Do you suffer from hair loss? Baldness strikes everyone at different ages, and even though it’s gradual, you may notice less hair as you grow older. Some research has shown that 42 percent of men between the ages of 18 and 49 have experienced moderate to intensive hair loss.
What is Scalp Micropigmentation?
Scalp Micropigmentation (SMP) is a cosmetic, non-surgical procedure performed by a trained technician to restore the appearance of the natural hairline. Using a precision micro-needle instrument, pigment is placed into the scalp dermis layer creating the appearance of small hair follicles.
Also referred to as a hair tattoo, the final result simulates a full head of hair when shaved whereby giving the appearance you’re bald by choice. The method works on most skin types and types of hair.
Losing Your Hair? Here’s Why
While hair loss worsens with age, many men experience a natural maturing hairline in their twenties. If you have male pattern baldness, scalp micropigmentation treatment may be a great non-invasive way to achieve a fuller-looking head of hair. Read on to see if it’s the right fit for you.
Before taking a look into SMP, it’s important to understand why you’re losing hair so that you can possibly seek treatment. This may help you along with a scalp tattoo.
Does male pattern baldness run in your family? You may be able to tell by looking at your mother’s father or other men farther up the line. If you have DNA genetically predisposed for baldness, then you may want to seek out help from a doctor. You may get a prescription for finasteride, which blocks DHT.
Along with hormone issues, men have issues with hair loss due to an androgen byproduct known as dihydrotestosterone (DHT). This androgen hormone causes hair follicles to shrink and eventually die out. As hair becomes thinner, it’s easier to break and stops hair growth as the follicle closes.. However, finasteride blocks DHT from attaching to hair follicles.
For those with male pattern baldness, medications like Propecia are the last line of defense before you lose more hair. Most of the time, the medication works, but there are some side effects such as erectile dysfunction.
Testosterone and other hormones can fade as men get older, but it does not stop the production of DHT. Men who are older are more susceptible to DHT attaching to follicles, too.
If you notice your hair has more bald patches as you get older, these patches are likely to grow larger. You may notice sparser hair at the crown of your head and at the corners of your forehead. As your hairline recedes, you may notice that your hair is slow to grow, and it comes in more brittle and thin.
Smoking, poor diet, medications, and daily alcoholic use will also lead to significant issues, particularly if you have a dry scalp. If you notice more dandruff or flakes when you drink, it’s likely because your body is producing too much oil in your sebaceous glands.
To see if your diet and other issues are affecting your hairline, you simply need to take a break and start exercising. The exercise will help you work out the toxins in your body, and as you detox from nicotine, alcohol, and other medications, you may start to see an improvement in your hair’s growth and thickness.
Have you decided to start shaving your head but hate the look of complete hair loss? Perhaps you still have hair in most areas of your head, but your thin hairstyle looks less than desirable in harsh light or when wet. Then you might consider the SMP as an option.
So, scalp micropigmentation offers a quick way to fix your hairline and thicken the look of your hair without spending $4,000 – $15,000 per hair transplant surgery. SMP is also used to conceal hairline irregularities and hair transplant scars.
Micropigmentation tattoos are layered dots that look exactly like hair stubble. For men who are considering going with a completely bald look, it can actually help you shape your hairline and blend in with your natural hair.
Micro needles are used to tattoo the layers of small dots over your head. Men decide to go with this procedure when they shave their heads or to avoid the costs of hair transplant surgery. In comparison, micropigmentation is easier, less painful, and affordable.
How it Works
SMP is a highly specialized procedure that requires some technical knowledge or training in natural hair follicle placement. SMP technicians are typically professional tattoo artists trained in cosmetic pigmentation. The techs use this hair restoration technique to:
- treat hair loss (men and women)
- add density to existing hair
- recreate a bad hairline
- disguise bald heads or thinning hair using hair patterns
The whole point is by the end you have the look of someone with a head of shaved hair instead of completely bald. Jason Statham rocks this type of look, but it’s not certain if he received an SMP procedure.
Before your first treatment, you meet with the technician to go over your hairline and what you’d like to do. The technician also helps you shape your hairline, position follicles, color of follicles to match hair color, and decide on density. Most of the time, SMP uses dark grey to charcoal colors to create the look of lifelike stubble.
SMP requires a lot of time, and you’ll likely have to sit for multiple hairs for at least three treatments. Each time, there’ll likely be some healing necessary for each dot. In each session, different shades of lifelike pigmentation are tattooed across your head. Technicians typically kick off the procedure with lighter colors, then they shade in at the second and third treatment.
How long it Takes
This may depend on your pain threshold. Some people can sit for multiple hours, but if you have never had a tattoo before, you may be sensitive to the initial pain.
The amount of time for an SMP typically ranges from 3 to 4 hours. The second and third treatments typically don’t take as long. It also depends on the quality and density of the tattooed areas.
Do you have to shave your head for SMP?
In general, you will have to shave your head down to a short length to make the SMP look real. Grown out hair looks strange next to areas with SMP as well. You can tell bald patterns and patches more evidently when your hair is longer than the SMP “stubble” tattoo.
When did SMP start?
This practice traces its roots back to the 1970s, but it wasn’t marketed widely until 2002 and became more popular in 2006. Ever since then, men have been using SMP to get the shaven look when they have balding hair.
How much does SMP hurt?
While you may not experience any pain if you’re used to tattoos. The head is a delicate area, and you’ll likely have some discomfort at the start of the procedure. As the session goes on, your scalp may be more tender. Some areas of the head are also more sensitive, but the majority of patients are able to block out this pain.
One thing to keep in mind is that SMP is much less painful than getting a hair transplant. Anesthetics are also used to numb the scalp before the treatment.
How long is recovery?
There isn’t any downtime or recovery period, but you may notice some redness and irritation at first. You also don’t want to go out into the sun after the procedure. You can go to work the next day. Your head typically heals completely within 3 to 7 days.
In comparison, it would take several weeks to heal fully from hair transplant surgery. Many men report hair transplants looking natural by the fourth to sixth week.
Doctors also state that shampooing and sweating during the first three days following each treatment. You may be able to shave your head after the third day.
After my SMP, my scalp became very itchy. I found Fuse Scalp Micro-Pigmentation Aftercare Lotion, and it literally saved me! This stuff is just amazing.
How much does SMP treatment cost?
It looks like the average cost of SMP treatment range from $2,500 – $5,000 depending on your unique situation.
Always consult a reputable SMP center for accurate pricing.
- get a few quotes
- financing options
- client testimonials
- consider their location relative to you
- credibility (Yelp, online reviews & Better Business Bureau)
On average, the cost of having an SMP treatment can range from $2500 to $5000 depending on the level of baldness or thinning hair. It’s always best to set up a consultation to determine the exact pricing.
SMP vs Other Hair Loss Treatments
Finasteride and Minoxidil
If you don’t want to take pills that could cause erectile dysfunction, SMP is a great alternative. In addition, you will have to take finasteride medication or apply Rogaine daily or else your baldness will return.
Hair Transplant Surgery
Unless you have thousands of dollars to spend on a full hair transplant surgery, you may not want to try this procedure. This process involves removing follicles from other areas of your body such as your back and transplanting them in a re-created hairline and other parts of the head using a graft.
Several treatments are required and may cost over $8,000 per session, depending on the amount of follicles you want to include.
Hair Growth Vitamins and Supplements
Hair Growth Vitamins and Supplements: There are some natural methods for supporting hair growth, but they may not be as successful. There’s currently a small amount of evidence that niacin, biotin, and iron are beneficial for hair growth if you have deficiencies.
Laser hair therapy
Review all Your Hair Restoration Treatment Options in our New Guide
Wrapping Up: Are You Ready for SMP?
Changing your hair to SMP is a big leap if you have not yet shaven your head. Once you decide on changing your hairline with this procedure, you will have to keep your hair buzzed to match your stubbled look. There are a few celebrity men who have this look, but they not have used SMP to get it. Vin Diesel, Jason Statham, and Jeff Bezos have all rocked the buzzed, stubble hair style.
Check out SMP and FUE Combined Procedures for Ultimate Hairline Results.