Scalp Advancement (Feminizing Hairline Lowering)

What are the differences between a female and a male hairline?

The upper half of your face tells the world very much about your gender. This means that the hairline is a critical aspect of facial feminization because it essentially “frames” the entire face; and there are clear differences between typical male and female hairlines.

A masculine hairline is typically further back on the skull than a feminine one, creating the appearance of a larger forehead. The feminine hairline is more rounded with hair appearing more graduated or “whispy” at the edges. If you are seeking a more feminine appearance, you will need to bring your male hairline into the normal feminine range of hairline height and shape.

The intent of a feminizing hairline procedure is to lower the hairline, advance the scalp, reshape, and reduce the size of the forehead to give a more feminine frame to the face.

How does Hairline Lowering or Scalp Advancement work within the context of Facial Feminization?

Feminizing Hairline Restoration or Scalp Advancement is ideal for gender reassignment candidates who desire a softer, more feminine-looking hairline, and who may have a naturally higher hairline and/or larger forehead. It is also not uncommon for us to lower, or reshape the hairline of non-transgender individuals who have receding hairlines.

The objective of the procedure is to reduce the amount of space between the eyebrows and the hairline, to bring the position of the scalp forward, and to alter the shape of the hairline to maintain a feminine appearance. The procedure is usually included within a larger set of procedures that comprise Facial Feminization, which is typically undertaken in one single session of long format surgery.

How is Feminizing Scalp Advancement Surgery Performed?

The surgery is performed by making a trichophytic incision along the natural hairline and then hair bearing tissue of the scalp is moved forward. Individual hair follicles may then be transplanted after closure to further feminize the shape of the hairline. A trichophytic incision also serves to minimize the appearance of any scars as hair grows naturally. In most cases, there is only a very minimal and almost invisible scar at the hairline.

What is the timeframe for the healing process?

Scalp advancement has minimal post-surgery pain. The most common side effect is slight facial swelling in the forehead and the eye area. It may require up to seven days for the swelling and discomfort to subside completely.

Accordingly, many patients will take a week off from work, but it is possible to return to light activities after two or three days and normal activity level after a week. Patients may also experience short-term and harmless numbness near the front of the scalp, which will subside after a few months.

Want to know more about Scalp Advancement and Hairline Restoration? Read Demystifying 3 Common Myths About Feminine Hairlines by Dr. Sara Wasserbauer, Surgical Hair Restoration Specialist