Who could forget when uber-gorgeous supermodel Tyra Banks revealed her personal beauty nemesis, describing her forehead as a “five-head,” because her hairline was higher than she might have liked. Whether you were born with a high hairline like Tyra’s or a dramatic widow’s peak, or if your hairline has changed with age, there’s definitely hope for achieving a healthy, pretty head of hair.
We asked Plano, TX, facial plastic surgeon Samuel M. Lam, MD, who specializes in hair restoration, where to begin. He says when it comes to hair loss, the first step is to determine if there’s a health-related reason for it.
“There are all types of diseases that can cause hair loss, like lupus, that are not treatable with hair restoration,” Dr. Lam says. “Also, one of the first things you think of is low iron. For a heavy woman in her mid-40s, it may be her thyroid. For a woman in her 50s, it could be post-menopausal. Those things could be corrected with medicine.”
But in aesthetic cases or those not related to medical issues, Dr. Lam says the key to achieving a more attractive hairline is making it look feminine. “You need to go beyond technology to beautiful surgery,” Dr. Lam says. Some surgeons are “doing male hairlines with grafts that are straight across the forehead. That hairline that doesn’t look feminine.”
He describes the ideal woman’s hairline as a rounded shape with lateral mounds at the temples. In some cases, he creates a “Christmas tree” design that points in front and tapers back, particularly for women suffering from Ludwig hair loss that strikes the top of the head.
During the procedure, patients are sedated while Dr. Lam transplants healthy grafts to the sparse areas. “I tell patients it’s like taking a flower and moving it from one pot to another.” His careful selection of “safe hairs,” as he calls them, ensures the grafts are filled with hairs that will continue to grow.
Post-procedure, patients may be swollen for about a week. Also, before and after the procedure they will be on a regimen of hair-restorative medication, like Rogaine or Minoxidil, to help ward off any “shock loss” that can sometimes occur after the surgery.
The key to long-lasting results and a beautiful hairline? “First you need good surgery,” Dr. Lam says. “Plus good health, not smoking and eating well.”
Dr. Lam says the recent introduction of injections of platelet-rich-plasma (PRP), plus wound-healing Acell during hair-restoration surgery has already proven to help post-procedure with “dramatically less shedding, shorter recovery time and better healing,” he says. However, final grafting results won’t be seen for several more months.
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