Although there are many types of hairlines that can be designed, for the sake of simplicity I try to discuss two basic shapes when I lecture to students at my hair-transplant course in St. Louis every year. They are the bell-shape and the round-shape. The bell shape is a narrower design that changes from a convex center to a concave outer portion with the transition occurring somewhere midway at the mid-pupil line, known as the lateral, anterior point. The bell-shape works for a narrower head so that the bell matches the shape of the head, and it also works to conserve grafts and requires less aggressive a temporal hair reconstruction to match it. For these reasons a bell shape is preferred. A round shape is good for a wider face like on an Asian or some Hispanic faces, for example. Because it requires more grafts to undertake and more grafts allocated to the temple area it may be less ideal for the very young patient who would require more hair-transplant sessions to maintain the result with a greater number of grafts. Obviously, some hairlines are a hybrid design, i.e., principally round with a little transition from convex to concave. Alternatively, the hybrid design could be a more suppressed round shape that lacks the transition from central convexity to lateral concavity.

Basic Hairline Shapes for Hair Restoration (from Dr. Lam’s Textbook, Hair Transplant 360)

Samuel M. Lam, MD, FACS, a board certified hair restoration surgeon in Dallas, Texas. To schedule a hair transplant consultation please call 972-312-8105, or visit for more info. To ask Dr Lam a question please visit our hair transplant forum.