Scalp Micropigmentation (SMP), a Cosmetic Treatment for Hair Restoration in Asians

  • Jino Kim
  • Jae P. Pak
  • William R. Rassman


Background: Hair transplantation has its limits as the demand of the balding area is often greater than the supply the donor area can provide. For the Asian patient in particular, with generally 20% less hair available for hair transplantation, the need for an adjunctive treatment is necessary to address the short supply of donor hair for the very bald Asian or those Asians whose hair is fine and does not provide the required bulk to cover smaller areas of balding. The use of scalp micropigmentation (SMP) has been introduced by these authors in previous publications, and its use has been extended beyond its original clinical applications.

Objective: SMP is a cosmetic tattoo technique that has been developed to address the need to reduce the contrast between the skin and scalp color, especially in Asians who have black hair and a light skin color.

Materials and methods: The technique called scalp micropigmentation (SMP) uses specialized techniques and conventional tattoo instruments and pigments in a stippling pattern on the scalp by skilled doctors and technicians trained in the art of the process.

Results: In addition to the use of SMP for a variety of alopecias and scalp scars, this technique has been used to extend the reach of hair transplantation by reducing the contrast between the scalp and skin color to make a person’s hair look fuller. For the Asian patient, the value of coloring the scalp with stippled tattoos will reduce the demand for hair that may not be available from a limited donor supply. It can be used in patients with thinning hair who are not candidates for hair transplantation such as the majority of women with thinning hair. Similarly, many men who have received hair transplants and do not get the fullness that they desired can achieve their desired end results with SMP. As this is a nonsurgical treatment, it is attractive for many patients who find themselves wanting more hair but not wanting or able to undergo another hair transplant, for whatever reason. The high contrast between black hair and the light skin common to Asians, SMP proves to be valuable skill for the hair restoration surgeon to create fullness that the hair transplant often cannot achieve. This market may reflect possibly millions of men and women, and patient satisfaction is very high.

Conclusion: SMP offers a good nonsurgical alternative or adjunctive treatment for solving problems in patients with thinning hair that may or for those who may not be candidates for hair transplantation. This paper demonstrates the results with the use of tattoo pigments in the skin with a stippled pattern. We believe that SMP is destined to become a standardized offering for physicians specializing in cosmetic hair procedures either for primary first use or secondary as an adjunctive cosmetic approach to creating a fuller looking head of hair.


Scalp micropigmentation Medical tattoo Balding Thinning hair Permanent concealer 


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Copyright information

© Springer Japan KK, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.New Hair Institute KoreaGangnam-guSouth Korea

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