Shoreline Understanding of a Hairline in Hair Restoration
Shoreline model for understanding natural hairlines in hair restoration
I really like using the idea of a shoreline to educate my students and my patients on the proper design of a hairline. A shoreline from a great distance looks relatively straight but the closer you get to the shoreline, the more jagged and imperfect the contour becomes. This is a very good way of understanding how to create a natural hairline. I oftentimes see hairlines that are simply way too straight or others that are way to curvy. A natural hairline is neither. It is principally straight (the so-called macro hairline seen from a distance) and it is principally irregular (the so-called micro hairline when seen up close). The macro hairline is created by drawing a line on the head at the beginning of the case. The micro hairline is created by making the recipient sites into which the grafts will be placed. The goal of the micro hairline is to create little irregularities into the originally designed macro hairline. I personally like to build my hairlines from an area of the central midscalp/central forelock going forward rather than drawing the hairline in and then going backwards. The reason for this is that if you design the anterior most line of the hairline first, the tendency is to make the hairlines too rigid and straight. By starting a few centimeters behind the anterior-most line of the hairline, the recipient sites can be made so that as the anteterior-most line of the hairline is reached, the line progressively becomes more irregular. To really appreciate a beautiful hairline, it is important to see one from a distance and up close. Remember the concept of the shoreline when doing so.