Scalp Micropigmentation (SMP) Dallas
Scalp micropigmentation (SMP) refers to medical tattooing of the scalp used for camouflaging purposes. SMP can be used to camouflage baldness either as a standalone procedure for someone who does not want to undergo a hair transplant or combined with a hair transplant (afterward as needed or desired) to enhance a surgical result. At other times, SMP can be used to camouflage a scar, for instance, a linear donor scar in the back of the head, with or without hair transplant into the scar. (Please see scar repair for more information on this combined approach.)
SMP is undertaken using a special machine outfitted with sterile, disposable instrumentation to deposit pigment at the surface of the scalp to decrease the color contrast between hair and bald scalp. SMP is as much an art as it is a science, and our team has extensive experience performing a variety of SMP methods. Most oftentimes, the technique involves the placement of very fine dots that are color matched to the hair or a shade darker than the native hair to simulate natural hairs. In short hairstyles, it can mimic natural hair and work very well with this type of hairstyle. In completely shaved heads, it can be used either to camouflage previous donor scars or to simulate hairs that would appear in a non-balding scalp. There are many different scenarios in which SMP can be applied and there are a variety of methods used to accomplish those objectives. After a consultation with Dr. Lam and his team, you can be guided on what method or combination of methods would suit you perfectly.
In our office, SMP is oftentimes used in two different situations, one to help camouflage scars and two, create visual density in both men and women. (Please see scar repair for a detailed explanation of both surgical and non-surgical scar camouflage methods.) SMP is a simple, fast, non-surgical, and potentially permanent method to camouflage scars that appear in hair-bearing areas. In many cases a combination of SMP and hair transplant into the scar may produce the most favored outcomes but oftentimes SMP alone can suffice. Again, a careful evaluation and consultation will help you decide which method is better for you. SMP can be placed into all types of scars including linear donor scars in the back of the head, browlifting scars, facelift scars, traumatic scalp scars, post-skin cancer scalp scars, cleft-lip scars, etc.
SMP can be a wonderful adjunct to surgical hair transplant to further enhance visual density or as a standalone method. At times, SMP may be the first option and hair transplant used afterward if SMP failed to deliver sufficient results. More commonly, however, SMP can be used to enhance a hairtransplant result to further add density and thereby possibly to avoid the need for a second surgical procedure. Obviously, the patient should probably wait a year to see the full expression of the transplanted result to best determine whether SMP is even needed at that point. As a standalone procedure, SMP may offer a less expensive, faster, and non-surgical method for some patients who do not desire a surgical hair procedure.
This patient underwent scalp micropigmentation (also known as medical tattooing) to create the illusion of greater visual density, an option available with surgery or without surgery.
This patient had a traumatic scar from childhood in his scalp that was camouflaged effectively with our scalp micropigmentation, otherwise known as medical tattooing.
- Ideal candidate
- Male or Female who have see-through hair and are not candidates for medical or surgical treatments but desire to create visual density
- Someone having a scar or a bald spot that shows though hairs and needs to be camouflaged
- What to do
- Schedule your treatment.
- Plan on 2 to 3 sessions at 6 to 8 weeks apart.
- We will provide you instructions on what you need to know before and after the procedure.
- What to expect
- Immediately after the procedure, the treated area could look darker.
- The healing and settling of the pigment takes about 6 weeks. Scalp and scar tissue absorb pigment differently than skin, causing sometimes the pigment to spread under the skin or to be absorbed. We will schedule a follow-up visit with you for evaluation and further planning.
- The see-through effect should diminish withthe SMP treatment.
Does Dr. Lam perform microblading?
Microblading describes a long-lasting (albeit temporary) tattoo used primarily to simulate the appearance of eyebrow hairs. Dr. Lam does not perform microblading but can give you recommendations to providers in the Dallas area whom he trusts to perform this procedure. Of note, Dr. Lam does perform permanent eyebrow hair transplants, and you should explore the section dedicated to eyebrow hair restoration for more information.
What is the nature of the procedure like?
SMP is an easy office-based procedure. You begin with before photographs taken, then a detailed discussion of what you are desiring to accomplish. The scalp will be thoroughly cleansed, and the area of concern outlined prior to starting. A long-lasting injectable anesthetic will be administered to make the area numb. Depending on the area in question, you may be in the office for a morning or it may take a full day (with a break for lunch). For very extensive procedures, it may take two consecutive days. As mentioned above, expect that there will be some fading and a need to touch things up over a period of 2 to 3 times spaced 6 to 8 weeks at a minimum between sessions.
What are things that I should know having this procedure performed?
We use the highest quality pigments with highly skilled technicians performing the procedure. However, pigments will appear darker initially and then fade over several weeks to months. Second, pigments may change color or be completely absorbed by the skin. In particular, scars may not take up pigment as well and require further sessions. Despite the variability of these limitations, SMP has become a mainstay in Dr. Lam’s comprehensive treatment methods to help you achieve your desired aesthetic outcomes.
Can I become allergic to pigment?
It is rare, but it is possible to develop an allergic reaction. We use pigments that have many organic components and do not contain iron oxide.
What happens if my hair turns gray?
Depending on what color pigment is used, you may need to color your hair in the future. Most cases require a use of gray color pigment to accommodate for the change in hair color but even the gray pigment may show if the hair turns completely white. It is important to discuss this in detail with Dr. Lam before starting your SMP treatment.