Unfortunately as great as SMP is as a hair loss solution, we are still utilizing a 2D solution for a 3D problem. There are limitations to how natural this solution can look and it must be performed in such a manner as to obtain the most natural look.
Is SMP natural up close in person? This all depends, however, when creating 1000’s of impressions, it would be a lie to say every single impression remains small and precise. Each portion of the scalp is a different texture and can yield a different result from one inch to the next. It takes a skilled artist and lots of patients to achieve the best results possible. Your artist should also be utilizing a complexion correction or saline solution to target any impressions that are not satisfactory as a standard part of the treatment.
Natural hairlines are a must to obtain a natural result. It has become a trend in the SMP world to create the edged up barber look. If we are creating a shaved head look with SMP, how might one obtain an edge up look if they have a shaved head? You must have some length to achieve this with real hair right? So why would this be a great idea with a 2D impression? Although you can create a feathered edge up this is still a risky hairline to choose for the most natural result.
The idea is to give a shaved look of a full head of hair, not to try and create hair. As an SMP artist I can typically spot SMP in the real world from a mile away. Even if the SMP work is excellent, I can still tell. It has almost become a “look” that is acceptable. The “SMP look”.
I find this acceptable “SMP look” to defeat the purpose. So how do we avoid this look? SMP must be Subtle. Subtle with a natural feathered hairline. Do not get caught in the “more is better” trap.
Another point I should touch on is pigments. The SMP world tends to utilize diluted straight black carbon ink. Luckily some artists have adopted the idea that the carbon black needs to be warmed up to help avoid the “shoe polish SMP look” and to help avoid blue ting in lighter skinned clients.
Do your research and go to an artist that promotes a natural feathered hairline, subtleness and warm pigments.
Take a look at Dermimatch.com to see natural before and after results in Scottsdale, Arizona.