What is Tricopigmentation?

A photo depicting an example of Tricopigmentation
What is Tricopigmentation?

What is Tricopigmentation?

Tricopigmentation is a term many of you may have heard in the past. Yet, few may fully understand the intricacies of undergoing a Tricopigmentation procedure. The idea of it may seem relatively simple, but there are details, and alternatives, that might be more interesting to individuals looking for more permanent solutions. 

What is Tricopigmentation?

Before we dive into the more interesting aspects of the procedure, it is important to explain what it is to those who do not know it. At its most basic, Tricopigmentation is a procedure during which pigment is applied to the scalp of the patient. The pigment darkens the area, creating a sense of density that may have been lost through the years of hair loss. 

The procedure is often seen by many as a solution to their hair loss or receding hairline problem. The cosmetic effect provided by Tricopigmentation indeed does a good job of creating the illusion of density, but it cannot supplement actual density. It is like a make-up effect: a temporary reprieve and cosmetic alleviation of a symptom of an existing problem.

This does not mean that Tricopigmentation is not a good solution for some. Yet, it is not the final solution – nor is it a cheap solution. Let’s get into more detail and see what we can come up with.

How does Tricopigmentation work?

The procedure was created in Milan, Italy. Milena Lardi thought of the procedure to offer individuals suffering from hair loss, scarring, or otherwise complete baldness a cheaper option for feeling better about how they look, who would forgo a hair transplant. 

Today, the procedure is sometimes used on its own but is more often used as a supplement or a supporting procedure for those not immediately satisfied with their results. It can still serve previous purposes, but a head covered in pigment is very distinct from a head covered in hair. 

But how does Tricopigmentation work?

The procedure is similar to tattooing in that it requires the work of a needle and pigment. The equipment is medical grade, and so is the pigment. The procedure involves the doctor applying the pigment uniformly across the scalp, at the same depth. The hairline design is agreed upon ahead of time. The final result usually looks rather good and leaves many people happy to have gone through the procedure. 

Is Tricopigmentation tattooing?

As mentioned before, the Tricopigmentation procedure and tattooing share certain similarities. Skin penetration is required to allow the pigment to be retained. Yet, certain differences make the procedures very distinct from each other. 

The first difference is that the Tricopigmentation process is performed by a medical professional. This is the simplest, yet important distinction. The nurse or doctor performing the procedure will be adhering to medical standards for cleanliness, professionalism, and patient care. While tattoo artists have to adhere to standards as well, the difference between medical and tattoo professional standards is quite dramatic. 

The second difference is related to the equipment used. The needle and the machine designed for Tricopigmentation are distinct from a tattoo machine. The  Tricopigmentation machine and needle are designed for special use on the scalp. The skin on the scalp is much more sensitive and shallow than elsewhere on the body. To allow for a comfortable experience that doesn’t damage the scalp, they have to be designed in a specific way. The needle has to always penetrate to the same depth. It also has to mitigate pain as much as possible.

Finally, the pigment is different as well. While tattoo inks are made of many different substances to allow for different coloring, the scalp pigment has to be made in a very specific way. It is known as SMP ink. The medical ink has to be strong, while also being hypoallergenic. 

So, to sum up, quickly, no Tricopigmentation and tattooing are not the same. They use different techniques, tools, and inks. One is a medical procedure, while the other is not. 

When is Tricopigmentation applicable?

There are multiple reasons why an individual might want to undergo a Tricopigmentation procedure. But, there are only a few that we would recommend as appropriate situations. Here’s a quick list: 

Density increase

One of the most frequent reasons anyone might go through the procedure is to increase the cosmetic density of their hair. Tricopigmentation works well to create the illusion of density on the scalp when some hair already exists over it. While noticeable in a very close examination, many people will never be aware of Tricopigmentation, unless told. 

This reason is entirely cosmetic and up to the patient. But I would recommend a significant stage of hai density loss before choosing to undergo Tricopigmentation. 

Hairline design

The hairline design would serve as a related reason for hair density increase. This reason is also cosmetic but is motivated by the desire to restructure an existing hairline. In cases where individuals lose hair above their foreheads, it makes sense to want to recreate what was once there.

Scar camouflage

Scar camouflage is probably one of the most recommended reasons for recommending Tricopigmentation, and one that we deeply respect. There are some cases where individuals have scarring on their scalp – whether from prior accidents (e.g. fires, head trauma, etc.) or nonprofessional hair transplants. 

In either case, the scarring can be easily covered up with the help of Tricopigmentation. The pigment has a uniform color no matter where it is on the scalp. By using the pigment to cover scarred areas, the scarring can be easily covered up. 

Alopecia correction

Alopecia is a disease many people have to live on the planet. It is unpredictable and, often causes hair to fall out in chunks, or to go away altogether. In these cases, it can be important for the patient to regain a sense of normalcy. Tricopigmentation is capable of offering assistance in this and is a valid way for someone to regain confidence in themselves. 

Supplement other procedures

There are many other hair procedures an individual might undergo, with more permanent solutions. FUE, FUT, and LHT all offer permanent solutions to regrowing missing hair. Yet, some patients may feel like the initial procedure was not enough, In cases such as these, Tricopigmentation might assist in improving the perception of self. 

How long does Tricopigmentation last?

The biggest drawback of Tricopigmentation is the fact that it does not last forever. The skin on the scalp grows and replaces itself rather quickly. Oftentimes, the pigment on the scalp may end up slowly disappearing between 12-18 months, making the procedure only a temporary solution to an everlasting problem. This is why we recommend looking into a more permanent solution – a hair transplant. While slightly more expensive, the results speak for themselves and if cared for correctly, will last a lifetime. 

Scalp Mictropigmentation vs Tricopigmentation

Scalp Micropigmentation (or SMP) is very similar to Tricopigmentation, but it offers certain advantages. The biggest is its permanence. Let’s talk briefly about which is better.

You may have noticed in the text above that Tricopigmentation presents some significant drawbacks. A significant one is the chance to fix a mistake. While lasers can be used to remove or repair poor SMP jobs, pigments used for triple pigmentation make it impossible to remove until the triple pigmentation treatment naturally subsides. 

Additionally, Scalp Micropigmentation does not require frequent updates. The pigment is better retained in the scalp. While individual procedures may be more expensive, they happen much less frequently. 

In the long run, Tricopigmentation requires more maintenance and additional treatments to achieve the buzzing look. With scalp Micropigmentation, you may need a touch-up every 4-6 years. However, trichromatic staining requires touch-ups every 6-18 months, which can become time-consuming and costly.

To sum up, Trichopigmentation is the cheapest option for those looking to achieve a denser look for their hair. Unfortunately, the frequency of the procedures and the associated risks may be too much for some. These may opt for Scalp Mictropigmentation. But neither is comparable as a solution to an actual hair transplant – which regrows actual hair, instead of making it look like there is hair on the scalp. You can learn more about hair transplants on the rest of our page – or by looking at the services we offer.