Scalp micropigmentation is preferred because it is a simple, non-invasive, and non-surgical procedure that costs a fraction of the amounts required for hair transplant surgery.
The surgery on the other hand has the benefit of restoring actual hair through regrowth and is a permanent solution. The main downsides are high costs and the fact that it is an invasive procedure requiring significant recovery time.
Can you have both?
Pigmentation used in SMP does not affect hair follicles so they can be safely harvested and transplanted later. Neither affects the other. However, there are a few points to keep in mind if you opt for hair transplantation after scalp micropigmentation.
As much as scalp micropigmentation is considered a non-invasive procedure, it does cause a good amount of trauma to the scalp immediately after the treatment.
If you intend to have a hair transplant after scalp micropigmentation, it is necessary to wait until the scalp is completely healed before undergoing surgery. According to Hair Ink, it takes about 7 days for the scalp to heal and for the pigment to settle.
Some hair transplant facilities insist on at least 6 weeks after the SMP procedure and others quote a minimum of 2 months. By this time the scalp has recuperated well enough to withstand the stress caused by the harvesting and transplantation process.
If you are in a hurry to get the two procedures over and done with, you could use the healing time to start pre-procedure consultations, tests, and other preparations required before hair transplant surgery.
Choose an Experienced Surgeon
It is important to find skilled professionals to carry out your hair transplant procedure. However, when it is being done after SMP you will be looking to tick one extra box when identifying the ideal surgeon.
Here is why. Many surgeons admit that carrying out hair transplant surgery on a man who has had SMP is not as straightforward as on one with a bald head. They say that it is a bit more difficult especially if the surgery is done soon after pigmentation.
With this in mind, you will be looking to find a surgeon who is not only highly skilled but one with specific experience in hair transplants done after SMP.
SMP then hair transplant or vice versa?
It is clear that it is absolutely fine to have hair transplant surgery after scalp micropigmentation. We have also confirmed that it is perfectly fine to start with a hair transplant and follow it with scalp micropigmentation.
But is there a preferred order?
For men who intend to make use of both of these procedures, hair restoration experts advise starting with hair transplantation and following it with scalp micropigmentation.
The rationale behind this is two-pronged.
Firstly, it is common for men to have uneven hair regrowth after hair transplants. Some spots may grow back thick while others grow back scantily. SMP can then be used to fill in such spots and create the illusion of a full head of thick hair.
Secondly, if one undergoes FUE, it leaves a scar on the donor site. This would ordinarily be covered using hair in the surrounding area. For men who don’t have hair long enough to cover the scar or would like to wear their hair short, the best option to cover post-surgery scars is SMP.
If you had SMP before hair transplant surgery, you may need a second SMP treatment to fill in thin spots, cover the scar, or both.
Experts unanimously agree that you can safely have a hair transplant after scalp micropigmentation. Men worry that the process of pigmenting scalp skin may affect the outcome of a hair transplant later. Pigmentation does not in any way disturb or affect the hair follicle which is what is harvested during hair transplantation.
However, it is necessary to allow sufficient healing time after SMP and before hair transplant surgery and to choose a surgeon who is well versed with this specific kind of procedure as it is a bit more challenging to deal with pigmented skin.