When wanting to address baldness or partial baldness, men and women often look at hair loss treatments like a hair transplant. But now there’s a newer technology called scalp micropigmentation (or SMP for short), which provides alternatives for people who don’t mind having a shaved head but still wish to look like they could have a full head of head grow back. (Source: SMP company from New York)
What Is an SMP?
Scalp micro pigmentation takes a completely different approach to hair loss. Instead of implanting hair follicles that it’s hoped will eventually create a fuller head of hair without the gaps or obvious receding hairline, it takes a non-invasive approach instead.
Let’s say the subject is you. You may have a shaved head, and this would still show where there’s pattern baldness on the top, side, and back of the head. This is especially true and becomes more obvious as the hair begins to grow back.
To resolve this issue, SMP involves the use of teeny-tiny micro-needles, which position pigments directly into the scalp area where hair no longer grows. Once the process is complete, it creates a range of tiny hair follicles in the affected spots. This creates the impression of potential hair growth. Whether your natural hair regrows or not, the hair follicles will create an impression of hair potential rather than a bald spot.
Does Micropigmentation Look Natural to the Naked Eye?
SMP looks best when either being completely bald or having a grade-1 short buzz cut, although it can also help to fill out the appearance at the scalp level when having longer hair.
What this does is blend in the natural hair follicles with the implanted ones to create a matching appearance throughout the scalp where hair would normally have grown. It looks natural both from a distance and close-up.
It’s worth pointing out that patients are happiest when they hear that the procedure doesn’t involve an invasive, hugely painful procedure, or an extensive recovery period either. Most are happiest when they already like having a shaved head or a buzz cut and just don’t want their bald areas on the scalp to attract attention any longer. As such, it’s an affordable alternative to hair transplantation procedures.
How Long Does SMP Hair Last?
When having an SMP hair procedure completed, there is the question of how long until you can go back to normal with washing your hair and the expected duration of the SMP treatment itself.
Washing Your Head
Once the scalp has had the complete pigmentation additions, it needs to be left alone for at least three days. This allows sufficient time for the healing process to be complete and the results to be visible.
Keeping your head perfectly dry both from outside rain showers and from an indoor shower is necessary. Otherwise, it will completely ruin the work that’s been done to improve the scalp’s future appearance.
Also, exerting yourself with physical activities including going for a gym workout is not advisable because it can cause perspiration on the scalp area too. The best idea is just to sit at home and relax for several days afterward to avoid any complications.
Essentially, SMP is not unlike a tattoo or makeup that’s applied and intended to be semi-permanent.
The treatment usually lasts for at least 4 years and up to 6 years. A fading effect is commonplace after that and reapplication is called for.
How Much Does SMP Cost?
The price of treatment depends on the clinic, the quality of the treatment process, and what’s being done.
Sometimes the treatment includes just the hairline area or the crown, in which case the treatment costs are likely to be at or below $2,000.
Adding additional density to a head of hair may cost a little more at $2,500 or so.
Also, a full treatment that may or may not include covering over a scar might be as much as $3,000.
Lastly, touch-ups for a few hundred dollars are available where the results after a few years have begun to fade.
Can you have a hair transplant after SMP?
Yes, it is possible to elect to have a hair transplant after having undergone an SMP procedure.
There is usually a gap between the SMP procedure and deciding to go ahead with a hair transplant too.
It also works the other way around. Some people who’ve previously had one or more hair transplant procedures can elect to resolve gaps in their hairline that remain through an SMP procedure. The effect can create a fuller looking head of hair in the affected areas and typically leaves people feeling happier with the results.
An SMP procedure is useful either when you have balding spots you’d like to look more natural or to provide a thicker-looking hair appearance. Discuss it with a professional clinic that specializes in these types of treatments to see what your options are.