Baldness is a common condition especially among men but surprisingly, the condition is not always linked with age. Studies show that approximately 85% of bald men in the world are specifically suffering from male pattern baldness – a common hair loss condition that is triggered by the genes and male sex hormones, leaving a patterned receding hairline and a thinning of the hair on the crown area. Because of this, the industry has been providing hair loss treatments and solutions and among them, one of the most sought after is the procedure called scalp micropigmentation.
What is Scalp Micropigmentation and the FAQs?
Also referred to as SMP, scalp micropigmentation is a procedure or treatment of hair loss where natural-looking ‘hair follicles’ are tattooed onto the patient’s scalp to conceal the bald areas. Unlike hair transplant procedures, the SMP procedure does not make use of any hair strands, thus there is no hair restoration or growing happening. Instead, what it does is it aims to give an illusion that the patient has full-looking hair that was freshly shaved. In other words, the SMP procedure is a type of hair tattooing procedure, a cosmetic technique that aims to restore beauty and confidence among those suffering from baldness.
If you are considering to have one, here are the FAQs worth knowing before you seal a transaction:
FAQ #1: Is it the same as a typical tattoo?
Answer: Although SMP is technically about tattooing hair follicles, it is nothing like an ordinary tattoo. It is a special procedure that utilizes advanced pigment that can last long before appearing less intense unlike in normal tattoos. Over time, typical tattoos turn blue but with SMP, the pigment will just fade; not discolor. Moreover, the procedure penetrates less unlike in the traditional tattoo procedure. The needles will only touch shallow skin layers which means you can expect less, if not zero, procedural pain.
FAQ #2: Is the pigment permanent?
Answer: The pigments created from the SMP procedure are permanent. However, they can fade with age, thus touch-ups every three to five years may be necessary if the patient wants to keep its healthy, full-colored look. The fading can fast-track or delay depending on exposed the pigments are in the sun or other chemicals. Nonetheless, the touchups should only cost less.
Meanwhile, although SMP pigments are permanent, they can still be customized, i.e. intensified or reduced as long as you are handled by the right SMP practitioner. Now, if you are only looking for a short-term hair loss solution, you can try tricopigmentation treatment instead. This procedure is almost the same as SMP. The only difference is, it uses ink that is temporary and can fade easily. However, the colors can remain intense for 1 year at the least.
FAQ #3: Is it hard to maintain?
Answer: Unlike actual hair transplant procedures, SMP requires only a simple post-care:
- You have to cut and keep your real hair short, i.e. the length is preferably three to four days long so that the SMP pigments will seamlessly blend in as if they are also real ones.
- Touch-ups every 3 to five years
FAQ #4: Are the SMP pigments erasable/removable?
Answer: Yes, the SMP pigments can be erased or removed although they are permanent; thanks to the latest technologies. If the traditional tattoos can be removed, there is no way SMP pigments cannot since they are penetrated less onto the scalp or skin.
Scalp Micropigmentation Pros and Cons
The SMP procedure has been gaining a lot of positive reviews. However, if you plan to go for it to address your hair loss problems, be aware of its own pros and cons. Because it still pays to know what you are getting yourself into.
- One of the good things about the SMP procedure is that you can finally stop spending your hard-earned money on hair loss treatments like ketoconazole, finasteride, etc. It is a one-time, long-lasting solution that will do your finances a favor too.
- It requires simple post-procedural care. You will only need a few touch-ups every 3 to 5 years and as mentioned above, you just have to keep your real hair short and make it look freshly shaven so that the fake pigments can blend in. Plus, it is so easy to maintain. Since you’ll always have that freshly shaven look, you will no longer have to spend time to style your hair.
- It can give you a full-head, healthy-looking hair in just a matter of hours. Other treatments, except for the transplant, will take long to yield results. But that is not the case with SMP. Immediate results will show after the procedure and you can get back on track right away since the procedure is non-invasive.
- It looks real. People coming across you will least likely notice that those hair follicles are just tattoos. It leaves them in awe after finding out the real thing.
- Although it is far cheaper than hair transplants (approximately $3,000 vs $10,000), $3000 is still pricey. But if you have the budget and you want to address your hair loss and self-confidence problems, SMP is an excellent choice if you do not mind keeping your hair freshly-shaven.
- The potential stigma is there but it is highly unlikely.
- Bored people will wonder how it feels having a freshly-shaven hair all the time. They might ask you why you’ve not allowed your hair to grow. Then again, you should not have to please everybody.
The Verdict – Should you have the SMP procedure or not?
If you are losing so much confidence and faith in yourself because of your baldness and you want to regain that, then there is nothing wrong with having the SMP procedure.
After having one, the public’s reactions will be divided into two although the greater half will surely love it. If you are prepared for that, by all means, give it a try.
The SMP procedure is very popular but only in the bald community. The rest of the public probably does not know a thing about it yet. That makes finding a reliable and expert SMP clinic potentially hard. So, if you know one within your area who can ace the job, go for it.