Mark: Hey, guys, welcome back. In this upcoming video, we got two guys sharing their experiences of having SMP and how it’s been for them living with their new look. I’m asking the questions behind the camera, and I’m telling you, this is a really great watch. A really informative and interesting conversation, but it kept me entertained anyway. We have Priyesh who had his SMP treatment done with Sammy at Creative Scalps back in 2021, and we have Sammy talking about his own experience. Let’s get to the video and see what they’ve got to say. Stay tuned people, and come on, let me see those fingers. Let’s go. All right, here we are. Priyesh.
Mark: All right. You have had your SMP done.
Mark: Sammy, you’ve had your SMP done.
Sammy: I have. Yes.
Mark: How has SMP been for you after this last year?
Priyesh: Good. For me, having SMP done wasn’t ever about confidence, as you will remember. It was also just about framing my face so I’d be more inclined to want to take pictures and stuff like that. It’s been great. If I draw my experiences working with you two and Sky, everything was clear, the support was great, I knew what was happening. Sammy was brilliant in terms of ensuring that I was happy after every session, explaining what to expect, and then what to do afterwards. It’s been great. I’ve been really happy with how it’s healed, how it looks, and probably how authentic, a year on, it still looks now as well I think is what I’m probably most pleased with because there’s no blowout. Clearly, Sammy did the right job putting the needle in at the right depth. Absolutely delighted with how it’s been across this last year.
Mark: It looks brilliant.
Priyesh: Thank you.
Sammy: It’s gone well. Yes.
Mark: Sammy, about you? Yours was done three years ago.
Sammy: Three years ago, mine. Yes. Brilliant. I’m over the moon with it. I didn’t think it would affect me as much as it did. Obviously, I didn’t want to go bald naturally as a man, but once the treatment was done, it made a huge difference. Huge difference. It’s brilliant. Over the moon. I would recommend it to anyone in that category that wants to restore a little bit of confidence and frame their face, make themselves look a little bit younger and better, which we all want to do, right?
Priyesh: Yes. Agreed.
Priyesh: I think as well, especially if you look on social media, there’s so many hair transplant companies, specifically in Turkey, offering their services and then so many horror stories off the back of that. I know a chap who had a hair transplant. He’s taken at the front. He’s taken virtually nothing at the crown. He said to me the other day, he’s now having SMP done, I did recommend you, Mark, he said, “I wish I hadn’t had the transplant done. I wish I’d just gone straight to SMP.” I think the level of the sector and how good the work is now, it’s such a really good alternative to hair transplants, which there’s no guarantee they’ll work.
Mark: It is, is it? SMP is a 100% solution, isn’t it?
Priyesh: Yes. Quite literally.
Mark: So long as it’s done correctly.
Priyesh: Yes. Exactly.
Mark: Onto the next one. Has anyone ever noticed you’ve had SMP?
Priyesh: Quite the opposite. Do you remember the first time I came to see you, I was going to the stag do?
Sammy: Yes. That’s right.
Priyesh: Then after my last session, I went to the wedding. I was talking to two or three people and they quite literally didn’t believe I’d had it done. Everyone was really drunk. They would get really close to me and say “Yes, it is,” because it looks so much like a shaved hair follicle. More people haven’t believed that it’s actually not a genuine shaved head.
Sammy: Have you been actively telling people you’ve had it done rather than them saying, “Have you had something done?”
Priyesh: Yes. Exactly. Now I’ve had it done, I can also notice it on people. People who’ve got really straight lines is probably more noticeable than those who haven’t. I’ve got a faded hairline like Sammy did for me. I notice it more. No one’s ever come up to me and said, “Oh, have you had SMP done?” People haven’t believed that is SMP when I’ve told them it’s effectively a tattoo and not a shaved head. Which is a great–
Sammy: Which is exactly what you want.
Priyesh: Right. Exactly.
Sammy: It’s exactly what anyone wants for SMP, isn’t it?
Priyesh: Yes. Completely.
Mark: Yes. You do find, once you get into the SMP world, you’ve had it done or you’re researching it, you start looking at everybody, anybody and everybody with a shaved head.
Priyesh: I think also as well as with everything, it has to be done right. I guess there has to be an element of good counsel from the SMP artist as well as the person who’s having it done trying to go for the right style. I’ve seen older gentlemen, much older than me, with perfect hairlines. Whilst it looks nice, you can almost tell it’s not a natural hairline. Does that make sense? Because they’ve gone for a perfect chiselled line that someone probably in their 20s might have, as an example. I think the important thing is making sure that you listen to your artist and getting something that’s encompassing with your age.
Sammy: It’s got to be age relevant.
Priyesh: Right. Exactly, because it lasts as well. You wouldn’t want to have a perfect line in your 60s, if that makes sense. Whereas this, for example, probably would work into my 50s and possibly even my 60s, if that makes sense.
Mark: I see. You’ve always got to keep them edges soft, then it’ll last a lifetime.
Sammy: As natural as possible. That’s the goal.
Sammy: The ultimate goal is for it to look as natural as possible.
Mark: The same with you, Sammy, has anyone ever noticed that you’ve got SMP?
Sammy: No. No one’s ever noticed. Obviously, I had bits and pieces of hair before but–
Mark: No, you didn’t.[laughter]
Sammy: Not on my head.
Mark: It was gone, mate.
Sammy: Bits and pieces, but no. No one ever– You often get comments like, “You look really well.” “You look young.” “You look healthy,” and et cetera, but they can very rarely put their finger on exactly what it is you’ve had done. It’s not till you say to them, if you choose to, “I’ve had this thing done, SMP.” Then they go, “That’s amazing.” Then they’re up close looking and inspecting it. No. The same. No one’s ever come out and said “You’ve had SMP done.”
Mark: It’s kind of that strange thing, isn’t it? You’d want people not to notice, but you also want them to notice. If you get it done well, you can be proud of what you’ve got and actually put your head into someone’s face and say, “Look, I’ve had a tattoo on my head.”
Priyesh: The nice thing as well is a few people– I’ve been going through getting my passport redone, a new passport issue. When I’ve shown a few people my old passport, it was 10 years old, and I had a lot more hair than I’d had even before shaving it a year ago, but I think two or three people said I look far better now with the shaved head look. I think that for me the SMP was so important. The quality of the work done validated the fact that it looks natural. If it hadn’t been done properly, I probably wouldn’t have looked a little bit younger than I did look when my hair was thinning. Actually, that’s an observation as well. People have just said, “You look so much better.” Actually, no one believes I’m 41, which is nice.
Mark: You don’t.
Priyesh: Don’t talk , Sammy. You and I are both all right?
Sammy: Yes. Tea for two.
Priyesh: Yes, that’s it.
Mark: Obviously, on the back of that question of whether anyone’s noticed you’ve had SMP, the reaction that you have got is that people haven’t noticed, which means you have got a quality treatment carrying about. Do you feel good about that and that decision that you made to come to a premium provider like Creative Scalps?
Priyesh: 100%. As you know, you’re not the cheapest, but having done my research and obviously having subscribed to what, Mark, you were doing online via Instagram, and reading some of the comments, as with anything, it’s always cheaper elsewhere, but that doesn’t guarantee better quality. Yes, I paid a premium to be here and for the work that Sammy’s done.
I couldn’t be any happier because, like I’ve said, there’s someone I knew who also had it done over at Harley Street, unbelievably, four or five years ago. His blowout was mad. I’m completely, completely happy with what I spent to get this quality done, which is probably validated by the fact that no one realizes that it’s a tattoo. They all think it’s just your natural hair shaved down.
Sammy: I’m a firm believer you get what you pay for.
Priyesh: Yes. 100%.
Mark: Well, you got yours for free, Sammy.
Sammy: Yes. In truth, though.
Mark: Well, actually, technically, you was doing an apprenticeship so you was invested into the business, and part of that was you was able to get your treatment. It actually gave you a lot of experience by getting it done.
Sammy: As an artist, to have it done on yourself I think is crucial. Then you can relay that to the client through the stages.
Priyesh: Yes. “I’ve gone through it myself. Here’s what to expect”
Sammy: I’ve gone through it myself. This is what to expect after each session, during the session. I think that’s really important as an artist to guide them through it. It helps for the client massively because, more often than not, people are nervous. Of course, they’re going to be. It’s a big step. If you can try and relax them during the process, it’s going to make it much easier.
Priyesh: One of the reasons, Mark, when I had my first video call with Sammy, was do you remember? You showed me. I said, “What to expect?” I was a little bit apprehensive, as you would be finally just ripping off that band-aid and shaving my head and whatnot. Sammy just showed me. He said, “I’ve had it done.” The good job that– Just seeing it and Sammy bringing it to life for me probably helped me on my journey as well.
Linking back to one of the first questions you asked about what was so good about the process was just that, “Here, look, I’ve had it done by Mark. The person who I’ve learned from, this is his work, so this is what I’m basing my work on,” and all that entire closing the loop on from starting it to finishing it was brilliant from start to finish in terms of just understanding what to expect and what it would look like.
Mark: Brilliant. The last and final question that people want to know is do you have any regrets about getting SMP?
Priyesh: No. Absolutely not. Someone said to me, I think my sister might’ve asked me, she goes, “Now you’ve had this done, do you wish you’d just gone for a hair transplant?” I’m like, “No, not at all.” If anything, getting this done has made me realize how happy or how sure I was on my decision not to get a hair transplant. My life hasn’t changed. I still have to worry about my gas bills, like everyone else does.
I guess I’m a bit more confident in certain scenarios. I can’t validate which ones they are, but I guess I am. It’s just nice to, not to labor the point, but just to have your face framed was such a big, big thing. I said this to you many times, didn’t I, last year, Sammy? It was probably the biggest factor above anything else. I literally couldn’t be happier. Absolutely no regrets whatsoever.
Mark: Brilliant. What we see is or I seen it, when people come here, they have this look in their eyes, whether it’s a lack of confidence or inner self-belief because of their hair loss. Also, there’s a bit of fear about getting this done, but then we see at the end of it, like we look at you now, you’re bright-eyed. You look healthy. There’s a glow to your skin. That outward confidence. I can tell a person like you probably always had that outward confidence, but that inner confidence that just comes with it, we’ve all felt that freedom that SMP’s given us.
Priyesh: That’s probably the most important thing, Mark, because men with hair will never know what it’s like for a man to lose his hair. Now, some of them are completely fine with it. They really are. “I’m bald. It is what it is.
Sammy: Yes. Of course.
Priyesh: Other men, irrespective of what veneer they put out in society about being confident, it’s always there. You think about it every day. It’s a game changer for people, whether you’re confident or not confident, getting something like this, whether it’s to restore your hairline, whether it’s to make you more confident when you’re going out with friends or having a picture or talking to women or talking to men, whatever you want to do. I think it’s one of those things that you just can’t legislate for. Once you’ve had it done well, as you guys do, it makes a massive, massive difference. It’s a very, very viable, long-term sustainable solution and alternative to hair transplants.
Mark: Brilliant. All right. I reckon that’s about it. Good little chat. Thanks, guys.
Sammy: Nice. Nice chat.
Priyesh: Nice chat.
Mark: Anything else you’d like to say to the people of the world?
Sammy: I don’t think so. Getting back to the confidence really, I think in some cases it’s more of a subconscious thing even without realizing it. I was always quite a confident guy before.
Priyesh: Likewise. Yes.
Sammy: Going bald, I’d rather not be going bald.
Priyesh: Of course not.
Sammy: Who does? Like I said at the start, I didn’t think it would affect me as much as it did after looking in the mirror at yourself, which we do every day.
Priyesh: Yes. Of course, we do.
Sammy: I was like, actually, it does make a big difference and it does subconsciously make me feel better-
Priyesh: Yes. I know. 100%.
Sammy: -and more confident. That’s all through getting SMP. It’s all through having it done. It’s a great solution for people that are in that bracket. Check us out.
Mark: Brilliant. All right. Well, I hope everyone watching this video has got something from there. Nice bit of truth and honesty from a couple of guys that have had SMP. We shall see you again. Say goodbye. Give me some of that [clicks tongue].
Sammy: [clicks tongue]
Priyesh: I’m not doing that.[laughter]
Priyesh: Absolutely not. I’m not doing that.
Mark: Get out of the shoot.
9 TIPS ON HOW TO CHOOSE THE RIGHT SMP ARTIST FOR YOU
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.