I think it is important to keep something in mind here fellas. This version of SMP is not new. It is only new to us in North America. Milena has been performing this procedure for a few years in Italy and she has a long list of clients. If this was not what it appears to be then there would be plenty of evidence to refute what is being presented. I have yet to see a single case of this ink turning color (blue or green) and there are plenty of cases to look at. I have only seen cases of where it is working as claimed and then when it fades it does eventually disappear as I showed in my previous thread.
I'd also like to get something else cleared up. This is not a "tattoo". The ink is obviously different as is the application. The needles are different (smaller?) and the machine is different. The machine is purchased from a company that sells to all kinds of clients that perform similar makeup applications (eyebrows, lips, etc.) but Milena has had a custom circuit board designed that is proprietary for her purposes. The depth of application is more shallow (.5mm) than tattooing and it will not fade into a blotch and from what I have seen thus far it will not change color either.
Regarding Milena Lardi, I feel that she and her husband/business partner are good people. They've been in the cosmetic micro-pigmentation business since 1992. They started doing scalp micropigmentation a few years ago. Their machine and technique are being used by the dermatology department at the San Raffaele Hospital in Milan (a 1400 bed facility) where, if I understand correctly, burn victims benefit from Milena's SMP. Milena also works with the hospital by performing pro-bono areola reconstruction for breast cancer survivors and the work is outstanding.
Who can benefit from this?
1. Those patients that are so diffused even in their donor zones that surgery of any kind is a non-option. Filling in the top of the scalp as well as the donor zone, with a buzz cut, can be quite good.
2. Those that have had surgery in the past but are either tapped out or just don't want to go in for more work and need a top up of density can also benefit. For instance, my left part line is a bit wider than I'd like as an ideal and I've considered having Dr. Wong run a few grafts down this line for added density but I decided to let Milena have a go and it did help to tighten this area up a bit. It was only minor work so I did not have a miraculous before/after transformation and in fact others around me may find it challenging to see any real difference but it is something that I notice and I'm pleased with it.
3. Those that have not had surgery can benefit if they aren't ready for surgery and only have minor needs. Dr. Hasson has had a thinning crown for years. Ten years ago he started finasteride and it reversed the loss enough that he opted not to have Dr. Wong fill it. It hasn't been an issue since but he did lie down on the table (at Dr. Wong's suggestion) and allow Milena to fill it in. It worked but it is not a miracle. Instead of high density coverage he has a mild semi-permanent light Toppik effect. This can also work for those patients that have not lost enough hair to justify surgery but have lost enough hair to be noticeable. By filling in between the existing hairs the result can be quite good. I saw this on a patient in Italy back in March when I first met Milena. I know this patient personally so I know what the looked like before the treatment.
4. Patients with scarring. This does not only apply to hair transplant scars but to any scarring. The challenge here is that the physical make up of scar tissue is vastly different from skin tissue and the ink can "take" differently. Scar tissue requires a test application to see how it works. If the scar tissue is softer then the ink can spread somewhat and create a larger than intended dot. This isn't because the ink is failing but rather because the tissue is more permeable and the ink finds it's way into more nooks and crannies so to speak. Harder scar tissue works better. It takes ten days however for the test patch to be evaluated and if the result is positive then a full pass can be performed with a secondary pass as a touch up performed the next day.
If one falls under a more aggressive Norwood level and there is little to no hair in the recipient area then this is not a miracle cure. There is no third dimension to the result (actual hair standing up on the scalp) so if one gets too close and takes more than a passing glance at a patient's head then they may notice something that is "off" about the result. I can't say whether or not it would be obvious that there is ink where there should be hair but to one that knows anything about hair restoration it would be easier to pick out. To the casual observer from five to ten feet away it may be fine.
Finally, just because I had this done and even Dr. Hasson had it done does not mean that everyone else should rush to do the same and it should not be taken as an official endorsement, yet. What I do to myself has nothing to do with what anyone else should think of this. My reasoning was simple. The amount of work done is insignificant compared to what I've already undergone via surgery and if it was a failure for whatever reason (I could not think of any to be honest) then it would not be visible to anyone around me. I know this won't turn blue on my head and I know it won't be permanent so I saw no real risk.
As I learn more I'll share more.