How short can I cut hair after facelift?

Concerned about scars showing after facelift, mainly the ones behind ears. How ,uch can I actually expect them to fade ? I'm thinking I may eventually go bald and wanted the option to shave my head but not if I have 2 lines that are going to be visible. Would the scars be hidden at a "buzz cut" length or would they still be visible ? Thanks

Doctor Answers 18

Facelift Scars

Thank you for your question.  It does depend on every surgeons incisions, however most will hide in the crease of your ear and around (my scar doesn't go into the hairline therefore being more hidden and reframes from any hair loss caused by the scar).  Patients do heal differently however typically scars maybe red for the first three months however by six months the scars have normally turned skin colour therefore with minimal visibility, if not none at all.  Please make sure you find a reputable and qualified plastic surgeon who can assess you properly to give you a realistic idea of what outcome you can achieve.  All The Best 

Depends

I would not plan on a buzz cut after a facelift as the incisions will be visible.  However you can discuss this with your plastic surgeon to see if he can modify the incision to be better hidden with your desired hairstyle. 

Facelift Incisions and Hair

Facelift incisions can be variable depending on the surgeon and the amount of laxity/sagging that you may have. However, most experienced facelift surgeons will hide your incisions in and around your ears and into the scalp.  They will also come up high, behind the ear, to have a minimal transition zone behind your ear to the scalp. This allows the incisions to heal very nicely and the scars to be imperceptible, even in men with very short hair.  It is important to note that people will heal differently and while most people have minimal visibility, there are very rare exceptions. 

Jacob D. Steiger, MD
Boca Raton Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 48 reviews

Depends

It depends on where the scars are and what the color of the scar is.  Meaning if the scar is placed on the hairline then the scar should be hidden with short hair too; if the scars are placed away from the hairline then it will show much easier with a short hair cut.  The scars behind the ear should not show if it is placed within the groove regardless of how long or short your hair is.  Why not pull your hair back/up to see if your ok with the amount of scar showing.  You can always get scar revision as an option.

Andre Aboolian, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 56 reviews

Facelift scars and hair length

This is a very good question.  The answer depends to some extent on the individual surgeon, their choice in incision placement, their technique, the patients healing process.  Most standard facelift incisions are placed below the temporal hair line, then hidden in front of the ear, around the earlobe, continued behind the ear and then finished along the hairline or into the hair line behind.  Occasionally the anterior incision is hidden in the temporal tuft of hair.  With meticulous technique and careful postoperative incision care and sun protection, the scars can heal imperceptibly.  To some extent the scar camouflage relies on the presence of some hair in front and behind the ears. Even in patients with the most severe hair loss (such as a Norwood stage 7) the horse shoe of hair that remains typically covers the strategic areas that most surgeons use to camouflage their facelift incisions in front and behind the ear.  


To answer your specific question for the scars behind the ears - those that extend into the hair bearing scalp can be well hidden with hair as short as 3/8s of an inch long.  If you do shave the hair at the site of the scar, even with the best surgical technique, a faint white line may be visible. 

How short can I cut hair after facelift?

Camouflaging the facelift incisions is an important component of a properly done procedure.  But one must realize that there is also a genetic component to healing and the most patients heal with nearly invisible incision lines a few will heal with a white or slightly widened or occasionally thicken scar that may remain present permanently.  I tell my patients that they will probably not need much hair or styling to cover their incisions but there is probably the rare case where if they shave their head the incisions might possibly call attention to themselves. This is a choice that you will be able to make once you have the surgery and see the quality of your incision lines 4 to 6 months after the procedure.  Best wishes,

Jon A Perlman M.D., FACS
Diplomate, American Board of Plastic Surgery
Member, American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS)
ABC-TV Extreme Makeover Surgeon
Beverly Hills, California

Jon A. Perlman, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Hair scar options

A skill and experience doctor can perform a surgery that can be almost invisible to the naked eye.  Technique is important as to where and how to place the incision.  Careful analysis of the patient hair pattern, color and texture as well as amount of extra skin will help to determine where to place the incisions

Visible scars following facelift surgery

Your question is a very relevant one.  As facelift surgeons we are concerned with providing you with an outstanding surgical result and at the same time making certain that our work is not noticeable,.  Scarring is something we are very concerned with and work hard to camouflage the scars of a facelift.  If you are going bald and you plan on shaving your head, you should definitely address this with your surgeon.  The incision that is behind the ear often times continues into the hairline in the back of your head, especially in patients who require a great deal of neck work.  If your surgeon knows ahead of time, then the incisions can be modified so that no incision enters the hairline and going bald is of no consequence.  

Philip S. Schoenfeld, MD, FACS
Chevy Chase Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 25 reviews

Hairstyle After Facelift

I appreciate your concern because I AM bald! I usually advise my female patients to change their hairstyle in some fashion right before or after surgery, because it deflects questions about the facelift, and people are never quite sure! For men, it is a bit trickier, and I customize my facelift incisions to each individual's needs regarding level of hair loss.  The scars on the face and scalp and neck do heal quite well, with time, but it takes a year. For that reason, plan on holding off on the buzz cut for a while after facelift. Be sure to consult with a board certified plastic surgeon. Good luck!

Robert M. Tornambe, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 24 reviews

Scar after facelift

Scars after facelift heal well and become essentially invisible but there are many factors that influence how scars heal and how invisible they become. Scars are placed strategically around the hairline to be hidden by the hair. If they heal well, depending on your skin tone, they look like fine white lines and you may be able to cut your hair very short. However, in some people, even if the surgical technique is great, the body forms larger scars that may require steroid injections, scar revisions etc. In conclusion, if the all factors fall in your favor and scars are fine then you can cut your hair short but there is always a chance that the scars heal in a way that you feel is too visible for a short hair cut. good luck.

Jeffrey Jumaily, MD
Toronto Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 10 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.