What is Scalp Micro Pigmentation SMP

Scalp Micropigmentation is also known as “Tricho Pigmentation”, or “Advanced Tricho Pigmentation”. It’s a cosmetic tattooing-like procedure that creates the appearance of short, cropped hair. A device that looks like a tattoo gun is used during the SMP process to apply a special pigmentation ink to the scalp’s superficial layers. The SMP artist creates a series “dots” that mimic “shaved” hair. SMP allows men who have lost their hair to achieve the appearance of full-length shaved hair.

SMP can be used to reduce scarring from hair transplants. The scars are minimized and disguised by using the pigmentation process for Follicular Unit Transplantation’s (FUT) linear scars as well as Follicular Unit Excision’s (FUE), “dot” scars. Patients with thin hair can use SMP to improve their perceived thickness and density. This is achieved by darkening the hair and decreasing the contrast between the lighter and darker-toned parts of the scalp.

Both permanent and temporary inks can be used for SMP. Temporary SMP uses an ink that is composed of pigments that fade and disappear over a period of 6 to 48 months, with 24 being the average. Permanent tattoo ink is made up of metallic pigments, which are stronger but more susceptible to changing and discoloring over time. For example, black inks can turn blue or green. Temporary SMP advocates believe that permanent tattoo ink will eventually cause a unnatural look due to the color change of the dark pigments. The naturally dark SMP ink will eventually cause permanent “blueish” and “greenish” colors to appear on the scalp. Permanent SMP advocates don’t believe color changes are as important and point out the advantages of not needing “touch ups” every few months to years.

SMP can be a very useful treatment for patients with hair loss seeking a better “shaved head” look, those seeking to thicken the appearance of thinning long hair, or those looking to camouflage surgical hair transplant scars in the “donor area.” For more information about SMP, please visit the SMP section at the Hair Transplant Web forum (forum.hairtransplantweb.com) or speak with Erik Cavagnuolo at Ahead Ink – a renowned authority on Scalp Micro Pigmentation (www.aheadink.com).