What Is Hairline Lowering?

Jillian O Keeffe

A person's hairline is the point at which the hair of the head stops and the forehead begins. Some people have a hairline that is high enough that they may worry about the cosmetic appearance of the forehead and hair. This may be a natural feature, or due to hair loss. A surgical option to resolve this problem, if hairstyling is not sufficient, is hairline lowering. This can be accomplished using hair transplants, or through removing a portion of skin and pulling the natural hairline forward.

A man with a receding hairline.
A man with a receding hairline.

Both men and women may wish to alter the appearance of their hairline for cosmetic reasons. Some people are born with a hairline that is higher than the average, and others lose hair through aging or other conditions such as alopecia. A more permanent solution to changing the look of a hairline that the person dislikes, compared to hairstyling and bangs, is cosmetic surgery.

Baldness can be reduced by transplanting hair from different areas of the head.
Baldness can be reduced by transplanting hair from different areas of the head.

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Hairline lowering requires the skill of a cosmetic surgeon to perform. A potential customer for hairline lowering can opt for one of two different methods. The person can have a hair transplant, which involves the removal of pre-existing hair follicles from further back on the head and their replacement in front of the natural hairline. This procedure can take more time than the other surgical option, as each individual follicle has to be separated out and transplanted one at a time, so this technique may be more expensive as a result.

Removing a slice of skin from the forehead in order to move the scalp forward is the other option for hairline lowering operations. This takes away some of the skin of the forehead, so that the cosmetic surgeon can use the normal elasticity of the scalp to stretch the hairline area forward and over the skull. The stitches in this case are hidden at the new hairline. One advantage to this technique over the hair transplant is that the hairline appears the same way as before, and all the hair grows in the right directions.

Commonly, the skin removal option only requires approximately 1 inch (about 2.5cm) of skin to be taken out, and the scalp can stretch that far without any problems. Some patients for this form of hairline lowering, however, need more skin taken out for a good result, or have scalps that cannot stretch sufficiently. For these people, the surgeon can implant a device under the scalp which can be inflated over the course of a few weeks to encourage more skin to grow. When the operation is performed the surgeon removes the device, and can stretch the skin enough to produce an appealing hairline result for the patient.

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