Choosing a Scalp MicroPigmentation Artist in Melbourne
It is important to consider a number of factors when choosing an artist in Melbourne so you can make a informed decision if this is the right hair loss solution for you. We talk with Claudia Leahy from our Melbourne location in Brunswick about considerations when choosing the right artist for you.
Getting to know your Melbourne Scalp Micropigmentation Australia Artist Claudia Leahy
Scalp MicroPigmentation Artist Claudia Leahy explains the artistic approach to SMP. Are you learning about Scalp MicroPigmentation or hair tattooing in Melbourne Australia? Claudia chats with us from Scalp MicroPigmentation Australia from the Bruswick location all about what she loves about the transformations she creates. Claudia talks about how she started in the SMP industry, how long it takes for an artist to become an ‘experienced’ artist and the challanges of new artists results coming in for repair work. Claudia shares her story on what she was up to prior to starting Scalp MicroPigmentation and how that has helped her become one of Melbourn’s best Scalp MicroPigmentation Artists.
HERE’S WHATS IN THE VIDEO ABOVE ON ONE OF MELBOURNE’S BEST SCALP MICROPIGMENTATION ARTISTS
HOSTEDY BY CAITLIN JAMES
Caitlin J.: Hi everyone, it’s Caitlin James from Scalp Micro-pigmentation Australia. And today, we are interviewing the beautiful Claudia from our Melbourne location.
Claudia L.: Hey, guys.
Caitlin J.: Right. So, Claudia, we’re going to be chatting with you today about your experience, and a little bit about scalp micro-pigmentation itself, and where you feel that the industry is heading.
You’ve been in the industry quite a while now, almost four years. We would be chatting about things that you have learned along the way. And so let’s start off with our first question, where did you first hear about scalp micro-pigmentation?
Claudia L.: Well, actually, this is a bit of a different answer than most people might give. But I actually first heard about SMP when I was applying for a job for it. And it was advertised as cosmetic tattooing, and somewhere within the blurb for the job advertisement, it mentioned hair tattoo. So I did some googling, and I was looking at some photos, and I was pretty amazed.
Like it was four years ago now, but it was still pretty good back then. Certainly like nothing I’d ever seen before, it was still effective, and I couldn’t believe that it was actually a thing that people got this hair tattoo, and it actually worked out to look really realistic. And then I looked more into it, and I started to learn about it a bit more through like the application process and doing some research. And I’ve noticed that it just started popping up like in Facebook ads, like even a couple of people on TV oh they had it done.
And so I feel like I’ve never noticed it before, and maybe that was because I wasn’t looking for it. But once I got to know a bit more about it, that’s when I started seeing it pop up a lot more.
Caitlin J.: Yes, excellent. So when you had sort of gone through the process of training and learning these skills, how did you feel when you first treated your very first client?
Claudia L.: Oh, I was terrified; it was full-on. Obviously, I trained up a lot before I even begun work on skin. Tattooing fruit, just practicing the pattern over and over. I had that dot pattern imprinted in my mind before I even worked on a natural scalp, but it was still so daunting because it’s a real person.
It is something that is so visible and obvious because you’re looking at a face every day, and you feel that sense of responsibility to get it. And people put in so much trust with you to look real, and it is quite a big deal for them. So it was definitely hard, but it was just the first step into something that I was going to love. And although I did go oh, is this something that I can really do, I’ll never look back now it’s just been the best thing.
Caitlin J.: Yes. And you’re naturally a very artistic kind of person, you come from, live in an art background doing makeup, stage makeup your very creative side. Did you feel like those sorts of skills transferred across really well for you?
Claudia L.: Yes, definitely. I was actually, when I went for the job, I thought like I’m not going to get this. Like I don’t have no experience in tattooing, I’ve never done cosmetic tattooing before. So I was really, I underestimated how much my background would actually come into it, makeup and beauty. So knowing the skin through my beauty diploma, but also makeup artistry and even just art in general, how much that came into it and when you’re picking a shade and sort of creating dimension through SMP as well, that’s all relating back to knowing art.
And it’s been really valuable. Actually, I feel like that’s something that sort of fast-tracked me or put me a bit ahead of others that are quite logical. With that having that sort of art mind helps me to create that realistic look that’s just, it’s got those really fine details that a real hairline has. So definitely, yes.
Caitlin J.: And then it definitely shows in your work, 100%. So the company that needs to work for, back when you started there really wasn’t a lot of training available just for anybody. So you were really quite lucky to have a position in a business where they mentored you along the way. So how long was it before you started treating clients on your own? And how did that make you feel when you were sort of out there on your own treating your clientele?
Claudia L.: Yes. So you’re completely right, I was really lucky. Because not only was there not much available, but I think people go off, and they pay for a course, or they have to travel overseas to get this mentoring. And I was really fortunate in that part of the job, I just got training ongoing, and it was really close contact. Like my trainer shadowed me for weeks and if she was there in the room with me watching everything I did.
So it was very thorough. And yes, like I said before, it was lots of practicing like on fruit first, and then eventually on life models. And even then being overlooked the whole time, it was being careful with pressure like being shown what shades were on, what skin, what sort of shapes of hairlines work on different faces, it was just constant advice. And I just feel like I was so lucky to have that because not many people get that. They do a course, and then perhaps a bit of theory, and then they sort of off on their own.
But I had that support for months, really. Even when I transferred to doing clients on my own, I still had another technician in the room next door that I could call upon and say, what do you think? How do you think I should approach this? And so for a good year, I was still learning from other technicians, though I was working alone. So that was really great for when I did eventually properly work in Melbourne on my own. I already had much knowledge to go by.
Caitlin J.: Yes, super lucky. All right, so Melbourne tends to be a mixed bag of results now. And we are finding that there are a lot more not so wonderful results coming through, and people asking for repair work.
And so for the clients that are looking into having scalp micro-pigmentation done, what would you recommend to those clients that are doing their research? What sorts of things they need to look out for, and maybe what do they need to ask during consultations to make sure that they’re finding the right artist for them.
Claudia L.: Yes, sure. Look, I would say do as much research as you can, whether that be reading forums. Lots of my clients say they are really beneficial because they’re written by real people that have had treatment themselves; worked with a specific clinic, and you can’t recommend them enough.
Get to know your practitioner, like listening to these types of things. Hearing them speak about their work, you’ll sort of get a feel for what they know, how passionate they are about it as well. Also, I think something to look out for; you see some clinics that offer this treatment for a much lower price than the market standard. And there’s always a reason for that.
So, it is different if they are offering special whatever, but if it is a constant thing and you do notice that it is a lot cheaper, that might be because they are less experienced or maybe they’re just new. So, it is good to look out for those types of things. Get a sense of what everyone’s sort of quoting, and make sure you go in and meet the person and see the results they’ve done that they can show you and compare back to yourself as well.
Caitlin J.: Yes, definitely. We do find that we get quite a few people that will just look through some photos through either the website inquiry asking for ballpark pieces of price, which is a great start. But for those people that are doing those sorts of inquiries, it’s so important to pick up the phone and at least have a chat over the phone, especially during this time of COVID where social distancing, it’s a really good idea.
Pick up the phone; let’s have a chat with the artist because you can tell a lot from how they speak over the phone about all those things that you mentioned. And then when the time is right return to face-to-face consultations, and going and meet a number of people if you’re doing in a really thorough research and meet a couple of artists. And you get a feel for who’s right, yes.
Sorry, tell us a little bit about your scalp micro-pigmentation, what is your absolute favorite type of hairline that you just get so excited about creating? When someone sits in front of you, and you’re like, oh, I really want to do that hairline. What kind of hairline is your favorite treatment to do?
Claudia L.: I have sort of many favorites. I would have to say like anything that’s got a bit of character, whether that be a little scar in the hairline or in there and we can just sort of go around it and enhance it a little bit. It’s just that little point of difference to someone else’s hairline. I did a female hairline within the last six months, and that was a challenge in itself because it’s so different to a male hairline.
And that was quite fun actually, because I had to do a lot of research looking at shaved heads that were female, and the edging is so different even the shape the way it comes in on the face. So that’s always fun when you get someone walked through the door, and it’s something new again, and it sort of challenges you to think outside of the box.
And that’s just my favorite in general; it’s just something different. Because it means that achieving that look of realism it’s just a little bit harder, you get the best results that way actually when sort of thinking outside.
Caitlin J.: Yes, that’s brilliant. Just tell us a little bit about your location, so whereabouts in Melbourne can our clients find you?
Claudia L.: Yes. So, in Melbourne in Brunswick, just along Sydney road. It’s a really busy road full of cafes. Lots to do around there, fairly close to the airport as well, really quick tram right into the city through. So I chose it not only because I love the north of Melbourne, but it is quite close to everything, it’s quite central. So I find that I’ve had no problems from people coming from all different suburbs, they all know where Brunswick is and they all love it.
Caitlin J.: Lovely. So if a client is going to come along for a consultation, what sorts of things do you like to go through? Or what do they need to do to prepare to get the bits and have a consultation from you? How can they help you?
Claudia L.: Look, I would just say, coming with lots of questions like just bombarding me with questions. Like I love it. If I get a question that I haven’t been asked before, I’m like cool. Again it’s a little bit of a challenge, but I know so much now I’m confident in answering anything. Especially with ink shades and how I approach the layering process with the treatment and making them look all real, that’s always quite fun to explain.
It’s always good as well, like if you have a vision of what you want to sort of bring in maybe old photos of your hair line, or that you like that you’ve seen online. Because we can create something similar or maybe I have some advice to you change it up a bit. But it’s so we can have a chat and sort of collaborate there and give you an idea of what you can achieve.
Caitlin J.: Yes. It really is a joint effort between the client and yourself, so anything that they can do to visually sort of show you what it is that they’re looking for. But the other benefit is this is not just a one treatment procedure; we do these put-down treatments over multiple sessions.
And along the way, we do ask for lots of feedback from our clients to make sure that we’re creating what it is that they feel and feel like them. And I think where we sort of stand out with our natural looking results is because it is over multiple sessions. We do get that chance to get feedback, and sometimes people don’t know exactly what they want. I know that in my consultation from times four guys are like oh, you’re the expert, I’ll listen to what you have to say and we go from there.
And that is perfectly fine because some people do not know what they want until they start seeing the result on themselves. Given all the feedback that you have had over the years from your clients and the transformations that you have done. What would you say to someone that is considering the procedure knowing how wonderful so many of the results are, and how it wonderful so many of the results are, and how it makes our clients feel? Like what would you say to anyone that’s considering this treatment?
Claudia L.: Look, I would say you’ve done all your research; you’ve been sitting on the fence for a while. Perhaps, looking into a couple more things to instill confidence a bit more, such as maybe teaching someone that’s had the treatment done, or asking we’ve been offering headline mock-ups like simulations more recently because we can’t actually meet people in person. And it gives you an idea of the type of hairline you could have and how that SMP would look on you.
So done all of those things, I would say just take the plunge. Like I just hear it so often from my clients that they were sitting on this for months, sometimes even years, and they just put it off for so long. And then once they do it, they’re like why not do this ages ago? So I feel like they almost feel as though they’ve wasted a lot of their life hiding away, and to have a treatment that really if you break it down, it’s not that big of a deal.
Like it is just to really frame your face. These days it is reversible if you didn’t want it to be. Like it is not a huge commitment for feeling a lot better about yourself, and I just feel like it’s worth it, yes. So I would just encourage them to do something for themselves.
Caitlin J.: Yes, absolutely. Well, thank you so much for your time today Claudia. So if anyone is looking into scalp micro-pigmentation based in Melbourne, you now know a little bit more about Claudia and finding the location. If you are interested, we can go over to our website, which is www.SMPAUS.com.au and book online.
Have a look at the Instagram as well; all the links are on the website. Make sure that you subscribe to our channel as well, so that you stay up to date and see all of our wonderful videos that we create in our testimonials. And thanks again for listening and watching, and we hope to see you soon. Thanks, Claudia.
Claudia L.: Thanks.