TTT speak with El Truchan a leading London-based medical cosmetic professional and owner of Perfect Definition, on how the industry is changing the highs and lows of owning a business and the future of permanent cosmetics for men and women.
What is the SPCP and do you have a medical background as you are a member of the Royal Society of Medicine?
Society of Permanent Cosmetics Professionals, it a USA-based international organization dedicated to promoting safety and education in Permanent Cosmetics. I wrote articles for them about early recognition of skin cancer/moles in 2020 and recently a new one due to be published in a week about medical images of our work (medical micro-pigmentation practitioners) being banned by social media and the protest we just had outside the Facebook HQ in London on the 1st September.
I am a member of the Royal Society of Medicine by invitation and have provided medical micro-pigmentation ( all scopes: scalp/ face and body) for the past 7 years. I have been trained in all aspects of medical micro-pigmentation and I am one of the leading practitioners in the UK.
From "head to toe" I help patients who suffer from Alopecia, cancer, Trichotillomania, burns, scars, loss of nipple and areola due to mastectomy or other surgeries/ accidents, webbed toes, vitiligo, cleft lip, surgical scarring, Hair Transplant scarring, and other conditions and issues.
As an Advanced and Elite practitioner what qualifies you? is this more experience or your ability to do more treatments etc?
I hold an Elite and Advanced qualifications. It’s the most advanced qualification level that one can obtain.
I was originally trained in Nouveau Contour and KB Pro academies - part of the Nouveau Beauty Group (which is an international and hugely respected training provider).
In addition to that, I have 7 year’s experience in full-time cosmetic and medical micro-pigmentation. I don’t perform other treatments. That’s what makes me an expert.
You offer several treatments did you begin in SMP or skin treatments like plasma?
All micro-pigmentation procedures have sub-specialties.
You need to be trained in all subgroups like Microblading, PMU for each individual face area, SMP, Micro-needling (dry needling), and then the whole scope of medical micro-pigmentation. I have vast experience in both but like the majority of the technicians, I started with the face (eyebrows, eyeliner, and lips). Once these were mastered, I moved on to the next areas.
Learning and education never stop (it definitely shouldn’t). We educators teach others but good ones also I assure you we maintain our own CPD. SMP came after the face - with the medical scope of training.
As a female business leader, what piece of advice would you give a newly trained SMP artist entering the industry?
Be patient and practice, practice, practice!
Nothing happens overnight and real dedication is required to do this job. If you are just after easy money, you might as well quit now. This is a serious profession and the work we create can either change someone’s life for the better; or in badly trained technician’s cases - for the worse. Thus, it’s important to invest in your education, study, and practice. The emotional reward of performing this work is huge but be prepared for the 24/7 as when you work for yourself, the work never stops.
What do you feel is the next big thing in the industry? SMP has increased in demand massively in the last 5 years do you think more skin treatments will increase in demand? or perhaps more body treatments?
Skin and body treatments are always improving, and the demand grows each day. I can see the even progression of body/ face/ skin and hair procedures. Anything aesthetics and body improvement related is on a high rise and technology also evolves fast to match this demand.
Are you clients for scalp pigmentation men or women? are you seeing an increased demand for this?
Scalp micro pigmentation clients are both male and female. There has been a great demand for those procedures and their increase as the treatment enters more mainstream in media. Females suffer as much as males. Several conditions that affect both males and females are also on the rise:
Cancer: chemotherapy treatment causes a great amount of hair loss which cannot always can be restored. Alopecia: affects males and females alike;
Trichotillomania affects about 10 times more women than man and it can run in the families;
Traction Alopecia: hugely affecting black women due to the tight hairstyles causing pulling effect on the hair which over times weaken/ damages the hair follicles;
Male and female pattern baldness: still majority affected are males but it's making more and more its way through the female population.
Thinning hair: both sexes affected.
Thus, some conditions do affect one of the sexes more than others but we see an increased amount of both sexes looking for the service. And of course - always able to help both.
What do you think is next for Perfect Definition? will you expand? offer more treatments? move into training more frequently?
Perfect Definition is always assuring that the knowledge, techniques, and education is up to date and at the frontline of evolution. We are looking to welcome new technicians this fall into our group to allow us to meet the demand for the procedures. If new treatments are in line with our ethos and will definitely benefit our clients and patients - adding them is always a possibility. BUT and that’s important BUT, we try to specialize in the field and never allow ourselves to become a jack of all trades, that does a bit of everything. For us, it's all scopes of micro pigmentation (cosmetic and medical). If we expand to other services, we will bring a specialist in that specific field into the team.
Educating is always important to us and of course, we are looking at how we can share more knowledge and experience with the newbies.
As a female business owner do you feel you have support from your fellow practitioners in aesthetics on Harley Street etc?
Absolutely! I never consider others in the industry to be my competitors. I always consider them colleagues and friends with which I can cross-refer, consul for a second opinion, advice if they need my experience and knowledge.
There are usually two types of practitioners, lone wolves who only tend to look after their own interests and sharers, who always wish to progress and evolve and raise standards in the industry. I like to think I belong to the 2nd group, knowing the leaders of the industry consider me a friend and a colleague rather than a competitor. I always like to help others and that’s patients and colleagues alike. We are better together. Other aesthetic and medical practitioners are also great! A lot of them refer to me to complete the client or patient's journey once they have finished with the help they were able to provide and vice versa.
Check out El's incredible work at https://www.perfectdefinition.co.uk