If you’re like most people, the thought of hair loss petrifies you, and any mention of balding makes you cringe. Hair loss is especially common for men, and it’s one of the leading causes of their low self-esteem. Women are not spared either as over 20 million women in the U.S. experience hair loss.
On the bright side, there are many solutions to this problem, with the hair restoration industry expected to hit over $12 million by2026, and one of those solutions is SMP or scalp micropigmentation. What is scalp micropigmentation?
In this guide, we’ll take you through everything you need to know about SMP. We’ll answer all those curious questions you possibly have, and hopefully, help you make an informed decision about whether it’s the perfect solution for you.
What Is Scalp Micropigmentation
Scalp micropigmentation or SMP is an advanced cosmetic procedure that involves the use of micro-needles to insert pigment into hair follicles. The needles make thousands of minute impressions that resemble real hair follicles and give the appearance of a full head of hair. The result of the procedure is usually so realistic, good looking, and low maintenance that some people choose to go through it even before they start experiencing receding hairlines.
SMP is also referred to as a hair tattoo because essentially, it’s close to a hair tattoo, but there is a world of difference between what you can get from an SMP specialist and a tattoo parlor. The tools, techniques, mechanisms, and expertise used are significantly more advanced than those of tattoo artists.
Now, you need to understand that this procedure will not boost hair growth or minimize hair loss. However, it will replicate your hairline, and give the impression that you have a deliberately shaved head. It’s usually hard for people to tell that it’s not real hair, and a lot of people have been able to cover their hair loss insecurities with SMP.
How Does SMP Work?
First, it’s vital for you to see an expert who has undergone SMP training and has enough experience with the procedure. Once you go for a consultation, the specialist will determine the right pigment shade for your scalp and the kind of hairline you need.
The dyes and pigments used on the scalp micropigmentation procedure are known as chromophores. They are molecules that reflect the wavelength of the follicles, and the visible spectrum they fall in. These chromophores play a huge role in the overall look you’ll have, so it’s essential for you to ensure you get a specialist who understands the best ones for you.
Once the best pigment is determined, the specialist will use the needle to apply a series of textured and layered dots on your scalp. The procedure takes about three or four sessions, and each session can take as much as 10 hours. However, this will highly vary depending on the rate of your hair loss, the condition of your scalp, and the pigment and density you desire.
How Painful Is SMP?
Given that most people associated SMP with tattoos, a lot of them tend to think that it must be an incredibly painful procedure. Unlike tattoos, however, SMP pain can be minimal, but it could depend on the individual pain threshold. Besides, certain regions of the scalp are more sensitive than others.
Given that the scalp, unlike most other body parts, is not protected by excess flesh, SMP specialists alleviate pain by applying numbing agents at the beginning of the procedures.
What Are the Side Effects of SMP?
With any procedure, there are always potential side effects, and scalp micropigmentation is no exception. Most of the side effects are similar to those of a tattoo, like experiencing soreness right after each session, and there may be bleeding and scabbing as well. Besides that, you may experience itchiness and irritation.
Beyond this, this procedure is permanent, and if anything goes wrong, you may be more insecure than you were before. It’s imperative that you give thought to the hairline and pigment you’ll get because there is no going back, and any issues you encounter in the future may prove problematic. Get a hairline and pigment color appropriate for your age and look and not just what you see in pictures.
What Are the Benefits of SMP?
One of the most significant benefits of SMP is the fact that it’s not a surgical procedure. It requires zero maintenance and can make an older person look younger, which could essentially boost their self-esteem. Beyond that, there is no recovery time, it’s quite affordable, thickness the appearance of hair, and defines the hairline.
What Are the Downsides of SMP?
To begin with, this is a permanent solution, and that could be a downside depending on how you look at it. If at one point you decide that you don’t like it, you’ll have to undergo a hairline change through lasers. If you decide that you no longer want it, you’ll also have to undergo a laser removal to erase the whole thing.
Besides that, the pigment could fade after a few years, and you could need a retouching procedure. Also, your head will be smooth because apart from the illusion that you have a full head of hair, you’ll have no texture of it at all. SMP also offers very limited hairstyle options, and most people will need to keep their natural hair very short to match the SMP hair look.
Everything You Need to Know About SMP
If you want a permanent solution to hair loss, SMP may be an ideal solution for you. A lot of people have undergone scalp micropigmentation procedures and loved the outcome, and the low maintenance it comes with. The trick here is to find a professional SMP specialist that will get you the desired look.
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