If you are suffering from hair loss and you are looking for the best option to treat it. Hair transplantation is the most popular procedure to treat hair loss, but is there any other option? Of course, there is! If your frontal hairline is receding but you don’t experience baldness, instead of a hair transplant, hairline lowering surgery might be the best option for you. Also known as forehead reduction, scalp advancement, or forehead contouring, the surgery is not limited to those who are battling with hair loss. People who were born with high and large hairlines or those who want to feminize the face can also benefit from this surgery. You probably have a lot of questions regarding this surgery, that’s why we’re here to answer some of them for you.

How does the procedure work?

Hairline lowering surgery is performed either with local or general anesthesia. With local anesthesia, you will be awake but you won’t feel anything since the affected area is numbed. With general anesthesia, you will be sleeping throughout the procedure. After you’re injected with anesthetic, your surgeon will begin the surgery by drawing your new hairline. Your new hairline will be made zigzag to reduce scarring and mimic your natural hairline to make it look as natural as possible. Then, your surgeon will make an incision along the hairline, remove the excessive scalp, and stretch the rest of the scalp to the new hairline. If your scalp is not enough, your surgeon may use tissue expanders to make it to the new hairline. After that, the scalp is fixed to the bone with sutures and the incisions are stitched with bandages being applied over the top. 

You don’t really have to worry about scars since the surgeon will place the incisions where the hair can regrow, making the scars virtually invisible. As your hair grows, the scars will completely disappear from view. You also have the option to combine the surgery with hair transplantation if you want to. Hair transplantation will further reduce the appearance of scarring.

How long should you stay in Turkey?

Hairline lowering surgery is an outpatient procedure, which means you can leave the hospital after the effects of the sedation wear off. However, you should not go back to your home country after you’re discharged. Plan to stay at least 6 days after the surgery because you need to attend follow-up checkups with your surgeon to monitor the progress of your healing and to remove the sutures.

How long is the downtime?

Surprisingly, you only need around a week until you can return to work and some light activities after this procedure. You will experience moderate discomfort and pain for three to five days, but your surgeon will prescribe painkillers to help. You can get back to your normal routine after two weeks, but remember to avoid strenuous activities, such as contact sports or vigorous exercises for at least six weeks. 

To have a smooth and quick recovery, here are somethings you can do:

  • Not looking upwards and frowning because that can damage your stitches.
  • When you’re lying down, keep your head a little higher than the rest of your body.
  • Avoid your bandage from getting wet as it can lead to infection.
  • Replace your bandages with fresh ones regularly and make sure that the bandages are tight.
  • For the first couple of days, ice packs can help reduce inflammation, bruising, and swelling.
  • Do not take anti-inflammatory drugs.
  • Do not put any hair accessories, including hair bands, on your head until you have fully recovered.
  • Avoid alcohol and cigarettes since they can slow down your healing process.

When can I see the result?

You can see the result almost immediately after your bandage is removed. However, you may need to wait around six to eight weeks to see the final results. After six weeks, redness and swelling are greatly reduced. Also, the pigmentation returns to normal skin color and you don’t need anything to conceal your new hairline as everything will look very natural. The before and after result can be so significant, but it won’t change your face entirely. Instead, you can expect the surgery to enhance your overall appearance.

What are the risks I need to be aware of?

Hairline lowering surgery is generally safe and effective. But as with all surgery, there are always risks and side effects. Bruising is common and it may subside within a few weeks, but hematoma is rare. The risk of hematoma is less than 0.1%. Other risks you need to be aware of include:

  • Infection, the risk of infection is no more than 0.5% and you need antibiotics for this.
  • Skin necrosis, which causes discoloration to your scalp, usually caused by compromised blood flow. If you think you have this condition, visit your doctor immediately.
  • Keloid, abnormal scarring, and hypertrophic.
  • Facial muscle weakness can affect your forehead for six to eight weeks. In some very rare cases, facial muscle weakness can be permanent.
  • Altered sensation in the scalp, which will improve within one to two years following the surgery.

Can I undergo this surgery?

To determine whether you are the ideal candidate for this surgery or not, you will need to consult your doctor and they will do a thorough examination to see if this procedure is appropriate for you. Good candidates for this procedure are women or men who have naturally high hairline or large forehead with thick hair. The typical height of hairlines is around 5 to 6.5 cm above the eyebrows, if your hairline is higher than this, then you can undergo this surgery. Your surgeon will also check your hairline and the quality of your scalp because good scalp stretchiness (laxity) is vital to hairline lowering surgery. In addition, you need to be in good health and have realistic expectations towards the surgery.