Scalp Micropigmentation: Costs and Consideration

Scalp Micropigmentation - Costs and Considerations
Picture of Tommy T.
Tommy T.

Scalp Micropigmentation Practitioner
Buffalo, NY

7 mins read

If you’re someone who is dealing with hair loss and is seeking a solution to regain confidence and achieve a more youthful appearance, scalp micropigmentation (SMP) may be the answer. This innovative procedure uses a specialized technique to create the illusion of hair growth by tattooing tiny pigments onto the scalp, giving the appearance of a buzz cut. 

But before you embark on this transformative journey, it’s important to understand the costs and considerations involved. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the intricacies of SMP costs and provide valuable insights to help you make an informed decision.

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Scalp Micropigmentation - Costs and Considerations

Understanding the Average Cost of Scalp Micropigmentation

The cost of scalp micropigmentation can vary depending on several factors. According to reviews from RealSelf community members, the average cost of SMP treatment is approximately $3,106. However, it is crucial to note that this is just an average, and the actual cost can range from as little as $942 up to $6,000. Various factors influence the price, which we will discuss in more detail below.

Factors That Influence SMP Cost

1. Provider’s Qualifications and Skill Level

When considering SMP, it’s essential to find a qualified and experienced provider who possesses the necessary skills to deliver exceptional results. Regulations regarding SMP vary by state, with some requiring SMP artists to hold a tattoo license or a cosmetology license. In other states, only medical practitioners can offer the treatment. SMP artists can include physicians, hair transplant surgeons, physician’s assistants, or registered nurses.

While it may be tempting to assume that a physician SMP artist will charge more for their expertise, this isn’t always the case. Highly skilled artists with years of experience and an impressive portfolio of natural-looking results may charge more than newly certified medical professionals. When choosing a provider, it’s crucial to assess their body of work and the results they can achieve.

2. Provider’s Practice Location

The location of the SMP artist’s practice can significantly impact the cost. Major metropolitan areas like Los Angeles, Chicago, New York, or Miami typically have higher SMP costs compared to smaller cities, suburban, or rural areas. This discrepancy is often due to higher rents in bustling cities, resulting in an increase in the overall procedure cost.

It’s worth mentioning that even in major metropolitan areas, certain neighborhoods may have higher costs than others. Exploring SMP artists in less desirable parts of town where rents are more affordable can help you find a cost-effective option without compromising the quality of the procedure. Additionally, the law of supply and demand plays a role, as high demand for qualified providers in suburban areas can still lead to higher costs.

3. Severity of Hair Loss

The extent of your hair loss is another crucial factor in determining the cost of SMP. Providers often assess a patient’s level of hair loss using the Norwood scale, which ranges from early thinning or a receding hairline to more severe stages of male pattern baldness.

Patients with minimal hair loss, such as a small patch of thinning hair or those seeking to cover old hair transplant scars, typically require less time and effort during the procedure. Conversely, creating the illusion of a buzz cut over a full head of hair follicles is more intricate and time-consuming, leading to higher costs.

4. Number of Treatment Sessions

The complexity of the SMP procedure can also influence the number of treatment sessions needed. If your SMP artist must invest significant effort in creating the illusion of hair density over a large treatment area, they may split the procedure into multiple sessions. This approach allows for proper healing between appointments and ensures a more natural-looking outcome.

On average, most people require three to four treatment sessions to achieve their desired results. Each session contributes to the overall cost of scalp micropigmentation.

5. Special Requests

Some individuals may have specific and more intricate goals for their SMP treatment, which can impact the overall cost. For example, if you wish to alter your hairline or eliminate a widow’s peak, the process requires meticulous attention to detail and more time and skill from your SMP artist.

Additionally, if you visit a hair transplant surgeon for SMP in a smaller area, they may suggest incorporating FUE grafts over the micropigmentation to enhance texture and achieve a more natural look. While this approach adds to the cost, it results in a more detailed and realistic appearance.

6. Touch-Ups

Scalp micropigmentation is considered a permanent solution, but like traditional tattoos, the pigment can fade over time. Therefore, it is not uncommon for individuals to require touch-ups after a few years. These touch-ups are part of the maintenance process and should be anticipated as part of the total cost of scalp micropigmentation.

Discussing touch-up policies with your SMP artist is essential to understand any associated costs and ensure your long-term satisfaction with the procedure.

7. Deals or Special Offers

Like many aesthetic procedures, some providers may offer seasonal discounts on scalp micropigmentation. These promotions can often be found on social media accounts or coupon sites. While deals may seem appealing, it is crucial to conduct thorough research before committing to any offer.

Reviewing the SMP artist’s portfolio, reading customer reviews, and ensuring their reputation aligns with your expectations is vital to avoid any regrets later on. Remember, investing in your appearance and well-being is a critical decision, so choose wisely.

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Insurance Coverage for Scalp Micropigmentation

Typically, health insurance does not cover the cost of scalp micropigmentation. Even if your hair loss is a result of a medical condition such as alopecia, SMP is considered an elective, cosmetic procedure rather than a medically necessary one.

This classification means that individuals are responsible for covering the expenses related to scalp micropigmentation. However, many people find that the benefits of SMP, such as enhanced confidence and a natural-looking appearance, outweigh the financial investment.

The Art of Technique: Understanding the Cost

Scalp micropigmentation is a highly technique-dependent procedure, and its cost is reflective of the artistry and skill required. Just like with tattoos, quality matters, and cheaper alternatives may result in a less satisfactory outcome. Low-quality SMP treatments may fade quickly and require more frequent touch-ups, ultimately costing more in the long run.

Conversely, investing in the expertise of higher-end SMP artists ensures a more professional and durable result. The goal of scalp micropigmentation is to showcase your new appearance confidently, without the need to conceal a subpar outcome.

A Cost-Effective Option

When comparing the cost of SMP to hair transplant surgery, scalp micropigmentation emerges as a more cost-effective option. On average, SMP costs approximately $5,000 less than a hair transplant procedure. If the goal is to achieve the look of a buzz cut rather than actual new hair growth, SMP can be an attractive and budget-friendly choice.


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Scalp micropigmentation is a transformative procedure that has helped numerous individuals (us included) regain their confidence and achieve the appearance they desire. Understanding the factors influencing SMP costs is crucial to making an informed decision, and at Elegant SMP we want you to take in the whole picture.

Remember to consider the qualifications and skill level of your chosen SMP artist, as well as the location of their practice. We’re based out of the State of New York so the standard are naturally higher as far as government and regulation is concerned. Additionally, the severity of your hair loss, the number of treatment sessions required, and any special requests can contribute to the overall cost.

While insurance does not typically cover scalp micropigmentation, investing in this innovative procedure can provide life-changing results and increased self-assurance. We also offer financing with Cherry if that’s something you’re interested in. Takes less than a few minutes to get an answer with no damage to your credit score.

Ready to explore the possibilities of scalp micropigmentation? Contact Elegant SMP, a premier scalp micropigmentation provider located in Buffalo, NY. We offer the most natural-looking and undetectable SMP treatment, specializing in the faded hairline technique. Book a no-obligation consultation today.

While you’re here in Buffalo, NY, make sure to visit our recommended places to go and attractions in our unique and beautiful city. Check out our guide to Buffalo NY attractions and eateries.

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About Us:

Elegant Scalp Micropigmentation was founded in Buffalo, NY with the goal of providing clients with a compassionate and understanding atmosphere for their hair loss troubles. We’ve been through it ourselves and at Elegant SMP, are devoted to providing our customers with the knowledge and confidence they need to make a well-informed decision about their SMP treatment plan. 

We are excited to offer our premium SMP services that will unveil a more authentic version of yourself. Our continued dedication to perfecting this craft aims to help our clients rediscover their confidence and be able to enjoy a renewed sense of self.

What our customers are saying

Hirschy Hoops
Hirschy Hoops
Tommy T you’ve changed my life. I put all my trust in you and you made me so comfortable with this process. The reason I selected you is you want to master this art and customized a process to meet my specific needs. When I look in the mirror and am confused that I have hair or a hair line now that says a lot. Honestly I see you as the go to SMP artist in the future. All of your studying on this will pay huge dividends and you are able to change people’s lives which is so powerful. Thank you for treating my head like your own. God bless you and if you ever need a reference or anything I’d be thrilled to do so. Thanks again Tommy
byron culf
byron culf
Sent me a mock pic of how my hair might look within a few hours. Great service! Shame I'm in the UK and didn't realise they are in the US
Eric Boone
Eric Boone
Today I had a consultation with Tommy at Elegant Smp. He was very professional and informative answering all my questions. He made me feel confident that I came to the right place. His knowledge and understanding of Smp put my mind at ease going forward. I would highly recommend reaching out to Tommy if you are considering this procedure.
Krishna KV
Krishna KV
I recently had a consultation with Tommy, and I was impressed with his professionalism. He spoke clearly and answered all of my questions about the procedure and Pre and Post-care instructions. I had a positive experience and I am looking forward to getting my SMP done with Tommy and I would highly recommend him to others.
Kendall Velarde
Kendall Velarde
Great guy and very professional!! Highly recommended!!
jason velasquez
jason velasquez
Talking with Tommy was great! He was very professional, and informative with all the questions I had.
Michael Marino
Michael Marino
Tommy provided me with a image of how I would look with SMP his service was awesome, simple and quick id recommend Tommy’a website to anyone wanting to see what they look like with SMP
Akeem H
Akeem H
Amazing professional that really takes the time to answer questions or concerns and does great work!
Matt T.
Matt T.
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Elegant SMP is the place to get your scalp micropigmentation if you are interested in quality technique. Not all SMP is the same and your practitioner's training really does matter. For me, understanding how my artist could achieve an authentic looking hairline was very important, and very few SMP artists have the training to achieve that. Tommy at Elegant SMP is a true professional who understands how to get a natural looking result that is difficult to replicate - which is a true testament to his training. My SMP results exceeded my expectations and I would recommend Elegant SMP to anyone who is interested in getting the highest quality work the first time, or repairing SMP work that missed the mark.
Jason V.
Jason V.
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I knew from the consultation with Tommy that he was a genuinely good guy. Their professionalism is top-notch and the work he does is amazing! I can't stop looking at my hairline and just how natural it looks. I'm 100 % satisfied with the results and highly recommend his services!
Eric B.
Eric B.
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I just finished my third session with Tommy over at elegant smp. He did a great job and was extremely professional. His attention to detail was amazing giving me the desired look I was going for. I would highly recommend his services for anyone looking to have this procedure done. Everything about the experience was pleasant and stress free.

What to do next?

Download our exclusive brochure for pricing details and an in-depth look at SMP. Discover how our specialized techniques can restore your confidence and achieve a natural-looking hair-like effect. Schedule a complimentary consultation with our skilled specialists to explore personalized solutions. Don’t wait – download our info kit, learn about our competitive pricing, and book your free consultation today.

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