Hairline lowering surgery

Hairline lowering can be a tremendously satisfying procedure to improve facial balance and harmony in those with high hairlines.

A high hairline gives a person a long forehead, traditionally associated with the male receding hairline, and this is particularly disliked by young women. A high hairline might look ok on their father, but it certainly is not what most females want. The high hairline can masculinise the female look and many young women even feel they look “alien” with a high hairline.

The Ideal Candidate

The ideal candidate for hairline lowering is a fit and well person with healthy hair and a mobile scalp. Scalp mobility is determined by the ability to rock the middle and sides of your scalp back and forth over the skull bone. Good scalp mobility allows more easy advancement of the scalp. Poor scalp mobility – hardly any rocking of the scalp on the skull – does not mean the procedure can’t be done, but means either moderating expectations of the amount of scalp advancement possible, or doing a 2 stage procedure.

Hairline Lowering vs Hair Grafting

There is no hard and fast rule for this dilemma. Hairline lowering has the ability to quickly and easily advance a large amount of natural looking, naturally orientated, thick scalp hair to reduce the size of the forehead. Hairline lowering is a good procedure if you need mainly central or full width hairline lowering. If you need filling of temporal recession only, with no generalised hairline lowering, hair grafts are probably a better option.


Hairline lowering surgery can be done in males, but most men have a higher hairline than women and are not bothered by it. The main reason that hairline lowering is not a great operation in most men is because the hairline in males is not fixed, and continues to recede over a man’s lifetime. The hairline you have at the age if 20 is highly unlikely to be the one you have at the age of 40. So the incision across the front of the hairline, even though initially camouflaged with hair, can become stranded with time with no hair anywhere near it.

Another reason hairline lowering may not be such a great option in men is that the majority of men get balding of the crown to some degree. It doesn’t look good to have a low hairline with balding at the top of the head.

For these reasons hair transplants are often a better option in men.

Some men have a full head of hair, a family history absent of balding, but simply have a high hairline. These fortunate few are good candidates for hairline lowering.


Transgender males taking hormones usually get a thickening and regrowth of hair. As long as the hormones are taken this continues. If the hormones are stopped the hair goes.

The same “ideal candidate” rules apply for transgender males as for everyone else. It is easier to advance the central scalp than the lateral/temporal scalp.If you need filling of temporal recession mainly without generalized hairline advancement, hair grafts are probably a better option. It is of course possible to combine the two- i.e. generalised hairline advancement with  filling of the temporal area with hair grafts at a later stage.

One Stage vs Two Stage

Hairline lowering surgery is usually performed as a one operation procedure. However, if you have a very high hairline and want a lot of lowering, or if you have a very tight, non-mobile scalp and also want a lot of lowering, a 2 stage procedure may be more suitable.

In the first operation of a stage 2 procedure an inflatable silicone shelled tissue expander is placed under the scalp. This is slowly filled with saltwater by weekly injection over 4 to 6 weeks, greatly expanding the hair-bearing scalp. In the second operation the tissue expander is removed and the now-enlarged scalp is advanced in exactly the same manner as the one stage procedure.

Combination Surgery

Hairline lowering surgery can be performed as an isolated procedure, but many people combine it with browlifting, eyelid surgery, rhinoplasty or facelift surgery.

The Experience and The Recovery

Hairline lowering is usually performed as a day stay procedure under a light general anaesthetic. If done as an isolated procedure it usually takes just under 2 ½ hours. There is a light dressing applied for going home to wear the first night. Have a look at our hairline lowering results.