Scalp MicroPigmentation (SMP) is a cosmetic medical grade tattoo that reduces the contrast between the color of the scalp and the color of the hair so that the scalp can not be easily seen through the hair. We do this by placing thousands of very small dots, (the size of a ball point pen dot), placed in the scalp, interspersed between the existing hairs. This is very effective in: (a) treating thinning hair, (b) balding in a shaved scalp taking on the appearance of a bold look and (c) in the treatment of scalp scars caused by previous surgeries or skin diseases.

Our Physician Team

Who are we?

Our doctors have pioneered Scalp Micropigmentation and have published this technology in multiple peer reviewed medical journals and text books.

William Rassman, M.D.

Physician

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William Rassman, M.D.

Jae Pak, M.D.

Physician

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Jae Pak, M.D.

Jino Kim, M.D.

Physician

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Jino Kim, M.D.

FAQ

– Yes, this is a permanent procedure like a tattoo.
– Yes and no. While Scalp MicroPigmentation (SMP) is permanent and similar to a tattoo, it is a different technique that utilizes different needles and a specialized ink. The result mimics a closely shaved head of hair.
– No, we are physicians who specialize in medical and surgical hair restoration. Our experience from treating thousands of patients over the years (since 1991) allows us to pull from a wide variety of hairline designs, suitable for either SMP or hair transplants, that match the person’s ethnic background, his balding pattern today and his age.
– Alvaro Traquina, M.D. used the term “micropigmentation of the scalp” in an article published in the Dermatologic Surgery medical publication back in 2001 (see Micropigmentation as an Adjuvant in Cosmetic Surgery of the Scalp). His title, text, and pictures clearly define the use of the pigment as a concealer.

At NHI, we started using the term “Scalp MicroPigmentation” and “SMP” around 2010 and started referring to it as “SMP” and purchased the Internet domain names since the terminology was not being used. Since then the term “SMP” and “Scalp MicroPigmentation” caught on all over the world. We did apply for the SMP trademark and the (R) symbol with the U.S. Patent office but were denied trademarking a common merely descriptive term. SMP is merely describing the service offered almost literally (which did not rise to the level of trademark protection).

Thus no one can claim TM or (R) symbols.

– No it is a non-surgical procedure, but SMP is performed by hair restoration surgeons and staff who are specially trained.
– Yes. We use sterile one-time-use only pre-packaged needles. Local anesthesia is administered only by licensed personnel in our medical facilities.
– It feels like tiny needles poking constantly on your scalp for 3 to 4 hours. Without anesthesia it can be very painful, especially over the ears and forehead. But because we are physicians, you have the option to have local anesthesia administered, making the procedure pain free.
– Depending on your balding pattern this may be possible. Consultation between a prospective patient and an experienced hair restoration doctor before undergoing SMP is invaluable.
– SMP is used to decrease the contrast between your scalp color and hair color, giving an illusion of fullness. You can think of SMP as a “permanent” cosmetic concealer such as Toppik or DermMatch. Unlike some concealers, with SMP you will not have to worry if your scalp is showing from the uneven application of concealers. Unlike some cosmetic concealers, SMP does not put a stain on your clothing, pillow, or on your significant other’s fingertips.
– Believe it or not, the stubble from white hair (and most colors of hair) is GRAY when you shave close to the skin. Just look at blond men with a close shave and you will see the gray shade where the hair exits the scalp. We try to match the shade of pigment based on your skin and hair color. If you have dark hair now and it turns gray later on in life, the underlying shade will blend despite the hair color change, because SMP covers the entire scalp (not just the bald areas).
– As we are physicians specializing in hair loss and its treatment, we can plan for a worst case balding situation to develop. Whatever is done, it must be designed to plan for the worst case balding scenario or the possibility that some day you may decide to have a hair transplant or another type of hair loss procedure in the future.
– The SMP process requires two to three treatments at least 3 to 4 days apart to get the color shade just right. Each individual absorbs some pigment at different rates. For the first year we offer free touch ups if there is any fading. Your finished SMP process should last years before needing a touch up, but everyone is different.
– You can always have a hair transplant on top of the SMP process. We have performed FUE (Follicular Unit Extraction) in combination with SMP giving the patient the look of a shaven scalp and with actual hair stubble.
– Yes. We have done test areas (about 1cm square area) in scars so that the person gets comfortable with the way it looks, and we have done test areas where the balding scalp meets the side hair. This approach has been very helpful to the person who is ‘on the fence’ in deciding whether to do SMP or not. Remember, we are doctors first and we want anybody considering this to be comfortable with the decision.
– Yes. Although there is nothing in this world that is “perfect”, with the artistry and technique we use, you cannot tell that that someone has had SMP even up close. SMP gives you the look of a permanent 5 o’clock shadow. SMP blends in with the genetically resistant-to-balding hair around the sides of your head. While photos on our site are great examples, you really need to see SMP in real life to be convinced. It is truly amazing and most of our clients do not mind sharing their experience or letting you examine their results in person. We usually have at least one client who has had SMP done at our scheduled monthly Open House events.
– Traditional tattoos may discolor, but this is highly dependent on the type of ink used, the depth the pigment was placed into the scalp, and the amount of sun exposure you get. The key to minimizing this effect is to use a specialty ink like we do and either wear a hat when in the sun or use a good sun blocker (with a high SPF factor). SMP dots will lose definition over time, but unlike regular tattoos, the ‘blob’ look is greatly minimized due to the special technique and the instruments used.
– There is always a potential change in the color of pigment over time. The pigment used for SMP is chosen to match the color and tone of shaved hair underneath one’s skin. Despite variations in hair color, most patients have a grayish (and greenish) tint after the hair is shaved from the dark roots of the hair showing through the layers of the dermis and epidermis. Much like how blood vessels appear green under the skin, the increased absorption of the red spectrum of light gives rise to this phenomenon explained by the trichromatic theory of color vision (i.e. if you absorb red you will perceive green). The light propagation through human tissue has also been modeled to show the greater decrease of red spectrum remission. In short, there is NO TRUE perception of black when the pigment is deposited beneath the skin. The greater depth of pigment deposit, the greater the potential change in color perception.
– See above. Or unless the laws of physics have changed, there will always be a slight change in perception of color.
– NHI physicians are experts at creating natural looking hairlines. Most clients want a soft and natural fading frontal hairline, while others prefer a more distinct and linear look. We advise and work with our clients individually to obtain the look they want.
– The difference between NHI and other businesses offering similar services is that we are a team of ABMS Board Certified physicians with over 25 years combined experience in the hair restoration business. We are a medical group offering SMP in a medical facility. Our physicians offer anesthesia to ensure a pain-free procedure. We are experts in the creation of natural looking hairlines and can combine SMP with hair transplant surgery for a comprehensive hair restoration solution.
– Immediately after the procedure, your scalp will look slightly pink, somewhat similar to a sunburn. This pink color will fade out over the course of 24 to 48 hours. This is more pronounced in patients with a light skin color. You will appear to have a full head of hair that has a closely shaved look. The pigment may also appear more pronounced until you wash your scalp and remove the excess pigment three days later. Depending on each patient and the type of skin, the pigment may fade as it settles in. This is the reason why you may need more touch-ups, so that the shade and color is just right. Although we recommend at least 3 to 4 days between SMP applications, you can wait weeks or months depending on your schedule and geographic location.
– Yes, we have performed SMP on women, but we are cautious when it comes to women because we want to know the cause of the hair loss or hair thinning. With men, 99% have hair loss or hair thinning from genetic causes in a typical balding pattern (MPB), but women may have balding due to many medical conditions and we would want to diagnose them prior to offering SMP. As ethical physicians, we want to be sure that we do not perform this process on women who have potentially reversible baldness from hormonal causes, thyroid, or autoimmune diseases.

– Yes, you can email us at hairdoc@newhair.com or call us at (800) NEW-HAIR, and we can put you in touch with one of our clients. We also have free monthly Open House events at our Los Angeles office where you can see SMP client results firsthand. These events give you the chance to also see results of hair transplant surgery patients, and you can observe an actual surgery and occasionally an SMP procedure as it is being performed! You can find our event schedule here.

– No. SMP is unique in its application as we use specialized instruments, needles, and inks. A tattooist may be an expert at what they do (creating wearable art) and their clients are proud to show off their tattoo, but a successful SMP application should be virtually undetectable. You also have the option to have the SMP performed under a local anesthesia – a tattooist cannot deliver anesthesia to ensure a painless procedure.

Testimonials

contact@scalpmicropigment.com

1-800-NEW-HAIR

5757 Wilshire Blvd, Prom. 2, Los Angeles California

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