So you have been considering scalp micropigmentation for hair loss at the back of your mind. You’ve searched for it, read about it, even asked for its price from a few clinics. But you are still not sure enough to book a scalp micropigmentation appointment. Well no worries. We are here to share our years of experience in SMP with you. We will tell you how exactly scalp micropigmentation will help you with your hair loss.
What causes hair loss?
Hair loss is a natural phenomena that we all encounter on a daily basis. The average person has roughly 100,000 hair strands on his/her head. Of this number, nearly 50 to 100 hair strands fall out naturally each day. Of course the severity of hair loss varies from person to person, so does the cause of hair loss. Human hair cycle usually produces more hair than is lost, however, once the cycle begins to produce less hair, that is when hair loss occurs.
Now what causes hair loss? In most people one or more of the following factors below:
But Having a baby, losing a lot of weight quickly, taking certain medicines, having a serious illness, and going through other physically or mentally stressful situations can cause serious hair loss.
Heredity or genetics
The most common cause of hair loss is genes passed on biologically. Genetic hair loss usually shows itself by aging. Hair loss conditions are androgenic alopecia, male-pattern baldness and female-pattern baldness. These types of hair loss usually occurs gradually and in predictable patterns.
Hair loss in men is such that the hairline (on the forehead) goes backwards and the central part of the head becomes bald. In women, the hair gradually becomes thinner and loses its original volume.
Hormones- Thyroid hormones
The thyroid gland produces hormones that regulate the body’s metabolism. If this gland produces more or less of these hormones, the hair growth cycle will be disrupted.
Of course thyroid disorders can cause other issues such as weight gain or loss and skin problems.
Hormones- PCO syndrome
Women suffering Polycystic ovary syndrome always face major hormonal irregularities. If you have polycystic ovary syndrome, you are more likely to have excess hair on your face and body, while your scalp hair is thinning. Ovulation disorders, acne and weight gain are other symptoms of this syndrome.
Hormones- Childbirth and breastfeeding
During pregnancy hair loss is reduced and hair becomes thicker, because high levels of hormones protect the remaining hair and prevent it from falling out.
However, Most women suffer sudden hair loss after childbirth, especially while breastfeeding. This kind of hair loss is also due to hormonal changes. Hair loss after pregnancy usually continues for 2 years.
Many types of medicine have hair loss as their side effect, such as chemo drugs, anxiety drugs, high blood pressure and heart medicines.
Also some birth control pills that inhibit ovulation can cause hair loss in some people. In particular, if your family members have a history of hair loss, you are more likely to develop this complication.
Stress and anxiety
Extreme anxiety can cause sudden hair loss. Situations such as below can be an example:
- Extensive surgery
- Great sorrow
- Severe injury with heavy bleeding
- Severe physical and mental illness
Scalp infections such as ringworm
Ringworm is a fungus that can cause hair loss. This fungal infection is transmitted by direct contact with others and causes redness and itchiness with a circular bald shape In addition to hair loss.
Lupus: This is a systemic autoimmune disease that occurs when your body’s immune system attacks your own tissues and organs. Inflammation caused by lupus can affect many different body systems resulting in hair loss.
Alopecia Areata: This is an autoimmune disorder that usually results in unpredictable, patchy hair loss.
Cancer: Cancers such as Hodgkin’s lymphoma may cause hair loss but typically hair loss occurs as a result of chemotherapy.
Eating Disorders: Disorders such as anorexia and bulimia result in nutrient loss and losing healthy hair.
Do I have hair loss?
Now you may be wondering if your condition is actual hair loss or is just natural loss of hair, replaced by the body’s natural cycle. The list provided below are the symptoms and signs that indicate serious hair loss which needs treatment:
Gradual thinning on top of head: Most people experience this symptom, especially if their hair loss is due to genetic reasons. Gradual thinning on top of head mostly shows up with aging. In men, hairline receding often begins on the forehead. Women typically experience hair thinning around their parts.
Hair loss in patches and bald spots: if you notice your hair loss in circular or patchy spots on the scalp, beard or eyebrows, then it may be time to check in with your doctor.
Sudden loosening of hair: If you notice a handful of hair every time you brush your hair or every time you check your shower drain, that’s a symptom to take seriously.
Hair loss all over the body: Hair loss in other or all parts of the body is another symptom of serious hair loss. Some conditions and medical treatments, such as chemotherapy for cancer, can result in full body hair loss.
Other symptoms of hair loss:
- Intense itching, burning, and tenderness on the scalp
- Redness, swelling, and sores that may itch and leak pus
- Burning or stinging on the scalp
How does SMP for hair loss work?
Hair loss has various treatments both surgical and non surgical. Each with their own pros and cons. We have covered them all in detail in 2 articles: Surgical hair loss treatments and non surgical hair loss treatments. But here we want to talk about one of the top and most effective solutions for hair loss: Scalp Micropigmentation (SMP) also known as a hair tattoo.
Now it is important for us to emphasize that we do not count this method as the best only because we provide the service, but because in our years of experience dealing with people suffering hair loss, who have tried other solutions even hair transplant, we have come to the understanding that scalp micropigmentation for hair loss could be the best option. In order to understand the reason, we should see how SMP for hair loss works:
Hair loss coverage
Scalp micropigmentation is the best way to cover up the areas of the scalp, where hair loss has occurred. SMP is the filling of empty areas of the head with cosmetic pigments, in the form of hair follicle shaped dots. These pigments are applied to the outer layer of the skin called the dermal layer. This hair loss treatment is done with micro needles and is completely non invasive. For extensive information on scalp micropigmentation, you can check out our SMP blog.
Men and women experiencing hair loss can use this method to cover up the bald spots or thinning areas of their head. The only condition is that the hair loss is in an area that could naturally be covered with hair tattoo for hair loss. For instance, if you have lost hair exactly on the front of your scalp, then probably SMP for hair loss will look terribly fake and unpleasant on you and we do not recommend it. But hair loss on the back of the head or in the form of small bald patches can benefit from scalp micropigmentation.
Now you might be wondering why scalp micropigmentation? Why not hair transplant? The list of the reasons why you should choose hair tattoo over hair transplant is really long, but here are the most important ones:
- Hair tattoo for hair loss is much more affordable than hair transplant
- A hair tattoo doesn’t have any downtime in comparison to hair transplant
- Hair tattoo is almost applicable to everyone, but not everyone might be a right candidate for hair transplant
- A hair tattoo doesn’t hurt the existing hair since it is done in the shallowest depth possible, however in hair transplant, actual hair might be damaged when trying to remove hair grafts
- Hair tattoo doesn’t require complete anesthesia, only numbing and much less painful than hair transplant
- A hair transplant doesn’t require any aftercare, hair transplant needs month of maintenance
- Hair tattoo gives 100 % results, hair tattoo might not work on some people despite the energy and money spent
- Hair tattoo will not leave any marks on the skin, hair transplant will definitely leave a noticeable scar, actually many of our clients are forced to do SMP in addition to hair transplant to cover the unpleasant scar
A less obvious benefit of SMP for hair loss is the hair regrowth effect. This is not something you may have heard before, but it is something we have witnesses in our practice. SMP creates micro injuries on the scalp, quite similar to microneedling. Microneedling is a rejuvenating cosmetic treatment that boosts collagen production with stimulating injury to the skin and therefore heals the skin and hair follicles.
The same process happens in scalp micropigmentation that can result in new hair growth, or may even thicken thinning hair as seen in androgenic alopecia or male pattern baldness. So with scalp micropigmentation for hair loss you get two bonuses. Not only do you cover up the bald spots, but you’ll also help your hair loss.
Side effects of hair tattoo for hair loss
Except for some skin redness after the procedure (which will go away in a few days) there are no side effects to SMP for hair loss.
This treatment is done far from the hair root and will not damage it in any way. You can read more about it in Does Scalp Micropigmentation Cause Hair Loss article.
Before care of hair tattoo for hair loss
The before care for scalp micropigmentation is pretty simple. You must only avoid alcohol, aspirin/ibuprofen, any vitamins that may thin your blood and tanning 72 hours before SMP.
Hair tattoo for hair loss after care
SMP is a maintenance free hair loss treatment. No medication is required after the treatment. All you need is a one session touch up after 5-8 years.
How much does scalp micropigmentation for hair loss cost?
Scalp micropigmentation for partial hair loss costs about $1500 to $3500 for 2 to 4 sessions. If you are suffering from severe hair loss and have lost almost all your hair, it costs about $2500 to $3500 to create a shaved head look by SMP. Read more about SMP cost here.
Does scalp micropigmentation for hair loss hurt?
No. Your scalp will be numbened with a medical grade numbing cream specifically produced for SMP.
How much does scalp micropigmentation last?
Depending on the skin type and sun exposure, minimally 5 and maximum 8 years. Of course after this period you will not need to apply scalp micropigmentation all over again. Just a touch up session would suffice.
Does scalp micropigmentation cause or worsen hair loss?
No, a hair tattoo will not cause or increase hair loss. If anything, it will help it stop by creating micro injuries to the skin and forcing the body’s healing process for skin and hair follicles.
Do I need to shave my head before SMP?
There’s no need to shave your hair before your appointment if you are doing partial SMP for long hair. You can show up with your natural look.
However, if you’ve set up an appointment for SMP for baldness (like the image below) then you need to shave your head before the procedure.
Smp vs other hair loss treatments
This is a debate that has been going on for a long time. Should I get a scalp micropigmentation or a hair transplant? Should i use minoxidil or just go with changing my shampoo and praying that my hair loss will stop? To be honest there’s no one answer to the hair loss problem as it varies greatly among patients. However we will tell you a few things we have gained by experience and science in our field:
- If you’re just experiencing hair loss as a few more hairs on the comb or mre hair laying around the house, it is probably too early to consider solutions such as SMP or surgery. In this case the best way is to take preventive measures such as changing your lifestyle.
- If you have extreme hair loss in most areas of scalp, then probably no amount of medicine or home remedy can help you. In addition to that, unfortunately in this case you will probably not be a good candidate for hair transplant due to lack of donor hair. In this case your best bet would be SMP for baldness, or maybe even wearing wigs.
- If you have frontal hair loss, a hair tattoo will most likely look unnatural on you. In this case your best bet is hair transplant.
- If you have hair loss on the top or back of your hair, do yourself a favor and stay away from hair transplant and its complications. A scalp micropigmentation will save you money and time.
- If you have hair loss at the front and back, you can use SMP and hair transplant as complementary hair loss solutions.
- Once you start topical minoxidil for your hair loss, there’s no turning back. You will have to use it indefinitely and anytime you stop it, you will soon experience hair loss again.
In this article we reviewed causes of hair loss, its symptoms and reasons for choosing scalp micropigmentation for hair loss. We strongly recommend booking a consultation session with ELKA SMP if you still have any questions. Our consultation sessions are 100 % free and we can even hold them online to our clients’ comfort in the days of corona.