Scalp Micro Pigmentation (SMP)

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What is Scalp Micropigmentation?

If you experience severe hair loss and may not be a suitable candidate for hair transplant or have a scar to conceal, Scalp Micopigmentation (SMP) may be your answer.

SMP is a safe, simple but highly technical procedure where temporary pigments are placed very superficially in the scalp. The colour of the ink is crucial to the final result. At Freia, after extensive research, refining our ink colours, we are able to create the most natural looking results, that will fool even experts. We use the best of Korean, American and European technology and select only the highest medical-grade, hypoallergenic organic dyes.

Results last 2 to 3 years, depending on individual metabolism, daily activities and scalp sun exposure. It is a relatively new technique that offers an alternative for patients who are not candidates for hair transplant surgery or who do not want a hair transplant surgery. SMP is both a science and an art. The sole purpose of our SMP procedure is to replicate hair, nothing else.

Proper technique is extremely important in getting safe and aesthetically satisfactory results. SMP is a highly technical procedure that is very easy to do badly in the wrong hands. Common problems include blue/green appearance of ink, blotchy results, unnatural hairlines, effects that are too stark, etc. The angle that the instrument is deposited, depth control, consistency and the amount of pigment deposited, color compatibility – not to mention proper patient selection – are all critical for success. We have encountered a fair number of botched jobs that required complete laser removal of the wrong ink placement, then re do the SMP from scratch. 

The SMP procedure was first introduced to the medical hair restoration community by Dr. William Rassman of New Hair Institute in California and was introduced in Singapore by Freia in 2015. 

After a thorough discussion of concerns, goals and expected results, Dr. Harold Ma will design the hairline. A numbing cream is applied for 45 minutes and cleaned after. The actual process takes about 1 to 2 hours, depending on complexity and size of area treated. Patients describe it as a vibration on the scalp, with tiny needle pricks sensation on and off. Overall, it is quite a comfortable process. There is no downtime and patients get back to their social activities immediately after. A set of post SMP shampoo and serum are included for care of the scalp. A total of 3 to 4 sessions are needed for the best results. We will explain a detailed plan with all our clients. 

In summary, SMP is a procedure offered at Freia to safely, effectively and predictably create the desired effect of…

  • A deliberately closely shaved scalp (buzz cut effect)
  • Increasing the density of a thinning scalp, making the thinning area appear to be fuller
  • Covering up old FUT or FUE scars
  • Covering up bald patches due to scalp diseases like stable alopecia areata, etc
  • Enhancing a hair transplant procedure

We have performed many successful cases since 2015. Visit our clinic and see the extensive portfolio of before and after results of actual clients.


What is scalp micropigmentation (SMP)?
SMP is a non invasive treatment that uses microneedles specially designed to deposit pigments into the scalp skin. The result is a very natural appearance of shaved hair follicles or short hair stubble.

Will people know I had SMP?
Our SMP technique creates results that are so natural, even experts are fooled. How do we achieve this result consistently? By the use of the finest instruments that place the ink pigments very evenly in the scalp, by employing ink placement techniques that have taken us years to develop and master. We colour-match the ink with the client’s skin and hair type for that seamless result from hair bearing areas to bald areas. We pride ourselves on the fact that no one has to know you had SMP, unless you told them.

How many sessions of SMP do I need?
The reason why SMP appears so natural is because the ink has to be introduced at different depths on separate sessions. The pigment size we create mimics our natural hair follicle so closely that just 1-2 sessions is not enough to create the finished effect. Hence, clients typically need 3 to 4 sessions for the best results. This layering of ink creates a 3D effect so it looks very realistic. Some centres promise results in 1 session; but compensate with a larger than normal follicle size, which we have seen lead to very unnatural results. The first 2 sessions are usually done on consecutive days. We wait at least 1 month for the final third and fourth sessions.

How long does each session take?
Depending on the size of the area that we need to restore or conceal over, the complexity of the case, etc, it takes about 3 to 4 hours per session (including numbing).

Do I need to take time off work to recover?
There is no downtime with SMP. At most, clients feel a very flight tingling sensation the night after the procedure, You can return to most social activities right away.We advise no heavy sweating or exercise for 4 to 5 days post SMP, to prevent “sweating out” of the ink. You can swim after 1 week. A set of post SMP shampoo and antiseptic serum is issued in this period. Some clients notice a mild redness over the scalp for a few hours.

Is SMP painful?
Most clients find that SMP is a relatively comfortable and tolerable process. The numbing cream and some pre treatment medication helps clients to relax. It is often described as a vibrating sensation with occasional pin pricks on the scalp. Any pain is usually minimal and there is no pain after the treatment. Some even fall asleep during the treatment.

Is SMP permanent?
We have chosen to work with 100% organic inks specially designed to look as natural and to match your existing hairs. The ink gradually fades over 2 to 3 years. Some clients wait until the ink has faded significantly, while others will book in an annual touch up session to maintain the SMP effects.

Can you conceal all FUT / FUE scars?
One of the main indications of SMP is to address scalp scars, be it from FUT/FUE procedures or injuries. However, as all scars are unique, it is best to speak to us to discuss suitability and desired outcomes.

Will SMP damage my existing hair?
No, it would not. The needles we use are specially designed for scalp and do not damage existing hair.

How do I know what hairline suits me best?
Dr. Harold Ma, who has more than a decade of treating hair loss clients, will personally discuss treatment goals with you. He will make sketches of proposed hair line designs and guide you in the most suitable hair line for your face shape, age, personality, etc.

Does SMP work with grey hairs?
Yes SMP works with grey hairs. When grey hairs are trimmed very short, they appear darker in colour. It is actually the hair shaft that appears grey as it grows out. We will colour-match the ink to give you the best outcome for your SMP.

Does SMP change colour like a tattoo?
SMP inks will gradually fade and lighten completely. Unlike most tattoos or some centres, our SMP technique and skill avoids nasty surprises like change of colour from black, to grey to green. The SMP continues to look very natural throughout the lifespan of its ink.

How much is SMP?
The price depends on the area involved, the complexity of the condition and the number of sessions needed. Price ranges from S$4,000 upwards, depending on the complexity and area involved. We will give you a detailed price quote after a proper assessment in clinic.

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