Like most people, I love a bargain, but there are certain things worth paying a premium for, and some that you absolutely mustn’t skimp on. I’d like to talk about cheap scalp micropigmentation deals, because although there is nothing wrong with a genuinely good offer (and they do arise from time to time), we see so many people who used price as their main driver and wound up not getting the quality of treatment they were hoping for.
Although scalp micropigmentation is comparatively cheap versus, say, a hair transplant by a reputable physician, the cost remains prohibitive for many people. The average price in 2017 for a standard SMP procedure is £2200 in the UK and $2800 in the US. It isn’t feasible to estimate an average price in the Eurozone due to broad economic diversity from one country to the next, however prices tend to range from €1200 to around €2500.
What is attainable for one client may not be attainable for the next. Hair loss does not pick and choose its targets, and affects men and women with a wide range of incomes and financial commitments. Families to support, mortgage payments, low wages, job insecurity, sickness and unemployment are all common barriers that stand in the way of receiving treatment.
Low prices offered by some providers are understandably tempting, especially to those who would struggle to pay for a treatment at one of the well known clinics. If this is your situation, to advise you to save up and pay the going rate for your treatment would be counter-productive, and the last thing we want to do is to put people off getting a treatment when it could really make them feel better about their appearance. What follows are some suggestions to help those who really want scalp micropigmentation, but want or need a better price than they’ve been quoted so far.
As a starting point, read our scalp micropigmentation cost information, then apply the following ideas.
Negotiate a discount at your preferred clinic
Before we dig into some of the more creative ideas, let’s start with the most obvious approach because if you’ve got this far, the chances are you have your ideal clinic in mind, but you can’t afford their rates.
All scalp micropigmentation clinics work very hard to win customers, and rarely will they want to lose your business for the sake of offering a discount. Not all clinics will deviate from their standard rates, but those that do may be convinced to drop their quotation by 10% or even 15%.
However, for best results you must take a moderate approach. Technicians know their value, especially the best ones, and are not likely to respond favorably if you ask for a crazy discount. They certainly won’t appreciate it if you play one clinic off against another. Decide which clinic you’d most like to have your treatment at, approach the clinic politely and respectfully, and explain that you’re struggling to meet their price. If your expectations are realistic, they may be happy to agree an alternative price with you.
Pay in monthly instalments
Many providers offer finance now. This usually requires a reasonable deposit in advance, with the remainder spread over time. Some clinics offer 0% finance over a short period like 12 months, while other finance deals are interest-bearing but can be paid off over a longer period of time, maybe 2-3 years.
You will usually require a moderate credit rating to obtain finance. Some providers use finance companies that are more forgiving than others. If you have any issues with your credit score, make your provider aware so they can tell you whether or not they believe their finance company will accept your application.
Almost all providers accept credit cards. A popular method is to use a credit card that offers 0% interest on purchases, allowing you a buffer period before repaying the balance becomes more urgent. You could even earn loyalty points depending on your credit card, for example American Express offer air miles, Tesco offer Clubcard points, and many card providers offer cashback.
Become a case study for marketing purposes
Some clinics offer a decent discount to clients who are prepared to show their face in a marketing video. The deal is very simple – you waive your right to anonymity, and in return you are granted a reduced price for your treatment.
Expect a discount of 25-50%, depending on the clinic. Keep in mind that a large clinic with hundreds of case studies is unlikely to offer a substantial discount. Make sure you understand how and where the video will be used, and that you’re comfortable with the exposure. Deals like these can rarely be changed after the event.
Forego an all-inclusive price
It is common practice for clinics to provide quotations based on how many sessions they think you’ll need. For most clients this is usually 3 sessions, or 4 for those with scarring or alopecia. Your final session is usually a ‘perfecting’ exercise, and could provide an angle to secure a lower price.
Ask your clinic how many sessions they believe you will need. If for example they estimate you’ll need three sessions, ask whether they believe your third session will be absolutely necessary. You will never get a 100% conclusive response to this question as your technician simply won’t know for sure until the time comes, however if they feel your final session is likely to be ‘optional’, you could ask the clinic to exclude that session from the quoted price.
Of course if you do need the additional session, you’ll need to find a way to pay for it.
Tricopigmentation is a short duration form of scalp micropigmentation. Whereas the SMP recipient will typically require a top-up every 3-4 years, the tricopigmentation client requires top-ups every 6-12 months. The flip side is that the entry cost is substantially lower, often around half the rate of the equivalent permanent scalp micropigmentation treatment.
I hesitated when writing this, because tricopigmentation is by no means a ‘cheap’ option and shouldn’t be considered as such. Genuine tricopigmentation is a highly evolved process that offers exceptional quality results when applied by a skilled technician. However, the fact remains that tricopigmentation costs a lot less than permanent SMP in the first instance, and may therefore be of interest to those on a limited budget.
There are legitimate ways to cut the cost of a quality scalp micropigmentation procedure, either by making it cheaper, or by splitting the payments into smaller chunks. Follow the advice in this article, and you may be able to obtain a better deal for your procedure, that ultimately dictates whether or not you can afford to proceed.
However, clients should never take crazy risks. Employing the service of an unknown technician with little experience, purely for financial reasons, is a bad idea. We hear it so often… “I went with a local artist. They said they knew what they were doing…”, only to hear back weeks later from a distressed client who didn’t get the expertise they thought they would. By all means, go with a new technician if that’s your only option, but check with us first to reduce the risk of running into trouble.
Finally, understand that quality comes at a price. You can shop around, negotiate, do videos and be as nice as pie, but the bottom line is that scalp micropigmentation should only be delivered by skilled technicians, and skilled technicians cost money.
SMP industry advocate. Serial entrepreneur. International speaker and educator. Former Head Of Marketing and freelance Business Consultant for several of the largest and best known SMP companies. Damien has been involved in scalp micropigmentation since the very beginning, and has a broader knowledge of the SMP industry than anyone else in the world.