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Medical Treatment of Hair Loss

Scalp Micropigmentation (SMP): a Permanent Cosmetic Tattoo to Conceal Hair Loss and Camouflage Scalp Scars

May 7th, 2015

According to an article published in the journal of Facial Plastic Surgery Clinics,[1] scalp micropigmentation (SMP) has been found to be a useful cosmetic treatment for hair loss and scalp scars.

SMP is a scalp tattooing technique that uses fine dots – like a stippled painting – to mimic the appearance of extremely short hairs on an otherwise bald scalp.

SMP can create the appearance of a fuller head of hair on a scalp that is losing hair by softening the contrast between the hair that remains and the color of the scalp. It can also effectively camouflage a scalp scar, like the donor scar from a strip hair transplant procedure, the scar from a scalp reduction or scars from trauma to the scalp.

Finally, SMP can help augment the results from either a Follicular Unit Hair Transplant (FUT) or a Robotic FUE Transplant (R-FUE), especially for patients who do not have enough donor hair to give the appearance of full coverage.

More Art than Science

While one might think the placement of the dots need only follow, in a straightforward fashion, the natural distribution and density of hair that occurs on a normal scalp, the application of SMP is in fact more art than science.

The effective application of SMP requires a strategy and technique custom tailored to each patient that takes into account the particular aesthetic needs of the patient and the particular characteristics of their hair and scalp.

To correctly design and execute such a tailored approach, a physician needs to have considerable expertise regarding where to place the dots, the proper needle size, the best angle of application, the depth and duration of penetration, and the best type of dye to use for a particular person’s scalp.

In addition to SMP being an art form, the article stresses that in the case of concealing pattern hair loss, a physician also needs to have a thorough medical understanding of the progressive nature of the genetic balding process.

References:
  1. Rassman W, Pak J, Kim J. Scalp micropigmentation: a useful treatment for hair loss. Facial Plast Surg Clin North Am. 2013;21(3):497–503. []

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Posted by
on Updated 2015-05-08