When it comes to restoring hair, the strong desire to reclaim one’s appearance is the driving force that brings the solution itself to the doorstep. Nowadays, the hair industry has evolved notably, leaving no bars for those wishing to rejuvenate their looks. A particularly unique approach in this regard is Scalp Micropigmentation, a technique that may not trigger new hair growth but will definitely ensure victory over the challenges of baldness.
Let’s delve into the transformative world of Scalp Micropigmentation, where precision meets aesthetic enhancement to redefine one’s relationship with hair and confidence.
What is Scalp Micropigmentation(SMP)?
Scalp Micropigmentation(SMP) is a process where microscopic pigmentation(dots) is created on the scalp. This is done to create an illusion of Hair grown at the place where the dots are created. It is also called Tricho Pigmentation.
In this process, tiny dots of pigments are created in a scattered and diffused pattern to mimic the appearance of Hair Follicles either on a completely bald scalp or between Hair to create a Dense look. This is usually done to give it a completely natural look without colouring the scalp, just to show that from this point, hair was grown or about to grow.
It’s an Art where a Pseudo Hair Density is created with the application of small, tattoo-like dots on the scalp to replicate the appearance of hair follicles.
Reasons for Scalp Micropigmentation
Baldness – Bald individuals facing five or more grades of baldness and opting for a shaved head often choose scalp micropigmentation. This not only restores a natural look but also frames the face for a confident appearance.
Sparse Hair Transplanted – Individuals who went through Hair Transplant but not satisfied with the final results and, due to donor hair unavailability, seek scalp micropigmentation. It enhances Hair Transplant results by adding the appearance of density and fullness.
Note: It’s vital to wait one year post-hair transplant before considering Scalp Micropigmentation.
Low Hair Density – Those facing low hair density or diffuse alopecia seek solutions to minimize scalp visibility. Limited donor hair availability often deters them from choosing hair transplant, leading them to opt for scalp micropigmentation as an alternative.
Female Pattern Hair Loss – Women who are experiencing Female Pattern Hair Loss generally choose scalp micropigmentation as a cosmetic solution. This technique helps them address the gaps amidst hair by creating the illusion of increased hair density and coverage on the scalp that enhances their overall appearance.
Concealing Scars – It effectively conceals scars from both FUT linear scars and FUE scars, by making pigments to the scarred areas. This creates the illusion of natural hair follicles that seamlessly blend with the surrounding hair.
This process camouflages the linear scars from FUT and the scattered scars from FUE, providing a visually consistent and cohesive appearance across the scalp.
In FUE procedures, scars are typically discreet, but instances of overharvesting or the use of inadequate punches may lead to the formation of larger dots, known as hypopigmentation. Scalp Micropigmentation (SMP) is employed to enhance the aesthetics of the donor area affected by such irregularities.
Scarring Alopecia – Scarring alopecia is a type of hair loss characterized by the destruction of hair follicles and their replacement with scar tissue. Scalp micropigmentation effectively conceals and minimizes the appearance of scarring alopecia by using tattooed dots to replicate the look of hair follicles. In this case, Hair Transplant is a contraindication.
In this scenario, this individual desires to keep long hair while seeking to improve the density. So tiny dots are introduced amidst the existing hair. One important thing is that whenever a person opts for SMP, he never wants to let others know about it. So, it is done artfully and smartly, making it hard to notice while improving hair density. In the same way, inks and needles need to be used.
In this situation, a scar has resulted from Linear Strip Surgery (FUT), often due to the use of incorrect sutures or improper techniques. Sometimes, it’s the skin’s natural tendency is to turn the scar white. In such cases, Scalp Micropigmentation (SMP) can effectively camouflage the scar.
Scalp Micropigmentation Cost
In the US or Australia, the average price ranges from $1500 to $2000 per session. The cost of scalp micropigmentation in India ranges from INR 15,000 to 80,000.
Scalp Micropigmentation Cost in Different Cities of India
Bangalore – INR 50,000 – 75,000.
Chennai – INR 40,000 – 67,000
Hyderabad – INR 42,000 – 71,000
Delhi – INR 30,000 – 80,000
Mumbai – INR 47000 – 78,000
Pune – INR 40,000 – 67,000
Indore – INR 30,000 – 50,000
How long does scalp micropigmentation last?
Scalp micropigmentation typically lasts for several years, with results maintaining their appearance for an average of 4 to 6 years. However, individual factors like skin type, lifestyle, and sun exposure can influence the longevity of the treatment.
Is SMP a substitute for Hair Transplant?
The answer is NO. Both processes have their own indications. SMP can only complement Hair Transplant. As already discussed, in a five or more grade of baldness, if hair transplant is done but still the results are unsatisfying due to less hair grafts transplanted, then SMP is executed. This is done to create a pseudo density to reduce scalp show one-year post-Hair Transplant. Also, during SMP, hair is kept longer to minimize scalp visibility.
SMP cannot be executed here directly. In this case, if this person has a viable donor area, the recommended approach is to undergo a hair transplant initially. After a year, SMP can be considered to address any remaining gaps or insufficient density post-Hair Transplant. This approach is particularly relevant for individuals in professions such as acting or modelling, where constant visibility may highlight any scalp show.
Are SMP and Tattoo the same?
The answer is NO. In SMP, micropigmentation is done only on the scalp. Additionally, SMP operates at a shallower depth, specifically targeting the topmost layer of the skin, in contrast to tattoos, which penetrate three layers beneath the skin. While tattoos are for display and attraction, SMP aims to conceal scalp visibility. So the objective here is not to show the SMT but to fix the scalp show. In this process, the needles are very micro and ink is used as per the hair color which is usually gray or black based. While in tattooing, the ink is different and the needle is larger.
Precautions Before SMP
Essential precautions before SMP include assessing:
- Allergies or Adverse reactions to any substance
- Difficulty Healing
- Bleeding Disorders
- Bloodborne Diseases
- Scalp Disorders(including scalp psoriasis)
- Chemotherapy or Radiation Therapy
- Cardiac or Vascular Abnormalities
- High/Low Blood Pressure
Instances When Scalp Micropigmentation (SMP) May Not Be Advisable
- Unrealistic Patient Expectations: Before you go for SMP, it’s important to have realistic expectations about the results. One way is to communicate with the practitioner for clarity about the results.
- Active Wound Healing, Infections: Individuals with active wounds or ongoing infections on the scalp should postpone SMP until the area is fully healed.
- Reaction or Allergy to Pigmentation: Those who have a known sensitivity or allergy to pigments or tattoo ink should exercise caution. A patch test may be recommended to assess the potential for adverse reactions.
Note: Be Clear to the patient that these tests are not an absolute guarantee of nonreaction to pigments. Pigments and inks have been known to cause delayed skin reactions months and years after the initial placements. However, pigment reactions are most common with colored pigments used in traditional tattoos. The black pigments(typically carbon-based) used in SMP rarely cause a skin reaction. Also, a well-placed micropigmentation under ideal conditions will typically last 1 to 8 years depending on individual skin characteristics and UV light exposure, so it is essential that a patient should understand that maintenance will be needed at an undetermined point in the future.
- Bleeding Disorders or Blood Thinners: Individuals with bleeding disorders or those taking blood-thinning medications should consult with their healthcare provider before considering SMP. This is to minimize the risk of excessive bleeding during the procedure.
- Pregnancy/Lactation: For the safety of both the individual and the unborn or nursing child, it is advised to postpone SMP due to pregnancy and lactation. There are certain Hormonal changes during this period that may impact the results of SMP.
- Alcohol/Drug Intoxication: SMP should never be performed under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
- Hair Transplant Surgery < 1 Year: People who have undergone hair transplant surgery will need to wait for 1 year before considering SMP.
Note: Counseling before SMP is essential to educate patients about the duration of the results, and the possibility of follow-ups and touch-ups is important. Also, if someone interprets SMP as a one-time solution, it may not be suitable for them.
Scalp Micropigmentation Before and After Care
Thorough Shampooing: Don’t forget to shampoo and rinse your hair thoroughly before the SMP process. Also, after the process, it is advised to avoid shampooing for the next 3-4 days to allow for proper healing.
Exercise Restraint: Refrain from intense workout for about a week post-SMP. Exercise makes you sweat more that may increase the risk of color fading which affects the life of the pigmentation.
Avoid Chlorinated or Salty Water: Resist the temptation to dive into chlorinated pools or salty water for the initial 7-10 days after SMP. Exposure to these elements may delay the healing process and affect the pigment’s stability.
Can i use Minoxidil after Scalp Micropigmentation: You cannot use Minoxidil for at least one month after SMP. As 90% of the base in minoxidil contains alcohol, which can potentially fade the pigmentation. So it’s best to wait before resuming its use.
In summary, Scalp Micropigmentation (SMP) stands as an innovative solution for hair restoration, offering a non-invasive approach to address various concerns. From concealing scars to enhancing hair density, SMP’s precision and artistic execution redefine the relationship with one’s hair. The blog provides insights into considerations, costs, and before-and-after care, serving as a valuable guide for those exploring SMP as a transformative solution.