The rise in popularity of Botox resulted in a decrease in the popularity of surgical brow lifts (also known as a forehead lift). According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, the popularity of brow lift procedures dropped 69% between the years 2000 and 2019. There are signs that the popularity of brow lifts might be making a comeback thanks to a recent trend among millennial patients showing interest in the surgical procedure.
According to medical professionals interviewed by allure.com, there are a number of reasons for the increase in popularity of brow lifts among millennials including the look of some of their favorite celebrities.
Sarmela Sunder, a board-certified plastic surgeon in Beverly Hills told the website, “The most popular variation [of the procedure] is a lateral brow lift, or what I call a cat-eye brow lift, where I elevate the lateral third of the eyebrows, or the tails. Second to that is more of an overall brow lift – raising the eyebrows from the arch out to the tail – and that creates a peaked look more in line with that of Kylie Jenner or Gigi Hadid.”
The ongoing pandemic has also created a renewed interest in the procedure. There is more of a focus on the upper third of the face thanks to the emphasis on that part of the face due to the need to wear a mask. Millennial patients want a youthful and rejuvenated look to their forehead since that is the area of the face that is often visible to others.
It does seem rather surprising that patients are willing to have an invasive surgery rather than achieving the same look with injectables such as Botox or Dysport. According to Sarmela Sunder, “Traditionally, that’s the route patients would take – try a chemical brow lift [with toxin] first, and if that doesn’t work, go for surgery – but a lot of millennials are already savvy to the surgical brow lift. From the patient’s point of view, they’re impatient with the idea of repeat treatment, and they like that immediate satisfaction and lasting results.”
She added that “a decent number of this younger population” also turns to surgery if they find that a thread lift, targeted towards the brows, does not give them the desired results.
Millennial patients also do not mind having the surgery because the incisions are not on the face where any scarring might easily be seen by others. The incisions are hidden in the hair so any type of scars would be hidden from easy view.
Even though many millennial patients often want to have a surgical brow lift, some doctors encourage them to try an injectable first before they decide to have surgery. For some patients, a neuromodulator can reduce the current amount of wrinkles as well as prevent the formation of future wrinkles. Other patients might not see the results they desire from having injectables placed in the targeted area so they become ideal candidates for a surgical brow lift to achieve the cat-eye look and eyebrow arch made popular by celebrities such as Kendall Jenner and Bella Hadid.
While millennial brow lift is enjoying a surge in popularity, some plastic surgeons have concerns when it comes to the procedure on this group of patients. They are often against patients having plastic surgery just to be part of a trend which is how the current look of Kylie Jenner is viewed by many people. They understand some patients want to have the treatment for functional reasons, such as fixing a congenital lid deformity that obstructs the vision, instead of simply trying to gain a more aesthetically pleasing appearance.
On the other hand, there are some plastic surgeons that are not against the idea of having a brow lift for aesthetic reasons if the procedure is performed in an appropriate and conservative manner. There can be very little disruption of the tissue planes and little to no visibility of the areas where the incisions were placed in the scalp.
One of the key steps in the brow lift process is managing expectations when it comes to the final results of the procedure. While a surgical brow lift can give more dramatic results by lifting the brows upwards (about one centimeter), a brow lift performed with injectables will only provide a lift of around two or three millimeters. In addition, the results from injectables are not permanent so patients will need to have follow-up treatments in order to maintain the results.
It is important to visit a medical professional with experience in performing surgical (or nonsurgical) brow lifts, as well as an artistic eye, when it comes to providing the final results. The doctor can examine the current condition of the brows to determine the extent of the results that can be achieved by having the treatment. The doctor can also explain the pros and cons of both surgical and nonsurgical options so patients will have the information they need to know to make an informed decision about having a brow lift.