SMP Scalp Micro Pigmentation ★ Rockhampton

SMP Hairline Tattooing at Man Thing Rockhampton

Hi and welcome. My name is Andrew Thompson and I will be your Scalp Micropigmentation, or SMP technician. I've been performing advanced body treatments for three decades.

SMP is the newest addition to the specialised lineup of treatments at Man Thing in Rockhampton.

I was fortunate enough to train extensively under the leading SMP practitioner in Australia before his retirement in 2023. As a result, I aim to officially launch this new service in late April 2024 (pending approval of premises by Rockhampton Regional Council).

In the interim, I'm working on the comprehensive FAQ section below so you can access information about Scalp Micropigmentation ahead of launch.

Call me on 4926 7778 or 0422 276 202 if you have any questions or to make a booking. You can also book online.

Have a brilliant day,
Andrew Thompson.

Andrew Thompson, Man Thing Rockhampton

Prices ~ Rockhampton Scalp Micropigmentation

The Norwood Scale is used by SMP practitioners as a universal guide to measure male pattern baldness, whether caused by Alopecia, genetics, hormonal changes,or general aging.

Norwood Scale for measuring male pattern baldness

The following price guide refers to the total cost, usually over 3 sessions, approx 1 week apart. As everyone's needs are different, the cost is approximate.

When you come in for your free consultation, I can determine how much time is needed, and will be able to give you a firm price.

FAQ ~ Rockhampton Scalp Micropigmentation

Andrew Thompson of Man Thing Rockhampton performing a scalp micropigmentation treatment on balding man

What is Scalp Micropigmentation?

Scalp Micro Pigmentation or SMP is also sometimes called a hair tattoo. This cosmetic treatment uses a fine needle to apply dots of carbon based ink to the skin.

Unlike body tattooing, the depth is comparatively shallow, targeting the upper dermal layer of skin to ensure a crisp outline.

Each dot of ink mimics a single hair follicle, which collectively, provide a very realistic impression of a full head of hair.

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Does Scalp Micropigmentation hurt like a normal tattoo hurts?

No, SMP is nowhere near as painful. Despite being sometimes referred to as 'hairline tattooing', SMP uses totally different tools, inks, procedures, and penetration depths. I have had clients fall asleep on the table during treatment.

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I'm partially bald. Do I need to have my whole head tattooed?

No, we only do the areas we need to do. This is why there's a considerable variance in pricing from one person to the next, depending on how many hours are needed.

To ascertain your degree of male pattern baldness, SMP practitioners use the Norwood Scale so everyone is singing the same song. See SMP Pricing for full details.

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What skin colour is best for scalp micropigmentation?

All skin colours look great. Skin tone doesn't affect suitability for treatment, as I match the pigment to the shade of your hair, not your skin.

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I have lots of scars on my head. How will that look with SMP?

There are no rules in this regard. It's normal for women to want to cover scalp scars, but when it comes to men, it's 50/50.

For guys who want as close to perfect as possible, scars can be covered with SMP very effectively. On the other hand, for guys who want to keep a few battle scars, which indeed can add to the realism of SMP, I can simply work around the scars completely.

It's entirely up to you. Work out the effect you want, and I'll do it.

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Will I end up with a Lego-man hairstyle?

The Lego-man look was a thing for a while, particularly in the US on Afro-American guys. Some could get away with it - especially very young guys - but at some point it began to look ridiculous. It really is awful.

So in answer to your question, no. I will not be doing a Lego-man hairline tattoo unless you specifically request it. And even then, I will try to talk you out of it.

I know that some guys want to make a fashion statement with their SMP result, and that's fine, I can do that, but most guys want me to blend in the front and sides so it looks natural.

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How many SMP sessions will I need?

For large scalp areas, say Norwood 5 to 7, I will usually divide the job up into three sessions of 4 to 5 hours duration each. Don't worry, we'll pull up for breaks throughout.

Sometimes, I might feel that a fourth session will improve the result, but this is rare and will be a quick touch-up, usually 15-30 minutes.

For smaller shading jobs such as ladies' in-fills in longer hair, often one to two sessions are enough, with a top-up in a few months.

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Why can't we just do the whole thing in one big single session?

First, it would be a very long day and we'd both have a meltdown at some point.

Second, clients typically have some redness after the treatment that usually dissipates in a few hours or overnight. The body can deal with that amount of skin repair in a day. We don't want to push your body's healing powers beyond that point.

Last, imagine that I slightly misjudge the shade of ink, then do the whole job too dark. That will look terrible. This is why the first session is so important, to see how your skin absorbs and holds the ink. Too light or too dark? That's fine, we adjust for that on the second session, then perfect the finish on the third.

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Is each SMP session just a top-up treatment? What's the process?

No, each session is different. The first session will probably be the longest, as we have about an hour's worth of consultation, scalp mapping, and planning.

I also use the first session to determine the best shade of ink for your scalp. Factors such as skin dryness, scars, and thin skin, impact how well the ink absorbs and holds. As a result, typically you will notice some degree of fade between the first and second session. That's fine - the first session sets up the second.

On the second session, I fill in the gaps from the previous treatment and continue to blend into your existing hair. After the second session, you will really see it coming together.

The third session is similar to the second, though I tend to slow down the pace. I like to take my time with artistic blending on the third session to make your new hairline as realistic as possible.

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How many days should I space between sessions?

One week apart is the ideal minimum between sessions. At a pinch, we could perform one treatment on the Monday and another on Friday of the same week. That would be the absolute minimum, and I'd prefer not to do that if we have the option.

My logic with this time frame is:

  • to give your skin plenty of time to recover fully from the previous session;
  • to minimise any discomfort from working on inflamed skin;
  • to greatly reduce risk of infection from disturbing inflamed skin;
  • to see how well your skin retains the ink after a decent period of time.
  • allows a good amount of variability for DIDO/FIFO workers.

One point worth adding, is that whatever time spacing we use between sessions one and two, we'll keep the same between two and three. This allows me to effectively compare the results from the first and second sessions.

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How long will my SMP hairline tattoo last?

Variables like regular sun exposure, exfoliation etc will reduce the amount of time that your SMP tattoo lasts.

As a general guide, 3 to 7 years is typical. Of course, you can have a top-up session at some future point to maintain your hairline tattoo.

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Is SMP just another term for a scalp tattoo?

The term 'hairline tattoo' was used for quite a while and is still in common use, but it caused confusion with 'scalp tattoos', which are different. For this reason, the industry tries to promote the terms 'scalp micropigmentation' and 'SMP' instead.

A 'hairline tattoo' (a.k.a. SMP) is a cosmetic procedure that uses carbon based inks in shades of grey only, and deposits that ink in the dermis layer of the skin. Instead of a tattoo gun, 'hairline tattoos' use a single round needle that draws one dot at a time. Each dot represents a single hair follicle.

In contrast, a 'scalp tattoo' is a conventional type of tattoo, say an image or graphic, that is inked onto the head by a tattoo artist in a tattoo studio, using a traditional tattoo gun. The dye or ink is deposited very deep in the fatty hypodermis layer of the skin.

Everywhere seems to offer SMP training as well as treatments. Do you offer training too?

No, and TBH, I can't get my head around the 'in-house training to external students' trend that is apparently commonplace in the SMP industry. Even Instagram 'technicians' who don't have an actual shop are doing it.

This culture sends a really unprofessional message. They might as well yell from the rooftop that they can't get enough real customers so they have to offer heavily discounted treatments to 'models' for external students to practice on.

Of course, the students pay them too, and that's where they make their real money while doing hardly any work at all. I mean, it IS smart, but it's also suss, and I'm staying well clear of it.

Man Thing was busy already, before I started offering scalp micropigmentation treatments. On top of my existing workload, I estimate that I only have enough time to see four SMP clients a week, and that's it.

So no, I won't be offering external training. Other places can do what they want. I'll stick to serving real customers and providing a qualified SMP technician - ME.

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