Sometimes, larger foreheads aren’t really any larger than an average-size forehead. They only appear that way on certain individuals because of a higher hairline, which results in more of the forehead’s surface area being exposed. Known as a” Tudor hairline” because of its genetic prominence in the royal Tudors of sixteenth century England, a high female hairline is hereditary and occurs in about 20 percent of women. It can be particularly frustrating because high hairlines are considered more masculine, so modern hairstylists create bangs to hide wider foreheads in their female clients.
Another troubling factor may evolve for such women as gravity and the aging process take their toll: sunken brows that seem to widen the gap. With the hairline raised too high and the brows lowering, two procedures performed together can offer the ultimate forehead reduction to frustrated female patients.
What Is Hair Lowering?
Most women who have the Tudor hairline have learned to adapt their hairstyles in order to disguise it. Many others, however, would prefer to solve the problem permanently. For these women, there is a surgical procedure known as hair lowering that can achieve the results they are seeking. This is a sophisticated, one-stage procedure also known as forehead reduction that can lower the hairline about one inch. Although it may not seem like a lot, one inch less of forehead space can make a big difference to a person’s overall appearance. In order to achieve these results, you must have a certain amount of scalp laxity, which can be determined by a hair transplantation specialist.
In a similar procedure, you may be able to receive follicular unit hair grafts to achieve comparable results. These grafts must be repeated over the course of 12 to 18 months in order to achieve the right amount of density to look natural. By doing so, the end result will be grafted hair that is long enough to be added into the patient’s typical hairstyles.
Finally, another method of lowering the hairline, ideal for those with a very tight scalp, is a two-stage procedure that both stretches the scalp and moves it downward. During stage one, the surgeon will use a balloon-like expander device, inserted underneath the scalp, to stretch the skin. The balloon is gradually inflated for a period of six to eight weeks until the desired amount of scalp laxity is reached. The second stage is the lowering of the hairline, which can typically be moved up to 10 cm during this procedure.
What Is a Brow Lift?
So what exactly does a brow lift have to do with moving a person’s hairline downward? At first glance, these procedures seem completely different: one deals with moving the hair, the other involves lifting the eyebrows. Yet, having hair too high and brows too low can achieve the same effect: a lot of empty space on the forehead. For this reason, many patients choose to combine these procedures as the two-step approach to combatting a big, broad forehead.
Sometimes called a forehead lift, a brow lift can do much to combat the aging process and reverse the effects gravity has had on the forehead and eyes. There are several types of brow lift procedures, the latest of which is called an endoscopic brow lift. This method uses four or five small incisions in the scalp, plus small television cameras to navigate the way. Surgical instruments are then used to cut the attachments between the brows and the eye sockets, allowing the brow to literally be lifted. Scars are hidden in the hair, the hairline should remain in position, and other complications are reduced.
During the coronal brow lift, a longer incision is placed in the scalp, where some skin is removed to pull the brows upward. For patients seeking hairline lowering surgery, this option is not an ideal choice. Instead, a third type of brow lift may be a better option. During this method of brow lift, an incision is made along the hairline and a thin strip of forehead skin is removed to raise the eyebrows. While this procedure typically leaves a scar at the hairline, it is often well hidden by the hairs growing around and through it. If you combine this method with a hairline lowering procedure, your surgeon may be able to hide all scars together. Discuss your options with your plastic surgeon to determine which pairing of procedures will best suit your needs.
What Is the Recovery Like From These Forehead Surgeries?
After your hairline lowering procedure, you will need to rest at home for about one week, avoiding even easy activities around the house for two to three days. It is normal for there to be some swelling and bruising around the hairline, sometimes extending down to the forehead and eye areas. Your surgeon will likely prescribe medication to help manage the pain and discomfort, which should be mild, along with cold compresses to help the swelling. You will be asked to rest for the first few crucial days, with your head and neck elevated to help the healing and stave off excess swelling.
Recovering from brow lift surgery will likely involve some mild swelling and bruising of the forehead, but only very mild discomfort. Pain medications will be prescribed to help manage this discomfort. Your post-operative side effects should last about seven to 10 days, with sutures or stitches being removed around five to seven days. Most patients are able to return to work after one week of rest and recovery, although vigorous exercise and activity should be avoided for up to three weeks following surgery. Some patients experience numbness in the forehead, but this too is normal and should gradually resolve itself as your forehead and brows heal. Given the tremendous benefits this procedure can offer to patients, one week of smooth recovering doesn’t seem too bad.
Together as one procedure, hairline lowering and a brow lift would involve about one week to 10 days for a nearly full recovery. These surgeries have many overlapping side effects and a similar recovery timeframe, making them an ideal pairing. Of course, whether or not you are able to have both surgeries done at once will be the decision of your plastic surgeon. Be sure to discuss your options with a surgeon who has specialty experience in both areas.
Visit Dr. Kabaker for Hair Restoration and Plastic Surgery Procedures
Dr. Sheldon S. Kabaker can provide you with sound advice about the procedural plan that best matches your individual needs. He is an Aesthetic Facial Plastic Surgeon and Hair Transplant Specialist who also offers nonsurgical skincare treatments. He received his medical degree from the University of Illinois College of Medicine in 1964 before serving in the US Army Medical Corps and seeking active duty in Vietnam. Dr. Kabaker has studied and taught facial plastic surgery internationally in places like France, Spain, Italy, Germany, Israel, Mexico, Argentina, the United Kingdom, and Australia. Today, he continues to modernize his practice and deliver exceptional results to his patients. To book a consultation with Dr. Kabaker, contact his office located at 3324 Webster Street in Oakland, California, by calling (415) 379-9015.