If you’ve recently noticed that your hairline may be receding—or worse, had someone actually point it out to you—it may be time to consider options for treatment. This is assuming you’re bothered by pattern hair loss at all. If so, perhaps you’ve already done research on topical solutions such as minoxidil, or oral medications such as finasteride. Once my hair started falling out I went straight to keratin fibers, which worked well for a couple of years, until the level of my hair loss was such that the fibers could no longer help.
Other options include hairline lowering or a hair transplant, which is what we’re here to discuss today. What is the difference between the two? When should one be chosen over the other? And what exactly is going to happen on the day of the procedure? First, let’s take a look at their differences by way of definition.
Also known as forehead reduction, hairline lowering is performed by actual removal of a small portion of the patient’s forehead, then attaching the separated areas, thereby lowering the hairline. An incision is made at the natural hairline, part of the forehead is pulled away, then the hairline is brought down to connect with the other side.
It’s a surprisingly logical solution to a high hairline. It can be used to treat congenital occurrences of the issue, or receding hairlines through pattern hair loss. Many male to female transgender patients chooses hairline lowering to achieve a more feminine appearance.
Some variables that determine whether or not hairline lowering will work include:
- Scalp laxity
- Hairline thickness
- Previous surgeries
When scalp laxity threatens to interfere with the procedure, some doctors will employ tissue expanders as a countermeasure. Hairline lowering is done on an outpatient basis. During a prior consultation, your doctor will line out a hairline that best balances the final appearance with your expectations. The typical cost for hairline lowering runs between $5000 and $7000.
Hair transplants are defined by surgically moving a number of hair follicles from a donor area of the body to a recipient area. The two main methods used are follicular unit transplant and follicular unit extraction. The former is sometimes referred to as strip surgery. This because the extraction is done in small strips; the strips tend to leave scars, which the patient is encouraged to cover by growing his/her donor area hair longer. Follicular unit extraction is done on an individual follicle basis. This leaves far less noticeable scarring, and also allows the surgeon to use donor hairs from other parts of the body besides the scalp.
Like hairline lowering, hair transplant surgery is also done on an outpatient basis. It takes around 4 to 10 hours to complete, is virtually painless, and can have you back to work on the very next day. Full results for hair transplant surgery take about one year to arrive. As for the cost… For just the hairline, expect to pay between $3000 and $5000.
Which Should I Choose?
If you have receding hair and are worried about further hair loss, the answer likely resides with hair transplantation. By way of a scalp exam, your doctor can determine whether or not hair loss is likely to occur beyond the hairline.
If your receding hairline is not progressive, or if you were born with a high hairline, the lowering procedure should be the better choice. You will get far more noticeable results that will help balance out the proportions of your face. Another good candidate for this type of surgery is the MTF transgender patient who wishes to possess a more feminine hairline (lower, with an arc over the middle, as opposed to a gently receding letter “m”).
What Is My First Step?
Get in touch with a board-certified hair transplant surgeon and schedule a consultation. Here the doctor will perform a physical exam to determine what the best course of action should be. He/she may ask about your lifestyle, what kinds of medication you use (if any), what your expectations are, and your family history of hair loss.
If transplant surgery turns out to be your best bet, the doctor will recommend a suitable method (likely FUT or FUE transplants). Should hairline lowering prove the better option, the doctor may then decide whether to go the surgical route or conduct the procedure by grafting hair in front of the hairline.
Modern methods in hair restoration are more effective than they’ve ever been. If you’re considering any of the above kinds of treatment for your hairline issues, contact a reputable hair transplant clinic for further information.
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