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  • STP Overview: Scalp Tricho Pigmentation… An Advanced Form of Scalp Micro Pigmentation (SMP)

    Scalp Tricho Pigmentation (STP) also is a medical tattoo process that recreates an appearance of naturally growing hair for people who are balding or have thinning hair. It is similar in principle to SMP (Scalp Micro pigmentation) but there are very critical difference in the technique that were developed in order to address the specific properties of scalp hair. The goal is to exactly replicate the appearance of shaved hair follicles or stubble of hair. It can be used to create a shaved look, thicken thinning hair, or camouflage scars.

    The impressions are extremely discrete and are comparable in diameter to a single hair or follicular unit.

    It is a similar methodology to a regular tattoo or permanent cosmetics procedure, but, the pigment is not laid as deeply into the skin, and the machine and pigments themselves are far more sophisticated.

    There are currently 3 main ways that SMP can be used:

    1. To create a shaved look that mimics the look of shaved or closely cropped head of hair with the appearance of stubble.
    2. To camouflage scars from either Strip or FUE surgery
    3. To “thicken” or increase the illusion of density in areas of thinning hair by decreasing the color contrast between scalp and hair. This is similar to the effect of cosmetic concealers like Dermatch and Toppix but with the advantage not having to be applied daily. This can be particularly useful in women. It can also be useful. It can also be very beneficial for patients who have undergone previous surgeries, but who are still looking thinner than they would.


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    It is important to know that there are limitations to this technique. Not everyone is a candidate for these procedures and there are specific qualifications that need to be satisfied before the procedure is attempted. In addition there are some potential complications that can occur. These will be addressed in the FAQ section.

    Permanent vs. Temporary SMP

    There are two approaches to doing SMP. One is to do Permanent SMP and the other is to do Temporary SMP. At SMG we prefer the temporary technique because we feel it is safer and more natural looking.

    • Permanent SMP is performed with pigments (often black) that are designed NOT to fade or change over time, and, the pigment is placed slightly deeper into the scalp tissue (2mm) . The disadvantage of this includes the possibility that the ink will eventually fade to a green or a blue hue, and, the inability to reverse the procedure without laser tattoo removal if the work is unsatisfactory to you. Another risk is placing the pigment “dots or impressions” into the deeper layers of the skin can also result in a “blurred” or “solid” appearance. The advantage of permanent pigmentation is low upkeep and maintenance.
    • Temporary SMP is performed with pigment that is specially designed to gradually fade and disappear within 6-24 months after the procedure. The disadvantage of this is procedure is that it has to be maintained with touch-ups every 1-2 years. But, the advantages are that the pigment is placed into a superficial layer of the scalp (.05mm), which helps to define the “dots or impressions”, and decreases the probability of the pigment “blurring, running, or migrating”. Temporary SMP is also performed with no black pigments or pigments containing black because black eventually will always fade into a blue or green tone.


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“Thank you very much for your attention. I am very happy with the results of the surgery. After 3 months only I already have full hair coverage in all the affected areas and don’t need to use the hair clips like I used to do for many years. Please give my beast regards to Dr. Shapiro and the team...”Read More

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