Scalp Micro Pigmentation as an aesthetic procedure is creating quite a buzz. Salon India speaks exclusively with Dr Viral Desai, Celebrity Cosmetic Surgeon, DHI India and CPLSS, to understand the process and technology used
About: Scalp Micropigmentation (SMP) is a highly advanced method in cosmetic pigmentation. While similar to traditional tattooing, SMP involves the use of highly specialised equipment and techniques to inject pigment into the scalp.
Process and technology: Specialised ink is implanted with skillfull precision into the affected area. The ink is also carefully matched with your natural hair colour, but is a shade darker, which gives the illusion of a shadow and the appearance of three-dimensional natural hair.
USP: SMP creates a density effect. It colours the scalp as a tattoo and decreases the skin/ hair contrast, this gives instant density and visible volume. The three-dimensional effect is created giving the appearance of a natural shadow. It hides scars; many men who have already undergone a hair transplant with older methods such as, FUT (Strip) find themselves with a scar on the back of the head that they cannot conceal with short hair. In these cases, and for any type of scar, SMP helps in concealing them. It is the ideal solution for different types of hair-related diseases including, Active Alopecia Areata, Alopecia Universalis, Lupus, to name a few, where hair transplant is not advisable. Lastly, this procedure helps to camouflage baldness as it re-creates the illusion of thick hair follicles, and therefore more hair.
Teamed with other treatments: SMP can work with hair transplant as a pre-planned combination procedure. By combining traditional hair restoration and SMP, the client has double the benefits of real texturised hair and the appearance of a full scalp.
Sessions required: The results are visible immediately after your first session. Ideally, two to three sessions are recommended spaced at least from one week to one month.
Side-effects: The vast majority of procedures performed on the body come with some level of risk. In the case of SMP, no serious side-effects have been reported. However, you should be aware of the potential issues, including, allergies as some people maybe allergic to ink when it is applied to their skin, for instance, tattoo ink but then again this is specialised ink meant for the scalp only; also, if the facility where you are planning on undergoing SMP uses poor quality ink, it could contain heavy metals. This problem is primarily an issue of quality rather than any specific side-effect of SMP itself.
Pre-treatment measures: It is a good idea to wash your scalp with a non-abrasive, gentle shampoo a week prior to the procedure; do not wear a hair piece at least five to seven days prior; and do not use a razor on your scalp within 24 hours of the procedure.
Post-treatment measures: Doctors recommend that the patient should not touch the healing pigmented area with their fingers, as they may contain bacteria which could lead to an infection; avoid make-up, heavy exercise, sun exposure, soap, sauna, jacuzzi, swimming in chlorine pools or in the recreational bodies of water, contact with animals and gardening for seven to 10 days; do not rub or traumatise the area while it is healing, as pigments may get removed along with crusting tissue; use a sun block after the procedure area has healed to prevent future fading of the pigment colour; if you are a blood donor, do not donate blood for one year; and finally, in case you experience itching, swelling, blistering or any other complication post-procedure, stop using all hair products and consult your doctor immediately.
Client education: At our end, we do our best to educate and consult the patient before the procedure. There is enough literature which the client can go through and ask us as many questions as they desire. If there are any doubts the client is free to call us and get all the queries sorted out and sometimes we even ask them to come for a second consultation. To put it simply, SMP, like a tattoo, needs only maintenance. When the ink starts to fade, a touchup is required to maintain the desired look.
Future: We all know the importance of hair and the role it plays in determining a positive self image and and psycho-social functioning. In the last five to seven years, this treatment has become prevalent in India. People, today, are much more conscious about the way they look and feel. Hair loss is a major concern for most and in fact, a study has revealed that people are more concerned about losing their hair than their minds. Voluminous hair has been a social, cultural and sexual sign of likeability, success and virility for a long time. So, the future of SMP in India looks pretty good.