My personal experience trying SMP or Scalp Micro-Pigmentation in Hong Kong with HIS Hair
Anyone who knows me knows that I’m big on anything and everything beauty. I test and try out as many treatments, products and procedures as I possibly can, volunteering to be a guinea pig for several studios and therapists from Brazilian waxing to eyelash perming.
This post is all about my experience doing Scalp Micro-Pigmentation (SMP) with Hong Kong’s only dedicated SMP practitioner, Jonathan Tang of HIS Hair Clinic.
Why did I choose Jonathan? He was the only practitioner I could find in Hong Kong who specialized in Scalp Micro-Pigmentation. I’ve heard secondhand horror stories about people who tried to fill in their hairline with tattoo artists who don’t actually know how to mimic hair growth under different kinds of light.
Micro-blading (as done with eyebrows) doesn’t work either, as (1) it’s semi permanent, and (2) it only works as an illusion under actual eyebrow hair. It doesn’t have the same effect on bare scalp.
My hair transplant experience
Why did I consider SMP? I was experiencing hair loss / hair fall which was especially obvious in my hairline area. I tried a hair transplant in the Philippines back in 2014, but it didn’t go so well because I unknowingly overexposed it to the sun.
I had to do the same operation (Strip FUT surgery) in 2015 to fill out the hairline more, but I got an infection and it didn’t grow back well. Finally, I did it a third time in 2017, and still didn’t get good results because perhaps I didn’t exfoliate properly a month after the procedure, and suffocated the follicles.
As I was living in Hong Kong, it was clearly not helping that I couldn’t regularly see my doctor to check on the progress post-operation. She couldn’t properly monitor if I was taking care of the transplanted follicles, or if I was doing something wrong.
Whatever the reason was, I wasn’t about to go under the knife a fourth time, so I searched for an alternative and less-invasive solution – and found SMP.
Why do SMP vs Hair Transplant? In my situation, it was obvious. Hair transplant simply didn’t work well enough for me to do it yet another time, and I didn’t want to lose more hair than I already have done. The scalp experiences trauma as well, so I didn’t want to risk it.
For men who experience male pattern baldness (most clients), if you’re going to bald all the way down to the back of your scalp anyway, hair transplant is just a temporary solution, which isn’t even sure to work 100%. SMP gives a close-shaven look vs. a shining globe, which is preferable to most.
What to expect
3 sessions spread over 3 months
Depending on how much area needs to be filled out, people usually need 2-3 sessions of around 4 hours each to achieve a good SMP effect. The first two sessions need to be around 1 week apart, while the third should be around 2-3 months after the second session.
I did mine like this:
May 15: First consultation
May 16: First SMP session (4 hours)
May 22: Second SMP session (4 hours)
June 19: Third SMP session (3 hours)
Remember: You’re not allowed to sweat profusely, wet your scalp or do strenuous exercise for 5 days after getting the SMP done. Make sure to cancel all gym or hiking appointments post-procedure!
About the Practitioner
The first time I met Jonathan, I was immediately put at ease. He is passionate about what he does, and is totally OC and nerdy about SMP. He is also a Native English speaker who can speak Cantonese, because he moved to England at the age of eight and grew up in Birmingham.
According to Jonathan, he started experiencing hair loss in his late 20s, and heard a radio advertisement while driving one day, some 15 years ago. He decided to get SMP done, and was so impressed and happy with the results that he stayed in touch with HIS Hair UK. Later on they contacted him when they needed more practitioners to push their expansion, and he came onboard.
Jonathan got certified and helped the company to grow, flying over to the US where SMP was fast growing. HIS Hair expanded to 25 locations in the US, and Jonathan helped to train new practitioners state-side with the company. Later on, he decided to move to Hong Kong (2009) where he franchised HIS Hair, and has since been working with HK clients!
I know this much and more about Jonathan because I spent a good 12 hours with him over three sessions + 1 consultation! The guy is good chat, is a committed ketogenic diet follower, suuuper healthy, reads a lot of books and keeps himself updated on current world affairs! He also has two kids back in the UK and a wife here 🙂
Jonathan works by himself in his small, minimalistic clinic on the 15th floor of a newer building in Mongkok, just steps from the MTR station. It’s definitely a space targeted towards men, with the black and white decor, leather seats, and hipster barber-shop vibe.
Does it hurt?
In the beginning, no. But a couple of hours in, when your pain tolerance goes down, you start to feeling the needle’s pricks. Anyone’s who’s ever gotten a tattoo before shouldn’t have a problem, though!
How much should you expect to shell out?
The total spend for a procedure like mine was estimated to be around HK$18,000-20,000, all sessions and consultation included. However, it really depends on how much area you need to get done, and consequently, the time it takes to do it. Jonathan charges on an hourly basis (HK3,000).
Are you considering a hair transplant or Scalp Micro-Pigmentation? Do you have any questions for me? Leave them in the comments below!
HIS Hair Clinic, Hollywood Plaza, Room 1513A/ 15th floor, 610 Nathan Road, Mong Kok, Kowloon, Hong Kong Hong Kong. firstname.lastname@example.org Call (+852) 3188 9740 or WhatsApp (+852) 90326957 www.hishairclinic.hk