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Hairline Transplant Surgery: Everything You Need To Know
Dr Chirag Gadhia (GMC)
Medically reviewed by
Dr Chirag Gadhia (GMC)
Updated on May 20, 2024

Your hairline frames your face and can have a big impact on your appearance. A receding hairline may make women appear masculine, older than their years, and less attractive [1]. In contrast, bald men or men with a receding hairline can be perceived as more timid, feminine, naïve, and gentle [2]. 

For both men and women, a high or uneven hairline can impact confidence and self-image. Fortunately, these types of hairline can be corrected with a hairline transplant in many cases. In this article, we’ll explore:

  • What a hairline transplant is, with before and after photos
  • Understanding receding hairlines in men and women
  • Who is a good candidate for the procedure
  • How to find the right clinic for your surgery 
Table of Contents

What is a hairline transplant?

Hairline transplant surgery can restore a natural-looking and youthful appearance in people with receding or uneven hairlines. Unlike a traditional hair transplant, which focuses on increasing hair density in balding areas, this procedure specifically targets the frontal region of the scalp to create a more symmetrical and balanced look. 

Surgeons strategically transplant individual hair follicles from areas of healthy hair growth (typically the back or sides of the scalp [3]) to the frontal region. There are two methods of hairline transplant: follicular unit extraction (FUE) and follicular unit transplantation (FUT)

The video above describes the basics of a hair transplant and the difference between FUT and FUE. During FUE, individual hair follicles are extracted from the donor area one by one using a punch tool. No linear scar is left, making it ideal for shorter hairstyles, and hair transplant recovery time is minimal [4] compared to FUT. 

During FUT, a strip of scalp containing hair follicles is surgically removed from the donor area. The strip is cut into individual follicular units, a natural group of 1-4 hairs on the scalp [5X]. This process can provide more grafts in a single session than FUE, but it leaves a linear hair transplant scar at the donor site [6], which may be visible with shorter hair.

Both techniques can achieve excellent results and fix a messed-up hairline. The choice depends on factors like hair loss pattern, desired outcome, and preference for scar visibility. Your surgeon will discuss each method’s risks and benefits, allowing you to make an informed decision. 


Here, we’ll share some results from patients who received a hairline transplant at the Wimpole Clinic. These patients were treated by highly skilled surgeons who created new, natural-looking hairlines tailored to their facial structure. See more photos like this in our full hair transplant before and after gallery

Before and after female afro hairline transplant

Hair transplant type: FUT

Grafts: 2,000

Time: After 8 months

Before and after FUE hairline hair transplant

Hair transplant type: FUE

Grafts: 2,400

Time: After 10 months

Hairline before and after hair transplant

Hair transplant type: FUE

Grafts: 1,500

Time: After 8 months

woman's hairline before and after 1800 FUT hair transplant

Hair transplant type: FUT

Grafts: 1,800

Time: After 8 months

Understanding a receding hairline 

Receding hairlines are often caused by male pattern baldness and female pattern hair loss (androgenetic alopecia), the most common reason for a hair transplant [7]. This condition presents differently in men and women. Here, we’ll explore the difference between the two. 

Receding hairlines in men

Male pattern hair loss affects up to 80% of men [8]. If you are experiencing this condition, you may recognise some of the following symptoms:

The Norwood Scale for male pattern baldness

Male pattern baldness can be classified using the Norwood Scale, shown above. The severity of your hair loss will affect the final result of a hair transplant to lower your hairline. If your hairline is at or below Norwood stage 3, you should be able to achieve your preferred hairline position. 

If your hair loss is at a later stage, you may be limited by how much hair is available to create your new hairline. Your best option may be a hair transplant to restore hair you can style over balding areas. Your surgeon will discuss your options to help you set realistic expectations. 

Receding hairlines in women

Female pattern hair loss affects up to 50% of women [8]. Unlike men, androgenetic alopecia in women typically presents as diffuse hair thinning across the scalp rather than a distinct pattern. If you’re experiencing this type of alopecia as a woman, you may notice:

  • Diffuse hair thinning across your scalp
  • A less voluminous appearance and reduced hair density, caused by the miniaturisation of hair follicles [9]
  • A widening hair-parting or Christmas tree pattern around the midline parting
  • A receding hairline or thinning hair at the temples, though less common than in men

While there is no standardised scale for female hair loss like the Norwood Scale, the Ludwig Scale is often used to classify female androgenetic alopecia. 

Ludwig scale androgenic alopecia step poster female balding

The Ludwig Scale above shows the stages and types of female pattern hair loss. As this instrument suggests, women are more likely to experience diffuse hair thinning than a receding hairline [10]. 

However, hairline recession in women is still possible. A study on Egyptian women found that 50% of receding hairlines were caused by androgenetic alopecia [10]. These were mainly found in older women. 

However, female pattern baldness is not the only cause of frontal hair loss in women.  Other conditions, such as frontal fibrosing alopecia, can also lead to a receding hairline. While men can also experience this autoimmune type of alopecia, it predominantly affects women.

If you are a woman with frontal hair loss due to pattern baldness, a hairline transplant may be the best way to restore your ideal hairline. However, hair transplants may not be the best option for autoimmune conditions because reactivation of these conditions may lead to the loss of transplanted hair. 

Who is a good candidate for a hairline transplant?

A hairline transplant is not suitable for everyone. You might make a good candidate for this type of surgery if you meet the following criteria: 

  • You have a receding hairline —  people whose hairline has receded due to androgenetic alopecia or other factors may benefit from surgery to restore a more youthful appearance.
  • You are experiencing stable hair loss [11] — This means that your hair shedding has not increased significantly within the past year. A hairline transplant for stable hair loss results in more predictable, long-lasting outcomes. If your condition is rapidly deteriorating or progressing, it is best to start non-surgical hair loss therapy for 6-12 months before considering a hair transplant. [7] During this time, medications and therapies including Minoxidil, Finasteride, low-level laser therapy (LLLT), and platelet-rich plasma (PRP) can stabilise or reverse hair loss, leading to better surgical outcomes when you are ready for hair transplantation [7]. 
  • You have sufficient donor hair [11] — You need a healthy supply of donor hair for a hairline transplant, usually at the back or sides of your scalp. This should contain enough hair follicles to transplant to your frontal hairline without causing noticeable thinning in the donor area.
Surgeon discussing requirements for a hairline transplant
  • You have realistic expectations [11] — Your surgeon should discuss the likely outcome of your surgery, including any risks or side effects of a hair transplant. You will be able to ask questions and gain a good understanding of the procedure. While a hairline transplant can greatly improve your hairline, it may not achieve the exact shape and position it had in your youth.
  • You are in good general health [11] — You should be free from any medical conditions that could interfere with healing or increase the risk of surgical complications. You will receive a thorough medical assessment in which you will discuss your medical history, general health, lifestyle habits, and any medications you currently take.
  • You are willing to follow instructions — Your surgeon will give you hair transplant aftercare instructions before and after surgery. These may include taking or avoiding certain medications, caring for your hair in a specific way, or making lifestyle changes such as stopping smoking for a set period. Smoking can impact hair transplant results [12], so following your surgeon’s advice is important to get the best outcome from the procedure. It also reduces the chances of your hair transplant going wrong.
Man with male pattern baldness and receding hairline

What hairline should I go for? 

You will discuss this question during your consultation with a hair transplant surgeon. Our surgeons will explain all the factors you need to consider when choosing a hairline, including natural appearance, age, facial structure, and gender [13].

A natural hairline should have irregularities, varying hair densities, and a gradual transition from the forehead to the scalp [13]. Perfectly symmetrical or overly straight hairlines can look artificial, so these should be avoided if you want a hair transplant without anyone knowing

New hair growing after hairline transplant surgery

Your age should be taken into account when designing your new hairline. Many people initially request a transplant in their late teenage years, but experienced surgeons may advise it is too soon to get a hair transplant [13]. A very low hairline can require many hair grafts, which depletes your donor zone and may look unnatural as you age. 

Your surgeon will design your big forehead transplant to compliment your facial features. A broad, flat forehead will need a flatter hairline, while it will be more angled for people with a narrow head. [13]

Your gender also determines the most natural-looking hairline choice. Men’s hair tends to recede more than women’s as they get older, so women need their new hairline placed further forward [13]. Generally, women will also need a hairline designed for a narrow head, while men tend to have broader, flatter foreheads [13].

Finding the right clinic for a hairline transplant

When considering hairline transplant surgery, your biggest decision is your choice of surgeon and clinic. It can be tempting to select a clinic based on the cost of a receding hairline transplant, but hair loss consultant Matt Devlin advises against that. 

“You see a lot of adverts for cut-priced hair transplant clinics, often located abroad. My advice would be to avoid these deals that offer the world at bargain prices. You need expertise for these procedures to truly look natural.”

Watch the full video below to learn more. 

Highly experienced surgeons often charge a higher price for a hair transplant. While there is no need to pay over the odds, your choice of clinic and surgeon should be guided by surgeon skill and proven experience rather than price alone. Hair transplant finance is available at the Wimpole Clinic.

Why choose the Wimpole Clinic for your hairline transplant?

The Wimpole Clinic has been awarded Hair Transplant Clinic of the Year for the past three years running. With some of the best hair transplant surgeons in the UK, you can rest assured that you’ll receive the highest level of expertise and a natural-looking hair transplant. A hair transplant is permanent, so a high-quality surgical procedure can stop a receding hairline permanently.

Your hair doctor will provide a full medical assessment to determine whether a hairline transplant is right for you. Investigations may include blood tests for hair loss, a hair pull test, and other tests performed by your hair specialist as required.

With our team of expert surgeons, outstanding patient reviews, and easy-to-access clinic locations from London to Newcastle, the Wimpole Clinic is one of the country’s most trusted and acclaimed hairline transplant clinics. Book a consultation to learn if you can benefit from surgical hairline restoration.

Hairline Transplant Surgery: Everything You Need To Know, Wimpole Clinic

Dr Chirag Gadhia (GMC)
Medically reviewed by Dr Chirag Gadhia (GMC)Updated on May 20, 2024
The Wimpole Clinic offers FUE Hair, Beard & Eyebrow Transplants & Trichology.
Talk to a specialist ☎ 020 7935 1861.

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