I Tie my Hair Up to Give Myself a Psedo Face Lift. Would an Actual Lift Give the Same Look?

I like to gather the hair up around the area near my ears and tie it up on top of my head with a small hair tie (I pull it really tight) because it lifts the skin in that area, elevating the outside corner of my eyes/eyebrows (they're a bit "sad" looking). I think it looks fantastic. Would I be laughed out of a surgeon's office if I showed them what I do and asked them to lift that same area with surgery? Would it even look the same? This is an awfully embarrassing thing to admit.

Doctor Answers 15

Face/brow lift

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It would be a good idea to show the surgeon what look you like. The lift may not be able to give that look and it would probably take more than a facelift which gives little change in the area around the eyes. You may need to consider a brow lift +/- eyelid lift. Your surgeon will be able to help you with this once he sees what look you like. And you are right, a rejuvenation of that area almost always looks fantastic. Just be sure the doctor you are seeing does a lot of that type of surgery.

You should be evaluated for a facelift...

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You really should not be embarresed to discuss these issues with a plastic surgeon.  Just to let you know, old-school stage actresses do nearly the same thing, but even use skin colored tape and rubber bands to get the lifted effect.  Because you have been experimenting with different vectors of skin pull, you can have an intelligent discussion with a facelift surgeon, and together you can decide what version of the operation is correct for you (facelift vs brow lift, scar location, etc.)

Best wishes,


Facelift, Brow Lift, and Eyelid Surgery

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   Without seeing a picture or having the benefit of an exam, the description you give will likely involve more than just a facelift.  Perhaps some form of brow lift with or without eyelid surgery may be appropriate.  Kenneth Hughes, MD Los Angeles, CA

Pulling hair up tight is not representative of full face/neck lift results

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Be very careful of pulling your hair too tight, this could cause traction alopecia and permanent baldness.  A comprehensive face/neck lift involves not only tightening the skin, but also the facial muscles as well as removing submental fat.  Pulling your hair tight will only mimic a very minimal skin pull and is not representative of a full face/neck lift.

Pulling Hair Tightly for Facelift Effect Can Cause Hair Loss

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Many women have come to my offices in New York with exactly the same strategy. Unfortunately, this practice of gathering your hair so tightly to lift the face slightly results in hair loss particularly in the hairline (referred to as "traction alopecia). My associate is Dr. Gary Hitzig, the creator of ACell and PRP (whom I coined "Hair Rescue" with) to treat male and female pattern hair loss, and we see this problem a lot with individuals who do this to that effect. As far as your concern about embarrassment, I doubt any surgeon who's been in practice for a few years would not have come across a situation like yours. For some of my patients who want to change their eye to a more almond shape with upturned corners, I perform Almond Eyelid Surgery. Some patients, depending on their whole face, may need a brow lift and botox injections or a face lift surgery to raise or lift that facial area. Meet with qualified and experienced surgeons and learn more about your options for facial surgery.

Face and eye lift

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If you can mimic the results that you would like, don't be afraid to discuss this with your surgeon.  If he "laughs you out of the office" or makes you feel uncomfortable, it doesn't mean you are asking a ridiculous question, but rather that your surgeon isn't the right fit for you.  Keep looking.

Chances are, after a consultation with a board-certified surgeon, you should be able to get a good idea whether or not what you see yourself in the mirror will be what the results of your surgery give you. 

Hope this helps,

Dr. Hall

I Tie my Hair Up to Give Myself a Psedo Face Lift. Would an Actual Lift Give the Same Look?

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Usually when we speak to patients and they are saying they are pulling at their face to give it a lift that's a good indication they are ready for facial plastic surgery. A full face lift does lift and tighten the skin and muscles as you are describing by pulling your hair up in pony tail. Make a consultation with a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon to go over options for you. 

Stuart B. Kincaid, MD, FACS (in memoriam)
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon

Will a facelift provide an effect similar to pulling the hair back?

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When you tie your hair back, you are affecting the skin in areas that a facelift alone may not address. There is a lot of tension being placed on your forehead/brow area, and you may benefit from a brow lift.  Typically, a brow lift can make the following improvements:

1) Improve a sad or tired appearance
2) Reduce the appearance of sagging skin in the forehead


A surgeon with a good aesthetic eye will not usually require a demonstration of how you would like your eyes to appear.  They will be able to make suggestions to determine what procedure(s) will best enhance your own natural look and make the greatest improvement to your appearance. I would recommend a consultation with a board certified surgeon that has a great deal of experience performing procedures the the eyes and brow. Thanks and I hope this helps!

Facelift and can it emulate the results that are achieved with pulling hair back

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I see this often in my office. The one thing that it helps is the skin redraping. Face lifts should pull on the skin because the skin stretches and your results go away. I would show your doctor this to demonstrate what you would like to achieve. He should totally listen and tell you what he thinks if this is achievable or not. A browlift laterally could also help you.

Philip Young, MD
Bellevue Facial Plastic Surgeon


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Tying your hair up like you mention will simulate a brow lift as you have noticed.  An actual facelift is intended to lift the neck, cheeks, and jowls.  Your question is not a silly question at all.  Anything that helps you communicate better with your plastic surgeon is of value in obtaining the result you want.

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.