I am a 50 year old male who started losing his hair in his early twenties. I pretty much expected it, since my dad was about a 6 on the Norwood (NW) scale. Expecting it and accepting it are two different things, though.
I never accepted it and tried many, many things over the years towards gaining acceptance of it. Those things included having surgeries (i.e., scalp reductions, strip & later follicular unit extractions), applying medicinal topicals, taking pills, using hair replacement systems (an embarrassing chapter in my life), and lastly applying spray-on concealers, which work somewhat effectively, but make a horrible mess of things.
I do have to give credit to my surgeons, particularly the last one who reduced the width and height of existing strip scars, and added considerable density to my scalp using FUE techniques not available when I was younger. There was only so much he could do, though. At some point, a person heading hereditarily towards NW6 will exhaust their donor hair. That eventually happened to me and led to using messy spray concealers for several years.
During a recent follow-up visit with my surgeon after the last of my surgeries, he made me aware of SMP. I had not heard of it before. It caused me to do a lot of research that intrigued me. The research showed that there were only two companies that offered such a service in my area. To make a long story short, I visited one and had them perform SMP on a small area (strip scar) of my scalp as a test to see how well it would hold pigment, etc.
To be fair, it seemed to hold okay for a short test period. I later had FUE grafts placed into the same strip scar area, though, which didn’t let me see how well their pigment would have held up for a longer period. The thing that bothered me about this particular UK franchise company, though, was the technician, although a very nice guy, had SMP applied to his entire scalp that carried a blueish hue, like what you would expect from a body tattoo. It didn’t look real. It didn’t look like hair follicles. It looked like tattoo work, which is probably why he often wore a ball cap, which doesn’t seem appropriate if you are trying to be a model and expand your clientele.
I did not visit the other company based in my area, but asked my surgeon for his opinion on them. In short, we shared the same opinion that their website was more cheesy than professional. My surgeon ended up pointing me towards the Artistry Concepts website.
I found the Artistry Concepts website to be very informative and professional. It was laden with very detailed information on the pigments, the process, and the whole experience. It looked like the place to go. Did I really want to go all the way across the nation to have SMP performed, though? Did I really want to buzz cut my hair, something I have never done before? The answer to both questions was, “yes”.
The reasons it is worthwhile to travel so far to have SMP performed include Mark’s vast experience with personally applying the SMP and with developing long-lasting pigments that last for decades. Other places will have technicians with considerably less training and experience perform the work. Their pigment has also not proven to last as long as Mark’s. The other companys’ customers will also either experience premature pigment fading and/or pigmentation expansion/spreading, meaning what was originally applied as a relatively small diameter dot, expands to a much larger diameter, fuzzy dot, much like the blot a black marker leaves on a paper towel. You won’t have either problem with Artistry Concepts pigments.
With regard to the need to buzz cut your hair prior to undergoing SMP application, it is necessary. There will be those of you who are apprehensive towards doing it, much like I was initially. However, it needs to be done in order for Mark to get a clear, unobstructed view of your scalp, hair restoration scars (if applicable), etc. You can wear a hat while your hair grows back out to a length Mark recommends will suit you best.
The actual SMP experience at Artistry Concepts was fantastic all the way from initially meeting both Gale and Mark up until after the last dot was applied and I was headed out the door. Both are very personable and make you feel extremely welcome and comfortable. Don’t get me wrong, there is some degree of discomfort with having SMP applied. However, it is minimal and was more than off-set with breaks and good conversation. There was never a dull moment during the entire procedure.
Mark is a very interesting person and exceptionally talented artist. Be sure to ask to see his art (e.g., paintings, etching, and carving) and tattoo portfolios, or some examples of his art work (carvings) displayed in his office. You will be in awe at the intricate detail that goes into his work. He applies that same attention to detail when applying SMP to your scalp, paying close attention when blending into your existing hairline so that there will be a seamless, unnoticeable transition. Nobody will notice where the real follicles stop and the replicated ones begin. I am very happy with the outcome of my experience with Artistry Concepts. I find myself satisfied with my appearance for the first time in many years. Mark & Gale, you are the best and have my sincere thanks.
A. D. March 2015
First, I want to tell anyone out there thinking about getting SMP done…Mark Weston is the man…why? Because I got my procedures done twice by two different companies, one based in Rochester, New York with a franchise in Atlanta and the other one from Atlanta which it was a hair restoration place that performs SMP. The first company goes by the name of Scalp Aesthetics. SA was the company that performed my first SMP procedure which actually looked good for the first 8 days, then they also told me I had to buy their after care products to use with my SMP. By the 9th day, my SMP just completely faded away to the point where there was no SMP on my head. I almost gave up on SMP but then I tried the second company that goes by the name of Evolve Hair Clinic. These guys said they had to do some correction from my first SA procedure so they charged me extra money, but when Evolve Hair Clinic finished with my procedure, it looked like they just did a retouch on what the first company SA did to me. But after 10 days, it faded the same way as the first one. To make my story short, I did a little more research about SMP pigment that really lasts and that’s when I saw Artistry Concepts’ ACHM2.5. What really convinced me about these people it was that their website answered all my doubt and questions so I went ahead and gave it a try. These people did the ACHM2.5 on my head and I look 10 years younger and it hasn’t faded away and in over three months.
Oh and if you did not know me, you would not even know that I had the ACHM2.5 SMP done on my head. What threw me off is that my SMP procedure from Evolve looked like they just put permanent makeup on top of my skin. But Mark and Artistry Concepts, it looks like little micro hair follicles. That is one of the reasons I’m so happy with Mark’s job on me. Thank you for helping people boost their confidence.
J. R. February 2015
Words can’t truly describe the work that Mark Weston has done to restore my confidence in my appearance with my hair. Before I went to Artistry Concepts, I had an FUE transplant done and the outcome from that procedure was a nightmare. I got my FUE procedure done prior to joining the US Army and to endure the amount of embarrassment from my overall appearance from the FUE transplant was something that damaged my confidence and my self-esteem.
After doing months of research on ways to restore my hair, I came across the SMP procedure. The concept of creating the illusion of hair was more feasible, cost efficient and more reliable than any FUE or FUT transplant out in the market. With so many companies talking about how they were the best at performing an SMP procedure, it was difficult for me to determine which was the company to go to. I then I came across a YouTube video of the work from Artistry Concepts. The video displayed amazing results from the ACHM2.5 procedure that I was in awe as to how well the individuals’ appearance was after the procedure. I went to the Artistry Concepts’ website to see further information as to what they had to offer and it was by far the most informative and convincing information hands down. Between the Smart Pigments, using the ACHM 2.5 and even the fact that the very founder himself, Mark Weston, was the person performing all of the procedures, convinced me more than enough.
It’s easy to put out false information on the internet especially when it comes to marketing products or advertising work, but Mark and Gale can easily put any other place that claims to be a better SMP pro to shame. Even if you doubt Artistry Concepts’ ability to provide the best work when it comes to doing an SMP procedure, they put up all the necessary information, paperwork and questions on their website which you can use to ask other SMP clinics about their work. One of the biggest things I look for when it comes to most marketing schemes is to see how much they dog each other out using slanderous tactics, yet throughout Artistry Concepts’ entire website I couldn’t find one negative statement, whereas the other providers I could.
Trust me, research all the SMP clinics that claim to be the first and the best, then use the questions and chart that Mark provides on the Artistry Concepts website and see how well they can answer them. Thanks to Mark and Gale, my confidence is boosted and I feel amazing even my battle buddies in my unit are amazed at my appearance and can’t tell that I got a procedure done.
T. F. February 2015
I am typing up this testimony to be a witness and offer help to those men who have undergone hair transplant surgery and achieved less than desirable results. In 1993, I began hair transplant plastic surgery. Between 1993 and 1999, I had a total of five procedures costing about $30,000. The results were traumatic. I had unnatural hair that looked like a “chia pet.” It grew straight up and looked like corn rows. It was humiliating to say the least. It caused me issues at work, in my community, and definitely with dating and relationships. I was often the brunt of jokes and ridicule. I eventually gave up and began shaving my head. However, I also had multiple horrific scars on the back of my head that took four plastic surgeries to improve. I had to shave my hair plugs daily. Regarding my scar: at least once a day people would say things like, “My God, what happened to your head?” It never failed, whether on a date or with my daughter or friends. My privacy was invaded constantly to discuss my scars, my bad hair plugs, and to re-live my trauma.
In 2014, one of the most respected plastic surgeons in hair transplantation and restoration in the country referred me to look into scalp micropigmentation. Mark Weston was highly recommended, and I trusted this surgeon when he said that this was the future of hair restoration. However, he told me to be very, very, careful on whom I select, and he would only recommend Mark Weston. After doing my research, Mark Weston was the obvious choice for me.
In August of 2014, I underwent scalp micropigmentation with Mark Weston at Artistry Concepts. The results have been life changing. He not only repaired my hairline, but he significantly improved my scar appearance as well. Now, I am no longer ridiculed for my hair line. I get regular compliments. Rather than daily, I can count on one hand the number times people have even asked about my scars in the last six months. I asked my wife if she thought I looked better now. She said, “No, ten times better, you look amazing.”
M. M. February 2015
Let me start by saying from the bottom of my heart thank you. My name is Monroe and I’ve been battling hair loss since I was 18 years old. It was very life changing. My father was in the hair piece biz so I started wearing hair pieces. They were ok at the time and I wore it well and nobody would notice except yourself. I could not swim or do activities where you would sweat. You were limited on what you could do and I felt like a prisoner in my own head. Anyway I did this for 30 years and the quality of the hair pieces got worse and one that was supposed to last two years only lasted four months.
So one day on the net looking for hair pieces I came across scalp pigmentation. I’ve never even heard of this before and got very excited. The company was **** **** ***, but after researching the company I found a lot of bad reviews and the same with all the other clinics out there. I just felt something shady about them and I’ve always had that internal instinct when something just doesn’t feel right. Anyway I went back to work as I am a US Merchant Marine. I work on commercial ships as an electrician and I do 3 months on 3 months off rotation. After my last rotation, I came home and looked for better hair pieces on the net again.
Then I saw Artistry Concepts. I did not see this the last time I was investigating so I opened their web site and it sounded good. I like that Mr. Weston has been doing this longer than anybody out there and he does the procedure himself. So I started investigating it sounded so good the way he developed the needles himself how they resemble hair follicles. Then all the good reviews one after other I could not find any junk on them and then when I heard he does this procedure for wounded war vets at no cost so it sold me and I just got a good feeling. So I emailed Artistry Concepts and sent my photos in they emailed back with an estimate and said hope we can help with your hair loss. Well, two weeks went by and I heard nothing from them asking me to make an appointment. The other companies would hound me constantly. Anyway I just decided I want to do this with Artistry Concepts so I emailed them back and told them to call me, which they did. I said I’m due back on my ship in about a month can you get me in before this. They were very accommodating. I live in Pennsylvania and I drove down to Key West and made a vacation out of it. When I got there I was greeted byGale. I was very nervous and that’s when Mark came out and assured me everything would be alright and he put me at ease. I just felt I could trust him so away we went he started with my hairline. The pain level is really not that bad as he goes you get used to it, plus talking to Mark as he has a great sense of humor. Me working on ships and Mark being in the Navy we had a lot to talk about.
Anyway, when he finished my hairline he let me take a look I was very excited at what I saw…. a hairline are you kidding me it looked great! We then took a break and walked down the street to the Cuban Restaurant and got some coffee. We came back and started back up he then did my sides and created a whole new side look for me and it looked amazing. By the way I am almost totally bald. Then he filled in the rest of my head, the ACHM2.5 procedure took six hours. When we were finished I was amazed at the results. I said my good bys, and started on my way home. On my way home I sent pictures too my family members. They were also amazed by the results. I finally got home three days later and my wife and daughter were astonished at the results. They said it looked so natural it blew their mind. The next day I went to my sister’s and parents’, they were also astonished at the results. If anybody out there is considering this, I highly recommend Mark at Artistry Concepts. He is a genius. You will not be disappointed. Once again I am truly grateful I am free now!!
K. W. January 2015
I am writing this almost 4 months post procedure, and remain extremely happy with the results, which continue to be positively life-changing. I am very grateful for Mark Weston’s skill, talent, and painstaking attention to detail. I found Artistry Concepts to be very forthcoming with any information I wanted, and there was absolutely no pressure by them or any sales tactics made other than providing me with the education and information I wanted. I researched SMP online for well over a year before my decision to go to Artistry Concepts. What I found was that no other provider exhibited detailed high-resolution pictures nor accurate and honest information as Artistry Concepts does.
I have to say that I was initially delayed in my decision to do the procedure at all because of the feeling of being misled in the past by a HT clinic. Being a NW6-7 and having 2 (in my opinion unsuccessful) transplants before provided me with really nothing of value; only a hideous scar on the back of my head and a lot of trepidation to try something else; this shook my confidence in my ability to make a decision based upon research I did. I discovered a number of online shills on various online forums providing bad information, which did the entire SMP industry a lot of damage in my opinion, and also served to postpone my decision. The advent of Artistry Concepts’ ACHM 2.5, and my realization that I had to do something to look and feel normal, motivated me to finally take the next step. First, to make a comparison, I did make contact with two other providers, and was not impressed at all with their responses. In contrast, I was invited to Artistry Concepts to meet an actual client who was in the middle of having the procedure done while I was present. I returned and had the procedure performed by Mark in about 4 or 5 hours, if memory serves me on the time.
Over the following 30 days, I kept track of the progress by taking selfies every day, and it was amazing. The transformation was absolutely astounding. I did need to return to have the scar touched up. Now, here is the life transformation part I didn’t expect. My own Mother couldn’t tell I had anything done, even with me standing in front of a prior photo she had of me with my head shaved bare. I could tell she knew something was perhaps different, but it never came up in conversation. I got very slight, perhaps second-long looks of wonderment from my sister and my best friend from college, both who see me regularly, and there was nothing beyond that since. With people I work with it was the same anti-climactic reaction, and then life went on as it had before, except with a “new” me.
A girlfriend, the only person I confided in, looked at me and was instantly all-smiles and wonderment. As I became confident no one could tell the difference between the ACHM2.5 and my hair, I became more confident, and my psychological adaptation became ever-present, dynamic if you will. Getting used to no longer being the bald guy everyone dismisses as inferior, I found, is not something one can do overnight. The first thing I noticed was that the bald jokes stopped cold. One person who was used to making my life rather miserable started in on me one time about 2 weeks ago, looked at me, then abruptly stopped, as it clearly didn’t apply. I have slowly become more and more outgoing, and I have noticed people are much more accepting of me. I am regularly approached by women, which after decades of being bald was very surprising. This made me uncomfortable at first, as I really didn’t know how to respond with interest because I was afraid of rejection. All I can say is I am getting better at it. I no longer feel limited, unattractive, or unwanted. It’s a lot to digest, really it is. The last 4 months have been quite a journey, and I owe it all to Mark and Gale. Mark Weston is a true artist and an American success story, and I am excited and glad to be part of it. He provides an absolutely invaluable service that no other company can. The Artistry Concepts ACHM2.5 procedure is innovative, of the highest possible quality, and I highly recommend Mark Weston’s ACHM2.5 to anyone considering scalp pigmentation.
J. P. October 2014
Again I can’t thank you enough for you expertise and artistry as even my family members and friends do not know anything was done and just think I buzzedmy hair and say I look good and they like the haircut…LOL. I feel like I have a full head of hair again and the color match is magnificent – not one person has questioned my new look. Several love the new haircut…I pray I can hang in a few years to enjoy the new younger, confident look.
Again, my sincere note of gratitude to you for your service of Artistry and what a concept. Just a testimony to your excellence in artistry and technique that no one else can duplicate.
My sincere appreciation of your expertise in realism and professionalism. Love you both and will keep in touch.
I. R. September 2014
I am really excited to bring this update and photos for your review. It has been an awesome experience after I had the procedure done. I have done my best to follow the post-procedure directions. I had told my siblings and parents only. They were amazed at how natural it looked. I most excited about what happened with my interactions with friends and co-workers. I belong to a Mexican folklorico group and when I went back to practice no one noticed anything out of the ordinary. They seemed to notice the fact that I was no longer wearing a hat, but that was it. No comments, or weird stares came from them. I finally felt free of always covering my head during practice even though I would be sweating like crazy.
Another great experience happened at work. If you recall, I work in a school district environment, in a middle school to be exact. At first it was nerve wrecking because one day before I even knew about this kind of procedure, I decided to be brave and take off the hat with a very short haircut. A lady co-worker saw me and replied “what happened to you? What have you done to yourself? I felt embarrassed and did not say anything. I just went back to my office and put my hat back on. Once back at work, I purposely decided to retry going around that same lady’s work area without a hat. Indeed she saw me and made a comment. She said “Oh you look really different without a hat! I couldn’t recognize you!” I thought to myself, wow! It really works!
There is a teacher on campus that is also suffering from hair loss. Long before my procedure, he had politely asked me how I was dealing with my hair loss. I just told him that it had been a hard and slow process toward acceptance. We just talked about all the procedures from topical, transplants, hair pieces, etc. We agreed that none of the offerings seemed like a good fit for either of us. Then, we left for the summer vacation last June. Well, this same individual could not believe his eyes when he saw me back during a professional development meeting, nearly a month ago. Of course he greeted me, but instead of having eye contact, he could not stop staring at my head. Then, I thought to myself, “shoot, here it goes. It was good while it lasted! It was just too good to be true!” He could not resist to pull me aside. He anxiously asked: Wow, what did you do? We’re starting the meeting but you gotta tell me what you did! He was getting more excited by the minute. Later, he saw me again and we started talking. He asked: was it Scalped or something like that? You look amazing! I said no, then I explained the procedure to him. He just replied: Wow it looks so good on you and so natural. You did it on the perfect age. He goes do not worry. I will not tell anybody. People will probably not believe me anyways because it is so natural looking.
Other comments from co-workers have been: “You look younger, “Nice buzz,” What happened to the gangster look? “You look so different without a hat on,” A teacher asked me: Where did you cut your hair? Your line looks so good? In conclusion, I am very happy with this procedure. It is an amazing feeling to at least have the option of not wearing a hat all the time. Now, I feel comfortable to take it off inside buildings or even at church. I can even go outside during heavy overcast. The maintenance is a breeze as well. I just use a body hair trimmer to cut my hair every three days. It feels more comfortable than my hair clipper and the resulting length seems to match well.
I would like to express my gratitude to you for providing this opportunity to guys like me. Thank you.
M. H. August 2014
I really appreciate the work you did on my transplant scar and hair line. I originally had my transplant scar and hair line done at **** **** ***. Unfortunately within a year the ink had faded. I am pleased with your work and I appreciate you helping to fix my hair line and scar. Thanks again. Mark
T. H. August 2014
My name is Tom, I am 40 years old and have been struggling with the unending battle/nightmare of hair loss since my early 20 s. To date, I have had 3 hair transplants, as well as an FUE procedure to help conceal the giant, ear to ear scar that resulted from the multiple procedures. These procedures have cost me well over $15,000 and in the end, they bought me a little bit more time but only delayed the inevitable……more hair loss and more agony. A little over a year ago, I began shaving my head with a #2 clipper, then eventually switched to a # 1. I don t mind the short, buzzed look at all. However, I very much minded the giant, ear to ear scar on the back of my head that I could not conceal.
About a month ago, I started researching any alternative procedures that could potentially help conceal my scar. To say the least, I was beyond desperate! I stumbled across the SMP procedure and began researching it intensely. After narrowing down my search to a few clinics, as well as receiving feedback from the SMP community, blogs, forums, etc., I decided to contact Artistry Concepts. Without making a long story even longer, after an initial consultation with Mark and Gale, I decided to go ahead with the scar camouflage procedure. Let’s just say that I was so impressed with what Mark was able to do, that I decided to let him perform the rest of the procedure to fill in the top of my head that very same day! It has been 10 days since my procedure and I am thrilled with the results! It has given me a renewed sense of confidence that I have not experienced in a very long time! Many, many thanks to Mark Weston/Artistry Concepts…..you are undoubtedly the REAL DEAL!!!
Before and After Video
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