Having a disproportionately high hairline or large forehead can divert attention from one’s otherwise balanced facial features and weigh heavily on a person’s self-esteem. Many of these individuals resort to wearing certain hairstyles that camouflage their high hairlines and would never consider wearing their hair styled backward in a ponytail. Genetics, hair loss, or even prior surgery can all be causes for a high hairline. Unfortunately, many people who have a high hairline are unaware that a procedure exists for both women and men that reduces the size of the forehead and effectively lowers the hairline.
Also known as forehead reduction or hairline advancement, hairline lowering is both very effective and efficient at lowering the height of the hairline. The typical hairline begins somewhere between 5 to 6.5 centimeters above the brows, and a hairline above this height can cause the face to appear disproportionate.
As one of the world’s leading experts in the hairline lowering procedure, Dr. Champagne has performed the operation on patients from around the globe. He has co-authored a book chapter on the subject and truly enjoys seeing the instant gratification this procedure can bring to patients. There are many factors that play a role in surgical planning for hairline lowering including scalp laxity, hair thickness and density at the hairline, direction of natural exit of your hair, and even previous surgery. This being said, the only absolute contraindication to forehead reduction is a previous coronal brow lift. The coronal brow lift is an older technique not used by Dr. Champagne in which an incision is made from ear to ear across the top of the head in order to raise the brow. During the procedure, a portion of the scalp is removed and can actually raise the height of the hairline in the process. Because of this technique, blood flow to the hairline region can be at risk if hairline lowering surgery were to be performed, and therefore, patients with a prior coronal brow lift are not candidates for hairline advancement. Other factors such as density of hair at the hairline and natural exit of hair can be addressed and treated. For example, if you have thinning hair in the temple region, Dr. Champagne will usually recommend adding hair transplantation to improve density in that area. This can be performed either during the procedure or at a later date depending on your goals. In the event that you have minimal laxity to your scalp, you can still be a good candidate for hairline lowering.
As a leading expert in forehead reduction surgery near me, Dr. Champagne has successfully performed hairline lowering on many patients with tight scalp tissue without having to resort to using a tissue expander as many other surgeons would recommend. Every patient is unique, and therefore a detailed consultation with Dr. Champagne is necessary to discuss your goals and plan for your procedure. On rare occasions, patients who have minimal scalp laxity and very high hairlines may be candidates for a double procedure wherein a tissue expander is placed first followed by a second procedure 6-8 weeks later to remove the expander and lower the hairline. For those who live out of town and would like a consultation, Dr. Champagne is able to speak with you via videoconference to discuss your goals.
WHO IS A GOOD CANDIDATE FOR HAIRLINE LOWERING?
Good candidates for hairline lowering surgery include women with a naturally high hairline or large forehead who otherwise have thick hair and no personal or familial history of hair loss. Men with a high hairline or large forehead can also be good candidates for hairline lowering surgery if they have a thick hairline and no personal or family history of hair loss. Good scalp laxity is important, and therefore, a detailed consultation with Dr. Champagne is necessary.
WHAT TO EXPECT DURING YOUR INITIAL CONSULTATION:
Dr. Champagne will review your medical history and perform a physical exam. Be prepared to answer questions about current and past medical conditions. Talk about any medications you are currently taking or have taken recently, as well as any surgeries you have had. It is extremely important to tell us if you are allergic to any medications. To determine your treatment options and candidacy for hairline lowering, Dr. Champagne will examine and measure areas of your face including your forehead to determine overall symmetry and balance. In addition, you will take photographs for your medical record. During your consultation, Dr. Champagne will discuss with you your reasons for wanting forehead reduction and what your expectations are in terms of appearance after the procedure. You will also be able to view a large collection of approved before and after photos of Dr. Champagne’s patients.
PREPARING FOR A HAIRLINE LOWERING PROCEDURE:
Depending on your age and general health, certain preoperative tests may be necessary. We will discuss these with you and be sure that they are performed prior to undergoing surgery. If you are a smoker, Dr. Champagne will recommend that you stop smoking both before surgery and during your recovery period as smoking decreases blood flow in the skin and can slow the healing process. In addition, smoking increases the risk of tissue damage. By stopping smoking, you will improve your ability to heal and optimize your postoperative results. If you need help quitting smoking, we will be happy to assist you. Certain medications will need to be avoided both before and after surgery such as aspirin, anti-inflammatory drugs, and herbal supplements, which can increase bleeding. We will provide you with a list of all medications to be avoided. For the day of surgery, you should also make plans for someone to bring you to and from the surgical center and stay with you at least the first night afterward. If a caregiver is not available, or if you prefer to recover in privacy, our office staff will be happy to schedule postoperative care for you with our world-class postoperative care facility.
WHAT IS THE RECOVERY?
After a forehead reduction procedure, there can be minimal to moderate swelling in the forehead and scalp, and sometimes around the eye or cheek area. Most swelling diminishes over the first several days and is completely resolved within the first couple of weeks after surgery. Mild bruising can also occur around the eyes, but this is normal and does not interfere with vision. Numbness or reduced sensation should be expected around and just behind the hairline. This is temporary and is expected to resolve within the first few weeks to months. Many patients are healed enough to go back to work after a couple of days and can use a scarf or large hat for camouflage. Sutures placed at the hairline are removed by Dr. Champagne after one week.