April 21 2014, 1:10 pm PT | Posted in: Pigments
After listening to what each individual has to say, my general approach to surgery or any treatment (including Scalp MicroPigmentation / SMP) is to ask myself, “What would I do if it was me?” or “What would I do for my brother or best friend?” It may not always equate to a good business plan or making money.
When I see patients who are considering SMP, I know from experience they are usually people who don’t trust doctors or believe in a “miracle” fix. Most of them have seen it, done it, and spent countless nights and days researching info on the Internet. Most of them have been obsessing over their hair/scar situation for many years and have been living under a hat or hair piece that consumes part of their lives. They probably have a backup hat in their car, at work, and at home. Some have never let their significant other see them without a hair piece. Most of them probably know about this industry and the major players (competition), and have probably even spoken with or have seen other doctors and clinics, spending a small fortune in the process without satisfaction. They look at everything with skepticism. If you see the horror I haven seen committed on people’s heads, I don’t blame them!
I also see a good number of young Norwood class 6 men who thought a hair transplant was the “cure” and wound up discovering that you don’t get a full head of hair. The results may be great, as they now have a good frontal hairline and the work looks natural, but it’s just not what they signed up for. They thought a hair transplant was a solution to give them all their hair back. Doctors may not have explained it to them or they never understood that a hair transplant is basically rearranging what you already have. If you lost most of your hair, you have to work with the remaining hairs and consider a new way of styling (not a short buzz cut). And no matter how much money you spend or how many surgeries you have, you still have a thinning look you must work with (keep it longer or style it a certain way). When you cut your hair short or want a young look, you still end up with a relatively bald spot on the top.
So when I meet with potential SMP patients, I need to understand what they are really looking for and both of us must fully agree on a Master Plan and the end result. We must both agree on realistic expectations. SMP is, after all, NOT REAL HAIR. You are trusting me to do an artistic job to “fool” the world that you have hair or that you don’t have that hair transplant scar. It’s not perfect. In certain angles and certain lights you will see it. The point is that most people will not. The goals is to diminish the thinning or balding look and not have to worry about the scar and the awkward looks from people. You also have to understand that when your hair starts to get longer, the flat scar will stand out against the stubble of surrounding hair. So you must accept that you must maintain a certain hair length. You don’t have to shave it everyday. Most people get away with 3 days worth of hair growth on a short buzz cut.
My own skepticism (if you call it that) when I meet with potential SMP patients is that people come for a quick fix. This is not a quick fix or a complete solution. SMP may be a great solution, but only if you know what it really is. Just like a hair transplant may be a great solution only if you know what it really is. My goal is to have people see or understand the limitations of SMP or a hair transplant. I cannot deliver a great product if you don’t understand what to expect. Shaving one’s head (especially with a large scar) is a huge leap of faith that I don’t take lightly, so I have to make sure I will meet your expectations and goals, and not end up in the category of doctors who didn’t deliver with false hope and dreams. I want to be proud of my work and know I really helped someone out of a bad situation.
– Dr. Jae Pak