Scalp Micropigmentation as a Response to Hair Loss

Posted March 08, 2022
Scalp Micropigmentation to help to image of Hair Loss

Scalp Micropigmentation, also known as SMP, is a common non-invasive treatment for people experiencing hair loss. It involves the use of detailed micro-needles which are used to deposit little dots of pigment into the scalp so as to replicate the appearance of hair stubble. The process is similar to that of a traditional tattoo, and in the hands of a skilled practitioner, SMP results are meant to replicate the natural appearance of real hair follicles and give the illusion of increased hair density.

In this article, we’ll break down all the various aspects of this treatment, and you can also watch this video to learn more as well. 

What Does an SMP Procedure Entail?

Before an SMP procedure, the practitioner will use a topical anesthetic to numb your scalp to help minimize any discomfort felt during the procedure. Once the anesthetic has set in, the practitioner will then begin administering the pigment into the scalp, depositing extremely tiny dots of ink into the skin. They are strategically distributed in such a way that they should mimic the way follicles naturally present themselves on the scalp.

As a general rule, it requires roughly 3-4 sessions in order to achieve desired results, and each session typically takes between 4 and 5 hours. However, the length of each session and how many sessions are ultimately needed varies depending on the size of the area being treated.

The first session is when the majority of the pigment is deposited into the entire surface area being treated. The second session is when the shading and definition process takes place, and any subsequent sessions after that are used for adjustment and enhancement so as to give the most realistic outcome possible. Treatments are typically scheduled a few weeks apart, so be prepared for the entire process to take a couple of months from start to finish.

As a general rule, you’re not able to wash or wet your scalp for the first 4 days after the procedure. Make sure to check with your practitioner about any other post-procedure protocols that you need to follow in order to achieve optimal results. 

Who Are Good Candidates for SMP?

SMP is a great option for anyone experiencing hair loss or thinning of the hair for any number of reasons. Some of the ways it’s most often used are as follows:

  • Full Coverage - SMP is a great option for those who need to cover a significant portion of the scalp due to more advanced hair loss, and who therefore may not be a good candidate for a hair transplant. In these instances, the patient will likely commit to maintaining a short buzz cut, and the SMP will mimic the overall look of stubble.
  • Supplemental Coverage - SMP can also be used in conjunction with a hair transplant procedure as a way to enhance the illusion of density in areas that may need additional coverage. The pigment is distributed amongst existing hair, typically at the hairline or the crown. This is also a viable option for those experiencing diffused hair loss as a result of alopecia or cancer treatment.
  • Scar Coverage - SMP is also a great way to minimize the appearance of scars in the scalp, typically the linear scar from a traditional Hair Transplant strip procedure.

How Long Do Results Last?

SMP is considered a semipermanent procedure. While results are typically expected to last up to 8 years, the results will begin to fade over time. Those with dryer skin may see the results fade faster, so keeping the skin of the scalp moisturized will help prolong the results.

How Much Does an SMP Procedure Cost?

The typical cost of an SMP procedure ranges between $1,500 and $4,000. However, the price will vary based on the size of the area being treated, the fees charged by the doctor and/or facility, and the geographical location where the procedure takes place.

If you’re interested in an SMP procedure, make sure to do thorough research when choosing your practitioner. One great place to start is with a consultation with a reputable hair transplant surgeon who can help you formulate a game plan for your hair loss that is best suited for you long term.

For more information on some of the best hair restoration surgeons in Los Angeles, make sure to check out this video:

- BJ


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