How Long Does It Take for SMP to Heal

Scalp micropigmentation (SMP) is a popular cosmetic procedure that helps to resolve hair loss issues. It involves a scalp technician using custom micro needles and custom made ink to create the appearance of a full head of hair.

skalptec logoSMP is commonly used to treat a range of hair loss issues, as well as scalp scarring which may have occured due to injury or a hair transplant. Hereditary baldness, thinning hair, alopecia and acquired baldness can all be treated using SMP.

Like other cosmetic procedures, SMP requires following the correct aftercare in order to achieve optimal healing and the best outcome.

How long does it take the scalp to heal from SMP? Let’s explore further.

The Healing Process of SMP – Days or Months?

After you have SMP treatment, the scalp will need time to heal. The healing process can take up to several weeks, and it is crucial to follow the aftercare instructions provided by your SMP technician. The healing process typically occurs in different stages:

The First 24 to 72 Hours

The appearance of the scalp will be red, tender and swollen over the first day to 3 days. Avoid touching or scratching the scalp. because it can disrupt the healing process. The scalp will secrete lymphatic fluid – a clear liquid that may potentially dry and crust up around the treated area; this part is normal and the crusting will fall off naturally.

Day 3 to Day 5

The treated area will scab and flake off during days three to five. There is no need to be concerned, it’s all a part of healing. Don’t pick at any scabs  on the scalp, because it can cause scars and discolouration to appear. Be mindful of keeping the scalp clean and dry, and avoid where possible, exposure to excessive heat and direct sunlight.

smp before and after picture, skalptec
Days 6 to 10

During this time, you will see the scabs starting to freely fall off and the area that has been treated will be visible. Continue to keep the scalp clean and dry and don’t scratch or pick, because the scalp may still be tender.

Days 11 to 21

The treated area will of course continue to heal, and the scalp will begin to go back to normal. Follow all aftercare instructions provided by the SMP technician to the letter, and also avoid physical activity.

How Long Does It Take for the Scalp to Heal After Scalp Micropigmentation?

Healing time after SMP varies and depends on certain factors: what’s your skin type? What is the extent of the SMP procedure? Are you ready to treat aftercare seriously? General, it can take 7 days or more for the scalp to heal up completely but there is virtually no downtime needed. le to go to work the same day or within the next couple of days after a treatment.

By following the aftercare instructions provided by the SMP technician, you can ensure the best possible outcome and enjoy the full benefits of SMP.

before and after smp picture, scalp micropigmentation, skalptec ltd, how long does it take for smp to heal

Is there a difference in terms of how men heal to how women heal?

There are some differences in how men and women heal after scalp micropigmentation. Skin and hair characteristics can differ, and other potential factors that may impact healing are skin thickness, oil production, and hormonal differences. There is the possibility for men to have longer healing times because men tend to have thicker skin on the scalp as well as greater oil production.

It is important for both men and women to follow all aftercare instructions to make sure of optimal healing. If any issues or concerns arise during the healing process, it is essential to seek initial guidance from your SMP technician.

What steps does a SMP technician take in order to help with the healing process?

SMP technicians aren’t just there to provide your treatment, they play a crucial role in advising upon healing after scalp micropigmentation. You should be given comprehensive aftercare instructions, and here are some actions to take:

Listen to your SMP technician: SMP technicians will provide detailed aftercare instructions, including but not limited to those already mentioned. Gentle shampoos or moisturisers may also be suggested.

Apply ointment or cream: After the SMP procedure, the technician may suggest a healing ointment or cream to be applied to the treated area. This can also help to cool the skin.

SMP technician to monitor the healing process: Monitoring and checking for any signs of infection or complications. Guidance and support should be provided.

Schedule follow up appointments: Your SMP technician will schedule follow-up appointments to check on how your scalp is healing and will guide you accordingly.

Advice on lifestyle changes: Advice will be given so as to avoid certain activities and lifestyle changes that may hinder the course of healing.

By following the recommended steps to complete healing, you will minimise the risk of complications whilst achieving the best possible outcome.

balding man, skalptec ltd, scalp micropigmentation

Will the scalp heal quicker than skin elsewhere?

The scalp is an area of the body that can present more barriers to healing, compared to other areas of the body. Scalp healing can be more difficult if:

Friction: Friction occurs from the use of hats, headbands and pillows. Skin can become irritated.

Skin Thickness: The skin on the scalp is generally thicker, and this can sometimes make it more difficult for medications or topical treatments to absorb into the deeper layers of the skin especially with drier skin.

Blood Supply: The scalp is networked with a high concentration of blood vessels, so bleeding and swelling occurs after an injury or treatment. Usually this means that the scalp receives a lot of blood supply, and necessary so oxygen and nutrients can reach damaged tissue.

Hair follicles: It can be harder to keep the area clean and free from bacteria or debris due to the hair follicles. Risk of infection may be greater and can slow down the healing process.

Does the scalp bleed during SMP treatment?

It is common to experience some minor bleeding during treatment, particularly in the areas where the micro-needles are applied. The level of bleeding will depend on factors such as:

  • size and depth of the needle
  • density of the hair follicles to be replicated
  • tyour skin and scalp characteristics.

This process can cause some bleeding and the release of lymphatic fluid as mentioned already. However, the bleeding is minimal and can be controlled with pressure and the use of sterile gauze.

Excessive bleeding during SMP is not typical at all, and this ever happens it can be a sign of a more significant issue, such as a person’s underlying medical condition or or due to medication use prior to having SMP. So, it is essential to inform the SMP technician if you have a bleeding disorder or if you are taking any blood thinning medications beforehand.

woman losing hair, scalp micropigmentation for women, skalptec ltd

During SMP is more pain experienced on the hairline?

Some discomfort can be experienced in areas where the needle is applied more deeply on thinner skin. For example on the hairline. The level of pain or discomfort can vary widely – depending on:

  • an individual’s pain tolerance
  • skin sensitivity
  • and other factors

SMP treatment can carry a slight discomfort or mild stinging sensation, rather than a significant level of pain.

Prior to having treatment a topical anesthetic to the scalp might be an option. Taking breaks during the procedure or applying ice packs to the treated area can also reduce any swelling or discomfort.

If you are concerned about the level of pain or discomfort during the SMP procedure, discuss this when you visit the SMP clinic. Guidance will usually be given on the best ways to manage pain or discomfort before and during treatment so necessary adjustments can be made.

Can modern technology be used to limit discomfort and pain during SMP?

Topical anesthetics: Used in the form of a cream or a gel, to help numb the skin, and can help to lessen discomfort.

Thinner needles: Thinner needles  can reduce pain and discomfort during the procedure. Thinner more specialised needles to use for SMP will cause less trauma to the scalp, and they are also less likely to cause bleeding or scarring.

Micro-needling devices: Using vibration or suction to reduce pain and discomfort. Creating microchannels in the skin to help the pigment penetrate the scalp more easily and with less pain.

Cooling techniques: Cooling techniques can help, such as using ice packs or cooling gel.

Alleviate discomfort and pain during the procedure is beneficial, making SMP a more comfortable and less intimidating experience.Is SMP Available on the NHS?

Scalp micropigmentation is widely considered as a cosmetic treatment (no surgery is involved) and is not generally available on the National Health Service (NHS) in the UK. The NHS typically only covers treatments that are considered medically essential.

SMP is a proven option to conceal scarring on the scalp after serious injury. It may be worth contacting your healthcare professional to see if SMP can be provided through the NHS if SMP is deemed medically necessary.

skalptec scalp micropigmentation before and after picture male

What happens to the hair and follicles during the healing process?

The hair follicles are unaffected because SMP does not involve altering or modifying any exisiting healthy hair follicles in any way. Changes that can occur during the healing process:

Inflammation and Swelling:

During the first few days after SMP, there is a strong chance that the scalp may be swollen and inflamed. This can cause the hair follicles to be temporarily raised or more visible than usual.

Scabbing and Flaking:

In the days following SMP, the scalp may scab and flake as it heals.

Colour Changes:

The custom pigment used in SMP may cause a slight color change to the hair around the treated area. Growing hair will mean that any discoloration will grow out over time.

Hair Growth:

SMP will not and does not affect hair growth, and healthy hair follicles will continue to function properly. But, hair growth may appear negligibly different around the treated area due to the SMP pigment being present on the scalp.

It’s important to follow proper aftercare instructions provided by your SMP technician to ensure optimal healing, and to minimise any temporary changes to the hair and scalp.

Which layers of the skin on the scalp does a SMP needle penetrate?

Custom made pigment is inserted into the upper layers of the skin. The pigment is absorbed by the skin cells and remains in the upper layers of the skin. A long lasting, natural look is the final result and hence the visual of tiny hair follicles all over the scalp. The needle used penetrates only the living layers (the top outermost layers – stratum corneum – of the skin, specifically the epidermis and the uppermost part of the dermis).

scalp structure, scalp micropigmentation, skalptec ltd

More about the layers of the skin

Where is the dermis? Beneath the epidermis lies the dermis, which comprises fibers of collagen and elastin. The needle penetrates (the papillary dermis).

What is the epidermis? The epidermis is the outermost layer. Stratum corneum contains dead skin cells – these provide a barrier to anything external.

It’s important to note that while the micro needles used in SMP penetrate the top layers of the skin, they are not typically long enough to reach the hair follicles themselves. SMP does not affect the health or longevity of hair follicles, and won’t interfere with already established hair growth.

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Scalp micropigmentation is a prominent hair loss service for men and women who are losing their every day. Skalptec can help you if you are bald and if your hair is falling out in any way. Skalpec offers the following SMP solutions for both men and women:

Skalptec Ltd has clinics across the UK and one clinic in Holland at this time.  Find out more.



Have you thought about a career in SMP? You can succeed! Whatever you need, we’ll help you to find your way and we’ll help you to build your business and personal reputation with an already reputable world class well known SMP brand. With the right support and mentorship. Read More About Partnering with Skalptec.

skalptec smp before and after picture, skalptec ltd, scalp micropigmentation


Skalptec currently has SMP hair loss treatment clinics in Liverpool, London, Newcastle, Shrewsbury, Jersey and Netherlands.

  • Liverpool – Terence Jones Owner and lead technicianof Skalptec & Winner of Best Scalp Tech MPUK UK National Award (our Head Office is located in Burscough, Merseyside). Click here to discover for more about Terence.
  • Newcastle – Terence Jones Owner and lead technician (MPUK National Award Winner 3 times for Scalp Technician of the year). Click here for more about Terence and his clinic.
  • London – A gifted dedicated SMP lead technician. Click here for more about our service.
  • Shrewsbury – Michelle Watson lead technician (our newset clinic opened in 2019). Click here for more about Michelle and her SMP clinic.

You will also find some of our top dedicated technicians with Skalptec clinics in:

Scalp Micropigmentation, Skalptec Newcastle

Skalptec Can Help You With A Proven Hair Loss Solution

Skin type and scalp condition will differ from person to person so a flexible approach from an experienced, dedicated professional scalp technician is a must. Don’t settle for anything less than the very best – you want the best possible outcome!

There’s not one proven magic formula guaranteed to stop your hair loss completely in its tracks once it has started. But there are a lot more hair loss options than there used to be – technology and research continues to improve matters year on year.  There’s a good chance you will be able to slow things down and a lot will depend on how quickly you’re losing your hair, and how quickly you start taking action. Genetics will also play a role when it comes to your hair falling out without notice.

smp before and after picture, skalptec ltd, scalp micropigmentation

So, if you are looking for a viable, popular and proven option consider having Scalp Micropigmentation (SMP). Skalptec Ltd is an established UK multi award winning SMP provider and we provide the best possible experience if you are going through any type of hair loss. Aftercare and healing is included in the service!

If you need help taking your first step, speak with us. We have achieved an excellent reputation and much recognition, as well as great reviews and awards for SMP over the years in the UK and internationally. For further insights and testimonials, you can find Video Reviews, Case Studies and Before and After pictures on our website and on You Tube.

Learn more about Skalptec and the services that we provide. See how we can help you to cover anything from early signs of hair loss to full baldness, thinning hair, scalp scars, scalp psoriasis, scalp scarring, a receding hairline and alopecia. Contact us to chat with one of our friendly team where you will be able to book a free consultation at one of our established Skalptec clinics.