Hairline lowering refers to a couple of procedures that help patients with a high or receding hairline:
- Surgical hairline lowering is a procedure in which an incision is made at the anterior hairline, over the forehead, to reduce the height of the forehead and lower the hairline. Hairline lowering works very well for female patients. It also works well on males who don’t have hair loss in their history but are looking to reduce the height of their hairline. With ideal scalp laxity, the scalp can be lowered an average of 2 to 2.5-cm. The average female hairline is about 5 to 6.5-cm from the mid-eyebrow region. Usually, anything higher than that makes the upper portion of the face look out of proportion. Those with higher hairlines sometimes feel they have a large forehead and their face looks stretched and out of proportion. Individuals with a disproportionately high hairline can fix the problem by having their hairline lowered.
- A second option to lower the hairline is hair transplantation. A hair transplant/hair grafting procedure can lower the hairline and fill-in the temple area without the need for an incision at the hairline. This procedure is best for individuals who have thinning hair/hair loss at the hairline and/or temples or those who are good candidates for surgical hairline lowering but also have recessions in the temples.
Am I a Good Candidate for Surgical Hairline Lowering?
A GOOD CANDIDATE for hairline lowering is:
- Young females in their 20s and 30s (although it can be done for men and older women as well) who have no personal or familial history of hair loss
- A person with good, thick hair follicles, especially at the hairline, in order to properly hide the incision site
- A person with a high, or receding, hairline
- Patients with a large forehead
- A person with forehead skin that is flexible
Patients who are NOT GOOD CANDIDATES include:
- A man or woman who will continue to have hair loss has a higher chance of the incision being more visible
- Someone without a thick hairline
- A person without a good amount of flexible forehead skin
How is Hairline Lowering Performed?
In general, there are two main methods of performing hairline lowering:
- Hairline lowering surgery, AKA surgical hairline advancement, involves shortening the forehead while moving the hairline forward. The surgeon makes an incision along the front of the hairline. Then, the hairline is brought forward so any excess forehead skin can be removed. After the hairline is brought forward, the incisions are sutured closed. This technique does create an incision line at the hairline but an experienced surgeon utilizing the proper technique will be able to create an incision that will be camouflaged by the first few rows of hair effectively making the incision line undetectable.
- A hair transplant does not involve an incision along the hairline and is best for individuals experiencing hair loss. It permits lowering of the hairline as it fills-in the sides within the temples and receding hairline. Hair grafts, of one to four hairs, are placed inside very tiny incisions in front of the hairline and between the existing hairline hairs. The grafts are placed in this manner in order to increase hair density. The hairs are transplanted in the direction that the hair naturally grows. The donor site, which is usually located on the back of the head, heals and any scar is normally concealed by the existing hair in the area.
What is the Cost of Surgical Hairline Lowering?
The cost of hairline lowering depends on any fees charged by the surgeon or the facility, the technique performed by the surgeon and the area of the country where it was performed. In general, the cost is between $8000 and $12,000. The cost can be higher if a hair transplant is used to the lower the hairline as patients will also be charged a “per graft” fee for the hair grafts transplanted by the surgeon.
Recovery and Downtime
At the start of the RECOVERY process, there will be a little bit of swelling and possible bruising around the eyes and above the brows. Overall, the swelling and bruising typically resolves after a couple of days. The small stitches which are placed at the incision site are removed after 6 or 7 days. Patients should not wash their hair for at least 2 days after the surgery. Patients will experience numbness in the front of the scalp behind the incision. This numbness will last a couple of weeks, to months, as the nerves adjust after the surgery. Patients can also experience an itching sensation as the nerve endings begin to return to their normal function.
Typically, patients can resume normal activities and low impact work after one to two days of DOWNTIME. They should avoid strenuous exercise or anything else that will raise the heart rate for at least 2 weeks.
Hairline lowering surgery results should be noticeable almost instantly after the procedure. However, a scar may be visible in the front of the hairline so a hair transplant might be necessary to place hair follicles in the surgical scar.
With hair transplantation, there may be some temporary shedding of the transplanted hair in the front of the scalp around 2-4 weeks afterward. Patients should not worry as the hair will grow back after several months. The transplanted hair almost always falls out and then enters a 3-4 month "resting phase" before growing back. It can take up to a year for the results of a hair transplant to be fully visible.
Limitations of Hairline Lowering
The limitations of hairline lowering include:
- For surgical hairline lowering – How far the hairline can be advanced based on the laxity and flexibility of the scalp and forehead
- For hair transplantation – The amount of healthy hair grafts a patient has available for transplant and the extent of hair loss the individual has experienced
Risks of Hairline Lowering
Some common risks of hairline lowering include:
- Unnatural results (if not performed by an experienced and board-certified surgeon)
- Tingling sensation
Conduct Proper Research
Patients interested in having their hairline lowered should do their research to find the surgeon that is right for them. They should look for a board-certified surgeon who is extremely experienced in hairline lowering as well as hair grafting and transplantation because a doctor with an expert understanding of hair growth patterns is vital to achieving a natural result. They will want to see examples of previous work by the surgeon to ensure he or she has a good grasp of the aesthetics of a natural hairline and won’t produce an unnatural look. With the help of the right surgeon, patients can have a lower, natural-looking hairline that can be a life-long result.
Written by Cosmetic Town Editorial Team- MA
Based on an exclusive interview provided by Dr. Jason Champagne of The Diamond Face Institute in Beverly Hills, CA