Nothing irritates more than hair loss. Are you worried about losing your hair and planning to get treatment soon? If that’s the case, you may be confused between the two most common procedures for solving this problem – SMP and a hair transplant. (Source: INKredible Scalp)
SMP and hair transplantation are widely used techniques across the globe. Hair transplantation is a surgery in which hair follicles are removed from one part of the body, known as a donor site, and transferred to the other part, a recipient site. There are two main types of hair transplantation, namely FUT and FUE. On the other hand, scalp micropigmentation, SMP, is an evolving technique. In SMP, the illusion of having a fuller head of hair is created using tattooing techniques with ink pigmentations.
When deciding between these two procedures, you have to think about which process is cost-effective, and what are the side effects of both the techniques? Below, we’ve presented you with an in-depth comparison of both to help you choose.
SMP vs. Hair Transplant
When it comes to cost, SMP wins the game. SMP is a much cheaper option when compared to a hair transplant, so it should be your choice if you’re tight on budget. Depending upon the area of the scalp that needs to be treated, SMP can cost anywhere from $1200 to $5000. SMP of the hairline area will only cost you $1200 to $1800. A full treatment with scar camouflage will cost $4000. So, the cost depends on your need. These costs may be per session, so the total could be higher.
However, a hair transplant is a one-time cost, albeit an expensive one. It can cost from approximately $10000 to $ 15000 based on the type you chose, i.e., FUE or FUT. The success of the surgery also depends upon the skill of the surgeon. So, in terms of cost, SMP may be the better choice.
An SMP treatment usually takes 2 to 4 sessions on average, with a period of 10 to 20 days in between each session. Each session can last up to 5 hours. You don’t have to wait too long after an SMP treatment to resume your everyday life. However, you should make sure to avoid the sun for four weeks after the treatment, which you can do by wearing a hat!
The process of hair transplant is a bit longer. You’ll have to attend almost 3 to 4 sessions with a gap of several months and will have to visit afterward for stitches. The stitches are removed after ten days of the transplant. The recovery period after a hair transplant is roughly the same as it is for SMP.
Both of these techniques have their own pros and cons. With an active donor site, a hair transplant can work well, but a 100% success is never guaranteed. Hair transplantation allows you to get your hair back in all its volume. But, SMP is just a cover-up procedure, and you won’t technically get hair on your scalp – just the appearance of hair.
Essentially, which one is more effective depends on what you want to achieve. If you desire a full head of hair again, then a transplant is a good option. If your go-to look is a buzzcut anyway, then the SMP will be more effective. Similarly, if you just want to cover up a scar or your receding hairline without anything too dramatic, opt for an SMP.
It’s important to know the side effects of both procedures before you decide on one. We’ve listed down some side effects of both the techniques to give you a better idea.
Hair Transplantation Side Effects
1. Scarring and Itching of Scalp
Scarring is the most significant side effect of a hair transplant. In many cases, scarring is unavoidable, and there is no way to conceal the scars. So, if you’re thinking of opting for this procedure, you should better prepare yourself for scars. Itching of the scalp can also happen after the surgery.
2. Scalp Laxity
Scalp laxity occurs due to the trauma of the surgery on your scalp. This is most common in the FUT procedure. This side effect is more common in those who have a tighter scalp.
3. Failed Grafting
Sometimes, the surgeon’s inefficiency can cause failed grafting. In that case, you’ll require another surgery that you will have to pay for in full – not to mention the pain of having to undergo surgery again!
4. Hair Curl
A hair curl is the long-term compilation of the hair transplantation. In this condition, the hair follicles curl, which results in ingrown hairs. This could be irritating for patients and may cause an infection.
SMP Side Effects
You may experience an allergic reaction to one of the components in the pigment. In SMP, you get injected with tattoo ink on your scalp, which some people may be allergic to. To avoid this problem, get an allergy check first.
2. Swollen Lymph Nodes
Many people report swelling on the back of their heads after the surgery. Mostly, the swelling is minimal, but this is not always the case. Mostly, this problem occurs when improper pigments are used. So, you can solve this problem by choosing a good clinic!
Many people also report redness after the treatment. However, this is short-lived and subsides within a couple of days.
4. Discoloration Of The Scalp
Many new clinics use regular tattoo techniques that can cause discoloration in your scalp. But you don’t have to worry about this too much as competent practitioners will ensure this doesn’t happen.
Both hair transplantation and SMP are widely used techniques globally. As hair transplantation is an old technique, more research has been done in this field. SMP, on the other hand, is an evolving technique, and more research needs to be done on it.
Due to the cost-effectiveness of the procedure, SMP is rising in popularity. If you’re looking for a solution to your hair loss, you should study both options in detail. However, if you’re tight on budget and want a quick solution to your hair loss needs, consider an SMP.