Characteristics of a natural-looking hairline
Among all the features of the head of hair, the frontal hairline is the most significant. Just like the frame of a picture, your hairline is the frame of your face. It is the aspect of your hair that you, and others, see first. For these reasons, so many men and women with receding hairlines seek out permanent, safe and natural-looking treatment options.
Hairlines show a migration from a basic concave shape at a well-defined anatomical position in early childhood to significantly different shapes and positions as we age.
Mature hairline vs receding hairline
A mature hairline is a new hairline that forms higher up on the forehead when men transition from adolescence to adulthood. It occurs about an inch higher up relative to your childhood hairline, it is well defined and with a small degree of temporal recession. It is actually fairly common, with only 5% of males maintaining their adolescent hairlines.
A receding hairline may develop just after the end of puberty or anytime throughout adulthood in both men and women. It is more than an inch higher than your juvenile hairline with deepening temporal recessions and fine, miniaturised hair. Although other factors may contribute to it, a receding hairline is one of the most noticeable signs of androgenetic alopecia—commonly known as male pattern baldness. Men with male pattern baldness are classified according to the Norwood scale.
Medical treatment and hair transplantation are the best and most effective solutions for receding hairlines.
Our Glasgow clinic now offers a range of effective treatment options for men and women experiencing a receding hairline. Early-stage hair loss patients may benefit from non-surgical treatments such as medication, which can help reduce and even reverse hair thinning. Combining medical therapy with surgical treatment may be a better option for patients with more advanced hair loss.
In this article, we explore the fundamental characteristics of natural and transplanted hairlines, highlighting modern hair restoration’s capabilities and limitations to help patients make more informed choices.
Creating a natural hairline is possibly one of the most critical steps of a successful hair transplant and reflects the surgeon’s aesthetic and artistic flare.
The design of the hair line is the heart of hair restoration surgery. No other part of the procedure will have as much impact on the patient’s appearance.
The hairline frames the face and improves the aesthetic appearance lost through baldness. It is also, without a doubt, the area of the scalp that receives the most direct visual scrutiny.
A poor hairline design is one of the main reasons for bad results and repair work.
Position and shape of the hairline
A hairline is classified as low, average or high based on its distance from the eyebrows. There is quite a bit of variation in what is considered average, but 7-9 cm is typical. Hairlines that are relatively closer to the eyebrows are considered low. On the other hand, a high hairline sits higher on the forehead, making it appear large.
Hairlines are genetic traits over which we have little control.
Genetics determine the exact location and shape of the hairline, but hormones, age, and lifestyle habits can also affect it.
How do you draw a perfect hairline?
When a hair transplant is planned, we decide on the hairline position considering several factors: the shape of the face, the present and anticipated stage of balding, the type of hair, the ethnic characteristics of the patient, the amount of permanent hair on the donor area and the patient’s preference. Placing the hairline too high or too low can lead to poor outcomes concerning the overall treatment.
In general, the younger the patient, the more severe the hair loss, and the poorer the donor supply, the more conservative the hairline should be.
One thing is certain: The hairline position is not a fixed distance from your eyebrows. It is more about ratios and proportions when it comes to facial aesthetics and hairline position.
Similarly to our fingerprints, every one of us has a unique hairline.
There is, however, the general rule that the shape of the hairline closely matches the face shape: round, oval and triangular.
Some clinics use a cookie-cutter approach to hairline design, a basic oval shape that fits all faces. But the truth is only the design that matches the natural contours of the patient’s face is likely to create an aesthetically pleasing result.
A narrow head allows for less flaring of the hairline, while a round face encourages a more rounded design.
Finally, the more conservative a hairline needs to be, the more its shape moves from a rounder shape toward an oval or bell-shaped design.
The plan for every patient is to create a natural-looking hairline that will appropriately frame his face.
The goal when designing a hairline is to create something that will look as good and appropriate at age 60 as it will at 30. Hairline transplants are permanent, and a low, flat hairline that looks good on a young patient may not age well or look good as that patient ages. Especially for young men, the design needs to be conservative. The shape and position of the hairline need to accommodate the reality that as they age, they might require future procedures to fill in areas behind the hairline created right now.
Hair loss is a progressive condition for which patients have limited donor follicles available. If a patient starts very low and flat with the hairline and continues thinning in other areas of the scalp, there is a chance that he may run out of grafts and not have the capability to treat additional parts of the scalp.
There are still times when a lower, flatter hairline is appropriate, including instances where patients have a stable, minimal loss and a family history of low hairlines or in certain patients with a facial shape that naturally calls for a lower design.
There are also times when creating a low, flat hairline should be avoided. It includes young patients with the potential for aggressive loss, older patients with advanced hair loss and limited donor area, and patients with specific facial shapes.
In those cases, we strive for a hairline pattern mimicking a mature man’s hairline.
A high frontal hairline with a degree of temporal recession will suit most men for their whole life, creating a natural-looking, age-appropriate result.
Often, a more youthful appearance is achieved by making the current hairline fuller rather than lowering it.
It is also important to remember that you can always lower a higher hairline up the road, but raising a lower hairline is complicated. If a patient receives a higher hairline now and their hair loss stabilises, the hairline can be easily lowered with additional transplants. But if the hairline is created too low and the patient wants or needs to reverse it, the process is difficult and not always successful.
Women are also likely to experience a receding hairline. Recreating a female hairline requires a design that includes a more rounded temporal infill and lower hairline than the one generally created for men.
The natural hairline is a feathering zone of sparse, delicate, and irregularly placed hair, increasing in density from the bald forehead to the denser, coarser hair found on top of the head.
If we look at the outermost hairs on the outside of the hairline, they’re all one haired follicular units and are slightly thinner than the next row of hairs.
These thin one-haired follicles tend to blend in with thicker ones as we go deeper into the hairline, creating a gradual increase of hair density as we move farther back from the hairline. Recreating this subtle and gradual increase in density is critical in achieving a natural-looking hairline. Having a thick wall of hair right from the first row of hairs is not natural.
Graft direction and angulation
Depending on the location of the scalp, hair grows at different angles. Proper angulation and direction of the transplanted hair are critical for a natural result, especially in the hairline and frontal area. Even tiny grafts will appear unnatural if placed at the wrong angle.
There is a natural imperfection in every hairline. Even individuals with little to no hair loss still have irregularities, areas of slight recession, and differing heights. Symmetry is often a goal in aesthetic surgery with meticulous attention to detail to avoid irregularity or unevenness.
Hairlines are naturally imperfect.
However, in hair transplantation, irregularity with some asymmetry is a critical component in creating a natural restoration. Even with small natural grafts, a perfectly straight hairline will look artificial. As a final touch, a few thin, single hairs are scattered along the new hairline to contribute to its natural appearance.
A distinctive feature of a woman’s or man’s hairline is the widow’s peak.
A widow’s peak is a V-shaped point in the hairline in the centre of the forehead.
The name comes from the hairline’s resemblance to the hoods mourning widows used to wear after the death of their husbands back in the Victorian era.
A widow’s peak is a normal variant of the hairline, usually runs in families and is not necessarily a sign of a receding hairline. Some men and women are born with widow’s peaks, while others develop them as part of a mature or receding hairline.
Both men and women who have never had a widow’s peak may develop one if they experience a receding hairline and hair thinning begins at the temples rather than all the way across.
A well-executed hair transplant involves careful planning, in-depth knowledge and artistry.
A great hairline is a highly desirable feature of the human face. Choosing an experienced hair restoration specialist is the first step toward achieving results you’ll love. Several treatments are available at our hair loss clinic in Glasgow to promote hair growth if you suffer from a receding hairline, including medical therapy and FUE – Follicular Unit Excision – hair transplant surgery. As a member of the International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery (ISHRS), the world’s leading medical authority on hair restoration, Dr Bonaros is committed to providing the best possible guidance and care for patients suffering from hair loss.
Contact us today to schedule a consultation and learn more about our advanced hair loss treatments.