Forehead Reduction Surgery | Pros & Cons

Learn From Doctor Team
Learn From Doctor Team is made up of well-qualified doctors of different fields with brilliant academic results and professional careers. The article is written and reviewed by doctors of this specialty.

Forehead Reduction Surgery Overview

Forehead reduction surgery is a procedure used to reduce the height of the forehead. It’s also known as hairline lowering surgery, done by a plastic surgeon. 

The causes of a larger forehead are mainly genetic factors and hair fall. Forehead reduction surgery is done to get your desired proportion of the face.

Forehead reduction is a permanent procedure and done by a plastic surgeon.

Let’s dive deep into forehead reduction surgery.


What Is Forehead Reduction Surgery?

The forehead reduction surgery is a cosmetic procedure to reduce the size of the forehead. Usually, the surgeon lowers the hairline 1 or 2 inches forward to reduce the height of the forehead.

The surgeon may combine this procedure with hair transplant surgery to make thick the hairline and hide the surgical incision scars.

Some candidates want to reduce forehead length by only hair transplant. In that case, the surgeon fills the gap between the hair and the bald area by transplanting hair to lower the hairline.

Forehead reduction surgery can be done effectively in both men and women.

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Forehead Reduction in Men and Women


Naturally, women’s hairline starts five to six centimeters above their brows. Men have a higher hairline than women naturally. Having a higher forehead looks masculine and uncomfortable for some women.

Measure your brow to hairline distance. If it is below 6 centimeters then it’s pretty fine and you won’t have to undergo this surgery actually.


Men’s hairline usually starts 6-8 centimeters above the browline. If the men have no family history or signs of baldness, only hairline lowering will work fine.

If a man is experiencing hair loss and there is quite a possibility of baldness in the future then he needs to undergo some additional procedure to get the best result.

Read Hair plugs – Hair Transplantation Methods

Benefits of Forehead Reduction Surgery

A forehead reduction surgery not only reduces the size of your forehead but also brings some other benefits. That may include;

  • Reduce the size of the forehead
  • Improved facial proportions
  • Improved facial symmetry
  • Minimal incision marks and scarring
  • Short recovery period
  • Improves self-confidence
  • Helps to glow up

Ideal Candidate For Forehead Reduction Surgery

Forehead reduction surgery is not only useful for reducing the height of your forehead, but also it provides a balanced proportion to your face. The criteria of ideal candidates for this procedure may include;

  • If you have a high hairline
  • If you have a large forehead and want to make it look smaller
  • Hair is not proportional with face
  • Low eyebrow
  • If you have a brow lift surgery and want to proportionate the hairline with it.

If you have a family history of balding or your current medical conditions indicate baldness then this procedure alone may be not effective for you.

Your surgeon may recommend you some other procedures along with forehead reduction surgery to get the best result.

Forehead reduction surgery with brow lift
Forehead reduction surgery with brow lift

Consultation For Forehead Reduction Surgery

During the consultation of forehead reduction surgery with the surgeon, you should be prepared to discuss;

  • Why do you want forehead reduction surgery, your expectations, and your desired result
  • Your medical history, drug history, allergic history
  • Your present medical conditions and medications, herbals and supplements
  • Family history of baldness and hair-fall

During the physical examination the surgeon may;

  • Examine your health condition and risk factors
  • Examine your hair, forehead, face shape
  • Note your hairline height, hair thickness, and strength
  • Evaluate and forehead skin and scalp
  • Take photographs
  • Discuss your options and recommend you the ideal treatment plan

Scalp laxity and stretchiness are necessary for getting the best result out of this surgery. If your scalp and forehead skin do not meet the criteria, your surgeon may recommend you some additional procedure.

Your doctor may also recommend you hair transplant procedure to hide the scar marks of the incision.

Questions To Ask The Surgeon About Forehead Reduction Surgery

  • Is he a certified plastic surgeon?
  • Is he trained in plastic surgery?
  • How many years of experience does he have?
  • Where will be the surgery done? Is it in a hospital or doctor’s chamber with a surgical facility?
  • Are you an ideal candidate for this surgery?
  • Can you get your expected results?
  • What are the possible side effects?
  • How long and tough is the recovery period?
  • When you can notice the results?
  • If the complications arise, how are these handled?
  • How the scar will be visible?
  • Will the scars fade over time?
  • Can this surgery affect your ability?
  • If you are not satisfied with your result what are the options then?
  • The total cost of the procedure
  • Does he have before and after photos of this surgery done by him?

If you have other questions note them and ask them during the consultation. Do not hesitate to discuss your expectations or asking any questions.

The more you express yourself the best outcome you may have.

Preparation For An Forehead Reduction Surgery

In the preparation of a forehead reduction surgery you may be asked;

  • Get some tests
  • Taking certain medications
  • Avoid smoking for some days before the surgery
  • Avoid alcohol for some days before the surgery
  • Avoid NSAID and other painkillers
  • Avoid certain drugs

This surgery will be done in a hospital or a doctor’s chamber with a surgical facility. Make sure someone is driving you to the hospital and drive you back.

Forehead Reduction Surgery Procedure

Forehead reduction is quite a lengthy procedure and can take 2-3 hours.

Before The Procedure

The steps before the procedure may include;

  • The nurse will give you a surgical gown, wear it
  • You have to remove all jewelry if you wear any
  • Your blood pressure will be checked
  • General anesthesia will be applied

During The Procedure

The doctor will create a single incision within the hairline called a Trichophytic or Transfollicular incision. Then remove the unwanted skin from the forehead and scalp. Then the surgeon moves the hairline forward and lowers the hairline as expected.

The surgeon may also contour the bony structure underneath the forehead skin to get the best result out of the procedure. He closes the incision and lets hair grow there naturally which hides the incision mark and provides a natural-looking result.

This procedure takes 2-3 hours but according to your condition, it may take longer.

Forehead reduction surgery takes two to three hours
Forehead reduction surgery takes two to three hours

Two-Stage Hairline Lowering

Some people have unusual hairlines and tight scalp that hamper getting the best result. In this condition, the patient needs to undergo a two-stage hairline lowering procedure.

First Stage

During the first stage, the surgeon put expanders underneath the scalp skin. The expanders inflated over time (take usually six to eight weeks) and stretch the scalp as needed for the hairline reduction procedure.

Second Stage

During this stage, the surgeon removes the expanders and lowers the hairline to reduce the height of the forehead. 

Sometimes only hairline lowering doesn’t work if there is a possibility of baldness or the gap between hairs is more than normal. In this condition, the surgeon may recommend you some additional procedure to get the best result.

Hair Grafts With Forehead Reduction Surgery

In this procedure, the surgeon adds healthy hairs by hair restoration with follicular unit extraction. The surgeon may extract some healthy hairs from the back of your head and graft them in front to reduce the hairline. This procedure has three major benefits;

  • Reduce scarring
  • Lower the hairline with thick healthy hair
  • Natural-looking appearance

After The Procedure

You can return home after few hours of the surgery. Make sure someone is driving you back home.

The Recovery

The recovery period may take weeks to months. You have to visit the surgeon’s chamber after a week to remove the sutures. The surgeon will give you an instruction list to maintain, that may include;

  • Pain medication for some days
  • Avoid heavy lifting for same days
  • Avoid heavy physical works
  • Avoid water in the incision site for a week or more
  • Avoid certain foods

If you follow the instructions given by the doctor, hopefully, there won’t be any complications.

You will be asked to visit the doctor for a follow-up after 2-4 weeks of the surgery.

Mild pain, swelling, and numbness may appear at the site of surgery. You will be given medication for that. Most of the patients can wash their hair one or two days after the surgery.

The Results

The result of forehead reduction is permanent. You will notice the result just after surgery. But you have to wait until full recovery to get the best result.

Forehead reduction surgery will provide you natural looking result
Forehead reduction surgery will provide you natural looking result

Your forehead height will be shortened to ¾ inch or more. The hair will be thickened and a natural-looking appearance is present. Your facial proportions will be good and symmetrical.

Very few people do not get their expected results. In that case, they can undergo this procedure again to get the desired outcome.

Risks And Side Effects

Forehead reduction is quite a safe procedure but still, some side effects and complications can appear. Such as;

  • Bleeding
  • Side effects of general anesthesia
  • Allergic reaction to anesthesia
  • Infection
  • Nerve damage in the site of surgery
  • Hairloss
  • Scarring of the incision mark

The side effects are very rare and according to a study those who experienced side effects that is no longer than a year.

Your doctor will explain to you the side effects and the benefits.

Emergency Situations

  • Fever
  • Unusual bleeding
  • Unusual pain
  • Any sign of infection
  • Pus leaking
  • Poor healing

If you notice any of the conditions, call the doctor right away.

Forehead Reduction Surgery Cost

Often forehead reduction surgery needs to be done with some additional procedure. The average cost of the forehead reduction can be $4000-$13000 in the USA.

The cost of the procedure depends on some factors such as;

  • Your location
  • Your condition
  • The additional procedure needed for you
  • The luxury of the hospital
  • How experienced the surgeon is?

The cost may not include;

  • The anesthesia fee
  • The medication charge

You should ask your surgeon about the final cost of the procedure.

As forehead reduction is a cosmetic procedure, it won’t be covered by your insurance.

Forehead Reduction Without Surgery

If you are not a good candidate for a forehead reduction surgery, you have some alternatives then.

Brow Lift

Sometimes the forehead looks larger because of your brow placement. If the brow placement is lower then the surgeon may recommend you brow lift procedure.

In this procedure, the surgeon will manipulate the skin and muscles underneath your brow to lift the brow.

Lifting the brow will make your forehead looks shorter.

Brow lift surgery can also used in forehead reduction
Brow lift surgery can also used in forehead reduction

Hair Grafting and Hair Transplantation

You are already familiar with this procedure as we mentioned earlier. In this procedure, the surgeon will extract healthy hair from the back of the scalp and graft them in the front of the hairline.

This will lower your hairline and make your forehead looks smaller.

Forehead Reduction Surgery Summary

Forehead reduction surgery is a cosmetic procedure the reduces the size of your forehead. This procedure also helps to proportionate your face and make it symmetrical.

If you have a family history or a sign of baldness then only this procedure may not get you your expected result. You have to undergo some additional procedures such as hair grafting.

If you are not a good candidate for forehead reduction, your doctor may recommend you brow lift or hair grafting, which will also help.

Forehead reduction takes 2-3 hours to be completed and is a safe procedure with minimal side effects.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How much is forehead reduction surgery?

The average cost for a forehead reduction surgery is $4000 – $13000. It depends on multiple factors such as your location, existing medical condition, etc. If you need additional procedures to get the best result that will cost higher. Talk to your surgeon about the final cost.

What is forehead reduction surgery?

Forehead Reduction is a cosmetic procedure that is used to lower the hairline and reduce the length of the forehead.

Risks associated with forehead reduction surgery?

Forehead reduction surgery is a safe procedure and potential side effects include; slight pain, numbness, scarring of incisions, etc.

What result can be expected after forehead reduction surgery?

After the forehead reduction procedure, your hairline is lowered about 3/4 inches or more. So, your face will be more proportionate and your forehead will look smaller and natural.

Last Updated on February 23, 2022 by Learn From Doctor Team

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