Beauty Blog

September 4, 2020

Scalp Micropigmentation vs Hair Transplant: What To choose?

Hair Transplant or Scalp Micropigmentation?

The most common questions we get are:

  • What is the difference between Scalp Micropigmentation (SMP) and Hair Transplant (HT)?
  • Why do they cost almost the same?
  • What are the benefits of both treatments?
  • What are the side effects of both treatments?
  • How to choose from both?

Today we’ll address these questions to bring out more clarity about the treatments and what is the connection between them. Let’s see!

Who is a good candidate for Scalp Micropigmentation?

Scalp Micropigmentation is literally a hair tattoo for masking hair loss or baldness. The suitable candidates are divided in three major groups:

  • Men and women who’d like to have more hair density – some men and women can’t do surgery to implant hair. They just don’t have enough space on their scalp to ripe the benefits of a hair transplant. Others don’t want to undergo surgery for having more density and it’s completely understandable. If your hair is thin or sparse, you can do SMP to create the illusion of fullness.
  • Men who’d love to have a razor shaved haircut – this haircut is very trendy and at the moment many celebrities fancy it. For example Dwayne Johnson, Bruce Willis, Jason Statham and more. Unfortunately some men have balding patterns and this makes the haircut look uneven. In these cases SMP filles the balding area and gives a complete razor shaved haircut look.
  • Men who have alopecia – no matter of the type, this condition forces men to shave their head. When men don’t want other people to know they have a health problem, SMP can completely mask any hair loss condition.


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Scalp Micropigmentation is a non-invasive treatment and has a minimum downtime in comparison to hair transplant. This makes it a great choice for all of you who don’t want to undergo surgery and go through the hustle.

Learn more:
Scalp MIcropigmentation – How Many Sessions and What to Expect
3 Facts About Scalp Micropigmentation

Who is a good candidate for Hair Transplant?

A good candidate for a Hair Transplant surgery is anyone who’d like to have a growing hair. If you’ve tried non-invasive treatments for hair growth and they don’t work, the next step is to have a hair transplant.

Hair Transplant is a radical decision – you take it when nothing else works and you want to have a growing hair. Not masking, no camouflage – just a growing hair.

7 Derma doesn’t do or offer Hair Transplant. 7 Derma is an aesthetic center offering non-invasive treatments. If you are 100% sure you’d like to undergo a surgery for having a growing hair, please contact a reliable clinic for the procedure.

If you are still unsure if you want to do a surgery, we have a full list of non-invasive treatments that can help: PRP for hair loss, Mesotherapy for hair loss, DR CYJ Hair Fillers, EGF Growth Factor treatment.

Learn more about non-invasive hair growth treatments:
How to cure hair loss? [The Most Effective Treatments]

Benefits of both treatments

The benefits of both treatments will help you decide which of them will be more suitable for your taste and needs.

Scalp Micropigmentation:

  • Non-surgical – no scalpel, no anesthesia;
  • 100% safe – nothing health threatening can happen;
  • No false claims – you get what you see. No promises for hair regrowth.
  • Natural look – nobody can tell you’ve done it.
  • Fast course of the treatment – you will need up to 2 months to do all sessions and recover completely;
  • Affordable – it’s price is affordable and it saves you expenses for maintenance;
  • Minimum maintenance – touch up once a year;
  • Long lasting – you can keep your results intact for 4-5 years with regular touch ups. Sometimes even longer;
  • Hides hair loss – can completely mask your hair baldness pattern;
  • Gives hair density – illusional but very effective;
  • Ideal for people with alopecia, cancer, thinning and sparse hair, wanting a razor haircut or to mask balding patterns.


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Hair Transplant:

  • Helps your hair grow;
  • Permanent solution – if the surgery is successful, your hair will be growing without interruption;
  • High successful rate – most surgeries give good results for growing hair;
  • Cost effective – saves you money from hair masks, shampoos, continuous non-invasive treatments;
  • Low maintenance – you don’t have to do anything special, just make sure to alter your habits that might lead to balding;
  • Natural process – the surgeon will use your own hair to replace it and fill the balding area;
  • Ideal for people who have balding patterns and want to get back their hair.

Side effects of both treatments

Every treatment has a side effect – it’s impossible to be perfect. The most important thing is to weigh the benefits and the side effects and choose the one that will be working for you.

Side effects of SMP

  • Can cause an allergic reaction – some skin types have allergies to certain tattoo ink. This is why if you’re not convinced that your skin can handle it, we can make a patch test before the treatment.
  • Rapid absorption and dispersion – some people have an overactive immune system which excretes the ink from the body too fast. In these cases SMP is not suitable. Patch test before the treatment is required.
  • Redness right after the session – since we apply ink with needles, there is some damage to the skin. It usually goes away in a few days.
  • Swollen lymph nodes – this can happen to any tattoo. With SMP tattoo inks can be collected inside lymph nodes and cause swelling. If this happens, don’t worry – it goes away over time.
  • Itchiness – this side effect appears in a few days after the treatment. It’s a sign that your scalp is healing and there is nothing to worry about.
  • Lack of professional skills – if you visit a non-reputable place for your SMP, you might end up with unprofessional SMP (dots turning blue, colour ink not matching with your natural hair, too fast fading due to too deep penetration and more).

Side effects of Hair Transplant

  • Results are not guaranteed – no one can give you 100% assurance that the implanted hair won’t fall.
  • Works better for small scalp areas – hair transplant takes hair from your scalp and puts it on the problematic area. The hair is yours and should be present. If the balding area is too big, there might be a chance to lack enough ‘spare’ hair for filling it.
  • Hair transplant on crown is less suitable for HT – why? The skin there is thicker and might be more difficult for the hair to grow without falling.
  • Scarring – due to taking hair from one area and placing it somewhere else, scars can appear. Scarring leaves you with new bald areas that you need to wait for hair growth.
  • Complications might appear – inflammation, swelling of the scalp, bleeding, slow healing.
  • Use of antibiotics – due to the risk of inflammation, you’ll be prescribed with antibiotics. Taking antibiotics also hides risks for your health.
  • Multiple sessions – as every treatment, results are highly individual. Some people need multiple surgeries to get the results they want.
  • It’s visible you’ve done a surgery – HT is not perfect and cannot cover all missing hair. There is always some distance between the newly transplanted hair.
  • Long recovery process – recovery takes up to 9-12 months. After this period the scalp skin is completely healthy and strong.

What is the connection between SMP and HT?

SMP can be a base treatment for HT or a following after HT. Let’s see why!

SMP before Hair Transplant

The main results from SMP are the boost of hair density and the hair loss camouflage (hair loss masking). This is why there are a two major reasons for doing SMP:

  • Hair density – Hair transplant can place a growing hair over your scalp, but it can’t give you the effect of density. Here’s where SMP can help.

SMP + HT = fuller growing hair.

  • Hair Transplant Scarring Masking – after a HT you get some gaps with no hair over your scalp. Scarring can also appear. This is why SMP is a suitable option before doing HT. It will cover your scalp with ink tattoo and gaps after HT won’t be visible.


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SMP after Hair Transplant

SMP after a Hair transplant is done for the same reasons – achieving more hair density and hiding scars/gaps with no hair. The down side of this approach is that after a Hair Transplant the skin is very vulnerable and weak. It needs time to heal.

So we recommend waiting at least 9-12 months after your Hair Transplant to do SMP. The better option is to do it before your surgery.

Why Scalp Micropigmentation costs almost as much as Hair Transplant?

Scalp Micropigmentation, Hair transplant and all the non-invasive hair treatments are considered as luxury treatments. They don’t help you boost your health. They help you boost your appearance and self-esteem. As luxury treatments, they are costly.

The second reason all hair loss treatments are costly is that they require extensive training and are time consuming. For example: A course of SMP takes an initial consultation and three following sessions, each lasts for 3-5 hours. In those 3-5 hours your practitioner should make sure that everything is perfect which requires concentration, high professional skills and quality materials.

Those treatments are supposed to be expensive since they require much effort, training and expensive materials for great results.

We hope these questions and answers help you see the big picture of these treatments. They will help you get an informed decision and choose the treatment that suits you well.

If you’ve decided that SMP is the treatment for you, contact us for a FREE initial consultation. We’ll be happy to help you and explain ever further!

See our monthly offers for Scalp Micropigmentation.

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About 7Derma
7 Derma Clinic is an Aesthetic clinic where professionals with more than 20 years of experience are taking care of your appearance. Our mission is to bring more beauty into your wold and show you how perfect you can be in our imperfect world.

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