Choosing your SMP artist is actually quite a difficult thing. For a lot of people, right at the start, it’s probably going to come down to location and price. Now, once you start getting into it, and you start searching around maybe you might find that the location and price aren’t quite the deciding factor. For some people it is, and that’s fine. You need to just switch off and go to your nearest SMP artist, and get it done for the best price possible. If you really, really want to find the best person for the job, for you, then you need to do some research.
1. Start with Research about SMP and SMP artists
How do you start doing research on an SMP artist? The first key is in the word, how to find the SMP artist? It’s okay finding clinics, but when you go to that clinic, you need to make sure who is the artist in that clinic that is going to be doing your treatment. If you’re going to some sort of big brand that doesn’t want you to know who the artist is, then I think that’s a no-no myself.
In our clinics, we like to let everybody know who the artist is, how much experience they’ve got, what are their skill level, and you get to meet them, have a consultation, and then decide for yourself. I think that’s the best way going forward for anybody. Get to meet the artist themselves.
You’re searching for SMP, you’re searching for an SMP artist to do your SMP, your location and price are of no concern. Who you’re going to choose? There are plenty of us on Instagram and YouTube. We make lovely photos, and lovely videos, some are better than others, some are like movie stars, and some are just a bit more plain and simple. If you’re attracted to that, then go for that, but I don’t think that can be your deciding factor.
2. Review the Scalp Micropigmentations artist's results/portfolio
Yes, it is a good thing to have, it’s a really good thing to have a portfolio for each and every artist. If your artist is working and putting out results on Instagram, on YouTube, showing you before and afters, showing close-up results, showing detailed work, showing healed work, that’s a good starting point.
You need to go and find these people and speak to them and actually see what’s genuine in their hearts. Ask them a few questions and actually see them working to know for sure that they are the person behind the camera, the same as they are in front of the camera. That brings us to the quality of the work. As a client, you start looking around. It’s very hard, when you’re new to SMP, to know what is quality work and what is not.
People got different opinions, but what you want to be looking for is someone who’s lying down really clean, crisp impressions. Something that’s going to stay there, not something that’s just going to stain the scalp. When you’re looking at photos and you inspect them, if you zoom right in, and you’re able to see each and every individual impression, you’re on to a good start.
Video is the same. If they’re showing videos, and they’re zooming in, and you could see different, multiple shades and the way they’ve worked, if they’ve been blending it, have they’ve been fading hairlines, dropping it a little bit softer on the edges and trying to give a really natural look to the work. This is the sort of thing that you want to be inspecting. It’s not all about producing these amazing before and after photos, it’s about what’s in the content of the photo. Lifestyle photos are nice, and they look really cool, but you actually want to see the close-up detail photos and videos. That would give you a little heads-up on when the work’s good or not. Also, be very careful because people can edit their videos, they use visual sharpening tools on a treatment that isn't great, and then they will produce a photo and just rub a little sharpener over the top of the treatment. All of a sudden, the impressions are going to ping, and look like they’ve done really good work. There’s a bit of photo editing that can go on out there, so again, you need to go straight to the source and see it with your own eyes.
3. Ask to see the Scalp Micropigmentations results in real life
Once you find your chosen clinic, email them, and send them a message. Ask if you can see the work in real life. It might be difficult if you’re coming from another country, it’s very hard for people to do, I understand that, but the number one thing that you can do is to go to the clinic, ask to see somebody with SMP that’s been done in that clinic by an artist, and ask to speak to that client or practitioner, whoever’s there. You’ll soon tell if you walk into a clinic, and you see somebody’s got here with SMP, and if you look at them and you think, “I don’t know,” then maybe it’s not for you, but if you look at them and you think, “Yes, that is good,” then that is the place where you want to go. At Creative Scalps, people come and see Sammy. It’s like having a zoo because Sammy always has to parade his head to everybody, and you can see the amazing work. It’s a really great thing.
4. How versatile is the range of SMP results?
SMP artists should always have somebody available, so if you can get numbers of any previous clients and speak to them, that would really help too. Range of styles, versatility, is the person you’re going to able to do different styles? Can they, for one, shape it up? Can they do it a soft and receded hairline? Can they feather out the hairline? Can they drop little scars in there? Can they blend it into the natural hair? Are they okay at blending it into the back of the crown area? Can they do FUE scarring? Can they do FUT scarring? These are very difficult things to do, and it’s very easy to show results to people who don’t quite know what they’re looking at. Whatever it is that you’re looking for, ask for examples and do your due diligence, okay?
5. Get an understanding of your SMP artist's history
When choosing the right SMP artist, you mightwant to know about their history? When you go to meet an SMP artist, ask them about their background, does their background relate to SMP? Where are they from? What have they done before? SMP, scalp micropigmentation, has only been around for the last 10 years so everyone should remember their answers. To add to that, really good SMP treatments and results have only been appearing for the last few years. All the time we’re getting new technology, new machines, new needles, and new ways of mixing ink, our industry techniques are always getting better and SMP styles are developing. It’s rapidly progressing and getting better, and people are getting better and better results.
The old way of doing SMP was okay, but that is getting better and better results are now very apparent, so you really want to choose somebody who is getting the results. What is their background got to do with it? I was a barber for 23 years. That doesn’t necessarily mean I’m going to be instantly good at SMP because that is not the case. Having been a barber, having been in the hair industry for a number of years, I was able to transition into SMP and take that creativity that I had and use it going forward. My knowledge of skin conditions was all built up from 23 years of barbering. You might have somebody who used to be a tattooist, and they switched over to SMP. Yes, they might have been good tattooists, they might have been bad tattooists. It doesn’t really mean that they’re going to be a good SMP artist, but you need to know what their background is, how they got into SMP, and Listen to their story. Are they genuine? I think this is what I’m trying to get at, are they genuine?
If they’re new, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t go there. Every expert was once a beginner. I was new at one point, but one thing I made sure to do was when clients would come to me, and they would say to me, “How long have you been doing this then?” I would say, “Two months,” and I would look them in the eye, and they would look back at me, “Two months?” I’m like, “Yes, two months. Do you trust me?” Sometimes they didn’t know, I was a bit shocked, but others expressed, “Yes, I believe in you. Thank you for your honesty.”
I really believe that honesty is important. When you ask somebody a question, if they can give you the answer, straight into your eye with honesty, then you know that they’ve got your best interest at heart. If somebody says to you that they’re doing it for two months, you can make the decision whether you want to go with that inexperience and give them a chance or whether you’d like to go to somebody more experienced. I think it’s up to the artist, to be honest, and truthful all the way.
6. Read your chosen SMP artist's online reviews
You can check out their reviews. Google reviews, Trustpilot reviews, Facebook reviews, good and bad. If you’ve got a popular artist, he’s going to have bundles of reviews. Let’s say he’s been doing it for years, and he’s really good at his job, he’s going to have a lot of reviews, good and bad.
Why’s he going to have bad reviews? I will tell you why, because of his popularity. People want to pull him down. You’re going to get the odd fake review in there. I think it’s quite important to say if you’re looking for somebody, and all you see is five-star burn reviews, there’s a chance that that might not be 100% real itself. The reality is, you’re going to get haters out there, and you’re going to get the odd one-star review people trying to pull him down. It doesn’t mean that they’re necessarily a client that’s been to the clinic, but it’s a good chance it might be another clinic, trying to pull him down. It’s just the world we live in. Have a good look through, read the reviews, really see if you feel that they are genuine and honest, and then when you speak to the clinic, you can maybe ask them about some of the reviews, and then hopefully you will get to the bottom of any story that you might have come across. Genuine reviews should be a good tell-tale sign of a good SMP artist.
7. Be mindful of your interaction with your MSP artist
Interaction, so when you meet your SMP artist, whether that be by video call, by telephone, face to face, how is the interaction? Is this guy listening to what you’re saying and is this guy looking out for your best interests?
You want somebody who’s going to tell you, “Actually, what you’re asking for isn’t quite within the parameters of what SMP is capable of.” You don’t want somebody who’s a bit unsure. You don’t want to risk going too much, and then if you’ve done too much, drop your hairline, too low, going too dark, lots of these different things, then you’re in trouble. Then you’re looking at laser treatment, and you’ve got to reverse the process and start again. You want to get it the right first time. By the interaction, when you’re talking to the SM artist, telling him, “This is what I want. Can you produce this?”
Usually, when clients come to me, they’ll come to me with photos, photos of my work, preferably. If they’ve seen my work, and they’re attracted by the hairlines that I produce and the styles that I produce. Usually, a client will see somebody that looks like them, and they would like it in that style. When they do that, they say, “Can you make me look like this?” “Yes, I’ve done that work before. That’s exactly what I can do for you.” If they’re asking for something, and the SMP artist isn’t quite sure, and the client isn’t quite sure, you need to feel reassured that you both know 100%, you’re on the same page, and you will then get the best results.
8. Be mindful of your SMP artist's equipment
The equipment they use, the ink, the machines, the needles, yes, these are all good questions, but they’re developing all the time. You get some artists that believe that a one-point needle is the best way to go, you get some artists that believe a free point needle is the best way to go. You get some artists that believe, a bigger size, a smaller size, and even smaller size are better, we’re talking about needles, then they use in machines. Everybody’s opinion may be slightly different.
An experienced artist would have worked for all of these and decided on some of these favourites. All we really want to know is, has that artist got the passion and desire to keep using the latest products, the latest machines and keep pushing himself to develop and bring his SMP forward and keep going up the ladder, making these treatments better and better and better all the time. Yes, it is important what ink or machines they use, but at the end of the day, if you’ve got a top SMP artist, you’d be under no doubt that they are using top-quality equipment. When you’re going to new people, this might not be the case. I have nothing against new SMP artists people, but they might not know. The chances are they’ve gone through a training academy, and they’ve been given tools, given inks, given needles under the brand name of that said training company.
Nothing wrong with that, people have got to start somewhere, but if you want somebody who’s more experienced using the top machinery and needles through their experience, then experience is the thing that you want to look for.
9. What does their SMP skill set look like?
The skillset, if you find somebody and the artist that you like, are they running a training academy? Are they training people all the time?
For me, this doesn’t say that they’re good at what they do, for me, this says that they want to make more money as quick as possible, but that’s just my opinion. It could be that they got a real desire and passion for training people. I know some people do. For me, I like doing the treatments, and masterclasses of training, but I don’t feel that provides any benefit to the industry and clients out there.
New people need looking after, they need mentoring. I’ve got a few guys on my team, and I mentor them and guide them through. This can take weeks, months, or years to get people up to the white level and as we go we’re all still learning more and more and more. Just because somebody is training loads of people, that doesn’t make them a top artist.
That is the end of the video. I hope you’ve learned something from it. I hope I’ve been of value to you. Keep watching back, please drop comments in the box below. We’re going to try and make more videos, so it takes a little bit of time, but drop a comment below any videos or subjects that you would like covered, and I’ll try and get back to you.
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Thanks very much. Thanks for watching, and I shall see you soon.
Thinking about scalp micropigmentation? It can work for nearly every hairstyle to give you the look you want. Whether you have short hair, long hair, grey hair, male pattern baldness or alopecia, SMP can work really well with all styles. Get in touch to find out more.
Done correctly, and by an expert, SMP could be the solution to your hair loss to give you the confidence you need!