Forehead height has a tremendous influence on facial shape and overall attractiveness. It’s estimated that 20% of women have a high hairline. Some men also have high hairlines, but it is considered a more acceptable masculine facial characteristic. What is an “ideal” forehead height? For women, a hairline that measures its mid-point between 5cm-6cm (2-2.4”) above a line drawn across the brows is desirable. For men, 6cm-8cm (2.4-3.1”) is typical. Age will necessarily impact the hairline, but a long, thin face will accentuate the condition even in younger patients.

While not widely discussed, hairline lowering is a surgical procedure that can dramatically enhance your appearance. The operation can usually bring down the hairline approximately one inch. Incisions are hidden within the hairline and results are immediate. Downtime is about one week, but sutures are cosmetically disguisable after 3 days. Hair grafts can achieve a similar effect, but several sessions are required, the cost is double and results are only evident after 12-18 months.

Hairline lowering is often combined with a browlift. As your brows fall or get lower, it makes your forehead look even longer because the space between the hair and browline has increased. This combination procedure brings the upper third of the face into greater aesthetic balance.

Procedure Snapshot:

What part(s) of body treated by this method: forehead, hairline and brow
Time for procedure: 2-3 hours
Adjunct procedures that may be considered: Browlift
Anesthetic: General
Number of sessions required: One
Downtime: One week
Complications/Risks: Temporary numbness of scalp up to one year
Candidates: Smokers, diabetics or those with vascular conditions are not good candidates because a good post operative blood supply is critical. Those with delicate hair may not have as good results.
How long results last: Forever
Cost of hairline lowering ($/$$/$$$): $$

One on one with Dr. Kornstein:

It is very important to critically analyze the face in its entirety because most everyone has an aspect of their face prone to accelerated aging (their so called Achilles heel.) If that “Achilles heel” happens to be a high forehead then forehead height will only become exaggerated as the hairline recedes with age. What was tolerable aesthetically when you were younger may become unacceptable in later years.

Should you decide to address this feature we can first start with forehead fat injections to mitigate the backwards slope of the forehead resulting from loss of bone. This will give the illusion of a more vertical forehead. Another option is hair grafts which are more costly, prone to complications and take months to present any improvement in appearance. Hairline lowering offers immediate gratification requires one procedure and is 50% less cost than any other alternative if you want tangible results. After years of “dressing around the issue” with hairstyles meant to camouflage a high forehead, patients are pleasantly surprised this procedure exists and welcome a solution.

Although the concept of this surgery is not new, the technical nuances, sophisticated skill level and judgment factors involved translate into a limited number of surgeons being comfortable in performing the procedure with consistently favorable results. I am comfortable with the details and subtleties of this surgery should you decide it is the right procedure for you. It should be noted that hairline lowering will not affect the brow. Therefore, if your brows are beginning to fall, a browlift may be recommended for a more holistic solution.

The first generation browlift was in part responsible for the upper third of the face being a less popular topic of discussion. Known as the coronal browlift, the procedure earned a bad reputation because the idea of an incision in the hairline from ear to ear seemed daunting to most patients. The operation could easily be overdone, almost impossible to correct and result in a permanent expression of surprise.

Ten to fifteen years ago the advent of the endoscopic browlift allowed the upper third of the face to become a reasonable part of the consultation. This browlift, accomplished with tiny incisions hidden in the hairline, offers a kinder, gentler, more acceptable approach to correct a sagging brow. A browlift done in conjunction with a hairline lowering procedure is a powerful combination in facial enhancement.

Hairline Lowering Testimonials

“My whole life I hated my high forehead!”

Starting in my preteens I dreaded having to put on a headband for track meets. Putting my hair up and back in a ponytail was out of the question. Being naturally self-conscious, my hairline only added to my insecurity around others. As I grew up, bangs became my shield. I had to choose my hair stylists very carefully so they could camouflage where they started my bangs, minimizing my big forehead.

I met Dr. Kornstein in my early 30’s. I was a patient of his for cosmetic fillers for three years before I agreed to have surgery to lower my hairline. Having never “gone under the knife” I was exceptionally apprehensive about the procedure. Multiple times during office visits I would ask about the procedure. Dr. Kornstein never pressured me and patiently walked me through the procedure each and every time. Soon I felt very comfortable in his hands. I wanted to find a doctor with whom I could be comfortable and confident. Dr. Kornstein was the first plastic surgeon I could relate to and relax. He listened. There were areas of my face showing age and he suggested fat grafting and we actually argued about the extent of each procedure but in the end we negotiated. I didn’t want to have any regrets. He really took his time consulting with me because this was my first aesthetic procedure, and he was so thorough, there were no surprises. I don’t have a big income and I’m not overly enthusiastic about plastic surgery but my feelings about my high forehead were not getting any better. In January 2011 I finally decided it was time. I sincerely wish I had not waited so long! The only part that made me uncomfortable was the Sharpy experience. I was alarmed when he began drawing on my face but I understand why that is necessary. It was just weird.

Recovery wasn’t too uncomfortable but my swelling continued longer than expected. Dr. Kornstein had me tested and it turned out I had a yeast allergy and was eating and drinking all the wrong foods. Once I adjusted my diet, everything was fine. His nutritionist, Jen, put me on the right track.

The results are even better than I expected. My appearance may not have drastically changed for those who live and work with me, but to me it is extraordinary—Dr. Kornstein pulled down a full inch of my hairline. The fat grafting combined with the hairline lowering realigned my face, bringing more symmetry and harmony to my features. I kept stressing a natural look and I got exactly that—a better version of me. Now I’m taking acting classes and wearing my hair up and back. In front of the camera I feel good. I can stand in the rain and forget my forehead. I can go to the gym.

I would most definitely recommend Dr. Kornstein for hairline lowering or any procedure. I have referred friends to him. Not only does he know what he is talking about with medicine but he is very patient with explaining “why” to women. Honest and approachable, he never seemed “out for the buck” just wanting to make people feel better about themselves. Now I go to him for skincare. He told me to cut dairy out of my diet. My dermatologist didn’t tell me that. I think other doctors should pick up on things like this. I trust Dr. Kornstein more than my internist or gynecologist. He’s sincere in looking out for his patients.

At 36 years of age I finally stopped wearing bangs to conceal my high forehead. The initial result was amazing – and natural. Two years later I am still thrilled.

BB

“At 36 years of age I finally stopped wearing bangs to conceal my high forehead. The initial result was amazing – and natural. Two years later I am still thrilled. I’m never cutting bangs again! “

bonnie-b-anterior-hairline-scarMy whole life I hated my high forehead! I was a patient of Dr. Kornstein’s for cosmetic fillers for three years before I agreed to have surgery to lower my hairline. Having never “gone under the knife” I was exceptionally apprehensive about the procedure. Multiple times during office visits I would ask about the procedure. Dr. Kornstein never pressured me and patiently walked me through the procedure each and every time. In January 2011 I finally decided it was time. I sincerely wish I had not waited so long! Dr. Kornstein was able to lower my hairline a full inch. Omg indeed!

BB

He was right!!! I was thrilled with the results. It subtly but instantly transformed my face.

It seemed like a ridiculous suggestion at the time. Lowering my hairline? Crazy, I thought. But Dr. Kornstein explained to me that a high forehead change the aesthetic proportions of the face and made me look older. He explained that a smaller forehead would rejuvenate my face. I then began to understand and went ahead with the surgery. He was right!!! I was thrilled with the results. It subtly but instantly transformed my face. It has been 10 years since the procedure and my face still looks younger than I did before the surgery. The scar in my hairline is barely perceptible. Thank you Dr. Kornstein!!

ST New York, NY

with Dr Kornstein’s expertise, the hair line procedure has added 10 years to my life. He said it would, but now i really believe him. GLB

Grant