It is yet another mark of the maturity of the Scalp Micropigmentation industry, that we are witnessing a sudden explosion in the availability of training courses. We take a look at what is involved in developing the skills and experience necessary to become a technician.
What Qualifications Are Required?
While no formal qualifications are needed, would-be technicians have to demonstrate the intellectual rigour to take on the considerable learning involved. Over the course of their training they will learn to recognize a wide range of scalp conditions
To the uninformed eye, the work of an SMP technician might seem fairly straightforward. Compared, say, to a tattooist producing a magnificent scene across a client’s entire back. This could not be further from the truth. Essentially, a tattooist has to be a true artist in the old fashioned sense of the word, capable of recreating, in ink, an image of their clients choosing. In fact, even if a regular tattooist were to use the same equipment and pigments as an SMP technician (which they most definitely do not), they would still have little or no chance of achieving anything convincing.
What Attributes Are Required?
Although not necessarily a superman or woman, a prospective technician does need to bring a substantial skill-set to the table.The first thing needed is a personality, they are going to spend a lot of time with their clients one one one – so it is not for shrinking violets. They will also need to demonstrate an empathy for the people they will be treating and a passion for SMP.
What they do not need to be is particularly artistic. SMP is a cosmetic procedure, not a tattooists work of art. Everything they will need to know can be taught, it’s a substantial leaning curve so they will need to be prepared to apply themselves to the study. Once selected they will find themselves spending a great deal of time with their head in a book and a great deal of technical information to absorb.
Beyond the books it is all about spending time in the clinic, shadowing and picking up the essential experience. At a busy clinic they will get to see the full scope of treatable conditions and all the variables encountered during treatment.
Ready, Set, Go!
By the time a technician is considered ready to operate alone they will have been through the most detailed and thorough training schedule. They will have: Learned to identify the myriad conditions that clients might present with; Developed the skills to offer sound prognosis to clients based on their existing condition, particularly where scar camouflage is concerned; Provide considered selection of the correct set of pigment shades to be used; Capable of layering the pigments in particular sizes, shapes and shades to perfectly mimic the appearance of hair.
Finally on that list, separate because of its importance to the overall success, is their ability to judge the degree of shading between sessions and to base their continued treatment on that fading… which is normally varied across the scalp making it a real challenge. One where there simply is no substitute for experience.
If you are considering SMP or would simply like to discuss it with a professional, see our global list of providers.