When faced with a choice such as whether to have a full hair transplant or to opt for scalp micropigmentation (SMP) instead, it can take a while to decide. And that’s probably a good thing. Both of these procedures are serious and can take time to recover from, and should not be entered into lightly. It takes time and effort to locate an expert hair restoration practitioner and assess his or her strengths and weaknesses.
Therefore, weighing up the pros and cons of each and taking time to do so can make the decision easier and more informed at the same time. The best option of the two procedures for you will depend on what you want as the end result – each one will (or can) look very different.
Scalp micro pigmentation is the process of tattooing ink into and onto the scalp in order to give the illusion of a shaved head rather than the reality of a bald one. No hair is required, and so for those who are entirely bald it is a great solution. However, the SMP will not feel like real hair, and it won’t grow either. Due to this, the only style available is that of a shaved head, and if you do have remaining hair you will need to keep this shaved as well so that the look is complete. SMP is useful for those who have lost hair in patches, as it can be used as a ‘filler’.
A hair transplant is a more complicated, more serious procedure. This is for men and women who are experiencing mild to severe hair loss and hairline recession. A successful hair transplant will leave you with a new hairline made up of your own actual hairs. There are no artificial tattoos, plugs or wigs involved. Strong and healthy hair is taken – usually from the back and sides of the head – and implanted into the thinning region of the scalp.
However, the end result will be that of a full head of real hair. This is achieved by using donor hair from elsewhere on the patient’s scalp and moving it to the place where hair is missing. This is therefore only possible if there is hair left on the scalp – a hair transplant cannot be achieved on someone who is completely bald. The hair created in a hair transplant should, all being well, continue to grow, and therefore the styles that can be created are much more varied than with SMP.
Dr. Amir Yazdan, MD, is an internationally renowned hair transplant surgeon, expert guest on Dr. Phil and The Doctors, creator of the GroMD hair restoration product line, ISHRS member, and a visceral advocate for patient care. Learn more about Dr. Yazdan or read rave reviews from his patients.