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Thinning Hair? How Scalp Micropigmentation Can Recreate the Hairline You Desire

SMP offers a nonsurgical solution to thinning hair – no incisions, syringes, or long recovery time.

Noticing your hairline creeping back or your hair thinning at the crown can be a major blow to your confidence. While a hair transplant offers a permanent and long-lasting solution to hair loss, it is a big commitment. But beyond traditional hair transplant surgery, there are solutions that don’t require any incisions and lengthy recovery. One such solution is scalp micropigmentation (SMP), a nonsurgical technique for creating a thicker, fuller-looking hairline.

How Scalp Micropigmentation Creates a Thicker Hairline

Scalp micropigmentation works by depositing tiny dots of pigment into the scalp using a specialized micropigmentation device. These pigments mimic the appearance of short hair follicles, creating a realistic illusion of a denser hairline. 

But don’t confuse scalp micropigmentation with hair tattooing. They are not the same. While some patients use the two terms interchangeably, SMP is different in terms of the device and pigment used, depth, and technique. 

Unlike a traditional tattoo gun, the SMP device is much finer and delivers pigment deposits with greater precision. It uses tiny needles that penetrate only the upper dermal layer of the scalp, minimizing discomfort and risk.

SMP practitioners have access to a wide range of pigment shades specifically designed to mimic natural hair follicles. They meticulously match the pigment to your existing hair color, considering factors like highlights, lowlights, and any natural variations in your hair’s tone.

The practitioner doesn’t simply deposit flat dots of pigment. Instead, they strategically create tiny impressions that resemble individual hair follicles. This involves varying the size, depth, and even the angle of the pigment deposits. Skilled practitioners employ a technique called “scalp stippling,” similar to the artistic pointillist technique, to create a realistic illusion of textured hair growth.

To achieve a thicker-looking hairline, the practitioner strategically varies the density of the pigment deposits. Sparse deposits are used at the forefront, gradually increasing in density as they move towards the scalp. This layering technique mimics the natural growth pattern of hair, with a lighter density at the hairline transitioning to a fuller appearance towards the crown.

Related article: Scalp Micropigmentation Is a Life-Changing Nonsurgical Solution for Chemo Hair Loss.

SMP Hairline Styles

One of the most compelling benefits of SMP is its versatility. The practitioner can design a hairline that complements your facial features and desired look. This may involve subtly lowering a receding hairline, softening a sharp hairline, or even creating a completely new hairline design.

Here are some of the most popular options:

Natural Hairline: This style aims to mimic the most natural look of a hairline, with slight irregularities and a softer edge, similar to how natural hairlines are not perfectly straight or symmetrical.

Defined Hairline: A more pronounced and defined hairline with sharper edges, giving the appearance of a full and dense hairline. This style is often chosen by those looking for a more youthful or stylized look.

Softened Hairline: Similar to the natural hairline but with a slightly more pronounced edge, offering a balance between a defined and natural look.

Broken Hairline: This style incorporates irregularities and a jagged edge to mimic how hairlines typically recede or thin naturally, offering a very realistic appearance.

Widow’s Peak: This style mimics the natural V-shaped point in the hairline’s center, which some people have. It can be subtle or more pronounced, depending on preference.

Edge Up: Popular among men looking for a sharp, clean look, the edge-up hairline has straight edges and sharp angles, resembling a freshly groomed haircut.

Receding Hairline: This style mimics a hairline that is receding, offering a more mature and realistic look for those who want their SMP to reflect a natural aging process.

Scalp Micropigmentation Pros and Cons

SMP is the preferred procedure for those who want to create the appearance of a full head of hair without undergoing invasive surgical treatments, like hair transplants. It’s particularly suitable for individuals experiencing hair thinning, receding hairlines, or various forms of alopecia. 

SMP offers a low-maintenance, non-invasive solution that delivers immediate results with minimal recovery time, making it an attractive option for those seeking a lasting solution to hair loss without the complexities of surgery or ongoing treatments. 

Here are some pros and consider that you’ll want to consider before getting your SMP treatment: 


  • Non-surgical: No scalpels or anesthesia are involved, making it a less invasive option compared to hair transplants.
  • Natural-looking results: Skilled practitioners can achieve a realistic, undetectable hairline.
  • Low maintenance: Unlike hair transplants, SMP requires minimal upkeep. Most SMP treatments can retain their appearance for 4 years or longer.
  • Faster results: You can see a significant difference in your hairline after just one session.
  • Cost-effective: While upfront costs exist, SMP can be a more affordable solution compared to ongoing hair loss treatments.
  • Painless or minimal discomfort: Most patients experience minimal discomfort during the procedure.


  • Temporary: SMP results typically last several years, but touch-up sessions may be needed to maintain the desired look.
  • Not suitable for all hair loss patterns: SMP works best for mild to moderate hair loss and may not be ideal for advanced stages.
  • Finding a qualified practitioner: Choosing an experienced SMP professional with a strong portfolio is non-negotiable for achieving natural-looking results.

Can Women Get SMP?

Yes, SMP is a great option for women experiencing hair loss.  Women often experience different hair loss patterns than men, and a skilled practitioner can tailor the treatment to achieve natural-looking results that complement a woman’s facial features.

How Much Does Scalp Micropigmentation Cost?

The cost of SMP can vary depending on the experience of the practitioner, the complexity of the procedure, and your location. Typically, the price ranges from $2,000 to $5,000, with touch-up sessions costing less. The best way to know the cost of your SMP procedure is to schedule a consultation with an SMP practitioner in your area. 

SMP Performed by a Hair Transplant Surgeon: Why Consider Dr. Keene at Physician’s Hair Institute?

While many clinics offer SMP, choosing a practitioner with a strong background in hair restoration offers distinct advantages. Here’s why considering a hair transplant surgeon like Dr. Keene at Physician’s Hair Institute can be beneficial:

Deep understanding of hair loss: Hair transplant surgeons possess a comprehensive understanding of hair loss patterns and scalp anatomy. This expertise translates into a more precise and effective SMP treatment plan.

Holistic approach: Dr. Keene can discuss all your hair loss options, including hair transplants, and recommend the most suitable approach based on your individual needs and goals.

Superior artistry: Creating a natural-looking hairline requires artistic talent. Hair transplant surgeons are adept at designing hairlines that complement your unique features.

Advanced technology: Physician’s Hair Institute utilizes cutting-edge micropigmentation tools for optimal results.

Considering scalp micropigmentation in Arizona? Schedule a consultation with Dr. Keene at the Physician’s Hair Institute in Tucson & Scottsdale, Arizona. 

With over two decades of experience in hair restoration, Dr. Keene will address your concerns, evaluate your hair loss pattern, and discuss if SMP is the right solution for you. She can also explore other hair restoration options, such as hair transplants, to create a personalized treatment plan designed to achieve your desired results.

Contact Physician’s Hair Institute today. We serve patients in and around Phoenix, Scottsdale, Chandler, Glendale, Paradise Valley, Mesa, and the greater Arizona area.