How Long Does SMP Last? Important Answers You Need

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Scalp Micropigmentation

Scalp Micropigmentation (SMP) is a common hair loss solution in the United States for a good number of reasons. For starters, people choose it because it is not as invasive as some other hair loss solutions like hair transplants. What’s more? When compared with some other solutions like Biotin shampoos, laser caps, and Propecia which are not invasive, SMP has proven to be more effective in producing visible and desired results.

Scalp Micropigmentation

If you are considering an scalp micropigmentation treatment, it is only normal for you to ask ‘how long does SMP last?’ After all, you are going to pay for it and you need to know if you’ll get value for your money.

SMP is typically administered at SMP Clinics and it involves using needles to deposit pigment into the patient’s scalp to create an illusion of natural hair stubble. Even though the scalp micropigmentation process is similar to getting a tattoo, there are a few factors that contribute to how long it will last.

Let’s get into more detail about the life span of an SMP treatment.

Is SMP a Permanent Treatment?

SMP is a type of permanent cosmetics like permanent makeup or micro-blading. So, this treatment is considered permanent and can last for as long as 8 years. However, how long the treatment will last depends mostly on how well the process is done. More so, the amount of care you give to a scalp micropigmentation will also affect the lifespan of the treatment.

It is not unlikely for a micropigmentation treatment to shows signs of lightening after 3 to 5 years. When this happens, you only need to visit the clinic again for a touch-up.

For best results, it is often recommended that the initial treatment process is spread over 3 sessions; allowing up to 2 weeks between the sessions. The idea is to use the first session to know if the micropigmentation is retained well. Although you may notice a bit of fading after your first session, the purpose of the subsequent sessions is to increase the fullness and density of the micropigmentation so that it can last for a long while.

SMP is a type of permanent cosmetics like permanent makeup or micro-blading
SMP is a type of permanent cosmetics like permanent makeup or micro-blading

Does SMP Fade? – Factors that Affect How Long Will Last

Although micropigmentation is permanent makeup, it tends to fade after a while. But, how quickly an it will fade varies with individuals. It often depends on several factors like skin, immune system, and the individual’s lifestyle.

When it is deposited, the SMP ink sits at about 2 layers below the skin. Since the skin exfoliates naturally, there’s a higher chance for the ink to fade over time.

The type and the quality of ink used also affect the lifespan of the treatment. Non-tested and inferior ink will affect the outcome and cause it not to last for long.

It is also important to consider the hue of the pigment and ensure that it matches the color of the existing hair. A darker or lighter hue will affect the color and appearance of the hair. A good expert will pick the right ink for you.

Check out this article to learn more about the SMP process.

Prevent Scalp Micropigmentation Treatment from Fading Quickly
Prevent Scalp Micropigmentation Treatment from Fading Quickly

How to Prevent SMP Treatment from Fading Quickly

To prevent the SMP treatment from fading or to increase the period between the touch-ups, avoid exposing your scalp to the ultraviolet rays from the sun or tanning beds.

So, if you need to make a trip to the beach during summertime, ensure you protect your scalp by using sunscreen. A sunscreen with SPF between 30 and 55 is recommended.

Is SMP Treatment a Tattoo?

SMP is often called a hair or scalp tattoo. However, even though like a tattoo, it is achieved by depositing pigment into your skin with a needle, scalp micropigmentation is different from traditional tattoos in some ways.

First, unlike the thick needles used for traditional tattoos, the needles specifically designed for micropigmentation are finer and thinner.

What’s more? The techniques involved are different. The technique used in scalp micropigmentation is called pointillism. Pointillism generally refers to a process where thousands of really tiny dots are used to create a shape, an image, or a shade.

The reason that the pointillism technique is used for scalp micropigmentation is that it imitates the natural follicles on the scalp. More so, it creates the illusion of a natural hair shade since the dots are not easy to distinguish from a distance.

Learn more about hair loss management:

SMP is achieved by depositing pigment into your skin with a needle
SMP is achieved by depositing pigment into your skin with a needle

Can SMP Be Removed?

Yes, it can be removed with laser light. However, removing scalp micropigmentation is not an easy task. It is easier to install micropigmentation than it is to remove it. Removing SMP usually requires multiple sessions of treatments. It can also be a bit painful.

However, unlike the traditional tattoo removal process, SMP does not get as deep into the skin as a tattoo will. So, it is relatively easier and faster to remove.

To remove a scalp micropigmentation, the expert will send light from a laser to the area where the pigmentation needs to be removed. The pigment will then absorb the light so that it can heat up and be broken into several thousands of tiny particles. The particles will, finally, be removed by the body’s immune system as the pigment starts to fade from the scalp permanently.


Scalp micropigmentation is an effective and non-invasive hair loss solution that has affected many people positively. A good number who have tried this treatment have got their swag, charm, and confidence back.

While it is necessary to touch up a scalp micropigmentation treatment after 4 to 8 years, the benefits that this treatment provides outweigh the costs. There are also a few things you can do to reduce the rate of fading; which means you get to extend the period between touch-ups.

Also, even though SMP is similar to the traditional tattoo process, these two art forms are different. And if you change your mind after a treatment, or need to remove the pigmentation for any reason, it is also possible to remove an SMP. But remember that it is easier to install a scalp micropigmentation than it is to remove it.


  1. says:

    I’m balding! I think I will need this treatment when I drop all my hair or when there’s a huge patch of baldness! 🙁

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