Surgical Micropigmentation is a technologically advanced cosmetic procedure in which pigment, matched individually for each patient, is placed underneath the superficial layer of the skin. A variation of this procedure, microblading, is more superficial and is performed by less surgically oriented aestheticians.
Although the field has taken off over the last two years, I became interested in these procedures very early in my practice. I realized that the combination of hair restoration with surgical scalp micropigmentation would create a 3-D effect.
A patient of mine, Charles M., had suffered severe burns to the top of his scalp. He previously had a hair transplant. This injury left his scalp severely scarred. The scar had healed a bright pink color which was in severe contrast to his skin color being African American. Even if I could get transplanted hair to grow on his scalp, the contrast of skin color would be unsightly. A step wise approach would be needed. First micropigmentation was performed to make the color of the scarred tissue match his surrounding scalp. I then performed a hair restoration procedure using the FUT method. Charles was very pleased with the results.
I had the honor of presenting this case to the Facial Plastic Section of the American College of Otolaryngology and Head and Neck Surgery in 2012.
It was the first time a combination of SMP and Hair Restoration Surgery had been reported.
Over the past two years, the pigments used have been refined. Additionally, the instruments used have been refined to surgical standards. Both SMP and Microblading are almost painless procedures and are easily performed in a comfortable office environment.
Bald patients with a limited donor supply of hair can achieve a look like they a very closely shaved head while framing their face. Especially with men who have an egg shaped head, this results a very pleasing aesthetic effect.
- Scars from previous surgery or trauma: Results have been outstanding. Sometimes the color of the scar has to be changed, as was with my patient Charles. SMP can create an effect where it appears that hair is growing out of these scars.
- Desire for Increase Density: SMP can increase the appearance of density in conjunction with hair restoration procedure or alone. Many women who are not candidates for surgery benefit from SMP.
- Eyebrows: Alone or in addition to hair restoration surgery, SMP adds density and volume. The combination is referred to as The Madison Avenue Eyebrow.
Microblading is a more superficial form of SMP. It tends to be performed in salons rather than in a surgeon’s office. Results from microblading do not last as long as SMP. While SMP can last for years before needing to be refreshed, microblading can fade within six months, giving a powdery effect. I recommend patients interested in SMP seek out a board certified facial plastic and hair restoration surgeon.