simple 3-Day SMP certification course but that doesn’t necessarily mean they are legally allowed to operate in specific states. Without State licensing, particularly in jurisdictions like New Jersey (and many others), which requires state certification through the AAM (American Academy of Micropigmentation) along with the SMP training certification adds an additional layer of credibility, mandating adherence to strict health and safety standards.

Insurance is equally crucial, offering peace of mind that you’re protected should any complications arise. Unfortunately, the allure of quick profits has led some to bypass these critical safeguards, operating under the radar by subleasing spaces and skirting state regulations. This not only puts clients at risk but undermines the integrity of the SMP industry. Always verify your artist’s certifications and insurance to ensure you’re in safe hands.

2. Minimum 3 Years of Experience - The Critical Eye and Steady Hand of an SMP Artist

Scalp Micropigmentation (SMP) is not just a procedure; it’s an art that demands an extraordinary level of precision and a meticulous nature from the artist. Creating the perfect SMP result is akin to performing a high-wire act, where every single one of the approximately 15,000 impressions made during a procedure must be perfect. This precision is crucial because if even one impression—a single dot—goes too deep, it results in what’s known as a “blowout.” A blowout can create a dark spot that spreads under the skin, significantly larger than intended, and creating a blue hue undertone about the size of a quarter, altering the overall appearance and outcome of the SMP.

This potential for error underlines the importance of choosing an SMP artist with exceptional hand-eye coordination and what might be described as an OCD-like focus on detail. The risk of a blowout highlights the artist’s need for precision; it’s a testament to the delicate balance required in this field. 

A great way to gauge how meticulous they are is by looking at their studio, website, and portfolio. Does their studio/website look average, or does everything look beautiful with everything in place?

3. Recognitions: Awards and Publications

Recognition in the form of awards or publications is a testament to an SMP artist’s skill and contribution to the field. Such accolades signal a practitioner’s commitment to excellence and innovation in SMP. They distinguish leaders whose work not only transforms individuals but also advances the practice of SMP itself. Opting for an artist whose talents are nationally recognized ensures you’re receiving treatment from among the best in the field.

4. Mastery of Color Theory: Beyond Black Pigments

Regardless of what you may have heard, there are 3 reasons that can result in a bluish/greenish result for SMP. One of which is the understanding of Color Theory. 90% of SMP artists use a typical Black carbon-based pigment which works well for certain undertones but doesn’t play nice with others. This is equivalent to playing Russian roulette with your appearance. 

Color theory is something that was developed very recently in the SMP field and is crucial to achieving the result you expected. While a majority of artists still default to using black carbon pigments, assuming a one-size-fits-all approach for the coveted 5 PM shadow look, this method fails to consider individual skin tones and undertones.

Approximately 90% of practitioners rely solely on these carbon pigments, but the true artistry in SMP lies in customizing pigment colors to match each client’s unique skin tone. Understanding how to blend and modify pigments, including introducing color to offset potential discoloration, is crucial. This nuanced approach prevents the undesirable blue or green tints that can occur when pigments interact with certain skin undertones.

The best artists invest in ongoing training to stay abreast of the latest pigment formulations, mixing techniques, and new ideas. This dedication to understanding the science of color ensures results that are not only natural and seamless but tailored specifically to each client.

5. Observational Skills: The Hallmark of an Expert SMP Artist

Finally, the success of an SMP procedure is often in the details. An artist’s meticulous nature is evident in everything from the cleanliness of their studio to the precision of their portfolio images. Just as a discerning barber can elevate a simple haircut to an art form, so too can an SMP artist transform a treatment through their obsessive attention to detail.

Only 1/100 SMP artists are capable of delivering top-tier results. This is the standard you should seek in your SMP practitioner. Their portfolio should speak volumes, showcasing flawless results that blend seamlessly with natural hair and skin tones.

Observing their operational environment and digital presence can also offer insights into their professionalism and attention to detail. An artist who values perfection in every aspect of their work is more likely to deliver the exceptional SMP results you desire.

Alex Asher Signature | SCALPS