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How to Find the Right SMP Technician


How to Find the Right SMP Technician

Hint: Look for a specialist in multiple areas.





Pam Neighbors is the Northwest’s premier SMP Specialist. She is a Certified Master Technician for Scalp Aesthetics and a four-time nominee for the upcoming World Scalp Micropigmentation Conference.





Over the years, it has often been my clients who have directed me toward the needs of others. For instance, it wasn’t until I recently met with a new prospective client that I truly realized how confusing it can be to choose a quality, and highly qualified, scalp micropigmentation technician.  

Suffering from traction alopecia, Susan was a stunning 27 -year-old who had previously interviewed numerous SMP technicians. She was still filled with anxiety because after years of constantly covering the patches where hair was missing, she knew that whoever was delivering this SMP treatment had to be masterful and get it right. She pulled out an extensive list of questions, and we worked through them one by one. At the end of the consultation, she looked me straight in the eyes and said, “You’re the one.” She explained that I had answered every question about scalp micropigmentation with honesty, been very clear about the process and why the results would be what she was looking for, and all the picture of clients looked incredibly natural.  

The look of relief on her face when she saw her hairline restored, drove me to write this blog. So get out your notepad and write down these vital tips on how to find the top SMP Technician.

CHOOSE AN ARTIST Even papers published by top dermatologists and plastic surgeons state that the artistic experience and talent of the SMP technician is the key to the success of this process. My years of experience in both the permanent make-up field and working for plastic surgeons for alopecia, breast reconstruction, and for patients with scarring, is now invaluable to my skill as an SMP Specialist. This is not a bad tattoo that you will be able to hide under a t-shirt. This is your head! In this open market of tattoo technicians and newly trained SMP techs, it is very important that you ask about their history (Did they study art? What fields do they hold licenses in?), and definitely view pictures of as many clients as possible.  

Whether you are looking for an SMP technician to help with male pattern baldness, female hair thinning, alopecia, or to camouflage a “donor scar” after a hair transplant, here are some of the areas of experience that will help you find the right scalp 

specialist are the top 5 tips for finding the right SMP Technician.” The reason. This

  1. 1.   Artistic Ability. I always fall back on my belief that scalp micropigmentation or any cosmetic tattooing is 90% art and 10% technique. An artist has an eye for color that most people don’t. An artist sees something in their mind, and then recreates it with their hands. I would ask your prospective technician if they have any art background. This includes any medium from watercolor art to painting skateboards, but it will give you an idea if they have that creative instinct.


  1.  Esthetics (skin) Background.  I’m not saying that your prospective technician has to do facials and wax armpits, I’m saying that it really comes in handy to have an extensive knowledge base concerning the skin. In this situation, the skin is our canvas, so I would highly advise selecting someone who has taken the time to educate themselves on the basic anatomy of the skin, basic skin types, and basic diseases as well as disorders of the skin. Healthy skin yields the best results, so we want to make sure that you get off to a great start! Your technician should know how to assess your scalp and guide you to treatment if necessary. They should also know that every person’s scalp will be different and adjust their own technique to accommodate the situation. 


  1.   Cosmetic Experience. Cosmetic and artistic experience are somewhat similar I suppose, but I broke it out this way because I believe that balance in the human form is a key factor, especially when designing a hairline or choosing color. This is where your scalp micropigmentation technician should be able to guide you to what looks best on you, not just slap the “hairline of the day” on your head! 


  1.   Experience and/or Working Relationship with a Medical Professional. I am grateful everyday for my working relationships with some of Seattle’s best dermatologists and cosmetic surgeons. It is always a good idea to build a team with high level credentials and integrity. I want to know that I have the right players in place should a special need arise with one of my clients. I advise any new SMP technicians to do the same.


  1.   Licensing, Safety and Sanitation. Oh my–this is a stickler. You will want someone who is a licensed professional! Almost every state now requires a cosmetic tattoo license. This means that they will be inspected on a regular basis for safety and sanitation practices. They are required to post the license and the inspection reports. Don’t be afraid to ask to see them. Take a look around, is the place clean? Well lit? Not cluttered? Your health is first and foremost, so run quickly if you suspect that the technician is not performing in a sanitary manner. 

This list can go on and on, so I will offer you more vital tools for your toolbox in my upcoming [NAME OF YOUR BLOG? ASK JOHN IF IT COULD BE CREATIVE YET SAY WHAT YOU DO AT THE SAME TIME] blogs.



*not her real name.

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