Hair Transplant vs SMP (Scalp Micropigmentation) – Which Is Best for You?


Hair Transplant vs SMP (Scalp Micropigmentation) Introduction:


Hair loss is a common condition that affects people of all ages, genders, and backgrounds. It can have a significant impact on self-esteem and overall psychological well-being. In this article, we will briefly look at the common causes of hair loss, then move on to compare Hair Transplant & Scalp Micropigmentaion treatments.

We will provide an overview of each treatment together with the pros and cons. We will also hear from our clients and their thoughts on the Hair Transplant vs SMP (Scalp Micropigmentation) debate.

Lastly, we’ll share our thoughts based on our interactions with our male and female hair loss clients, together with our own personal experience of hair loss.


Hair Transplant vs SMP (Scalp Micropigmentation) – Common Causes of Hair Loss:


Hair loss can result from a multitude of factors, both internal and external. Some common causes include:

1. Genetics: Hereditary factors play a significant role in pattern baldness, which affects both men and women as they age.

2. Hormonal Changes: Hormonal imbalances, such as those occurring during pregnancy, menopause, or thyroid disorders, can lead to hair loss.

3. Medical Conditions: Certain medical conditions like alopecia areata, scalp infections, and autoimmune diseases can cause hair loss.

4. Medications: Side effects of medications, particularly those for cancer, depression, and high blood pressure, may include hair loss.

5. Stress: High levels of stress or trauma can lead to a condition known as telogen effluvium, resulting in temporary hair loss.


Types of Hair Loss:


1. Androgenetic Alopecia: The most common type, often referred to as male or female pattern baldness.

2. Alopecia Areata: Characterized by sudden, patchy hair loss due to an autoimmune response.

3. Telogen Effluvium: Hair shedding caused by stress, illness, or significant life changes.

4. Scarring Alopecia: Irreversible hair loss with scarring of the scalp due to various causes.

5. Traction Alopecia: Hair loss from repetitive pulling or tight hairstyles.

Hair Transplant vs SMP (Scalp Micropigmentation) – Hair Transplant


Let’s quickly look at what’s involved with a Hair Transplant. We will discuss two well-known procedures that are widely available, namely a FUT Hair Transplant and FUE Hair Transplant.

FUT, or Follicular Unit Transplant, surgical procedure involves the removal of a thin strip of tissue from the donor area. Typically the back of the head, where hair is genetically resistant to balding.

The harvested strip is then carefully dissected into individual hair follicular units. Which are then transplanted into the recipient area where hair is thinning or has been lost.

While FUT does leave a linear scar at the donor site, it provides a high graft yield, making it suitable for those requiring larger transplant sessions, but would still require multiple sessions to cover a larger area.

FUE is a less invasive, but nonetheless is still a surgical procedure. Unlike a FUT Hair Transplant, the  FUE Hair Transplant does not involve a linear incision or the removal of a large strip of scalp. Instead, it relies on the precise extraction of individual hair follicles from a donor area. Typically the back or sides of the head.


Hair Transplant Pros:


1. Natural Results:  Real hair is grafted into the donor area, resulting in natural-looking results when done properly.

2. Improved Confidence: A successful hair transplant can lead to improved confidence and enhanced psychological well-being.


Hair Transplant Cons:


1. Downtime:  Since a Hair Transplant is a surgical procedure, there is a downtime and recovery period that may not be suitable for everyone.

2. Delayed Results: As a Hair Transplant involves grafting hair, there will be a delay in seeing the results due to the time it takes for the transplanted hair to grow.

3. Cost: Hair Transplants can be expensive, as is typical with surgical procedures.

4. Risk: There is a risk that the hair transplant may not work. This can happen for various reasons, including unsuitability of the patient (extensive hair loss), inadequate donor hair, improper grafting techniques, or complications with the healing process. This list is not exhaustive but highlights some risks that should be carefully considered before embarking on a costly surgical procedure.

What is Scalp Micropigmentation?


Scalp Micropigmentation is a Non-Surgical hair restoration procedure that replicates the appearance of hair follicles on the scalp using tiny, specialized pigments. Often referred to as “cosmetic tattooing” or “hair tattoo,” SMP has gained immense popularity in recent years due to its ability to provide a realistic and long-lasting solution for hair loss.

The process involves the careful application of pigment dots to the scalp’s epidermis. Creating the illusion of a closely shaved or buzzed haircut. These tiny dots are strategically placed to mimic the density and direction of natural hair growth. When done by a skilled practitioner, the result is a remarkably natural-looking and aesthetically pleasing hairline that can be tailored to suit the individual’s desired style.

The SMP Procedure

The SMP procedure is a meticulous and precise art. It typically involves four sessions, each lasting up to two hours, to achieve the desired results. The number of sessions required varies depending on factors like the extent of hair loss and the desired outcome. During the initial consultation, the practitioner assesses the client’s scalp condition, discusses their expectations, and creates a customized plan.


Hair Transplant vs Scalp Micropigmentation


Scalp Micropigmentation Pros:

1. Instant Results: The results from Scalp Micropigmentation are instantaneous. The appearance of a full head of shaved hair can be created in as little as four sessions spread over 40 days.

2. Improved Confidence: Like hair transplants, increased confidence and renewed vigour are significant advantages of scalp micropigmentation.

3. Highly Effective for Extensive Hair Loss: SMP can restore the appearance of a full head of shaved hair for someone who has no hair at all. Making it highly effective for extensive hair loss.

4. Cost-Effective: The cost of SMP is significantly less than that of a Hair Transplant.

5. No Recovery or Downtime: Unlike surgery, there is no recovery or downtime associated with Scalp Micropigmentation.


What is Scalp Micropigmentation Manchester


Scalp Micropigmentation Cons:


1. Inability to Restore Actual Hair: Scalp Micropigmentation cannot restore actual hair, so long-flowing hairstyles are not possible.

2. Limited Awareness: As SMP is relatively new and not widely known, not everyone can visualise just how effective it would be for them.


What do our clients think?

So, by now, we hope you have an overview of the different procedures and how they may be suited to individuals with different goals and circumstances.

Now, we will hear from a couple of our clients and their thoughts on the Hair Transplant vs SMP discussion.”


I feel so much happier with how my looks now without having to go through the trauma of a hair transplant. I would definitely recommend Rebecca (Permanent Perfection Aesthetics) for anyone who is contemplating having Scalp Micropigmentation.

She was extremely professional, explained in detail how the process works and answered all of my questions before any work was started. The treatment itself is painless and done over 3 to 4 sessions. Ensuring all areas of my scalp were covered with the right colour to match my hair. The results are amazing!

SMP vs Hair Transplant

Lee’s Story

My hair’s always been long, but over the past few years, it had started thinning pretty bad at the front & back. I couldn’t bring myself to shave my head, so I habitually wore caps all the time instead.

I looked at my options & the first was a hair transplant, which I would have had to go to Turkey to get done as it was cheaper & probably would’ve cost me around two grand.

I had read good & bad stories about this treatment & I personally didn’t want to take that chance. One guy had it done, but it didn’t grow back properly, so they shaved it anyway. So, I decided this wasn’t the road I wanted to go down.

I then came across a video on social media for SMP (Scalp Micropigmentation), a tattoo hairline.

I contacted Rebecca about my situation & she replied straight away. Within a week, I was in for my first session and couldn’t wait.

In the first session, Rebecca shaved my head, which was crazy; there was so much hair & yep, I was now completely bald & had the look I didn’t want at all! She started laying out the foundations, etc., which was great. I could slowly see it taking shape in the second session, but after the third session, I was like, wow, it looked awesome.

I couldn’t believe it.

The fourth & final session was to make sure everything was good, touch-ups, etc., making sure I was delighted & then it was done!

It looked so cool. Yes, I was baldy, but I had a full hairline, which was great. It just looked like I’d shaved my head, not because I was going bald, but because I wanted to, therefore giving me that sense of control!

Well, I’m over the moon with the result & can’t wait to go out without my cap & feel full of confidence again.

The whole experience of this treatment was excellent from start to finish & so worth it. I’d recommend this to anyone who’s currently experiencing the same thing that I went through.

Seriously, Scalp Micropigmentation is the way to go & Rebecca at Permanent Perfection Aesthetics is who to contact.


Scalp Micropigmentation Before And After

Lee has kindly share his full hair loss journey with us, to read that in full, head over SMP A SOLUTION FOR HAIR LOSS


Hair Transplant vs SMP – Scalp Micropigmentation: Our opinion

So, we’ve looked at some of our clients’ opinions regarding Hair Transplants and SMP, but what does Perfection think? It’s no secret that we offer Scalp Micropigmentation treatments, so we’re just going to voice a positive opinion of SMP…aren’t we? Well, yes, but we’ll do that in a balanced and fair way.

Every treatment we offer our clients, at least one of us has had the treatment ourselves. Many of the treatments we offer, both of us have had them. We do this because like you, we have parts of our appearance that we want to improve for confidence and self-esteem. Furthermore, we do this so we know the treatments that we will be charging money for are fit for purpose and are value for money, therefore matching and in many cases exceeding clients’ expectations.

This is the case for Scalp Micropigmentation. Like many people, one of our owners, Tom, has experienced hair loss, was tentative about a hair transplant based primarily on risk and cost. So he opted for SMP. Now the thing with Tom is that he had already shaved his hair, so the opportunity to get the appearance of a full head of hair, together with a fully restored hairline, was too good to be true.


Scalp Micropigmentation vs Hair Transplant

To Shave or Not To Shave?

Now, the point around head shaving is important, as it’s a real big deal for some people, and they are just not ready to do it, yet. For people who already have a shaved head or are prepared to shave their hair, then SMP is a no-brainer; you’re going to get an awesome appearance of a proper buzz cut that looks like YOU HAVE DECIDED YOU WANT IT THAT WAY.

For those individuals, we recommend SMP hands down, for the cost, the results, the fact there is no surgery or recovery, we believe it’s the ultimate Non-Surgical Hair Loss Solution.

Now, when there is still some hair at play, it becomes trickier. SMP can be used to add density to hair that is thinning to give the appearance of fuller, thicker hair. And as we heard from Carl, it’s an excellent solution

Density SMP can become trickier, where larger areas are required, but as we know, hair transplants are not as effective at covering larger areas. Even with this example, we are still in the SMP camp, as we would recommend that if the hair is too thin to add density, it’s unsuitable for a transplant, it may be time to shave. However, we know from personal experience and interaction with clients that this is sometimes a difficult decision.

SMP all the Way!

So, we are in the SMP camp. However, we do believe that for certain individuals, a hair transplant would be the right option. As we’ve said before SMP does not make hair grow, so if that’s what an individual wants, that’s what they want. We just hope they do their research and think things through properly!

Another question that may be worth asking is, can Hair Transplants and SMP work together? The answer to this is yes. Since Hair Transplants can leave a scar in the donor area, Scalp Micropigmentation is often used for and is highly effective at covering or camouflaging the scar, as we can see in the photo below.


Hair Transplant vs SMP


Let’s take a moment to sum up what we’ve been through. Together, we’ve looked at the common causes and types of hair loss. Then, we moved on to discuss Hair Transplants, SMP, and their respective pros and cons.

We then gained some perspective from people who have experienced hair loss to get some real-life thoughts on Hair Transplants vs SMP.

Lastly, we provided our opinion based on a mix of professional and personal experience.

We do hope this article has been useful, and we hope that you have learned something new.

One thing that we would like you to take away from this piece is our thoughts on how personal hair loss is, and therefore any solutions should be a perfect fit for individual requirements and personal circumstances.

If you require any more information on Scalp Micropigmentation, please contact our award-winning micropigmentation artist, Rebecca.


Permanent Perfection Aesthetics