Hair loss can be an annoying and emotionally agonizing experience for both men and women. Fortunately, several hair restoration solutions are available today, including Scalp Micro Pigmentation (SMP) and hair transplant. Both procedures aim to provide a natural-looking result by filling in areas of baldness or thinning hair. However, they differ regarding procedure time, recovery time, cost, longevity, natural appearance, and risks and side effects. Choosing between SMP and hair transplant depends on individual needs, preferences, and budget. 

In this blog, we will compare SMP and hair transplants in detail, helping you decide which option is right for you.

1. Procedure Time

SMP generally involves a few sessions, each taking three to four hours, depending on the extent of hair loss. The first session usually involves designing the hairline and filling the areas with pigmented dots. The second and third sessions add more depth and density to the scalp. Many sessions are required depending on the extent of hair loss and the desired level of coverage.

On the other hand, a hair transplant can take several hours, with each session lasting up to eight hours. The process involves removing hair follicles from a donor area & transplanting them to the balding area. The transplanted hairs are typically placed in groups of one to four, depending on the hair’s natural growth pattern. Many sessions may be required to achieve the desired level of coverage.

2. Recovery Time

SMP has minimal downtime, and patients can return to normal activities immediately after the procedure. There may be some minor swelling or redness, but this usually resolves within a day or two. After the procedure, patients can wash their scalps daily and resume normal activities, including exercise.

A hair transplant, on the other hand, requires a more extended recovery time. A couple of days after the procedure, patients may experience some discomfort and swelling. The transplanted hair may also fall out in the weeks following the procedure, but this is normal and a sign that the follicles are taking root. Patients should avoid strenuous activity for a few weeks and avoid exposing their scalps to direct sunlight or extreme temperatures.

3. Pain And Discomfort

SMP is generally considered painless, with most patients experiencing only minor discomfort. The needles used in SMP are much smaller than those used in traditional tattooing, and the pigment is injected into the upper layers of the skin, reducing the risk of pain or bleeding.

Hair transplant, on the other hand, hair transplant can be more painful, especially during recovery. Patients may experience scalp swelling, redness, and soreness for several days after the procedure. Pain prescription may be prescribed to help manage the discomfort.

4. Cost

SMP is generally less expensive than a hair transplant, starting at around ₹ 15,000/- to ₹ 80,000/-. The cost of SMP depends on the extent of hair loss and the number of sessions required.

A hair transplant, however, can cost anywhere from ₹ 65,000/- to ₹ 1,10,000/-. depending on the extent of hair loss and the number of sessions required. While hair transplant is more expensive than SMP, it is considered a permanent solution, which may make it a better investment in the long run.

5. Longevity

SMP is considered a semi-permanent solution, with results lasting up to five years or more. Over time, the pigmented dots may fade or change color, requiring touch-up sessions to maintain the desired look.

A hair transplant is considered a permanent solution, with transplanted hair continuing to grow for the rest of your life. Once the hair follicles are transplanted, they are not impacted by male or female pattern baldness or other forms of hair loss.

6. Natural Appearance

SMP and hair transplants can provide a natural-looking result when performed by a skilled practitioner. However, SMP may be more suitable for people who prefer a closely shaved or buzzed hairstyle, as the pigmented dots create the illusion of hair follicles. The pigmented dots can also add density to thinning hair or fill in small bald patches.

A hair transplant, however, is better suited to people who prefer a longer hairstyle, as the transplanted hair will continue to grow. A hair transplant can also fill in larger areas of baldness and create a fuller head of hair.

7. Risks And Side Effects

SMP and hair transplants are generally safe procedures by a qualified practitioner. However, like any medical prescription, there are risks and potential side effects.

SMP may result in minor swelling or redness, which usually resolves within a few days. In rare cases, allergic reactions to the pigment or infection at the injection site may occur.

A hair transplant may result in minor bleeding, infection, or scarring at the donor and recipient sites. In rare cases, there may be complications such as shock loss (temporary hair loss in the transplanted area) or unnatural-looking hair growth.

Which Is Right For You?

Choosing between SMP and a hair transplant depends on several factors, including the extent of hair loss, the desired hairstyle, and the budget. Here are some factors to consider:

1. SMP may be better for people with minor hair loss or prefer a closely shaved or buzzed hairstyle.

2. A hair transplant may be a better choice for people with larger areas of baldness or who prefer a longer hairstyle.

3. SMP is generally less expensive than a hair transplant but may require touch-up sessions to maintain the desired look.

4. A hair transplant is a permanent solution but can be more expensive and require a longer recovery.


SMP and hair transplant are viable hair restoration options with unique benefits and drawbacks. Choosing between the two can be complicated, but with the right guidance and expertise, you can make an informed choice that meets your requirements and goals.

We understand the prominence of choosing the right hair restoration solution at Foxy Permanent Makeup Academy. That’s why we provide a comprehensive training program on SMP led by our master trainer, Priyanka Saini. With her expertise and guidance, you can learn the skills and techniques needed to provide top-quality SMP services to clients.

Whether you’re interested in pursuing SMP as a career or seeking a solution for your hair loss, Foxy Permanent Makeup Academy is here to help. Connect with us today to learn more about our SMP training program and how we can assist you in achieving your hair restoration goals.


Written By
Priyanka Saini

Priyanka Saini, a permanent makeup master, started her career in the beauty field in 2020. Originally, Priyanka worked as a dietician and founded the FitaspirebyPriyana brand.