What Is a Ponytail Facelift?

Jun 4, 2023

As you age, your face and neck muscles weaken, and your skin becomes saggy and loses elasticity. This is the time when you look at yourself in the mirror and wish you could tighten your face and neck as with a ponytail. Luckily, that exists. This article will explain what is a ponytail facelift. 

Ponytail facelift is not a medical term but a marketing one for a procedure that has become globally popular. Stay tuned to learn everything you need to know about ponytail facelift.

Ponytail Facelift

Source: / Photo Contributor: VK Studio

What Is a Ponytail Facelift?

A ponytail facelift is a cosmetic, surgical procedure of a minimally invasive lift that gives your face a tightening, lifted look as when your hair is in a ponytail. People are wowed by this procedure for various reasons, from the fast results and minimal downtime to its catchy name.

This procedure might be better than the traditional facelift because it is done through small hairline incisions. It is not around your ears, as with the regular one. Moreover, you can wear your hair in a ponytail shortly after the procedure without having visible scars.

The ponytail facelift tightens a person’s face by pulling the cheeks, forehead, and eyebrows upward. It is important to know that the surgeon does not remove any skin during this process. Therefore, this type of facelift is best for someone who shows minimal signs of aging. It will show the best results if you have just a little excess skin on the upper neck and around the jawline.

All in all, the right patient can get tightened, rejuvenated skin on the face and neckline.

Facial anatomy

The first thing you should familiarize yourself with is the facial anatomy and the anatomy of facial aging. Once you know that, you can understand that the ponytail facelift gives a natural, rejuvenating effect rather than a plastic one. 

Our face has five concentric layers. Their consistency differs based on different parts of the face. 

  1. The first layer is skin which is thickest around the nose and cheeks and thinnest around the temple and eyelids.
  2. The second layer is fat that is bulging the cheeks.
  3. The third layer is a muscle layer that allows us to talk, smile, open and close our eyes, etc.
  4. In the fourth layer are our ligaments, vessels, and facial nerves. The ligaments hold all three previous layers.
  5. The fifth layer is the cheek and jawbones. All the facial anatomy resides in these bones.

Anatomy of facial aging

With age, all five layers lose elasticity, muscles become loose, and fat accumulates. Moreover, the ligament that holds the layers becomes weak, resulting in nasolabial folds, loose skin, and neckline.

The ponytail facelift is supposed to lift the third and fourth layers, enhance skin tone, and lift the upper face and neckline. Therefore, the final result should be a rejuvenated look.

Anatomy of facial aging  / Illustration Contributor: atk work

What Does the Ponytail Lift Encompass?

Now that we know what a ponytail facelift represents, let’s see what it entails. As with many other plastic surgeries, this type of facelift entails pre-operative preparation. 

As doctor Robert Guida (a board-certified plastic surgeon operating in New York) states, among other things that the surgeon will explain – you should stop smoking a few months before the procedure, quit drinking, and stop taking supplements or medications that might cause bleeding.

Moreover, having a healthy weight and not eating anything the night before surgery is important.

The ponytail facelift is not textbook surgery. It is important for you to talk with your surgeon about your wishes and have reasonable expectations. The procedure is done under local anesthesia, and it might take from one to four hours.

If you wonder whether the ponytail facelift is painful, the answer is that you might experience a little pain and discomfort. And if you have bruises, they are likely to recover after ten days.

How Long Does the Recovery Take?

Most patients have swelling and bruising for one to two weeks. It is recommended to be careful with combing your hair around the surgery’s area. You should avoid dyeing your hair for at least the next two weeks, and it is better to use a gentle shampoo. 

You can get back to strenuous activities and normal life after two weeks. However, the complete healing process usually takes from one to three months.

Remember that during the healing process, you should:

  • Apply sunscreen – applying sunscreen helps avoid skin discoloration;
  • Avoid stressing the affected area – do not wear your hair in a ponytail or go to the spa; avoid anything that might add additional stress to the area of the incisions;
  • Get plenty of liquids – drinking water, fruit juices, or teas is essential for eliminating toxicities and hydrating your skin;
  • Take your medications – take the prescribed medications for pain and stiffness.

Benefits and Drawbacks of Ponytail Facelift 

Now, we will see the advantages and disadvantages of a ponytail facelift. It is worth mentioning that the ponytail facelift is preferred over the traditional facelift procedure.

Benefits of ponytail facelift

Short recovery time

Compared to the traditional facelift, the ponytail facelift has less downtime. The healing process is relatively short, and the procedure is less invasive.

No alterations of the tragus

Usually, the traditional facelift modifies the front of the ear’s openings, called “tragus.” This is not the case with the ponytail facelift. Therefore, this procedure is not supposed to leave visible scars.

Durable effects

Besides being very long-lasting (the effects may last from one to five years), the ponytail facelift should not disrupt the function of the skin.

Benefits of ponytail facelift

Source: / Photo Contributor: Roman Samborskyi

Possible risks of ponytail facelift

Infections and reactions to anesthesia

Same as with any other surgical procedure, there is a possibility of infections or adverse anesthesia reactions. That is why the treatment should be made with sedation anesthesia rather than with a general one.

Rare drawbacks

Other risks of a ponytail facelift include hematoma; however, this might occur in only 1.97% of the cases, and the doctor can remove it. If you are a smoker, you risk having a longer healing process or the appearance of skin injuries.

Difference Between Traditional Facelift and Ponytail Facelift

You probably wondered how these two types of facelifts differ. The main difference is the area of the incisions.

A standard facelift leaves scars for a longer time on the scalp and around the ear. However, those spots allow surgeons to take off the extra skin, lift the lower part of the face, and make some improvements to the neck. A traditional facelift is a better solution for people with more advanced signs of aging. 

On the other hand, these improvements can not be done with the ponytail facelift. Which implies the question – who is the best candidate for a ponytail facelift?

Who is the ponytail facelift best for?

If you tried fillers in the anti-aging journey and are unsatisfied with them, the ponytail facelift is your next step. You are the best candidate for the ponytail facelift if you want a more considerable outcome than fillers and botox. 

People with early signs of aging will benefit from this procedure. They will get a lifted upper face, improved lower face, and reduced wrinkles around the eyes.

How Much Does the Ponytail Facelift Cost?

According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, the cost of a rhytidectomy or facelift varies depending on the state, the experience of the surgeon, and the type of facelift performed. Although the average price of a traditional facelift is around $8,005, this excludes anesthesia and surgeon’s fees, hospital or surgeon’s office fees, post-surgery garments, prescriptions, and medical tests.

The ponytail facelift might cost anywhere from $8,000 to $30,000 (with the latter being the price in Manhattan).

How Much Does the Ponytail Facelift Cost

Source: / Photo Contributor: RomarioIen

Bottom Line

If you have been wondering what is a ponytail facelift, now you’ll have everything clear about it.

In a nutshell, a ponytail facelift represents a cosmetic surgery procedure that provides a mini lift for younger patients in order to get a rejuvenated look and tightened skin. The incisions placed in the hairline are barely noticeable.

The biggest advantages of this lift are short healing time and no visible scars.

However, it is always important to discuss with your plastic surgeon what irregularities bother you and decide mutually if the ponytail facelift or any other cosmetic procedure is right for you.