Orange County Hair Restoration

Considering SMP to Camouflage Your Hair Loss?

Book a consultation with Dr. Ken Williams and he will give you his best recommendation for you?

man running his hand through his hair

What is (SMP) Scalp Micropigmentation?

Scalp Micropigmentation (SMP) is a life-changing treatment where natural pigments are applied at the epidermal level of the scalp to replicate the natural appearance of real hair follicles. SMP creates the look of a shaved scalp or newly emerging hairs coming through the scalp by strategically placing pigments in areas of alopecia. Dr. Williams and SMP practitioners are skilled artists. 

Dr. Williams is the founding hair surgeon at Orange County Hair Restoration and is intimately involved in all SMP procedures. We are an advanced hair restoration surgical facility possessing specialized training and knowledge of SMP that can’t be duplicated in other non-physician based facilities.

SMP is an excellent outpatient office procedure to increase the appearance of hair density for patients with strip scars, low visual hair density, thinning of the hairlines and scalp, and for balding patients who keep their scalp shaved.

SMP imparts an optical hair camouflaging effect. Each pigmented mark on the scalp creates the appearance of a newly emerging hair follicle. Results vary from patient to patient, but it typically provides immediate aesthetic and psychological improvement.

How Can Scalp
Micropigmentation Help You?

  1. Thicken the Appearance of Hair
  2. Add Definition to Your Hairline
  3. Help With Cosmetic Correction

For Men

Laser micropigmentation is a cosmetic procedure that involves the use of a laser or needles to apply tiny, dot-like tattoos to the scalp to create the illusion of hair. Here are some potential benefits for men:

The appearance of fuller hair: By creating the illusion of hair stubble or short hair, laser micropigmentation can help give the appearance of a fuller head of hair. Unlike hair transplant surgery, laser micropigmentation is a non-surgical solution for hair loss that can be completed in a relatively short time period.

Natural-looking results: When performed by a trained professional, laser micropigmentation can create a natural-looking appearance of hair stubble or short hair. Unlike wigs or hairpieces, it requires minimal maintenance and can last for several years.

For Women

Micropigmentation, also known as permanent makeup, is a cosmetic procedure that involves the use of a tattooing machine or needles to apply pigment to the skin. Here are some potential benefits for women:

Convenience: With micropigmentation, women can save time and effort in their daily makeup routine by having long-lasting, semi-permanent cosmetic enhancements like eyebrows, eyeliner, and lip color.

It can help enhance facial features such as eyebrows, eyeliner, and lips, giving a more youthful, vibrant appearance.

Correction of asymmetrical features: Women with asymmetrical facial features can benefit from micropigmentation as it can help to balance and correct such features. It can really give women the confidence to face the world with a well-defined and polished look, especially for those who have issues with their appearance due to medical conditions or aging.

Timesaving: Women can save time and effort in their daily makeup routine by having semi-permanent cosmetic enhancements.

How Does SMP Work?

The procedure uses needles or a laser device to insert micro droplets of pigment through the skin and into the upper dermis. The SMP process requires a small needle or laser device that creates a hole in the upper portion of the dermis. The ink or pigment then is dispersed and absorbed in the treated area. 

Needle based SMP must perforate the epidermis to get to the upper dermis. The depth of needle insertion varies by the clinical senses and visual judgments of the operator. If the pigment is not placed only in the upper dermis, the procedure will fail because the pigment will be lost after the procedure is completed. If the pigment is placed deep in the dermis, the cosmetic outcome will not be appreciated as the pigment diffuses out of the area of insertion.

What are Reasonable Expectations for SMP?

We counsel patients to expect that your SMP procedure will over staged or several procedures and will give you aesthetic density. It is reasonable to expect that the pigment deposited into the upper dermis will fade over time. It may even take on a blue appearance.

Which Type Of Medical Conditions Respond To SMP?

Patients with autoimmune diseases such as alopecia areata or alopecia totalis are excellent candidates and typically receive benefit from SMP. Neurosurgical patients who suffered head and cranial traumas with resulting scars may be considered candidates. Patients with scars have a reduced response to SMP as scar tissue absorbs pigments differently than healthy normal skin.

What Happens to Pigment Over time?

All tattoos and ink changes over time. Permanency of SMP ink does not occur for many reasons. Sometimes the ink pigments are removed by the immune system macrophages and moved into lymph nodes. 

Can Women Have SMP?

Absolutely. Women who don’t want hair transplant surgery are great candidates for SMP, and respond well to adding pigmentation to existing thinning hair densities.

Are there Differences in SMP Pigment Types?

Yes. Pigments vary from manufacturer to manufacturer. Dr. Williams utilizes ink pigments that are considered to be superior to other tattoo clinics performing SMP. Black pigments vary from manufacturer to manufacturer. They have a potential to turn blue over time if placed too deep in the dermis. No one can predict the final outcome of the SMP procedure.

Check out some of our recent result for Men and Women that choose the SMP procedure here at Orange County Hair Restoration

Is Healthy Skin Required for SMP?

Yes. Healthy skin is required to carry out SMP. Dry, red, or peeling skin disorders will not tolerate the procedure well. Active scalp or medical skin disorders may be worsened by the procedure, or increase the risk of procedure failure by limiting ink absorption into the skin structures.

If any active skin disorder such as Psoriasis or Seborrhea Dermatitis is present, then the procedure can NOT be performed until your Dermatologist treats your active skin condition and gives you clearance to have the SMP procedure performed.

Will I need Maintenance Sessions?

Yes. It is difficult to predict the total number of sessions necessary to create the visual hair density our patient’s want. Typically, the number of treatment sessions varies from one (1) to four (4) in the first year. A physiologic phenomenon observed in SMP is the pigments used in the procedure may be absorbed into deeper layers of the skin and engulfed by the immune system. This process results in fading of the pigment over time or a bluish appearance of the scalp.

How is Dr Williams and staff different?

Dr. Ken Williams and Orange County Hair Restoration are medical and surgical professionals and leaders in the hair restoration industry. We follow high standards of medical and surgical care that is not found in tattoo clinics which otherwise have no medical training in hair loss disorders and aesthetics of hair restoration surgery.

The tattoo industry is not regulated by any government agency like the state medical licensing board. Thus many new “clinics” with medically and surgically untrained individuals have entered into SMP without the knowledge and expertise of understanding hair restoration and natural age appropriate balding patterns.

Ready to Find out if SMP Is right for you?

Speak directly with Dr.Williams during your consultation.

dr. williams and his team oc hair restoration


What are Common Mistakes Observed in Patients who Received Improper Treatment?

We often observe poor cosmetic results with unrealistic low hairlines or too deep insertion of the pigment into the dermis. These low hairlines are often observed in patients in their 20s and early 30s who desire the immediate satisfaction of a younger appearing hairline.

As a skilled hair loss specialist, Dr. Williams and his SMP practitioner design hairlines that are age appropriate, look natural and aesthetically consistent with the person’s facial features.

What are the general and specific characteristics of SMP?

Traditional tattoos are not the same as a medical office-based SMP procedure.  SMP does not deposit the ink pigments into the deeper portion of the dermis where such pigments are permanent. SMP ink pigments may contain titanium dioxide, lead, chromium, nickel, iron oxides, ash, carbon black, and other ingredients. 

Once deposited in the upper dermis by the SMP technique, the pigments are digested by the macrophages of the immune system as the body recognizes these metals as foreign substances as it attempts to “clean up” the skin. This is a reason why pigments may change over time.

Can I have SMP if I have Chemotherapy?

Yes. If the patient feels well enough to have the procedure it can be performed.

Find Out if SMP is Right for You.

Speak with Dr. Ken Williams Today