Hairline Lowering Surgery Vs Forehead Reduction


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Hairline Lowering and Forehead Reduction Surgery

Worried about your forehead or hairline and considering hairline-lowering surgery via a hair transplant? Well, look no further. On this page, you’ll find everything you need to know about hair transplants and forehead reduction surgery.

Key Takeaways:

  • Hairline lowering surgery and forehead reduction surgery are two separate medical procedures that look to improve the appearance of the forehead, hairline, and facial features.
  • Hairline lowering surgery is a common type of hair transplant. This method looks to take hair follicles from the back of a patient’s head and implant them into the hairline. This procedure is minimally invasive and is most popular with our female and transgender patients.
  • Forehead reduction surgery is a medical procedure that looks to lower the hairline by excising a small strip of skin on the forehead to decrease the distance of the hairline to the top of the eyebrows.

What Are the Common Reasons For People Getting Hairline Lowering Surgery and Forehead Reduction Surgery?

In the UK, over 1/3 of people feel anxious or depressed about their appearance (Mental Health Foundation, 2024). One of the leading causes of low self-confidence and body image issues is related to our hairline and facial features.

When people become concerned about their appearance, many consider corrective surgery. Forehead reduction surgery and a hairline hair transplant can be performed to alter the appearance of the face and head. In turn, a successful surgery helps to improve many patients’ self-confidence.

The specific reasons patients may opt for one surgical procedure over the other are varied. That’s why we have produced this list for you below:

Why Get a Hairline Hair Transplant?

Hairline hair transplants are a popular option for many patients as they are minimally invasive compared to forehead reduction surgery. An FUE hair transplant only requires a 14-day recovery period and the final result leaves no visible scars. At Harley Street Hair Transplant Clinics, hairline surgeries begin from around £4,500.

Many Men Suffer With a Receding Hairline

One of the main reasons patients come to our clinic for a hairline hair transplant is to combat a receding hairline. Many individuals, particularly men, experience hair loss along the hairline, leading to a receding and general hair thinning. This is due to a condition called male pattern baldness.

Hairline hair transplants can restore a more youthful and natural-looking hairline by implanting hair follicles along the frontal hairline. The frontal hairline can also be lowered during a hair transplant to counter the appearance of a large forehead.

Female Patients Desire a Lower Hairline

One of the most common reasons patients want a hairline-lowering surgery is the desire for a lower hairline. This is common with female patients. This is where a patient has been born with a naturally high hairline and causes many women to feel self-conscious.

Hairline lowering surgery looks to take hair follicles from the donor area (back and sides of the head) and implant them into the hairline area. Behind the new hairline, the transplanted hairs will blend seamlessly into existing hair, negating any sign that surgery has occurred.

Male to Female (MTF) Transgender Patients Want a Natural Hairline

Hairline-lowering surgery procedures are also popular with MTF transgender patients. Many patients suffer from male pattern baldness before they transition. As a result, trans patients opt for a hairline hair transplant to cover signs of previous temple recession and achieve an appearance with the gender/sex they identify with.

Transgender hair transplant surgeries can also feminise the look of a hairline. Once again, this can help to remedy feelings of gender dysphoria and improve a person’s body confidence.

Why Get Forehead Reduction Surgery?

Forehead reduction is a type of cosmetic surgery procedure most popular with female and transgender patients. It looks to decrease the distance between the hairline and eyebrows and remedy those with an overly high forehead. We don’t offer forehead reduction surgery at Harley Street Hair Transplant Clinics. However, a procedure in the UK would typically cost between £5,000 and £8,000.

A Patient May Have an Overly High Forehead

Some individuals have a naturally high forehead, which can create a disproportionate facial appearance or make the forehead appear overly prominent. A forehead perceived as too large or prominent may cause feelings of self-consciousness or dissatisfaction with a person’s appearance.

As a result, forehead reduction surgery can lower the hairline and reduce the height of the forehead to achieve a more proportionate forehead and facial contour.

Gender Affirmation For Transgender Patients

Transgender individuals undergoing gender affirmation surgery may seek forehead reduction surgery as part of their transition to achieve a more feminine or masculine appearance, depending on their desired gender expression.

Forehead lowering can help achieve an aesthetically pleasing appearance aligned with a patient’s identified sex/gender. This is usually paired with a brow lift procedure.

Cosmetic Enhancement

Some individuals may desire a cosmetic enhancement to improve the appearance of their forehead and hairline. Forehead reduction surgery is usually paired with a brow lift procedure. When paired together, facial surgery can help create a more aesthetically pleasing facial profile by combatting a naturally high hairline and a sagging brow.

What is Forehead Reduction Surgery?

Forehead reduction surgery, or “foreheadplasty”, is a cosmetic procedure aimed at reducing the size of the forehead and lowering the hairline.

Foreheadplasty is performed for individuals with a high or excessively prominent forehead and who desire a more proportionate facial appearance. The aim is to restore facial balance by removing skin from the forehead.

During the surgery, the surgeon removes a strip of skin from the forehead, typically along the hairline, and then repositions the scalp to lower the hairline. This can result in a more balanced facial profile and address issues such as a disproportionately large forehead or a high hairline.

How Does Forehead Reduction Surgery Work?

Forehead reduction surgery typically involves several steps. These include:

Preparation and Anaesthesia

Before the surgery, the patient will discuss their goals and expectations with the surgeon. The surgeon will evaluate the patient’s facial anatomy, hairline position, and skin quality to determine the best approach for the procedure.

Like a hair transplant, a forehead reduction surgery is usually performed under local anaesthesia. The patient will be awake during the procedure, but unable to feel pain in the head.

Incision and Skin Removal

The surgeon makes an incision along the patient’s hairline, usually from temple to temple or in a zigzag pattern to conceal scarring. The precise location and shape of the incision depend on the patient’s anatomy and desired outcome.

A strip of skin is carefully removed from the forehead, typically above the hairline. The amount of skin removed varies depending on the patient’s individual needs and aesthetic goals.

  1. Scalp advancement: After removing the excess skin, the scalp is carefully lifted and repositioned to lower the hairline to the desired level. The surgeon may use techniques such as tissue expansion or scalp advancement to achieve the best results.
  2. Closure: Once the scalp has been repositioned, the incisions are closed with sutures or surgical staples. The surgeon takes care to ensure that the hairline appears natural and symmetrical.
  3. Recovery: After the surgery, patients may experience some swelling, bruising, and discomfort, which can be managed with pain medication and cold compresses. It’s essential to follow the surgeon’s post-operative instructions carefully to promote healing and minimise the risk of complications.
  4. Results: Over time, the swelling will subside, and the final results of the forehead reduction surgery will become apparent. Patients can expect a lower hairline and a more proportionate forehead, which can enhance their overall facial appearance and boost their confidence.

What is a Hairline-Lowering Procedure?

Hairline lowering surgery, or “hairline hair transplant”, is a form of hair transplantation that looks to treat hair loss and thinning hair in the temple region. As well as reversing signs of hair loss, a hairline hair transplant can be used to lower the hairline and reduce the appearance of the forehead.

Whereas forehead reduction surgery looks to remove forehead skin, a hairline hair transplant will leave the forehead untouched, only taking hair follicles from the back and sides of the head. Hair transplantation is minimally invasive when compared to hairline-lowering surgery.

During a hairline-lowering hair transplant, hair follicles are taken from the back and sides of the head (donor area) and implanted into the hairline and temple area (recipient area). The most common hair transplant methods are follicular unit extraction (FUE) and follicular unit transplantation (FUT).

How does a Hairline Lowering Hair Transplant work?

A hairline-lowering hair transplant contains several steps. We’ve outlined what an FUE hairline hair transplant would look like. The following steps would be:

Preparation and Anaesthesia

The day of your hairline lowering procedure would begin with a consultation with a hair transplant surgeon. During this meeting, the surgeon will assess your hair loss pattern and discuss your expectations.

Then, the surgeon will design your hairline. This is a crucial step in designing a natural-looking and rounded hairline. The doctor will take into account factors such as your age, gender/sex, facial features, and natural pattern of hair growth. The goal is to create an aesthetically pleasing hairline that looks natural over time.

Once your new hairline has been planned, the surgeon will administer local anaesthetic to the scalp. During the procedure, you’ll be awake, but won’t be able to feel anything other than light pressure on the head.

Extraction Phase

During the extraction phase, individual hair follicles are extracted directly from the donor area using a specialised tool. This method leaves tiny, almost invisible scars. The exact number of hair follicles needed for surgery are extracted.

Hair follicles are extracted evenly across the donor area. This is to avoid any visible signs of over-extraction after your surgery. The key with any hair transplant is for it to not look like a patient has had a hair transplant!

Incision Phase

After your donor hairs have been extraction, the next phase is to do with incisions in the recipient site. This is where small incisions are made in the scalp where the new hair follicles will be transplanted. The direction, angle, and density of these sites are carefully planned to mimic natural hair growth.

This is where paying more for your hair transplant will really benefit. The incision phase should be performed by an experienced and specially qualified hair transplant surgeon!

Implantation Phase

The extracted hair follicles are then meticulously implanted into the incision site (sometimes called the “recipient site”). The surgeon places each follicle individually to ensure the hairline looks natural and has the desired density.

Once this part of the procedure has been completed, the surgeon will walk you through the aftercare process and get you booked in for another consultation around two weeks after your procedure.

What are the benefits and risks of forehead reduction surgery and a hairline hair transplant?

After laying out what forehead reduction surgery and hairline hair transplants are, you’re probably thinking “which is right for me”? The answer is that these are two different procedures aimed at improving the appearance of the hairline and forehead area.

So, here’s a detailed look at the benefits and risks of each procedure so you can make your own informed decision on which method will be best for you!

Forehead Reduction Surgery Benefits

Immediate Results

The major benefit of forehead reduction surgery is that it provides an immediate result. The change in appearance is very quick and can significantly shorten a high forehead, providing a more balanced facial proportion.

Permanent Solution

The results of forehead reduction surgery are typically permanent, as the surgery physically reduces the forehead size. This means you will not have to worry about further forehead reduction surgeries in the future.

Natural Hairline

When performed by a skilled surgeon, the hairline can look very natural. This should hide any indicators as to whether you have had a surgical procedure.



One of the main drawbacks of forehead reduction surgery is that the patient will be left with a lifelong scar along the hairline. Although it often fades over time and can be hidden by hair growth, this scar is usually visible and there for the rest of a patient’s life.

Surgical Risks

As with any surgery, there are risks of infection, bleeding, and adverse reactions to anaesthesia. Although these risks are minimised by choosing a reputable clinic and following your aftercare instructions, surgery does always pose a small risk of infection.

Nerve Damage

There is a risk of nerve damage, which can lead to numbness or changes in sensation in the forehead and scalp.

Hair Loss

There can be some temporary hair loss (shock loss) at the incision site. This can lead patients to having a hairline-lowering hair transplant as a secondary procedure.

Recovery Time

Recovery can take several weeks, with initial swelling and bruising. This is a longer initial recovery period than a hair transplant, which is only 10-14 days.

Hairline Hair Transplant Benefits

Natural Results

When done correctly, a hairline transplant looks natural and blends seamlessly with existing hair. This makes a hair transplant much less noticeable to the untrained eye than a forehead reduction surgery.

Permanent Solution

The transplanted hair is usually permanent and resistant to the effects of DHT (the hormone responsible for male pattern baldness). This means a hair transplant is a long-term solution for patients with a naturally high forehead.

Minimal Scarring

Especially with the FUE method, scarring is minimal and often barely noticeable. Once a patient has recovered from their hair transplant, there should be no visible signs that a patient has previously had surgery.

This makes it a perfect option for those who want to treat hair loss, a naturally high forehead, or those who want a hairline hair transplant to reduce feelings of gender dysphoria.

Less Invasive

Compared to forehead reduction surgery, a hair transplant is less invasive and has a shorter recovery time. This makes it popular with patients.


Shock Loss

Temporary loss of existing hair in the transplanted area can occur, but it typically regrows. If this problem happens, please be sure to consult with your hair transplant clinic and surgeon for guidance.

Infection and Inflammation

As with any surgical procedure, there is a risk of infection and inflammation. However, this is usually manageable with proper care and guidance from your hair transplant surgeon.


When compared with forehead reduction surgery, a hair transplant can be slightly more expensive on average. This may be a factor that a person needs to consider before they make a decision.

Comparative Summary and Conclusion

So, what is the best choice for me? Well, the answer to this question is dependent upon several factors. The most important of which are what your budget is, and the result you’re looking to gain!

When compared to forehead reduction surgery, a hairline hair transplant is less invasive, leaves no scar, and provides a long-term result. The only downside to hair transplantation is that it is slightly more expensive than forehead reduction surgery.

If you’re interested in a hairline hair transplant to lower your hairline, be sure to book in for a free video consultation. We’re happy to walk you through your options and give you an exact price quote and treatment plan.

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