How can SMP go wrong and how we fix it!
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I’d like to talk about when SMP doesn’t go to plan and what steps can be taken to fix bad SMP. Hi I’m John Carr, leading Scalp Micropigmentation Specialist at Melissa Carr Cosmetic Tattooing.

Although SMP is a great solution, sometimes SMP can go wrong.  I want to outline for you some of the reasons for that, what to do if you receive bad SMP and what to look out for to avoid it all together. 

How does SMP go Wrong? 

SMP requires very specialised training and skills specific to scalp tattooing.  To give you an idea of how specialised, at Melissa Carr Cosmetic Tattooing we update our training every 12-month to ensure we’re up to date with this unique skill set.  In the SMP industry today there are an increasing number of people having a go at Scalp Micropigmentation whether they be tattoo artists or PMU artists believing that they already have the necessary skills to be able to pull off a satisfactory result. On the outside it would appear that PMU artists, tattoo artists and SMP artists all do pretty much the same type of work. This is not so. Each discipline uses dyes, inks and pigments, machinery and techniques specific to their particular fields.

However, SMP requires the pigment to be placed at just the right depth below the skin. If this is not done correctly then the appearance can look blotchy and uneven or if it is too deep, dots can look far too large and unrealistic. We see this regularly at our clinic.  The real shame is it’s not just happening with clinics outside of the SMP industry. Sadly, more clinics are popping up all over the place and substandard results are on the increase. Training standards vary wildly, and it is not uncommon for somebody who has not long finished their training to go on to train other people.

As a result, fixing SMP is becoming an increased part of the services we are required to provide.

Here is an example of substandard Scalp Micropigmentation (NOT OUR WORK)

  • Hairline shape incorrect and unnatural in appearance.
  • Irregular size of pigment impressions.
  • Large areas where there is no SMP visible.
  • Poor execution of blending techniques.
  • Shade selection questionable.

The overall result is something that made the client uncomfortable, rather than loving the result which is what SMP is all about.  A quick new look you can proudly enjoy without anyone knowing.

The above image is from a client who had recently received SMP from an ‘experienced’ SMP practitioner.  This treatment was carried out over two sessions and is the finished product. The photos shown were taken a two weeks after the last session when the gentleman came to me distraught and asking if we can help him.

So can Bad SMP be fixed – of course it can, we’re here to help!


What’s involved with fixing SMP?

When you have been in the permanent makeup industry as long as we have, and have built a reputation of high-quality work, it is important to align yourself with an equally reputable company experienced in tattoo removal. That’s where Sacred Laser is called upon.

Our customers are always impressed with the professionalism and knowledge of tattoo removal offered by Sacred Laser. Using some of the best tattoo removal machines available, they were able to remove the above substandard SMP in one quick session – that’s right ONE SESSION! 


That provided us with a blank canvas to provide a realistic SMP result and make this customer happy again.

When it comes to bad SMP that’s your best option, remove it and get the job done properly. 

So how do you avoid substandard SMP?

It’s always disappointing when clients tell us they’ve been advised by other SMP providers that only two sessions will be required rather than the industry standard three.   

Sure, it can be done.  Heck, it used to be done in one session back in the early days.  But that was before techniques improved. 

The micropigmentation industry has grown and developed over the last 5 - 10 years at a dramatic pace.  We are constantly seeing improvements in techniques and tools which results in improved services all the time.

There are various reasons for why it should be done over three sessions a week apart.  I don’t have time to share those all now, but we’re happy to take you through that, if you are interested.

So, some key things to look for when picking your SMP provider.  

Do they work to the industry norm for getting the best possible results?  E.g: to do SMP over three sessions, each being done no less than one week apart.

Are they trained specifically in SMP and do they keep their training up to date?

When considering an SPM provider, it’s always good to look at images of their current work. Does it look natural, especially the hairline?  And make sure it’s their work you are looking at. 

And the outcome for our unhappy friend. Take a look for yourself.  But in his words "John and the team at Melissa Carr Cosmetic Tattoo are the real deal.  I knew after my first session with John, my SMP was going to look much better than the other result.  I'm very happy.