The hairline is an important and noticeable feature on a person’s head and face. Hairlines may recede due to Androgenetic alopecia (male pattern baldness) or other conditions. This often creates a loss of confidence or self-esteem. Many treatments for general hair loss are less effective toward the front of the scalp. As such, restoring a hairline often requires some form of surgical procedure. There are two primary methods for restoring a hairline surgically.
This procedure can be used to treat hair loss anywhere on the scalp, but it is most often used to restore the hairline in frontal baldness cases. In this procedure, a hair-transplant specialist will remove grafts of complete hair, including the root, from the back of the scalp and implant that hair in bare sections of the scalp.
The hair will then grow just like normal hair. Hair transplant is one of the most effective means of restoring the hairline. It is also permanent; hair regrown by other methods may fade if treatments stop for a prolonged period. Transplanted hair does not fade away after treatment. Most procedures use micro-grafts of very thin strips with only a few hairs in each strip. This allows for extremely precise placement, and restoration of the hairline. It is important to have a discussion with your doctor regarding the result to make sure both the doctor and patient are satisfied.
Can a Graft be Undone?
Most grafts can be undone of they are incorrect or the patient is unhappy, but this also means the hair is wasted. One important aspect of hair-transplant is that there is a finite amount of hair to work with—hair removed from other portions of the scalp is gone forever. Depending on the level of hair loss, there may be only so much hair to work with before removing a graph risks creating baldness in another area of the scalp.
Does Age Matter?
The patient’s age is another factor to keep in mind when considering transplant surgery. The transplanted hair will not fall out under most conditions. However, original hair in that area may continue to fall out. In a younger patient, it is possible for future hair loss to create extremely unnatural looking hairlines as hair falls out behind the grafted hair. Usually this requires additional transplant procedures to restore the newly lost hair. Hair transplant is most cost-effective when it is used at a time when most of the hair loss has already occurred and there is less chance of continued hair loss.
Hair-transplant surgeries are usually single-session procedures which take only hours to complete and have recovery times of just a few days. It may take a few weeks after the surgery for the full effect to be noticeable.
Hairline Advancement or Brow Reduction Surgery
This surgical procedures takes a different approach to restoring the hairline. Rather than transplanting more hair to cover the scalp, this procedure removes the scalp tissue itself so there is less space for the existing hair to cover. The amount of skin on the brow is effectively reduced and the hairline is literally pulled lower. If done correctly, the procedure creates a natural appearing lowered hairline. There is sometimes a small incision scar just in front of the hairline, but this usually fades almost completely and is rarely noticeable.
Recovery for brow reduction surgery is usually five to seven days and requires the removal of sutures. The suture removal means at least one additional trip the doctor after the procedure. It is also important to note that, like in hair transplant, brow reduction does nothing to prevent future hair loss. If performed on a younger patient, the hairline may still recede noticeably in the future, and additional hair restoration will have to be performed.