Scalp Micro USA
I was wondering if anyone had any experience with Scalp Micro USA. It's a new company out of NYC, founded by the infamous SMP practitioner Matt Iulo. I'm just about ready to pull the trigger and set up an appointment but figured I'd ask on here to see if anyone has any pics or experiences they could share. Thanks.
I will preface by saying I don't believe in permanent SMP. I think it sets patients up for potential disaster. However, I have read comments by others that have met Matt or have had SMP with Matt saying that he is a good guy that he wants to offer the best SMP work he can, which to me, means a lot. However, I think that if you are considering permanent SMP with Matt you have to ask him some tough questions.
1. Do you guarantee the pigment will not turn bluish or greenish over time?
2. Do you gurantee that the pigment will not "bleed" or spread from the initial dots made?
3. Do you guarantee that any fading will be even?
4. How do you fight pigment spreading after any touchups you perform? Think of touchups with pemanent SMP as pouring more red wine on a white tablecloth with existing red wine stains. I hope that makes sense.
5. Ask if you can meet his clients that have had SMP for more than a few months. Once you do, if you do, ask yourself if the results are what you would consider to be natural.
Thanks for the response Joe, I appreciate your input. The permanent aspect of the treatment does scare me a bit, but I love the idea of being able to get something like this done to potentially put hair loss behind me (at least for 5 or so years until a touch up session is needed). I am taking this very seriously and have been researching the procedure quite a lot for the past 10 or so months. I've considered all the points you made and plan on asking a lot of questions during my initial consultation. I won't move forward with something like this until I'm confident the results will meet my expectations.
It seems the first question on anyone's mind is "will it turn blue or green?" From what I've seen through my research, the answer is a definite no. Typical black tattoo inks are made up of different color pigments to produce the final shade. Over time as your body breaks down the pigments, the different colors break down at different rates, which often results in a color change. SMP specific inks are made of only black pigments so when your body breaks them down, it fades in a gray scale and does not change color. I do plan on asking about the specifics of the inks that scalp micro USA uses, to be 100% sure, but from what I can gather Matt had a great reputation and is pretty knowledgable about the SMP industry so he surely wouldn't use anything but the best for his company.
I haven't seem many examples of pigments that "bleed" together but plan on asking about that as well.
Fading is a concern with the treatment. From what I've seen, fading happens to different degrees for everyone, and often time it will not fade evenly. Most people have reported that the fading ends up looking like a person who is beginning to thin out in different areas, which in some cases can be a good thing for someone as they age with the treatment. Typically the fading can be remedied with a quick touch up session. Par for the course is a touch up session every 4-5 years, but if possible I'd like to be able to stretch that out to every 6-7 years if I end up getting it done.
While following the different forums, I've seen a few recipients of SMP go overboard with the initial set of treatments. Some people are looking to recreate the look of a head of hair 3-4 days after a shave, which to me is pretty risky. It ends up looking super dense and dark. It seems that the best treatments are more subtle, and meant to look like a freshly shaven head of hair. Currently I'm shaving every day (and have been for the bast year or so) so I plan on getting a pretty light, sparse treatment and following my same shaving routine. I'd like my old hairline back but don't want it to be too dark and dense. I think that's were the skill of the practitioner comes into play. To recreate hair with SMP, I believe, is more difficult to do than a lot of people give credit for. It seems that Matt produces the best, most consistent results, which is why I'm considering going with him If I do end up getting the treatment.
I defiantly plan on asking to meet some clients who have had the treatment performed by Matt. I've seen a lot of pictures of his work, which seems great, but a lot of questions would be put to rest if I could see his work in person. I have seen 6-7 people with the treatment (done by another company) and while some looked better than others, I was impressed with what I saw. I'm hoping/expecting Matt's work to be even better.
Since I started loosing hair I have researched just about every hair loss treatment out there. Every treatment has its ups and downs, good and bad results. If you follow hair transplants you'll see a lot of very, very good results but you'll also find a lot of unhappy customers. The same can be said for pills and pieces. Since I've been researching SMP, it seems to produce the most consistent results. I haven't been able to find many unhappy customers to be honest (at least from reputable companies). I have seen a few horror stories but they seem few and far between. Most of the naysayers are the one's who can't get over the idea of "tattooing" hair on your head, which is an argument I can completely understand. That camp seems to make the same points; it'll turn green, it'll blend together eventually and look painted etc. It seems that those sorts of opinions/concerns are based off of experiences with a traditional tattoo, which SMP is not. I'm a pretty skeptical guy so when first introduced to the SMP concept I had the same line of thinking. I've done a lot of research and would hate to be duped with something as serious as this, but from what I have seen in the past 10 months, those sorts of concerns are somewhat unwarranted. As I get closer and closer to booking a consultation/appointment I'm frantically looking for blue heads and painted on messes but I can't find them. I'm sure everyone is aware of the age old marketing saying... if you have an happy customer they'll tell 1 person. If you have an unhappy customer they'll tell 10 people. I figure if there were a bunch of bad results we'd hear about them on the different hair loss forums.
With all that said... even if the procedure does get botched, laser is still an option. I've heard some people say it may take 5+ sessions over 6 or so months, which can be extremely painful. But I figure if that does happen I'll have to suck it up and deal with it, and be stuck under a hat during that time, similar to how I am most of the time now as a NW6/7.
All I know is I don't like my current hair loss situation and am looking for a way out. As an NW6/7 my options are pretty limited. I figure its SMP or learn to live with being a bald guy.
If you do want to consider SMP but are concerned about the permanency of the treatment, one alternative to consider is SMP Looks which is currently located in Long Island. Erik C. has trained with Milena Lardi in Milan. She is considered one of the pioneers of the temporary trichopigmentation treatment. Please note that I am affiliated with Erik in that I have had the treatment done by him in two separate sessions (initial session in March of this year followed by a touch up session in July). I am not professionally affiliated with Erik or SMP Looks. I do not work for SMP Looks so I am not shilling for Erik on his behalf - I am just offering up his services as an alternative as I have been happy with the results. I believe Joe Tillman is familiar with Milena's work and is also more comfortable with the temporary nature of SMP over the permanent nature of the treatment.
Here is my profile and thoughts on the outcome of the treatment:
48 years old (Birthday today), NW6, Caucasian with fair skin. The results are very convincing BUT they will vary according to skin type. I believe that darker skins will show mininal to no contrast, lighter skins can demonstrate a slight contrast under certain lighting conditions (bright, high contrast lighting). For me, the contrast is not demonstrated through the pigment or 'dot' size - those both blend in excellently with my existing hair. The contrast, for me, lies with the underlying skin tone between the area affected by the MPB and the area that is not. The skin in the MPB area tends to be more pinkish - the sides less so. However, as far as I am concerned, I still require another touch up which can resolve that issue so I am still onboard with the treatment.
What I do love is that I have a restored hairline (I went with a conservative hairline - one that has a natural recession hairline, not one that is straight across). That restored hairline has significantly boosted my confidence so I consider the treatment a huge success. Can I improve the look? Yes - there is still some work to be done. Is it better than before with no hair? Absolutely!
I, like you, spent a great deal of time considering the treatment as an option and opted not to go permanent until I can better gauge the look itself. I would rather continue to maintain a temporary look, going for touch-ups each year or two, rather than suffer from the fall-out of a permanent treatment 'bleeding' five years out. As far as I am concerned, the temporary treatment gives me the same look with more options in the future (ie, let it fade and get a transplant done as better harvesting and coverage techniques emerge).
If you would like to consider the temporary route first as an alternative, here is Erik's email: email@example.com
Hi Kirk, thanks for the reply and happy birthday! I have looked into the temporary route and it seems that Milena Lardi is the go to for that type of treatment. I haven't seen many pictures or read much about the fade process and what to expect though.
I thought temporary would be a great way to test out the look and see if it is something I'd like long term. I don't think temporary is something I'd like to keep up with for the next 20+ years though. That would end up being pretty expensive and stressful to have to deal with the constant fading over the years. I figured if I went temporary I'd eventually have to get the permanent kind if it is something I liked and wanted to keep around long term. Because of that I figure just go permanent now and forget about the stress of hair loss for the foreseeable future. Do you see yourself continually getting the temporary kind? Or do you see yourself eventually getting permanent?
As far as testing out the look.. I've done that quite a bit with dermatch right on the scalp. I've been trying to determine the best hairline for me so I've tried out a bunch of different looks. I really like the shaven look on myself and think I've dialed in the perfect hairline for me.
I still haven't come across recipients of the permanent SMP reporting that it has all bleed together. I've followed quite a few threads with individuals who have had the treatment 5+ years and they still say that they are happy with the treatment. Its been around for almost 15 years so if it did all bleed together than there would be a lot of unhappy customers coming out of the wood work by now, don't you think? I've meet about 6 or 7 people with the treatment. Two of them had it for 3+ years, 3 of them had it done within the past year and one of them had it for 10+ years. The people who had it done within the last year looked great. The two that had it for 3+ years looked great (I remember still being able to see dots). The person who had it for 10+ years looked ok but I wasn't too excited about his hairline. He was an older gentlemen and had a pretty low and straight hairline. He pulled it off well and his whole head blended together perfectly but I thought he would be better suite with a bit of recession. He was the first person I met with the treatment and I had a lot running through my head at the moment. I don't remember too much about if I could see the individual dots on his head or if it had bleed together. I think I was more focused on his hairline. I remember inspecting his head and seeing that it blended great with his real hair, ever after 10 years but I don't remember much else. I wish I would have taken notice of the individual dots but like I said it was the first person I saw with the treatment and I guess I didn't know what to look for.
I'm staying with temporary because then I have the option of getting a hair transplant 5 years out.
I haven't seen anyone in person who has had permanent. If I came across someone who has had permanent done after 5 years and it remained natural looking, I might consider a change. I've seen tattoos after 10 years - the fade is noticeable and the colours tones have shifted. AFAIK, permanent SMP is done with similar metal-based pigments - they just use primarily black.
As for hairlines, go more conservative. I believe that's what makes the treatment more convincing.
Can anyone recommend a reputable Tricopigmentation clinic in Southern California?
hey tkster... i just came across your thread. I had treatment with Matt Iulo back a few months ago, and just recently had my 3rd session with him at Scalp Micro USA. I was leaving for Japan for a year so he squeezed me at his new spot. Hes a professional and my results are what i was hoping for going in. Def recommend him if you are going with a company in NYC.
I concur with daniko123. I have posted a pic in another thread but suffice it to say his work is awesome.
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