On your head be it

In the curious world of hair loss there are countless options for treatment, some have merits and others not so much.

Scalp Micropigmentation is relatively new, with numerous claims on its invention but none dating further back than the dawn of this century. We tend to take 2009 as the legitimate beginning and Birmingham as the birthplace, when the treatment began to become more widely available and Paul Clark became the first full-time SMP practitioner.

Naturally we, in the SMP business, consider those in hair transplantation to be our experienced elders. The concept of hair transplants dates to Germany in 1822 if not earlier. The modern surgical techniques of hair transplantation were first developed in Japan in the 1930s and 1940s and spread to the west thanks to an American medical paper published in 1959. They have a little bit of a head start on us, if you’ll forgive the pun.

Taking risks

Everyone knows what a transplant is, even if they don’t know exactly how it’s performed. We aspire to have that level of public awareness. There are some incredibly skilled and qualified surgeons working in the practice and, as in all fields, there are also some chancers and frauds.

As we all live in the global market I am occasionally reminded by prospective clients that they can get a transplant in Turkey for roughly the same price as SMP. My response to this is that they’re welcome to take this route if they’re happy with that level of risk; on your head be it.

Price is no guarantee

Without doubt, there are very skilled transplant surgeons working in many countries throughout the world. I don’t begin to think that we only have such services in the western hemisphere. However, even with advantageous monetary exchange rates, I don’t imagine that skilled people offer their services at a cheap rate. If you’ve taken the time to become an expert at something, you rarely price-match with someone of lesser skills.

From a logical point of view, it’s a decision that few would make. Aside from surgical skills there are clinical cleanliness considerations (enforced standards being different in the EU and US to elsewhere) and potential language barriers. One client of ours undertook extensive research, agreed a price and a surgeon who he believed spoke English but on arrival in Turkey found that things had changed and was unable to make himself understood to the staff he met. He quickly returned home, it was a risk he considered unacceptable.

Even with reputable surgeons, hair transplant surgery is a risky business. Those involved in the surgery acknowledge that results can take time – sometimes six months or more – to take effect. Even after this the transplanted hair can fail, at which point you may have worsened the situation. Even the wealthiest can experience these issues, witness Wayne Rooney’s multiple transplants.

Do your research, avoid the risks

One of our recent clients, Doug, explained how his transplant was largely unsuccessful which left him in need of SMP. Scalp Micropigmentation is often used alongside a transplant to aid the appearance of density, a partnership that works very successfully.

We’re not about to trash-talk transplants. We have seen equal numbers of people with successful procedures to those that have failed. As with all treatments it is imperative that you conduct your research. Check the credentials of the clinician and the work they’ve done. If travelling abroad is your surgeon a member of the ISHRS?

It’s a massive risk if not, whatever the price.

As we say of all scalp treatments, it is an extremely visible treatment. You are already concerned enough to be seeking a solution to your hair loss, why would you risk making a bad situation worse?

Look to those with experience and expertise, those with high standards of treatment and cleanliness. Seek out those people who have evidence of the treatments they’ve performed and not those offering a cheap fix. On your head be it.

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