Androgenetic alopecia has early presentation nowadays which results in rapid and advanced progression, leaving hair transplant as an only option to regain the good aesthetic density. But in lot of cases, where transplant is not an option and patient has visible scalp, the illusion of having good density can be created by various camouflage techniques.
Scalp micropigmentation (SMP) also known as microtattooing is an advanced concealing technique with almost-permanent results in patients with scalp visibility and donor area insufficiency. It is an artistic procedure where the natural, non-toxic inks are used to create series of tiny dots over the scalp, in between the hairs or the bald area,to give look of tiny hairs.
The procedure is non-invasive and cost-effective. The results are immediate, realistic, and hassle-free. This method can restore even a completely bald head to look like a full head of well-groomed hair. It is suitable for all types and stages of hair-loss, on all ages, colours and skin type.
Scalp micropigmentation is the best camouflage technique to reduce the contrast between the skin of the scalp and hair. The purpose is to cover up the areas of the scalp where the skin is prominently visible due to the baldness, thinning hair, scarring or any other form of alopecia so it can be used between the hair give it a dense look or on a bald area to create a shaven look. However, a qualified dermatologist who is well versed with the procedure is a better judge to decide whether the procedure is needed or not.It can be used in the following conditions :
- Androgenetic alopecia:
- Female pattern baldness, to minimise the see-through appearance in the hairline.
- Higher grade of baldness where sufficient donor area is not there so surgery is not possible.
- Patient already under gone multiple sessions of surgeries and now further surgery is not possible but still balding is present or not satisfied with the result or density.
- Patient with diffuse thinning
- Patient with contraindications for hair transplant surgery and doesn’t want to use hair patch.
- Patient demanding non-surgical option.
- Patients already undergone hair transplant surgery but wants more covering of scalp without undergoing another surgery
- Patients who have had a strip surgery can also use it to conceal their wounds and scars.
- Extensive Alopecia areata (alopecia totalis or universalis).
- Scarring alopecia and scarring from neurosurgical procedure, trauma and burns.
- Alopecia due to systemic disease (e.g SLE or any other connective tissue disease) leading to diffuse thinning all over the scalp or use of cytotoxic drugs like in cancer patients or patient having condition where medical treatments fails to restore the hair and surgery is contraindicated.
- Bald patient with severe liver or kidney disease or other serious immunological problem.
- Alopecia due to genetic problem in hair growth.
- In cases when the patient desires to restore facial hairs without undergoing surgery.
- To increase the density of existing hairs and make it fuller and coarser.
- Loss of beard hairs due to trauma or burns.
- Long standing alopecia areata which is not responding any medical treatments.
- Scarring alopecia due to folliculitis decalvans, dissecting cellulitis, DLE and other skin conditions.
- After cleft lip repair.
- Sex conversion.
How does it work?
Scalp micropigmentation is same like art of tattooing where the ink is inserted in the desired pattern and upto optimum level into the skin. In this method, microdots less than 1 mm are formed in between the hairs or bald area such that the ink is deposited at a level of papillary dermis in an irregular fashion, giving the illusion of natural hair.
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Before the procedure
- After a detailed consultation and scalp assessment, a qualified dermatologist will decide if the procedure is indicated.
- Certain medications like NSAIDs, aspirin, vitamin E etc. need to be stopped 10-14 days before the procedure. It is always better to provide proper medical history before undergoing such procedures.
- One session may take upto 3-4 hours, so it is better to plan your procedure appointment accordingly.
During the procedure
The main procedure is done by trained technicians or the surgeon himself depending on what the clinics offers. However, it is a minor, minimally invasive artistic procedure so even a skilled technician can perform it effectively under the guidance of the doctor.
- Preparation of the patient: Unlike hair transplant, SMP is a minor procedure. Hair needs to be trimmed unless, the patient refuses for aesthetic reasons. The doctor may take photographs to keep records for future evaluation and the consent needs to be signed.
- Local anaesthesia: SMP is done under local anaesthesia where only a small quantity is given around the treated area. Since, it is a time consuming procedure, extra anaesthesia may need tobe supplemented in between the session.
- Scalp tattooing: During the procedure, a cartridge containing 1-3 needles working in symphony gently injects natural pigment very superficially into the skin (the 2nd dermal skin layer). Pigment spacing is determined by replicating the remaining natural hair follicles. It is placed in an irregular pattern to create the natural look. Sometimes different shades of ink are also used to give soft and natural look to hair line, temples and side burn.The process allows a very gradual and subtle change in the appearance.
- There is no bandaging after the treatment.
- Avoid bending the head and wear a headband for atleast 24 hours.
- The doctor may prescribe some antibiotics and painkillers.
- Apply antibiotic cream over the performed area for 2 days.
- Avoid washing the treated area for 48 hours.
- Retouch may be required after 1 month.
- Patient may need to dye his hair black on continuous basis. More on SMP post-op care..
- The procedure gives immediate results. However, a touch up may be needed after 1 month.
- As the time passes, the area may require touch up to maintain the same look as with time the colour of pigment will fade. Further due to on-going process of baldness there may be new areas where the density is reduced and skin has started to become more visible. Such area will require “replication of follicles” to maintain the same look.
- Reversal is done in case where someone wants to change in hair line with advancing age. Changes can include changing the hairline position, raising the hairline to create an older, more receded look, changing side hair shape, addition of sideburns and changing the hairline shape.
- The pigment goes far less deep than skin tattooing so by taking laser treatment one can remove it. It is much more straightforward and painless procedure, usually requiring only 1-2 sessions.
- Gives the look of a full, youthful head of cropped hair.
- Simulates a full-front, side and/or rear hairline
- Restores hairline on part-bald or fully bald heads
- Camouflage – permanently – the symptoms of all levels of alopecia
- Camouflage scarring resulting from previous hair transplant surgery
- Hides scars, burns and birthmarks
- Boosts the visual effect of a hair transplant
SMP has rarely any side-effects if done from a proper clinic under aseptic precautions. Most of the side-effects are reported when done from parlors. These include:
|Merging of the dots – Patchy look
|Can happen if dye is deposited very deep in dermis. A skilled technician can prevent this complication.
|Washing out of the pigment
|It can happen if the dye is deposited very superficially in the epidermis.Retouch after 1 month can correct this when it occurs.
|Black pigment may give bluish-green tinge.
|Proper mixing of different pigments can prevent this.
|Depends on the skill and expertise of the technician.
|Infection at the site of procedure
|It is better to get the procedure done from a professional under aseptic precautions. Fungal infections can take months and years to develop and may need long-term treatment from the dermatologist.
|Skin diseases like vitiligo, psoriasis, lichenplanus may get aggravated.
|Such patients should avoid getting the procedure, unless needed desperately. If done with caution, then proper follow-up and management should be taken for the same.
|Allergic reactions to pigments
|Patients should be evaluated for allergy to any dyes, if needed. Non-toxic inert pigments should be used.
|Dermatological management is needed if it occurs.
The cost of the procedure depends on the location of the clinic and if the procedure is done by the doctor or the technician. It can range anywhere between 15k/session to 30k/session (Note: Minimum 3 session required)
Why AK Clinics
- Virtually painless procedure
- Natural looking cosmetic density
- Non-toxic high quality pigments used.
- Highly trained technicians
- Well-equipped operation theatres
- Procedure done under aseptic precautions
- Test-patch of 100 dots in case the patient wants to get better idea of the results.
- Procedure planned as per individual needs by qualified dermatologists.
- 3 sessions in gap of 1 month each to provide the best possible results out of the treatment.
I started facing hair loss at the age of 26 but it was not very noticeable. But at 29 the hair loss progressed very quickly and crown almost became empty. And further my hair line receded quickly. Now at the age of 31 I started looking very old. I tried many medicines like homeopathic etc etc but nothing seems to work. Then I started searching for my options and finally decided for a hair transplant.
I can see good results post-transplant. Overall good. As suggested, I may go for further transplant for crown area. I am currently taking 6 months cyclical therapy again to stop hair fall. Then will take the decision accordingly. I can say I would prefer someone for A K Clinic. As it is giving person the way to live more happily..?
"Had a hair transplant at AK Clinics under care of Dr KAPIL DUA. And after treatment it has been 3 month now and I have very much inproved growing hair. He is best surgeon ever seen and very experienced in this art. They also provided very good atmosphere while surgery. With his experience he gave very confident to his patients while surgery. (Hair Transplantation)
"After talking to Dr Kapil I have decided to go for a hair transplant surgery which turned out to be very good. Total of 6000 grafts were transplanted. The density was medium density. The procedure was FUE without any scar. The procedure was by done both Dr Kapil and Dr Aman. I strongly recommend anyone who is looking for a FUE surgery in India."
AK Clinics' Hair Restoration Centres in India
- 51-E, Sarabha Nagar, Opp Kipps Market, Ludhiana, Punjab 141001, India
- M-20, Greater Kailash I, Near M Block Market, New Delhi-110048, India
- 1st Floor, 316 The Mayfair, Indiranagar, Bengaluru, Karnataka 560038, India