Apr 2, 2020

Posted by in Treatments for Hair Loss | 0 Comments

Scalp micropigmentation versus a hair transplant

Scalp micropigmentation versus a hair transplant

It seems like these two methods of dealing with hair loss are often compared to one another. They’re different from say, a wig or comb-over because of their longevity. As such, it can be hard to tell which method is right for you. Here are a few points to consider when making the decision.

The cost of a hair transplant versus SMP

  • Hair transplant: Anywhere from $4,000 to $15,000. This is a slightly invasive procedure, and that costs reflect that. Not only does a hair transplant cost about the same as a down payment on a car, it’s almost always going to be completely out-of-pocket. Insurance companies see this as a cosmetic procedure instead of a medical one, and therefore don’t want to pay for it.
  • SMP: Highly variable, but typically not more than $5,000 total. Scarring, extreme hair loss, and location all can cause the price of a typical scalp micropigmentation session to fluctuate. However most places can get all the necessary work done for under $5,000 total. Like a hair transplant, these costs are completely out-of-pocket. This procedure is commonly performed by my permanent makeup artists or specialists who only train in SMP.

Success rates

  • Hair transplant: Successful, but with one caveat. This procedure is highly dependent on the amount of healthy hair remaining on the scalp. Someone who is already completely bald will have very little success cultivating a full head of hair. 
  • SMP: Almost always successful. The website of TeamMicro shows just how happy the majority of clients are after just one session.


  • Hair transplant: Can be slightly irritating. Since so many small incisions are made, it’s not unheard of for a client’s head to be sore the next day. Ibuprofen can help manage the pain, while also keeping the swelling at bay.
  • SMP: Virtually pain-free, with most people able to skip the numbing cream. Except for some slight soreness, most people are free to return to work the next day. A small number of fair-skinned individuals notice some slight redness on the first day, but that’s to be expected after a long session.


  • Hair transplant: A successful transplant will result in real hair growing back. As such, this procedure almost never ends up looking unnatural. When styled properly, this can take on a multitude of different looks.
  • SMP: SMP can be used on a completely bald head to mimic the appearance of a buzz cut. It can also be used on individuals who are only experiencing a thinning of the hair or are noticing bald patches. The average person would likely not be able to tell the difference between the ink and the real hair.

Of course, there are many more things that need to be considered before making your final decision. These are just a few of the most common factors that are thought about when deciding which way to go. Scalp micropigmentation and hair transplants can both be wonderful methods to combat hair loss. Whichever way you choose to go is completely up to you.

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