Hair loss is a very sensitive topic for many reasons. For men and women alike, baldness and thinning hair is an emotional and devastating experience which often leads to depression and a great deal of anxiety. Baldness is nothing new and actually dates back to ancient times with various treatments including creams, lotions, changes in diets, and various supplements, each with varying and low degrees of success. It’s said that the mother of an Egyptian king recommended a preparation made of ground asses’ hooves, dog paws, and dates cooked together then rubbed into the scalp to try and stop the balding. Whether there is any truth to this story or not is hard to tell as the Egyptians were known for shaving their heads due to the heat and presence of lice! As for today, technology has come to our rescue, making hair loss something that can be treated successfully.
The two most popular approaches are scalp micropigmentation (SMP) and hair transplants. We will go over both options to help you decide which is better for you!
The Hair Restoration Process
Scalp Micropigmentation (SMP) is a non-invasive and non-surgical treatment that includes micro “tattooing” needles and pigment that simulates the appearance of tiny hair follicles throughout the treatment area where the patient is experiencing a hair loss. The purpose is to either add density to existing hair or simulate a “buzzed” hair cut for those who have shaved their existing hair. The results are immediate and there is absolutely no recovery time required.
Hair transplant surgery involves invasive surgery, removing hair follicles from a patient’s donar area and transplanting them to their areas where the patient is experiencing a loss of hair.
Follicular Unit extraction (FUE)
Follicular unit extraction (FUE) is a kind of hair surgery that extracts hair follicles individually from a donor area and implants it in a thinning area. Keep in mind, no new hair follicles will be generated from this procedure. Therefore, it’s important to harvest hair follicles from an area where there is existing hair that can offer coverage after the extraction. The scaring pattern is often sporadic and can leave the donor area looking sparse.
Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUT)
Follicular unit Transection (FUT) is a kind of hair transplant surgery that extracts s large strip of hair follicles from a donor area, transects each follicle, and implants them to a thinning area. The scaring pattern with FUT hair transplant is more linear and prominent. Many of my clients require SMP to camouflage the resulting scar from a FUT hair transplant surgery.
Hair transplants are more expensive than SMP and, depending on the procedure, can take between six to eight months before observing any tangible results. In some cases, there is not enough donor hair at the back or sides of the head to cover those areas where the patient is experiencing significant hair loss. In that case, there would have to be several surgeries performed to get substantial coverage. In turn, there will be a significant number of scars at the back of your head which must be covered up. Also, you will have to take some time off from work to recover and allow for the swelling to go down.
Immediate Reactions To The Procedures
Scalp Micropigmentation – This approach is relatively painless though you will experience some discomfort. SMP is less painful than getting a tattoo because it’s only performed on the surface of your skin. The chances of an allergic reaction is minimal because hypoallergenic pigments are used. SMP will not result in any scarring.
Hair Transplants – Because a local anesthetic is applied, patients rarely feel any pain during the procedure. That said, some people experience pain in the following days after their surgery because the numbing has worn off. Patients are provided with a prescription pain killer. They will also suffer from swelling which may need to be treated with a pressure band. Even though infections of the scalp are very rare, there is always a risk after the surgery.
Scalp Micropigmentation – SMP offers the patient with an appearance of a freshly shaved head of hair or a denser / fuller head of hair and a very natural look that is easy to maintain. The results will last for several years before fading and then a few minor touch-ups will be needed.
Hair Transplants – Even though the results are permanent, results can vary dramatically. You will experience scarring and you might experience more thinning due to “shock loss”
SMP Vs Hair Transplantation – Which Procedure Is Best For You?
The answer to this question depends on what you are looking to achieve and what results you may have already achieved with Hair Transplant Surgery. Please feel free to reach out and discuss any hair transplant alternatives including Scalp Micropigmentation!