Scalp Micropigmentation vs. Hair Transplant: Which Option Is Best?

While hair loss is seldom a serious problem, its effects can have negative consequences. Self-consciousness is one of the most obvious side effects of hair loss, thinning, or recession. Luckily, there are options to explore if you don’t want a bare scalp!

What Is a Hair Transplant?

One of the most common methods of treating baldness or hair thinning is called a hair transplant. There are two kinds of transplants: follicular unit strip surgery (FUSS) and follicular unit extraction (FUE).

With the FUSS method, a narrow strip of healthy scalp between six and ten inches long with thick hair growth is cut from the patient’s head and cut up into many tiny pieces—usually with just one or two hairs per piece.

FUE involves the surgeon shaving the back of the patient’s scalp, and then carefully extracting hair follicles one by one.

The next steps for both procedures are the same: the harvested grafts or hair follicles are carefully transplanted into areas of the scalp where the hair is thinner. After the procedure is completed, the scalp will likely be very tender and the patient may require pain medication for several days afterwards. The surgeon may require patients to wear bandages on their head for a few days, and may also prescribe anti-inflammatory drugs or an antibiotic. Most people return to work within a week of the operation.

These types of surgeries can create scarring on the scalp and may result in unnatural-looking hair growth. There is typically a great deal of discomfort following the procedure and of course, there’s no guarantee that the patient’s hair won’t continue to thin out and recede even after the transplant.

What Is Scalp Micropigmentation?

Scalp micropigmentation, or SMP, is a procedure that creates the illusion of thicker hair by tattooing small dots onto the scalp. This process is less invasive than a regular tattoo gun as it doesn’t penetrate as deeply, and although the ink will lighten over time, it won’t discolor the way a tattoo does. SMP is effective for anyone with thinning or receding hair, or who suffers from a condition such as male pattern baldness or alopecia. While scalp micropigmentation doesn’t create new hair growth, it does make your existing hair appear thicker by filling in the thinning areas on the scalp.

The process is so minimally painful that some patients have even fallen asleep while being treated. Most people can return to work immediately after their session, with the only real side effect being the slight redness of the scalp.

What if I’ve Already Had a Hair Transplant?

SMP is even effective as an after-treatment for hair transplants, especially if the patient’s hair continues to thin after their transplant surgery. Scalp micropigmentation is a great option for anyone experiencing any kind of hair loss due to its non-invasive nature, and the confidence boost can be immediate. It doesn’t matter at all if you’ve already had another method of hair loss treatment—SMP can still help!

If you think you could benefit from scalp micropigmentation, don’t wait—contact SMP Portland today to find out more about how we can help!

How Does SMP Address Male Pattern Baldness?

Did you know that nearly half of all men are affected by male pattern baldness by the time they’re 50 years old? While male pattern baldness may start as a simple receding hairline or a small bald spot on the top of the head, it often becomes a more widespread and apparent issue as time goes on. While male pattern baldness itself doesn’t require treatment, many people find a loss of confidence comes with the loss of their hair—and that can be a problem!

Not Just Men

Although the name of the condition is ‘male pattern baldness’, it’s not just men who are affected! Up to 40% of women may notice a thinning of hair on the crown of their head from this condition by the time they’re 50 years old. Luckily, there’s a cost-effective and simple solution for anyone affected by male pattern baldness: SMP.

What Is SMP?

SMP stands for scalp micropigmentation. The purpose of this treatment is to create the illusion of fuller hair using methods similar to tattooing. However, unlike regular tattoos, SMP ink does not get discolored, nor do the needles we use penetrate as far into the skin as a regular tattoo gun does. The ink may lighten over time (often around the five or six-year mark), but it will continue to look natural as it lightens, which makes it an effective solution for hair loss caused by male pattern baldness.

Scalp micropigmentation isn’t a growth stimulant, but instead creates an extremely realistic illusion of hair growth. In most cases, no one will realize it’s a tattoo unless they’re told! SMP can be useful in all cases of hair loss, including baldness, thinning, recession, and even alopecia.

What to Expect From SMP

Scalp micropigmentation is usually completed in two or three sessions, depending on the amount of hair loss or scarring on the head. Sessions are typically spaced ten days apart to give the scalp time to ‘breathe’ between treatments.

The procedure itself involves minimal pain, and some clients even fall asleep during the treatment! Although the scalp may have slight redness for a day or two following the session, there won’t be any pain. Again, this process differs from that of traditional tattooing as needles don’t penetrate as deeply into the scalp as they would for a regular tattoo, so the body’s recovery time is much faster. Most clients don’t feel the need to take time off work or school following the treatment, although they may choose to wear a beanie or hat if they feel the redness is noticeable. There are no risks whatsoever to donning headwear following an SMP treatment!

Although male pattern baldness isn’t considered a serious condition, the effect it can have on a person’s confidence is no joke. Luckily, scalp micropigmentation is an effective solution for various hair loss in all kinds of people. This treatment method has become so advanced over the last several years that it’s nearly impossible to tell the difference between SMP and real hair growth.

If you’re interested in learning more about scalp micropigmentation, get in touch with SMP Portland today and let us help you feel confident in your skin again!