I am 23 and have been advised that I’m too young to have a hair transplant as it is likely I will experience further hair loss. I would like to have scalp micropigmentation to address my receding hairline, but will this mean I can’t have a hair transplant later on? Hair loss is big business as it affects so many men and women – it’s thought that 50% of men are displaying varying degrees of androgenetic alopecia, known as male pattern baldness, by the time they are 50. As there are so many potential clients, often prepared to spend large sums of money, to reverse hair loss, there have been many advances in the field of hair restoration over the years. Scalp micropigmentation or SMP is an increasingly popular treatment option. Highly skilled SMP practitioners insert specially designed pigments to just under the skin of the scalp to replicate the appearance of hair follicles just pushing through the dermis. A highly realistic result is created by combining experience and artistry to mimic the natural patterns of your remaining hair, by subtly varying depth, angle and pigment. Many men – and women – are increasingly opting for SMP because it represents instant results with little pain and downtime. However, SMP will not restore your hair, but can only camouflage hair loss. Hair transplant surgery, on the other hand, is invasive surgery that takes many hours to perform, can cost many thousands and may require repeat procedures to achieve the results you are hoping for. Yet it also represents the only permanent hair restoration solution. Increasingly, these two treatments are being combined together so you get the best of both worlds.

SMP before hair transplant surgery

As you are well aware, very young men are generally advised not to undergo hair transplant surgery because the hair loss has not stabilised and it’s important that only permanent hair follicles that will not be affected by androgenetic alopecia in the future are transplanted. Scalp micropigmentation can be carried out at any time which can be of great benefit to very young men who feel particularly distressed by the start of the hair loss. If there is further hair loss then you may just require further treatments and there is no damage to the hair follicles or the scalp so you will be able to undergo hair transplant surgery at a later date.

SMP after hair transplant surgery

hair transplant scar camouflageWe see many clients at our hair loss clinic that have undergone hair transplant surgery in the past and would like us to camouflage scars from their surgery. This is particularly prevalent for men who underwent the old-style FUT ‘strip’ surgery that left long obvious scars at the back of the head. Even through the more modern techniques are as minimally invasive as possible, small scars will be created, usually in a dot pattern.

SMP and hair transplant surgery combined

During a hair transplant surgery procedure, only a certain amount of follicles can be transplanted and this may be further compromised if the donor site is smaller than the recipient area. Scalp micropigmentation can be planned as an adjunct treatment to increase the appearance of density.



By Ian Watson


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