Just as the name states, a hairline lowering forehead reduction surgery lowers your hairline. This can be achieved using individual hair follicles to completely redesign your hairline. It can also be achieve by removing a section of your forehead skin and advancing the hairline forward. Each type of surgery has its own advantages and disadvantages.
There are two major surgical options for hairline lowering surgery:
1. Hair Transplant or Grafting Surgery – Individual hairs are precisely implanted (one by one) to create a new, lower hairline. The donor hairs are taken from the back of the scalp.
2. Forehead Reduction – An incision is made on your hairline to remove excess skin on your forehead. The scalp is then advanced forward and the doctor sutures the skin together. Some doctors offer a one-step reduction without the need for tissue expanders. Tissue expanders are needed in some cases to stretch the skin or scalp over the course of several weeks. Imagine a water balloon that is gradually inflated under your scalp to stretch out the skin.
To find out which type of procedure is right for you, you will need an examination of your scalp and understand the risks and benefits associated with each type of surgery.
What are the Pros and Cons of a Forehead Reduction Surgery?
Forehead reduction surgery is a great option if you want to lower your hairline by more than 2 to 3 cm (0.75 inch to 1.25 inches) in one surgery. The results are immediate and it is a great surgery if you are the right patient matched with the right doctor.
One limitation of a forehead reduction surgery is that it leaves an incisional scar on the hairline. Many times the scar is not readily noticeable. Some patients, no matter how great the surgeon, tend to scar more than others. As a result, some patients may feel self-conscious about wearing their hair up as it exposes a thin, white, linear scar. Additionally, a major limitation is that the forehead reduction surgery does not round out the face (temple corners). Forehead reduction often results in a rectangular versus oval shaped hairline.
What are the Pros and Cons of a Hairline Lowering or Grafting surgery?
Hair transplant surgery is also a great option to lower your hairline if you are particular about the exact shape of your hairline to achieve an oval hairline. In other words, hair transplant surgery can shape your hairline exactly as you envision it — one hair at a time without a scar on your hairline. A hair transplant surgery can give you a natural and soft hairline while rounding your temple corners. It can also address the scar from a previous forehead reduction surgery. One limitation of a hair transplant surgery is that the results are not immediate, and the fullness (density of hair) is less than a forehead reduction surgery.
The Pros and Cons of Hairline Lowering and Forehead Reduction Procedures
No scar on the hairline.
Can give you an oval, feminine hairline.
Minor procedure with a faster recovery time.
There should be no post-operative hair loss.
Will result in a less dense hairline.
Your hair must grow out before you see results (typically 6 to 8 months).
Cannot lower your hairline more than 3 to 4 cm with just one surgery.
Will result in a more dense hairline.
Can lower your hairline by more than 2 or 3 cm.
May leave a scar along the hairline.
Cannot round out the temples (corners of hairline).
Surgery center and general anesthesia needed.
Possible post-operative hair loss from the trauma caused by the surgery (shock hair loss).
If you decide that a hairline lowering is the right procedure for you, there are two different harvesting methods you can choose from:
Follicular Unit Excision (FUE) harvesting is an alternative harvesting method used to harvest hair follicles one hair follicle at a time. FUE harvesting is often misrepresented as a scarless surgery or a minimally invasive surgery. It must be noted that FUE surgery will give you scarring and is not a minimally invasive surgery. The difference between FUE and FUT (strip) is that FUE leaves thousand of round dot scars while FUT (strip) leaves a single line scar. FUE requires shaving the back of your head to harvest the hairs.
Because of this reason, many women choose not to have the FUE harvest method. In both methods, hair follicles are harvested from the donor area, checked for quality by the surgical staff, then transplanted into the hairline. Some women who still prefer the FUE harvest method can have an undercut for the harvesting.
Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUT) harvesting, often referred to as Strip Surgery or Follicular Unit Strip Surgery (FUSS), is the most common method of harvesting the donor hair for women since there is no need for shaving your hair. You can return to work and normal activity as early as the next day. FUT or Strip surgery involves harvesting the hair with an incision in the back of your head where your donor hair is taken from. You will have a linear incision scar on the back of your head, but it will always be hidden or covered by your hair.
The Internet is full of confusing information regarding the FUT harvesting method. Many patients are afraid of the scar and make their decision based on misleading marketing and misinformation. It must be noted that FUT harvesting is still the Gold Standard in the quality of a hair follicle, and has a higher percentage of growth potential. The ultimate deciding factor in a great surgical result is how the hairs are implanted and less about how the hair is harvested. The final results depend on the artistic talent as well as the technical expertise of the entire surgical staff.