Is Scalp Micropigmentation allowed in Islam?

We have many Muslim clients. SMP is particularly well suited to people with darker skin tones and hair. As a result, there is often a question of whether scalp micropigmentation is haram?

Is SMP Haram?

We have many Muslim clients. SMP is particularly well suited to people with darker skin tones and hair. As a result, there is often a question of whether scalp micropigmentation is haram?

Our understanding of this is that it can be down to interpretation. The basic areas in question are regarding the perception of SMP as a tattoo and whether it is permanent. Our clients have generally advised us that since SMP restores what you once had, rather than acting as a modification it is understood to be permissible.

Restoration rather than alteration

Changing the creation of Allah is haram. A traditional tattoo alters what was once there, where SMP seeks to restore it. The opinions of different Iman’s and online scholars often differ. This, from IslamWeb:

Concerning tattooing, one should not resort to it unless there is no other alternative for treatment, and provided that what is to be treated by it is harmful or deforming one’s appearance; in which case, there is no objection to using it in treating deformity, Allah willing, because necessities make permissible what is prohibited.

Treating an ailment

Similarly, the European Council for Fatwa and Research ruled in December 2016 that SMP is allowed as it is used to treat an ailment. Their ruling is below.

The Council is an Islamic, specialised and independent entity which comprises of several scholars. They meet to answer questions with a purpose to guide ‘Muslims in Europe generally and those working for Islam particularly, through spreading the proper Islamic concepts and decisive legal Fatwas.’

Treating an ailment

I am looking to seek a ruling on whether SCALP MICRO PIGMENTATION (SMP) is permissible in Islam.

SMP stands for Scalp Micro Pigmentation. It is a method of depositing pigment into the dermal layer of the skin on the scalp, which replicates hair follicles. When viewed from a few inches or further away, the pigment dots appear as hair follicles. Here are some facts provided by a number of SMP clinics I enquired with:

  • SMP will have no effect on the ability for the skin to absorb water (i.e. for wudhu) or release water as sweat.
  • The main difference between a tattoo and SMP is that SMP is semi-permanent and uses a completely natural pigment. It uses specialist pigments created for the scalp only, not tattoo ink.

Touch ups are usually performed 1-2 times per year as it is not permanent.

There is nothing wrong for you do that because it is considered as a treatment of ailment. Especially if the treatment is temporary.

It is mentioned in a Hadeeth, that Imaam Abu Dawood collected in his book with a ‘good’ chain about Arfaja bin Sa’ad that his nose was injured during the battle of Kilaab in days of Jaahiliyyah. He used a silver brace to repair his nose and still had problems, so the Prophet (peace be upon him) ordered him to use gold instead.

Baldness is like any other ailment. It is allowed for you to use any treatment to cure it whether that is colouring or hair planting. It is similar to treating burns with permissible treatment.

Treating an ailment

Our treatments at Brandwood Clinic are specifically designed to mimic hair as naturally as possible. In doing so they are designed to be imperceptible.

During treatment, our fine needles penetrate the skin to the second dermal layer at a much shallower depth than that of a tattoo. We aim for the procedure to be as permanent as possible but many clients visit us within 3-5 years for occasional top-ups to their look.

The interpretation we prefer is that we are involved in restoration rather than change, we are solving a problem that often cannot be addressed in any other way. Different views are available and we are always happy to discuss the matter with your Iman if required.


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