Eve Pleavin is a respected micropigmentation artist and the founder of the Velvet Pigmentation Clinic, a specialist treatment centre for scalp micropigmentation (SMP).
Working from London and Brighton, at her own clinic as well as with The Maitland clinic in Portsmouth, Eve prides herself on providing a high level of care and believes in creating bespoke treatment plans that cater to the individual needs and desires of each of her clients.
How long have you been doing what you do and how did you get to be a SMP technician? I started back in 2002 as a tattoo artist. I have always loved doing small intricate tattoos and working with fine needles. My interest in semi-permanent make-up was piqued in 2011, as it’s something that also requires a fine eye for detail and a steady hand.
Then, in 2015 my father came across scalp micropigmentation (SMP) while he was searching for hair loss solutions online and immediately sent me the information on it. We decided he would be the first person for me to try it on. I experimented with various permanent make-up pigments and found one that worked. His hair loss wasn’t too extensive and was mostly diffused thinning, so I had to find myself a willing volunteer to try out the shaved look. I searched for training but, at this point, there wasn’t anything available, so I realised I would have to teach myself.
Who are your typical clients? The main thing my clients have in common is that they want natural results. Because we focus on hair loss and SMP, 75% of my clients are male while 25% are female. We get referrals from The Maitland Clinic for patients who require SMP either in addition to hair transplant (HT) or if they are not suitable for HT.
Do you offer SMP treatment abroad or other parts of the UK? I have had clients travelling in from all over the world to see me and would absolutely love to travel abroad to share my passion and skills. Who knows what the future holds. I have been in talks with clients who have travelled to me from Dubai, so watch this space. In the UK, I offer my services in my clinics in two locations, Brighton and London.
How are you different from other SMP practitioners? There are some great caring practitioners out there but, unfortunately, also some who just want your money as quickly as possible. I, like some others in the industry, care very much about the client’s results and their journey. It’s imperative to see each client as an individual in terms of what they want; what is possible for them; the condition of their skin; the history of their hair loss and the expectations they have plus many more traits that are unique to each person.
My advice to anyone shopping around to find the best SMP practitioner is make sure you feel comfortable with them, they can answer all of your questions, and they're not pushing you to hand over your money.
Can I contact some of your former clients for their experience/results? Yes, absolutely. My clients that have done this are so proud to show off their new hair and love to talk about how it’s made them feel. They can be contacted in person, by phone call or via zoom. I also have referral videos on my YouTube channel - you can check them out here.
Who do you work alongside? I work closely with the team at The Maitland Clinic in Portsmouth, a nationally-renowned hair transplant clinic based in Portsmouth, providing world-class hair restoration procedures. We share a lot of qualities in our ethical approach to treatment choice. The Maitland Clinic is led by Dr Edward Maitland Ball who often refers clients to me if he feels they are not suitable for a hair transplant at that stage. We have also recently collaborated to offer a package treatment of SMP and hair transplant.
What other treatments do you offer and why? I also do micro-needling as this is fantastic for improving the texture and colour of scars. I see quite a few old scars from previous hair transplant procedures, in particular Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUT), and, even though they could be improved with SMP, the result is far superior with micro-needling sessions prior.
Micro-needling is also excellent for skin rejuvenation and more recently has been tried on the scalp, the idea being that, if it can improve the health of the scalp, it likely improves the follicle and hair quality too.
All this new knowledge about how our skin functions and repairs itself also led me to hear about the incredible benefits of Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP). PRP is a therapy which stimulates hair regrowth through the promotion of vascularisation and angiogenesis, increasing blood supply and enhancing hair follicles, leading to a denser and stronger hair. I chose to train in PRP treatments in 2019, as clients that came to me with diffuse thinning wanted to keep their hair loss to a minimum.
I also specialise in laser tattoo removal. Even though I have been doing this for many years on body tattoos, I am now focused on removing and correcting poorly done SMP. We receive many enquiries about scalp micro-pigmentation that’s too dark or uneven.
How do you keep up to date with new techniques or treatments? Each year I attend a two day event in the UK along with many SMP technicians from around the world. We love to share our knowledge with each other.
I was on an expert panel in the 2018 event held in Manchester. It’s important I keep up with the latest developments for my clients and my trainees. I support all the trainees I’ve taught via monthly Zoom meetings and a private Facebook group, as well as individually.
I also attend the annual BAHRS meeting (British Association of Hair Restoration Surgery). I am fascinated to learn as much as I can about transplantation and other treatments for hair loss, this is how I was inspired to train in PRP for hair loss.
Do you enjoy the training side of your business? Yes absolutely. I love passing on my knowledge and experience to others. I only offer training on a one/one or one/two basis as I believe this is the most successful way of training someone to be a highly competent technician. Every aspect of the course is important but the hands on experience and after support is absolutely crucial. I’ve known people to go on group courses and only get 20-30 mins of time on an actual scalp. My training requires a lot of study and dedication, therefore, I only accept people who are serious about learning all aspects and I only train 12 clients across a 12 month period.
How do you see your business evolving in the future? I am really keen to educate potential clients so they can make the right choices for themselves and their future. I am continually educating myself so I can give the best advice and knowledge. At the moment I am creating a comprehensive resource library of videos for my site so that prospective clients can educate themselves on all the available treatments on the market.
What qualifications do you have? I have three certificates specific to SMP: Trico-pigmentation’ with Beauty Medical – May 2016 Introduction to SMP’ with HIS hair clinic – July 2016 Training’ with Brandwood Clinic – March 2017
I also have: Anatomy and Physiology of Skin, Hair and Nails’ – Level 4 Micro-needling CPD – Level 4 – 2019 Phlebotomy CPD – 2019 PRP and PRF CPD – 2019 I-PRF (injectable platelet rich fibrin) – 2020 Corona virus infection control HIS Hair training – July 2016