How can I get a forehead reduction without surgery?

I don't like my high forehead at all, but it doesn't bother me enough to actually go through a surgery. Is there a non-surgical forehead reduction alternative? From what I've seen, there's a non invasive alternative to everything nowadays.


F, 31, Virginia

Tags:woman age 25-34 forehead non surgical

There’s been a recent surge in non-surgical aesthetic treatments. Non-invasive procedures are popular because of the minimal downtime and short recovery periods associated with them. In the case of forehead reduction, I’m sorry but there are no non-surgical alternatives available. At present only surgery can reduce the distance between the eyebrows and hairline. You can, however, always try to hide an elongated forehead with certain hair stylings if you’re not open to the prospect of surgery.

However, if you are willing to consider the possibility of surgery, there are three procedures that can lower a high hairline. Hair transplant surgery, brow lift surgery and hairline lowering surgery all restore balance to facial features by shortening the forehead to a more aesthetically pleasing position.  

Ideally, the hairline should begin at the transition point between the vertical forehead and the point where the forehead begins to slope backwards towards the scalp. High hairlines can detract from facial harmony, render the face more masculine in appearance, and prematurely age those affected.

  • Hair transplants

Hair transplants or hair grafting represents the least invasive of the three cosmetic procedures. While hair grafts have typically been used to treat male pattern baldness, receding hairlines, or those suffering from hair loss, they are also an excellent way to lower a large forehead. Surgery usually takes place in a doctors office. Hair is taken from a donor site and grafted onto the recipient site. Sometimes two procedures will be required. Patients are usually ready to return to work after two to five days, but the grafts can take months to grow in.

  • Forehead reduction surgery

This procedure is also referred to as hairline lowering surgery or foreheadplasty. Forehead reduction surgery reduces the height of the forehead by excising excess forehead skin and bringing the hairline forward. Appropriate candidates for this procedure have good hair density and flexible scalps - although it can still be performed on those with less scalp laxity as a two-stage procedure. Forehead reduction surgery entails downtime of a week or more before the patient is ready to return to work, but  results are immediately visible.

  • Brow lift

A brow lift, also known as a forehead lift, is performed to elevate drooping eyebrows, tighten the forehead, and improve the appearance of wrinkled sagging skin. It also reduces the forehead size when an incision is made along the hairline. However, a brow lift requires downtime of at least seven days, and recovery of up to six months.

A consultation with a board-certified plastic surgeon will help make you more cognizant and informed about the options available to you as well as the ways each procedure could transform your appearance.

While it is true there are an increasing number of ways to aesthetically enhance one's appearance without going under the knife, so to speak, surgery is sometimes necessary to achieve the optimal outcome. In the case of forehead reduction, unfortunately at present no non-surgical alternatives exist. The only non-invasive method to disguise a large forehead is to style your hair in a way that conceals your forehead, like bangs.

A female hairline generally measures between 5 and 6 cm, while male hairlines generally measure between 6 and 8cm. For those with a higher forehead than this, the additional distance between the hairline and eyebrows can seem disproportionate. If you are open to considering surgery, there are two main options used to reduce the size of a large forehead: hairline lowering surgery and hair grafting, also known as hair transplants.

Hair transplants are probably the least invasive option, but they still require surgery. Hairline advancement surgery is a one-stage surgery that gives instant results, while hair transplantation surgery is often a two-stage surgery, with results visible after 3 to 6 months. A forehead reduction procedure can restore balance and harmony to the face by lowering the hairline. If you have adequate scalp laxity, a forehead reduction can significantly shorten the distance between the eyebrows and hairline.

If your high hairline bothers you, I would definitely recommend at least discussing your options with a surgeon who performs both hair transplants and forehead reductions. While the notion of surgery can seem daunting at first, receiving more information about both procedures may clarify some uncertainties and help you to understand how each procedure could balance your facial appearance by giving you a lower hairline.

Hi Kgradybr,

A potential alternative would be a hair transplantation if you have a receding hairline.  However, even this may not accomplish your goal.

Forehead reduction surgery is actually not as bad as you would think and does not require a long recovery period. Most patients feel well enough to return to work after a few days of rest. There may, however, be some swelling and bruising that lingers for a few weeks around the forehead, head or even eye area.  

We recently published a guide to the entire procedure on our blog. You can learn more about it there.