Can I Get Scalp Micropigmentation with Hair? SMP Process On Longer Hair

By Emily M.| Last updated on November 4, 2022
⏱️ 4 min read

The scalp micropigmentation treatment is suitable for both men and women, since it can be used to camouflage a number of hair loss issues. For clients who have very little to no hair, it can recreate the look of a buzz cut on the entire scalp, but it can also work for clients who have longer hair, but lack density or have smaller bald patches.

How, you may wonder. Today we’re looking into getting scalp micropigmentation with hair: how it’s done, what are the effects, and the most important question – will I have to shave for it?

What Are the Effects of Scalp Micropigmentation with Hair?

When done on clients who have hair longer than a very short buzz cut, SMP can be used to add density to the existing hair. Or, an illusion of density, to be more precise.

Scalp micropigmentation is basically a huge number of tiny dot tattoos drawn close together, so the result looks like a shadow. When done between natural hairs, this shadow adds depth and prevents the scalp from being seen through the hair. The effect is the appearance of fuller, thicker hair.

It can very successfully camouflage sparser patches, even though there aren’t actually any extra hairs.

What Are the Effects of Scalp Micropigmentation with Hair?Image source: Instagram @yokototalbeauty

Can Scalp Micropigmentation with Hair Be Done on Both Men and Women?

Of course. The technique is exactly the same regardless of gender, it’s only the dotting pattern that’s adjusted according to the severity of the issue.

So, SMP can be done on very short hair, mid-length hair, on a bob, on long hair, basically on any hairstyle.

How Is Scalp Micropigmentation with Hair Done?

Scalp micropigmentation is done by injecting tiny dots of pigment into the skin of the scalp with an SMP machine. The pigmented ink is injected close to the surface of the skin, which makes the dots look more natural than a traditional tattoo. If you have no or very little hair, the dots look like your head is covered with emerging hair follicles.

But if you have more hair and it’s longer, the dots darken the areas of the scalp seen through the hair. So scalp micropigmentation with hair adds color between the natural hair.

The process is exactly the same. The SMP artist works around the locks of hair and adds color where it’s needed – on the whole scalp, or only in certain spots.

The process is still done in several sessions to build up the pigment color, and the color range is limited. The dots are done in lighter or darker shades of ashy gray since that’s what emerging hair follicles look like regardless of hair color.

How Is Scalp Micropigmentation with Hair Done?Image source: Instagram @hk.hairtattoo

Do I Have to Shave My Head?


The SMP dots are made between the hairs, so you won’t be asked to shave your head. The treatment may take longer, though, since the SMP tech will need time to comb through and separate the hair locks to clear the area where they’ll work.

Can Scalp Micropigmentation with Hair Bring Down a Receding Hairline?

Yes, to a point.

If your hair is longer than a buzzcut and your hairline has started receding, SMP can add some density in the frontal region, but only if the actual hair starts close to the forehead. It can bring down the hairline a bit, without being too obvious.

If the recession has gone too far back, the dots of SMP won’t really blend since there’s no hair to blend into, and won’t look natural above the forehead. It will just be a dark shade.

Likewise, the SMP can be used at the edges of the hairline on the temples, but it can’t go too far outside of the hairline, or it won’t look natural.

Can Scalp Micropigmentation with Hair Bring Down a Receding Hairline?Image source: Instagram @ericoricorico

How Much Does Scalp Micropigmentation with Hair Cost?

Regardless of the length and the amount of actual hair, the SMP treatment cost is set depending on the amount of work that needs to be done. Since scalp micropigmentation with hair treats a bigger area of the scalp, but in a diffused pattern, the cost will be $3000 – $4000 for 2-3 sessions.

If you need any additional session, they’re charged extra, around $700.

Some artists charge per hour.

Are There Any Alternatives?

SMP gives tiny dots that look like hair follicles, so it can’t recreate the look of hair strands.

If you want hair strands, there’s the option of hairline microblading. Hairline microblading is done by dragging a thin blade through the skin and depositing pigments into the elongated incisions. Once they heal, the strokes look like natural hairs.

Hairline microblading can be done around the edges of the hairline, and it’s a better option for a significantly receded hairline. However, there are many potential issues with hairline microblading – mainly blurring and fast fading – so many artists aren’t fans of this treatment.

For more information on hairline microblading, read this article.

Are There Any Alternatives for Scalp Micropigmentation?Image source: Instagram @bladedbrowsbyali

Final Note

It’s a common misconception that scalp micropigmentation can only be done on men who have little to no hair, or wear a buzzcut that just needs some density. SMP can add density to longer hair and make it look thicker very successfully, but it’s important to find an artist who has experience doing scalp micropigmentation with hair – they’ll know how much saturation your scalp needs for best, natural results.

For more information on SMP for women, read this guide.

Cover image source: Freepik



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