A balanced, proportionate face can be divided into three equal parts: the distance between the hairline to the mid-brow, the mid-brow to the base of the nose and the base of the nose to the chin. Not everyone has these ideal proportions naturally, however. Those who have an exaggerated, high forehead may feel self-conscious about their appearance. A high forehead can be caused by heredity, hair loss, or in very rare cases, a poorly executed brow lift. The good news is that an excessively high hairline or large forehead can often be addressed with a hairline lowering procedure or forehead reduction surgery.
Patients often ask for forehead reduction surgery because their high forehead makes them look older than they really are. Even younger patients who are not losing their hair sometimes show interest in hairline lowering surgery. Dr. Kevin Ende, a double board-certified plastic surgeon at W Cosmetic Surgery in the Philadelphia area, specializes in customized hair restoration procedures, including hairline lowering and hair transplant surgery.
Table of Contents
- What is a Hairline Lowering?
- Hairline Lowering vs. Hair Transplant
- What to Expect
- Schedule a Consultation
Hairline Lowering Results
Hairline lowering and forehead reduction surgery can have a dramatically positive change on the proportion of your face. See our before and after photos for some the dramatic results our patients have had.
*Each patient is unique and individual results may vary.
What is a Hairline Lowering Procedure?
Unlike a hair transplantation procedure, which involves taking hair follicles from one area of the scalp and grafting them to areas of hair loss, hairline lowering does not involve the hair at all. Instead, this surgical procedure is designed to reduce the distance between the natural hairline and the eyebrows. This reduces the visible forehead and creates a more proportional face overall, repositioning the hairline for improved facial aesthetics.
Hairline Lowering vs. Hair Transplant
Many individuals who are dissatisfied with the thickness and position of their hairline may immediately assume that a hair transplant is the best solution for their situation. Each procedure has its own individual benefits and should be considered based on the patient’s goals and the status of their hairline. Here are some of the issues that hairline lowering or a hair transplant can address.
Fine Baby Hairs Around the Hairline
If a patient has fine baby hairs around the hairline, hairline lowering may produce an unnatural-looking result. To avoid this, we may recommend a hair transplant to create a more natural hairline.
The Hairline is Thin
Thin hair and recession in the front hairline can make it difficult to achieve an optimal result with a hairline advancement. If hairline lowering is done, there should be a commitment to undergoing hair transplantation later. This decision is dependent on a physical examination and the expectations of the patient.
History of Hair Loss in the Family
Hairline lowering is not recommended for patients with a familial history of hair loss. A hair transplant to move the hair follicles is the only proven way to permanently restore hair to thinning or balding areas of the scalp.
Large Forehead With a Thick Hairline
Patients with a high hairline and good hair density are excellent candidates for forehead hairline lowering surgery. A forehead reduction procedure can offer successful results more quickly than a hair transplant at a significantly lower cost.
Benefits of a Hairline Lowering Operation
Hairline lowering is a common procedure that offers several key benefits. First, hairline lowering is a fairly quick process that can be conducted in one session. It leads to immediate results and can significantly increase a patient’s self-confidence.
Many patients opt for hairline lowering because there is no waiting period necessary to allow the hair to grow. In addition, the scar the procedure leaves behind is virtually invisible and there is no requirement to shave the scalp.
Good Candidates for Hairline Lowering
All candidates for hairline lowering should be in good health, have good forehead skin elasticity and scalp laxity, and have realistic expectations for their results. As hair loss patterns are different in men than in women, candidacy requirements vary slightly based on gender.
Hairline Lowering & Forehead Reduction for Men
Men who have a high hairline or large forehead are ideal candidates for a hairline lowering surgery if they have a thick hairline along with no familial history of hair loss. The procedure is also effective in men who have had a new hairline created previously with hair transplantation. Due to the progressive nature of hair loss in males, further procedures may be required to maintain an optimal result.
Hairline Lowering & Forehead Reduction for Women
*Each patient is unique and individual results may vary.
The majority of women will maintain a stable forehead hairline position for a long time, if not their entire life. For some women, however, a high forehead or hairline can create a more masculine or even aged appearance. Women of all ages with a high forehead can choose to have their hairline lowered with surgery. The procedure is most effective for women with thick hair.
What to Expect During a Hairline Lowering Consultation
Patients who are concerned about a large forehead and are considering a hairline lowering procedure should schedule a free, private consultation with Dr. Ende. During the meeting, Dr. Ende discusses patients’ concerns and goals with them, evaluates their forehead and scalp laxity, looks over their medical history, and designs a customized treatment plan with their goals in mind.
The consultation is the perfect time for prospective patients to ask questions about the surgery and determine whether it’s a better option for them than a hair transplant. Dr. Ende will share real before and after photos so that patients can get an idea of the results they can expect. He goes over all the details of the procedure and explains what patients can expect during and after surgery.
Before scheduling an appointment with our expert plastic surgeon, patients should check their forehead skin flexibility. Try this simple exercise at home: start by gently pulling on the scalp near the hairline to see if it moves forward and is not stuck in place. Scalp laxity and flexibility increases the success of the procedure. Next, measure your face into thirds to plan your ideal hairline placement.
The Hairline Lowering Procedure
Occasionally, some patients may need to go through the process of “growing” extra forehead skin with a tissue expander prior to the forehead reduction procedure. Other patients may be able to undergo the hairline lowering operation right away. In most cases, general anesthesia is unnecessary for patients undergoing this procedure, which decreases the potential for complications. Hairline lowering surgery is typically performed on an outpatient basis, so patients can be driven home by a friend or family member after the operation is complete.
The procedure takes approximately one hour. During the surgery, an irregular trichophytic incision is made behind the first two rows of the existing natural hairline. Hair is able to grow back through the scar using this incision. Then, the scalp is advanced and lifted forward to create the patient’s desired hairline height.
The incision is closed in layers in order to create very fine sutures along the hairline to avoid a noticeable scar. Deep sutures anchor the new hairline in place and a hairline lowering bandage is applied. The patient can remove the bandage the next day after the procedure, and no further bandages are usually required.
Recovering from Hairline Lowering Surgery
The recovery from a hairline lowering surgery is relatively short and patients can resume light activity very quickly. Often, patients do not experience any significant bruising or swelling. Sutures are usually removed in 5-7 days and can be taken out by any qualified doctor. Many patients are healed enough to travel and return to work after a couple of days and can use a scarf or hat to conceal the area until the trichophytic incision heals fully. Within three to six months, the hair typically grows through and in front of the scar. The scar will be nearly impossible to see once the hair grows in. Even hair styled in short haircuts can typically conceal the scar.
When I used to look in the mirror all I saw was my big forehead. I finally decided to do something about it at the age of 29. I am so happy I did and wish I would have done it sooner. I did my hairline lowering procedure with Dr. Kevin Ende and it was easier then I thought it would be. I absolutely LOVE the results and my new hairline. I am a very active person (I'm a runner and a mother of 1) and was concerned about what the recovery would be like. After 5 days the procedure took place the sutures were removed (which were barely noticeable to begin with because my hair is so dark) and two weeks from when the procedure took place I was running laps. Dr. Ende is a great doctor and the staff was so friendly and helpful.Read more.
Frequently Asked Questions About Hairline Lowering
What are the side effects of hairline lowering?
As with all surgeries, hairline lowering comes with some complications. Numbness of the front scalp is one of the most common complications. This usually subsides after several months. Patients may also experience an itching sensation while they are recovering.
When are patients ready to go out in public?
Although the answer to this question varies from patient to patient, most patients are confident enough to go out in public about two days after the procedure. Light activity is recommended to help with the healing process, but patients may need to postpone exercise, bending, and lifting for a few weeks.
Will hairline lowering change the shape of the hairline or forehead?
The procedure may allow for small changes to be made to the shape of the forehead. Most patients desire only a slight decrease in their hairline height, which we may be able to achieve. Hairline lowering may also improve symmetry for patients who are bothered by an asymmetrical forehead and a high hairline.
Can hair be washed after hairline lowering?
Yes. Patients may wash their hair the day after their scalp is advanced. However, they must be very gentle as vigorous moving of the scalp may lead to bleeding or wound dehiscence.
Is hairline lowering permanent?
Hairline lowering is a permanent procedure, which would be difficult to undo without skin grafting. Therefore, it’s important to select a qualified surgeon like Dr. Ende and to have realistic expectations about the results. Before and after pictures can help patients set their expectations.
Why Choose W Cosmetic Surgery?
Double board certified surgeon, Dr. Ende of W Cosmetic Surgery is considered a hairline lowering expert in the Philadelphia area. He takes an individualized approach to hairline lowering surgery and designs treatment plans that provide patients with their desired results. He knows exactly how to relocate the tissue to create a natural hairline in patients with a high hairline or large forehead. Dr. Ende, along with board certified surgeon Dr. Allan Wulc, have more than 40 cumulative years in practice and look forward to putting their experience to work for you.
Schedule a Free Hairline Lowering Consultation
If you’re wondering whether or not you’re a good candidate for hairline lowering, we encourage you to contact our Philadelphia, PA office today to schedule a free, private consultation with Dr. Ende. You can call us at 610-828-8880 or fill out our convenient online contact form. We look forward to meeting you and helping you achieve your aesthetic goals.