Scalp Micropigmentation vs Hair Transplant

Updated on November 25, 2020

Thinning hair and baldness aren’t new, nor are they uncommon. Here in the United States, two thirds of men experience some degree of hair loss or thinning by the age of 35 according to the American Hair Loss Association. Fast forward to the age of 50 and a whopping 85% of men have ‘significantly thinning hair’. And that’s not to say that women escape this issue, as they too suffer from hair loss and baldness.

So, what is a person to do? Should they just resign themselves to the fact they are losing their hair and may eventually be bald? Should they just learn to embrace it and feel confident regardless? While that would be ideal if they could adopt the attitude, the fact is that thinning and balding hair is a great concern. It can be a source of anxiety and stress, and even depression in people. It can be very hard to come to terms with and feel confident about.

This is exactly why people end up looking into treatments and solutions that can slow down or even stop their hair loss/balding. And if that can’t be done, there are now other solutions that can at least give the illusion of a thick full head of hair. There’s no doubt you’ve heard of a hair transplant to fill in the gaps, but what about scalp micropigmentation?

Here we’ll take an in-depth look at scalp micropigmentation vs hair transplant so you can make the decision about whether or not either of them could be a good solution for you.

What is Scalp Micropigmentation?

Scalp micropigmentation is also referred to as scalp tattoo, hair tattoo, or SMP. This is a much newer treatment when compared to hair transplants and can offer some really exciting results. During the process, microneedles are used to add pigment to your scalp, and they actually replace what would have been your hair follicles. The end result for a man would look as though they have a short buzz cut.

This process is quite versatile in that it can be used on people who have thinning hair and just want to give the illusion of a thicker hairline. It can actually fill in hairlines that have started to recede, and it can camouflage any scarring on your scalp if you have any, as well as cover up any specific bald spots.

What’s really exciting about this process is that you get immediate results. You will literally walk out of the practitioner’s office with a new hairline. There is no need to wait and see what the results will be. This also means you don’t have to worry about downtime, as most people can get back to work and their regular activities within 24-48 hours.

So, what are the top benefits of micropigmentation? We can take a look at them in point form:

  • Convenient and simple 
  • This process is extremely effective
  • You get immediate results
  • It is much more affordable when compared to a hair transplant
  • There is very little downtime or recovery time

What is a Hair Transplant?

Then we have the more traditional approach to hair thinning and balding, which is a hair transplant. This procedure has been around much longer, and has certainly been perfected over the years. A hair transplant will involve removing hair from another place and then transplanting it to the area that is thinning or bald. Typically, hair is taken from the back of your head and then transplanted.

So, there are a number of things to be aware of with this procedure. First off you need to have an area that you can take hair from. If there isn’t enough hair in the first procedure, then you will likely have to return for repeat visits, slowing filling in the bald spots as hair grows back on the head. 

Full results tend to take six to 12 months, so you’re not going to see anything immediate here. Combine that with the fact that it can be very painful and you’ll need to plan to be off work for a bit since this is a surgical procedure. 

Cost may also be a factor. If you’re on a budget, a hair transplant is not going to be for you. The more visits you require and the more transplants you require, the more that price goes up.

On the flip side, looking at the positives, a hair transplant can offer a natural appearance and tends to have guaranteed results. You just have to go into it realizing it will be a much longer process, and it will take close to a year before you get the look you were after.

Both Hold a Variety of Pros and Cons

Deciding between scalp micropigmentation vs a hair transplant comes down to a number of factors, including what you are trying to address (how much thinning or balding there is), how quickly you want to see results, your pain tolerance, and your budget. 

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