I’m investigating Scalp Micropigmentation (SMP) for my hair loss, but I’m a bit disappointed with some of the unrealistic/unnatural looking hairlines. In many of the SMP cases I’ve seen online, the hairlines look very harsh and unnatural. Is there anyway to avoid this? How can SMP hairlines look more realistic?
First, and foremost, keep in mind that Scalp Micropigmentation (SMP) is a very specific type of hair restoration treatment, ideally suited for a very small, specific type of hair loss sufferer. Any potential patient considering SMP should conduct detailed research about the treatment and determine beforehand whether or not they are suited for the procedure.
Having said that, I’ve heard patients complain about straight, dark, “harsh” hairlines created during SMP procedures, and how these can result in an unnatural/unrealistic appearance. Because of this, I personally believe there are 3 ways to potentially improve upon SMP hairline design and create a more natural/realistic result:
1. Creating Irregular Hairlines
Although it may not seem so at first glance, hairlines (even in individuals not affected by androgenic alopecia) are naturally irregular. Frontal hairlines are uneven and uniquely shaped, and in order to recreate a truly natural hair restoration result, this imperfect pattern must be replicated.
Although we many not instinctively recognize hairline irregularity as natural, when hairlines appear too straight and too even, it becomes apparent that “something isn’t right.” By mimicking hairline irregularity (like hair transplant surgeons do while recreating a surgical hairline), SMP results can appear more natural and realistic.
2. Utilizing “Fading” in the Hairline
Along with creating hairlines that are unnaturally symmetrical, another mechanism by which SMP results appear artificial is through excessively dark hairlines. In theory, it makes sense to create dark hairlines with Scalp Micropigmentation; SMP is a treatment used to create the appearance of density, so practitioners should create a dark, thick, stubble-like appearance. However, much like excessive symmetry, excessive darkness in the hairline creates an artificial, unnatural appearance.
Although it may seem a bit counterintuitive, by adding less density to the hairline and “fading” from a more recessed appearance in the front to a denser, more restored look in the frontal portion of the scalp (behind the hairline), SMP hairlines can appear more natural.
3. Utilizing Temporary SMP Ink
Currently, SMP can be performed with two different types of ink: permanent and temporary. Although either can be used properly to create a natural hairline, temporary ink may better serve patients who desire a lighter, irregular hairline that will require semi-frequent “touch-ups.” Furthermore, if a practitioner does create a hairline that is too dark or symmetrical, it can be easily reversed (compared to permanent ink) and will only last for 6 months to 2 years (if, for some reason, reversal is not an option).
Blake Bloxham – formerly “Future_HT_Doc”
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