This post seems a little counter-intuitive to be honest. I’ve been a cheerleader for scalp micropigmentation for so long, that talking about the possible disadvantages you may face as an SMP recipient seems, well, a bit strange. Thankfully the disadvantages of getting SMP are not particularly severe or life-changing, but nonetheless you need to be aware of them in order to make a balanced decision.
So here goes…
You cannot change your hairstyle
Let me qualify that statement. You CAN use lasers and/or additional pigmentation to adapt your hairline, change your side profiles, alter your density and generally tweak and change your look as you see fit, but fundamentally you still have a shaven hairstyle and you’re stuck with it.
There are exceptions, generally those who are able to get away with keeping their hair longer after their treatment. These guys (and gals) are usually excluded from this restriction.
The damn shaving!
You have to shave your head, either every day or every other day. Very few people get away with less frequent shaves than once every two days. I won’t lie to you, sometimes it’s a bit of a pain, especially when you want to leave the house quickly. Nowadays I also notice how much I spend on those Gillette Fusion Power blades, because at one per week, it soon stacks up.
The best advice I can give is to try many different shaving routines to see what suits you best. Try clippers if you can, or try an electric shaver if you have the time. I wet shave in the shower because I find it easier, but everyone is different.
- If using clippers, the Wahl Balding Clipper gives by far the closest shave and they’re quite cheap to buy. Unfortunately there is no cordless version though, and the clippers are aggressive so be careful not to cut yourself
- If you prefer an electric shaver, foil shavers generally irritate less. Anything decent from Phillips, Braun or Remington should be just fine
- For wet blades, there is a ton of choice available. I like Gillette personally. Just remember that your head is a larger surface area than your face, so your blades won’t last as long as you’re used to. I get 3-5 decent shaves (head and face) out of one blade
Fading can be unpredictable
Generally speaking you’ll need 2-4 sessions to complete your treatment, perhaps one additional session within a year to correct any fading, then you should be good to go for at least a few years. Every 4-6 years or so, you’ll probably need a ‘sprinkle’ of pigment to keep it looking fresh.
Sometimes your rate of fading has a mind of it’s own though. You might find you need a session after 2 years, 3 years, or you could get away without any work at all for the next 10 years. It’s only a minor niggle and not really a disadvantage as such, but something you’ll need to plan and prepare for.
Potential side effects
The disadvantages of scalp micropigmentation versus the alternatives?
I don’t think there is such thing as the perfect hair loss remedy. They each have their own set of pros and cons.
- Hair transplant surgery offers a high level of uncertainty as there are no guarantees, and leaves scarring behind as evidence of your procedure, scars you’ll bear for the rest of your life.
- Hair systems are expensive, a pain in the ass to maintain and despite modern advancements, can still look fake or be pulled off.
- Propecia causes serious side effects in a high enough proportion of users to cause concern, including erectile dysfunction and a shrinking of the penis
- Minoxidil is expensive and only works in a minority of cases
- If you believe all those supplements and shampoos do anything to retain your hair, you might as well believe in the tooth fairy
- PRP looks promising, but it’s a little disgusting to be honest, and painful, and offers no guarantee
In a perfect world, we’d never lose our hair in the first place. For those of us who do (and choose to take some sort of action), despite its downsides scalp micropigmentation remains the #1 option in my book. I can’t decide on your behalf, but look at the evidence. Do you really want to be sliced and diced by a hair transplant surgeon, or be unable to achieve an erection because of the pills you’re taking? Hardly worth it.
A good option may be tricopigmentation. This shorter duration version of scalp micropigmentation looks the same as permanent SMP, but fades a lot faster.
At least if all else fails and you decide you don’t like your new look, SMP can be removed. I’ve only known a handful of people who have however. For me, it’s the best thing I have ever done for myself.