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What Is The Difference Between SMP And Hair transplants?

According to the American Hair Loss Association (AHLA), more than 50 percent of women experience thinning. By 50 years of age, about 85 percent of men are balding, reports the AHLA. As many of us start thinning, we turn to the internet for hair loss research and different options for hair replacement. Whether it’s hair fiber sprays, hair transplants or even scalp micropigmentation, there is no perfect solution. There will always be pros and cons to every procedure found on the market.  As such, it is crucial you do your homework and decide which hair restoration option is best for you.

If I am losing my hair, should I shave my head?

The degree of hair loss will determine the procedure you will undergo to camouflage your balding. Ask yourself two things:

  • Do you need to have hair?
  • Do you like the buzzed/shaved look?

If you do not see yourself rocking a shaved head of hair, then you should find out if you are a good candidate for a hair transplant.  If you do like the buzzed/shaved look, SMP might be the way to go. Let’s discuss both procedures in-depth.

Hair transplants

There are two main types of hair transplant methods: FUT (Follicular Unit Transplant) and FUE (Follicular Unit Extraction). During FUT, doctors remove a strip of skin with hair follicles from the back of the head, and implant them into the affected area. The incision is usually long and reaches from above the ear, around the back of the head, to the other side above the ear. This leaves a big, visible scar which is not very appealing.  

During FUE, the doctor uses an ARTAS machine to remove follicles and implant them to the part of your scalp where hair is thinner or absent. This procedure is time-consuming and very expensive. It will also leave small scars that are not as obvious as FUT scars, but will considerably thin out the hair at the back.

What they don’t tell you about hair transplants

In one FUE session, roughly 1000-4000 hair follicles are transplanted, with additional sessions required if more density is desired. You might think 4000 follicles is a lot of hair. You might even picture yourself with thick, beautiful hair after the transplant… but alas, this will probably not be the case. Truth is most people have an average of 100 000 hair follicles to as much as 150 000 for the lucky ones with very thick hair.  

Now ask yourself a question: What is 4000 hair follicles going to give you?  If your hair loss is not quickly progressing and you still have a good amount of your own hair, a hair transplant could be a good option to make your hair look thicker and preserve your hairline.  However, if you already lost most of your hair, those 4000 follicles will give you a patch, maybe enough for a hairline, but definitely not enough for full coverage on the desired area.

Hair transplants are considered surgeries.  There is a healing process that takes weeks, and the result is only visible after few months. Top avoid infections, follicle shock and/or loss, significant down time is required. Many doctors will prescribe medication that must be taken to avoid hair loss, and some clients must be on it for years.

Cost and maintenance of hair transplants

As mentioned, maintenance of hair transplants involves medication such as Propecia or Rogaine. Most men will need to keep their hair longer at the back and style it appropriately to cover scaring.  Styling the hair and using products to add density can be time consuming, but for most, it is worth it.

Keep in mind, not every hair transplant is successful and sometimes even the transplanted hair can be lost.  Make sure to choose an experienced, reputable doctor for best results.  The cost of hair transplants usually falls in the $10000+ range. Some clients may need a few transplants (if they have enough donor area) to have good results.

If you are considering a hair transplant, ask the right questions and do as much research as you can. Be prepared to have realistic expectations and understand that one hair follicle will only grow one hair.

Scalp micropigmentation

For those who already shave their heads and love the look, SMP is a no-brainer. It will probably be one of the best decisions you will make in your life. Scalp micropigmentation is non-surgical and requires no down time.  Immediate results are visible after the 1st session and it only gets better after the 2nd and 3rd. After the procedure, redness for up to 24 hours is common as the skin reacts to the needle penetrating it, which creates temporary inflammation.

Scalp micropigmentation can also be used to add the illusion of hair density for those who have hair.  Furthermore, SMP can be applied after a hair transplant has healed for amazing results. This is because the contrast of light skin and dark hair is reduced as the background of the scalp is pigmented. The biggest downside to scalp micropigmentation is that it’s not actually hair.  It will never grow, and while it creates a 3D illusion, it will always be a 2D flat surface.

Scalp micropigmentation enhances your look

Scalp micropigmentation is great for densification if you still have thinning hair that is evenly growing all over your scalp. More and more women are using SMP to create the illusion of density with this permanent solution. It is ideal for those who shave as it can create the illusion of hair follicles in the skin and blend perfectly with existing hair follicles.

Scalp micropigmentation does not damage to the skin or create scar tissue. SMP will not damage any hair follicles that are growing deep under the skin. The density built with every session is far superior than that of hair transplants. Someone who undergoes SMP will experience the illusion of full “hair density” whether they were a fully bald client or live with alopecia.

Cost and maintenance of scalp micropigmentation

The cost of SMP depends on the size of the area and your hair loss pattern. It is also a fraction of the cost one would pay for a hair transplant. Scalp micropigmentation maintenance is easy and minimal.  Just shave, shower and go.  In the summer, use SPF 30+ sunscreen or wear a hat when in the sun.  After few years you will need a touch up which is more like a color boost. For more information or to book your consultation please contact us.