Hair growth in scalp scars after face lift

I have a fairly wide scar on the top of my head, close to the brow and am concerned that hair may not grow back in this area. Does hair tend to re-grow in the scalp area if the skin is scarred? Thank you.

Doctor Answers 10

Things you can do now

With the approval of your surgeon, you can use Latisse or RevitaHair on the scar which may promote faster hair regrowth and fuller and thicker hair in that area.  These products need to be used daily for at least 3 months to see significant benefit.  These products were originally designed to promote eyelash and eyebrow growth but will thicken hair wherever there are hair follicles. Latisse can cause a reddish tinge to the skin due to dilating blood vessels, which is one of the ways it promotes hair growth (ie. bringing more blood to the hair follicles).  If this doesn't work, scar revision or hair transplantation could be pursued.  Best of luck!


Minneapolis Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

Hair Group

A chemical mixture is used in the classical hair transplantation method in order to increase the volume of the scalp. This process helps surgeon to work comfortably however it was observed that these chemicals also harm the scalp tissue. This result in decreased viability of new transplanted hair grafts.

However a mixture containing adipose derived stem cells is injected to the scalp in the “Organic Hair Transplantation” for the same purposes. Injection of this mixture result in rejuvenation of the scalp without causing any harm. Surgeon can also work more comfortably after the injection of the mixture since the volume of the scalp is increased

Bulent Cihantimur, MD
Turkey Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 79 reviews

Facelift/Browlift Scar

If your scar is wider in this area than in other areas, I would discuss revision of the scar with your surgeon.  Wide scars will very rarely become more narrow, although the color will fade and the overall look will improve.  However, if the scar is wide, I would perform the scar revision to get the finest, least perceptible scar, and then use Latisse to promote stimulation of any hair follicles in the area for further disguise.  

R. Scott Yarish, MD
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 33 reviews

Hair loss in scars following Face Lift

Dean Jenny in Whitby:

Thanks for this question! It is interesting and affects nearly every patient following a brow, face and neck lift. 

There are many options for facelifting, depending on the skin laxity and areas of lift or tightening you wish or need. This type of surgery will leave you with scars hidden or not-so-hidden:
  1. in front of your ears and sideburn, 
  2. behind the ears and along the mastoid hairline,
  3. along the temple hairline,
  4. along the forehead or behind the forehead hairline.
Most facial surgeons are knowledgeable and attempt to hide the scar or make a angulated incision so hair bulbs on one side of the scar will grow through the scar to mask it. 

It is also important that you abstain from activities which will damage the hair along the incision at the time of surgery such as:
  1. nicotine / tobacco use
  2. any type of hair coloring

For most patients these scars are discrete and negligible but for some, the scar which has no pigment, no oil glands and no hair bulbs will be visible.

There are options to speak with your surgeon regarding these concerns.
non-surgical skin care including: retinoids, pigmentation-evening prescriptives
minimally invasive procedures: IPL, fractionated CO2 or erbium lasers
tattoo (not a favorite of mine along hairless skin due to potential ink color changes but worthwhile if in the scalp)
hair grafting
use of hair growing medications such as: Latisse or RevitaHair to be used soon after the surgery but not useful once the scar has matured
scar revision, ie. surgical removal allowing for a hopeful newer, less obvious scar

Please consult with a well experienced, Board Certified Plastic Surgeon, Facial ENT or Dermatologist with the experience required to treat this problem.

I hope this has been helpful. All the best!

Dean P. Kane, MD, FACS
Baltimore Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 70 reviews

Scalp scar and hair loss

In general, this is a temporary condition and will repair itself overtime.  For now, ask your surgeon about products that he recommends to expedite your recovery.  Best wishes!

Robert E. Zaworski, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 55 reviews

Scalp scar and hair loss

Hi and thank you for the question.  Sometimes after a procedure near your scalp there can be some temporary hair loss.  This hair may return, but generally hair will not regrow in the scarred area.  This can be revised in a later surgery or hair can be transplanted to that area.  Good luck with everything.

Andrew Elkwood, MD, FACS
Red Bank Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

Scars within the hairline should be almost invisible after a facelift.

 Because of the trauma some hair follicles may shed the hair shortly after closure from the facelift. When the hair recovers the scar should be effectively invisible.

Vincent N. Zubowicz, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 32 reviews

Hair regrowth after surgery

It is not uncommon the have some hair loss with scalp scars.  Most is temporary and will regrow hair in the months after surgery.  If not, a scar revision may be necessary.  Follow up with your surgeon.  Donald R. Nunn MD  Atlanta Plastic Surgeon.

Donald Nunn, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 43 reviews

Scar Alopecia

It is possible to to have some hair loss along a surgical scar.  Usually the hair regrows, but it can be permanent.  Discuss this matter further with your surgeon.  Scar revision or folliicular unit hair transplantation can be very effective if the condition is permanent.  Best wishes.

Scalp Scar After Facelift

Whether hair will grow into and through a scalp scar depends on how the incision was made and how long after surgery it has been. If it has been six months or more after surgery, then you will need to consider a scar revision for improvement.

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.