The Surprising Reason Men are Having Facelifts

The surprising reason more men are getting facelifts is really not so surprising. It begins with the letter “v.”  V for vigor.  Vigor reflects media messaging about the way men are expected to look and feel today as well as the reflection of modern economics.  Cut abs, chiseled chins, firm jaws, taut forehead and cheeks all point to health and masculinity.

There is an intense focus on masculinity influenced by the astoundingly popular TV series Mad Men’s lead actor Jon Hamm who portrayed Don Draper, the hyper macho advertising executive. Draper’s strong jaw, smooth forehead and perfect stubble seduced women and mesmerized fictional male CEOs. Draper’s success in the workplace set the gold standard for men looking to move up the corporate ladder.

Men and women are remaining in an increasingly competitive workforce longer for financial reasons as well as personal fulfillment.  More mature adults are competing and congregating with their younger counterparts around the water cooler and want to look vital, refreshed, and energetic.

Men have also found a voice in plastic surgery. Men who are enjoying the results of their aesthetic surgeries are willing to speak out. What used to be whispered about behind closed doors is now an open secret among men: plastic surgery can have natural results and help you look good and feel better.

“David,” a 54-year-old portfolio manager in New York City, told CNBC in May 2017, “People do tend to look at external appearance. When your clients think you are younger, they think you are more savvy with technology, social media.”

Many women are turning from fillers to facelifts and men don’t want to look older than their partners, causing them to consider plastic and cosmetic surgery as well. It is clear that men are recognizing that they are getting good results from short term fixes like Botox®™. The plastic surgery journey we are seeing among men who are undergoing the knife can be described more as a logical progression rather than a surprising leap. The American Society of Plastic Surgery put out data that 1.1 million men opted for aesthetic injections in 2016, proving that cosmetic surgery among men is certainly experiencing an upward trend.

  • Men have bought into having dermal fillers and neurotoxins. In 2016, 950,000 men had neurotoxin injections and 99,000 men had dermal fillers.
  • In 2016, facelifts made their way back to the “5 most top-performed surgery list” according to the American Society of Plastic Surgery. Men accounted for 12,000 facelifts and that number is expected to increase.
  • Thousands of men are currently having eyelid lifts and microdermabrasion.

What Does a Facelift Do? What Doesn’t It Do?

A facelift will reposition the skin of the lower third of the face, middle third of the face or the upper third of the face, or the entire face with a full facelift. There are many factors that will impact the outcome of your lift including those listed below.

  1. What areas of the face you plan to repair or lift
  2. Your skin’s collagen
  3. Placement of scars
  4. Atrophy
  5. Genetics

To repair droopy eyelids or eliminate bags under the eyes, eyelid surgery is typically the procedure for these fixes. A furrowed brow can be improved with a brow lift. Youthful contours of the cheek can be restored with either fat injections or fillers and dull skin may be resurfaced with lasers. You may decide to restore or augment your chin. All of these procedures can be done in conjunction with a facelift.

Men Require Different Techniques Than Women

Facial surgery for men requires the expertise of a highly skilled surgeon who has an understanding of the anatomy of the male face.  You will want to select a board-certified plastic surgeon who has solid experience in performing facelifts on men. Performing a facelift on a male differs from operating on a woman.

Men have more vascular skin, meaning that they have more blood vessels, so they may bleed more. This puts men more at risk than women for developing a postoperative hematoma, which is a pooling of blood. Another key concern with men is the placement of incisions.  Men typically have less hair surrounding their face and they have facial hair. Occasionally hair follicles wind up behind the ears, causing hair growth, however, this can be easily remedied with electrolysis.

The chin and jawline in men are more defined and that also impacts how the skin is lifted.  The surgeon must work around the Adam’s apple. The good news for men is that their skin is coarser and scars can be hidden better.

Facelifts: The Details

Full Facelift: A full face lift is lifting of the skin and muscle throughout the entire face.  A browlift and eyelift are separate procedures and performed in a different manner. They may be included during a full facelift. A full facelift will generally involve an extensive incision that is hidden in the hairline and wraps behind and below the ear.  Special care needs to be taken with men who are balding as they have less hair to hide the incision.

“Short Scar” facelift: (Also referred to as a mini facelift). In a full facelift, incisions are made in the hair behind the ears and then wrapped down below the ears. With an “S Scar” or mini facelift, the incision is smaller and ends at the base of the ear. There is less manipulation of the tissue and skin. An S scar facelift will improve the appearance of the cheeks, chin, and neck.  It will chisel the chin for a more defined look. It is less invasive than a traditional facelift and for people who do not present with severe laxity.

Mid facelift: Targets the lower eyelids and cheeks.  A mid facelift is performed when the neck area does not require lifting but the cheeks and eyelids bag. This surgery can be performed endoscopically for increased precision and improved recovery times. An incision is made in each temple behind the hairline and the endoscope, which has a tiny camera, guides internal revision.  A typical mid face lift involves incisions made in the nasolabial fold, allowing the surgeon to lift the skin upward.

Lower Facelift: Includes a neck lift if required. It will smooth deep lines around and raise the corners of the mouth, address jowls and tighten the skin of the neck.

There is additional terminology you should acquaint yourself with as you explore your facelift options.

Subcutaneous facelift:  Defined as lifting the skin only. This technique is less invasive and recovery is easier. Subcutaneous facelifts address the laxity of the skin.

SMAS Superficial Muscular Aponeurotic System:  SMAS is a layer of tissue that is buried deep within the skin. During this kind of facelift, the surgeon will tighten muscle and skin to address more aggressive signs of aging.

A Composite Facelift: Extensive rejuvenation of the face include lower eyelift and cheek lift to correct severe ptosis of the midface including nasolabial fold.

Subperiosteal Facelift: Similar to the SMAS facelift. The incision follows the hairline only to the base of the ear. In addition to lifting the skin, your surgeon will lift the underlying soft tissue.

The above lifting techniques are dependent on the progressive aging of the face and the amount of lifting and fat elimination required.


Patients are often concerned about recovery following a facelift. Generally, allow two weeks for the swelling to resolve or go down. You will want to rest and take it easy the first week out, and there may be some bruising. The staples will disappear and within 4 weeks you should be able to return to your normal activities.  Keep in mind that these are guidelines and everyone heals differently.  Your surgeon will take steps to ensure that you are comfortable throughout the process.

Everyone recovers differently and at their own pace. It is important to recognize the role of the incision you decide to have may make a difference in your recovery. The incision allows the plastic surgeon to gain access to the surgical field, to reposition and excise the skin. The incision must be long enough for the plastic surgeon to accomplish this. In operating on a smaller section of the face, the incision can be shorter.

You may even find yourself going through some conflicting emotions, excitement, trepidation and anxiety, all of which are fairly typical of someone contemplating and then deciding to modify their appearance.

Typically, men wish to look refreshed rather than “done.”  A good plastic surgeon will maintain the rugged planes of a man’s face while removing as much as 8 years during a facelift. The effects of a facelift are long lasting.

Additional Procedures Men Should Consider

In addition to facelifts, more and more men are discovering the benefits of other cosmetic enhancements, including rhinoplasty and liposuction, and noninvasive treatments like Botox® and dermal fillers.


There’s nothing quite like a well-defined nose to complement a patient’s overall masculine look. Many male patients are choosing to undergo rhinoplasty to achieve the look they’ve always wanted. Even a small adjustment to the nose can create dramatic results for men. Nose surgery can also help produce a more harmonious balance between the rest of your facial features.


Excess fat on a man’s body can not only be unflattering, but it’s frustrating if you make efforts to exercise regularly and maintain a good diet. For men who have areas of exercise-resistant fat, liposuction is a great option. While traditionally women have sought liposuction, it’s now a popular option for men who want to restore a more masculine appearance to their physique.


Forehead lines and creases can detract from an otherwise youthful face, and many men wanting to climb the corporate ladder don’t want to convey an overtly aged appearance. Botox® allows men to restore a youthful look while still looking like themselves. This noninvasive treatment can be completed in just minutes, making it convenient for men with busy schedules.

Dermal Fillers

For men who’d prefer not to undergo facial plastic surgery, dermal fillers are an excellent alternative. Instead, men can undergo what’s known as a “liquid facelift.” With this procedure, fillers are injected into various parts of the face to strategically lift and rejuvenate. Natural-looking rejuvenation is possible with this nonsurgical option for men.

Selecting a board-certified plastic surgeon is your first step in ensuring the best results following your surgery or noninvasive cosmetic treatment. Newport Super Doctor,  Dr. Ali Sajjadian and his welcoming staff invite you to explore how we can help you achieve a brand new, younger look.