Instant Crowning Glory With SMP


Discreetly nestled on the second floor of a charming shophouse along hip and trendy Haji Lane is a little well-kept secret by the name of “The Scalp Studio”. I chanced upon this private, pristine, and cozy enclave while walking past the popular tourist shopping street and the studio’s intriguing banner on the ground floor caught my attention and peaked my interest. Curiosity got the better of me, and so I climbed up the short flight of stairs to get to the second floor for a free consultation. I was promptly greeted by friendly and effervescent Ms Kate Cheung who is the founder and owner of The Scalp Studio. Bubbly Kate spoke impeccable English with a slight British accent.

Kate’s warm hospitality was instantly felt as she ushered me to sit in a comfortable sofa chair and offered me a beverage before starting to introduce herself and explaining to me all about her sole dedicated service offering of “Scalp Micro Pigmentation” (SMP).

In a nutshell, SMP is an innovative cosmetic procedure that is kind of akin to eyebrow embroidery and mimics the natural appearance of hair follicles by using a very thin micro needle to deposit and embed semi permanent carbon based coloured pigments onto the scalp via sterile disposable needles and utilising an up and down pointillism tattooing application technique. SMP is fairly new to Singapore, but has been around in the US and UK for over two decades.

Only very slightly invasive, SMP is a real game changer. Compared to other pricier methods and options of correcting the aesthetic appearance and improving the emotional turmoils caused by any sort of hair loss or thinning issues, SMP stands out as a feasible, affordable and alternative cosmetic solution to safely, quickly, and effectively camouflage all kinds of hair loss problems. The highly customisable treatment allows for instant transformational results with minimal downtime of about a week or less. During that time, most people would not even be able to tell that you had anything done.

“SMP is basically a cosmetic procedure and treatment that gives you the illusion of more hair follicles on your crown and face without actually growing any. Think of it like how people make use of make-up or hair fibres in order to hide their hair loss. As a semi-permanent solution that lasts up to 5 years on average, SMP has the further advantage that you do not have to worry about fading, getting wet, or wigs and fibres being blown away by the wind. It works for so many different profiles types of people: from those who are completely bald to people with burns or alopecia, and also cancer patients. It can also enhance the results of people who have gotten a hair transplant,” enthused Kate (a.k.a. “The Hair Whisperer”) with a confident smile.

Kate who used to be a trained beautician specialising in brows and lashes, gamely answered all of my other queries, and also showed me a plethora of before and after pictures of the fantastic results of her previous clients with their eyes covered and identity hidden. A patch test can also be done for those with sensitive skin and scalps, who might be worried or concerned about any allergic reactions to the ink pigments. I felt so comfortable with Kate’s professionalism, extensive experience, and personable demeanour that I instantly signed up for an SMP session and was given an appointment slot two weeks later.

My first session begun in earnest with photo taking followed by final discussions on the expectations of the results that I was seeking. As I was not experiencing any sort of major hair loss, but merely some slight thinning and mild receding of my crown, Kate focused on repairing and restoring my hairline back to it’s former glory. I felt a mixed bag of excitement and mild anxiety about what would transpire and how the results might turn out.

The buzzing of the vibrating tattooing pen with disposable sterile needles heralded the start of my SMP session. I am personally very sensitive to touch and have a low threshold for pain, but thankfully I found the entire process far less painful and also quicker than having traditional tattoos or even getting eyebrow embroidery done. My SMP session lasted about 30 minutes and the overall pain was manageable and tolerable even without requiring the aid of any topical anaesthetic numbing creams or oral pain killers, although some portions of my scalp did feel more tender than other areas.

While lying on the treatment bed, Kate shared touching and heartwarming stories of some of her clients who suffered anxiety, depression, and low self esteem due to their hair loss. She beguiled me with tales of how she helped burned victims, cancer patients and clients with botched SMP jobs to regain their self confidence. Talking to Kate as she simultaneously did my SMP certainly did help to alleviate some of the physical pain and took my mind off from overly focusing on the sensations of the needles superficially perforating my scalp.

“SMP is life changing and makes such a huge positive impact on people’s lives and well-being, and is certainly not just for pure vanity or merely for physical appearances. Hair does affect someone’s self confidence a lot. As a result, I absolutely love what I do and am very passionate about SMP. A lot of people have still not heard about SMP and what it can do. My biggest regret is not doing this sooner. There needs to be more awareness. In the near future, I wish to teach and train other SMP technicians to apply the proper and correct techniques as the right depth is required to achieve optimum results. I have already gotten a lot of enquiries including from my own clients who wish to also learn SMP for themselves.”

When the session ended, Kate handed me a handheld mirror. I was elated and over the moon with the results. My hairline seemed denser and the achieved results looked so natural that I can barely make out the pigments. I even remarked and wished that I had done SMP sooner. Kate then educated me on the simple aftercare procedures. Clients should try to keep the scalp as dry as possible and as such, should not wet or wash their scalp for at least 2-4 days. In the interim, they may use dry shampoo if needed and of course, they should avoid scrubbing or scratching the treatment areas.

People who just freshly gotten their SMP done look great right away and many opt to go out on dates and other social events right after their sessions. 24 hours post my session, the inked spots felt a little itchy, which is a sign that the scalp is healing up. I resisted the urge to pick and scratch by focusing on my work and other stuff. Thankfully there were no scabs to content with. The ink dots appeared darker and larger by the third day, but that quickly faded out to something more natural, subtle, and less obvious by day 5 or 6.

My second session was a fortnight after the first and this time round, I felt less anxious as I already knew what to expect. Kate examined the results from the first session and made some notes before adding more density and customised gradations based on how I part my hair so as to achieve a more naturally blended-in result, which I greatly appreciated. I barely experienced any discomfort the second time round, and any temporal pain was entirely bearable and transient.

Kate educated me further by remarking, “We keep a case file of every client so that we can track their results. Everyone is different due to their lifestyles. SMP results can last anything from 3-8 years depending on the individual’s lifestyle. Touch ups are usually required once a year or once every 2-3 years for maintenance, depending on how well the pigments settle on the individual’s skin. An SMP client who is a surfer is always out in the sun and salt water, or active outdoor athletes who sweat a lot will obviously fade a lot faster than those who are mostly indoors in air-conditioned office environments.”

Prices range from S$800 to S$6,000 for a package of up to 4 SMP sessions, depending on the size of the surface areas to be treated. To go down for a free no obligation consultation, or to find out more, go to:
[email protected]
67A Haji Lane, Singapore 189260
Whatsapp: +65 87678220

Images: J.Vo Photography & The Scalp Studio

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