One out of every five women has a high hairline. This is usually a natural trait handed down from generation to generation. While some women are able to hide a high hairline with bangs, it’s a more masculine trait and often affects a woman’s self-esteem. For these women, hairline lowering is a viable option that involves making incisions, pulling the hairline to a lower point on the forehead, and then suturing the incisions. There are 10 things you should know about hairline lowering surgery if you’re considering the procedure for yourself.
Most women who request hairline lowering surgeries are over the age of 18. There are cases, however, where teens have a high hairline and want the surgical correction at an earlier age to help restore confidence and self-esteem. Plastic surgeons may work on patients as young as 16 providing a parent or guardian attends the consultation and signs the necessary forms for the surgery.
Choosing the Best Hair Restoration Surgeon
Not every hair transplant doctor is skilled in hairline lowering procedures. If there is no doctor in your area, consider traveling to another city and combining a vacation with your surgery. Start by asking if the hair restoration specialist offers phone/video consultations. Plan to travel the day before your surgery to be close to your surgeon and get set for the surgery.
Following the surgery, you need to wait one day and then see a recommended doctor in your hometown for removal of the stitches. Otherwise, have the surgery performed early into your vacation and then use the healing time to tour the city. Visit the surgeon for the post-surgery check before flying back home at the end of your vacation.
Appropriate Scalp Laxity is Necessary
During a hairline lowering surgery, the surgeon lifts and pulls down your scalp so that it sits lower on your forehead. For this to work, you need to have some laxity in your scalp. The typical one-stage lowering procedure moves the hairline up to an inch. If you need the hairline lowered more than that, you will need a balloon expander to stretch the skin.
When scalp laxity is a problem, your surgeon will implant a balloon expander under the skin. These expanders are gradually inflated over a span of six to eight weeks. This technique stretches the skin. By using balloon expanders, it is possible to lower the hairline by as much as 10 centimeters. After stretching the skin, the hairline lowering surgery takes place.
Steps in the Surgical Procedure
Before the actual surgery, you will be given a mild sedative and local anesthesia. This keeps you comfortable during the procedure. The basic steps to the hairline lowering include incisions that are made along the hairline. The skin is loosened, pulled down, excess skin is trimmed, and then the incision is closed.
Possible Complications and Side Effects
With any surgery, you do run the risk of having a reaction to the anesthesia or sedatives. There is also the risk of infection as you heal.
Complications are not high if you have a surgeon experienced in hairline lowering. If your surgeon has only performed a few procedures, the risks involve shock loss of the hair in the section of scalp that is lowered. There’s also the risk of visible scarring and necrosis of the skin that is pulled down.
Common side effects include mild swelling and numbness. Minimize swelling by keeping your head elevated when you rest.
Providing you are only having a hairline lowering surgery performed, you will have stitches, but the incisions are easily hidden by your hair. Most people feel presentable within two days. It takes three to six months for hair to grow in and hide the scar at the hairline.
Necessity for Hair Transplant Surgery
Some people want to fill in thin spots on their scalp with hair transplant surgery. Your hair restoration surgeon may add grafts in the front of the temple if necessary, but it’s usually best to hold off. First, making two incisions in the scalp is risky. It can diminish blood supply to the front of the scalp. Second, placing grafts near the incision from the hairline lowering puts them at risk of survival and affects circulation of the tissue near the incision.
Save Money by Pairing the Hairline Lowering and a Brow Lift
The cost of hairline lowering surgeries varies, but you can expect to pay at least $7,000 for a one-stage procedure. Because the procedure involves the incision at the hairline, talk to your doctor about combining the surgery with a brow lift to ease the appearance of forehead creases and wrinkles if necessary.
Avoid Certain Hairstyles to Prevent Hair Loss
There are certain hairstyles that strain the hair along the hairline. Tight buns, ponytails, and braids are all hairstyles that should be avoided in order to keep from pulling at these hairs.
According to the International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery, hair restoration procedures help boost confidence and esteem in social and professional settings. Watch the ISHRS Talks program about the Emotional Impact of Hair Restoration. Are you ready to feel confident with a luxurious hairline? Schedule a consultation with a hair restoration surgeon in San Francisco by calling (415) 379-9015. Dr. Sheldon Kabaker has more than three decades of experience in hairline lowering in California.