Plastic Surgery Blog

Ponytail Facelift: What’s the Hype All About? Is It Worth It?

Posted by Dr. Julian De Silva | July 25th, 2022

Ponytail facelifts are becoming more popular, with celebrities getting them.

I’m not sure about you, but for many of my patients, the term ‘ponytail facelift’ takes them to images of someone rocking a high, slick, and tight ponytail that seemingly pulls their entire face up and back.

Well, that’s not entirely incorrect. Ponytail facelift isn’t a medical term—it’s more of a marketing one. However, it’s a procedure that’s rapidly becoming famous.

Is the hype really worth it? Let’s find out.

What Is a Ponytail Facelift?

This facelift mimics that of fastening one’s hair into a tight, high ponytail.

There are many types of facelifts: deep plane, SMAS, mini facelift, full facelift, lower facelift, and more.

The meaning behind its breezy ponytail facelift name is apparently two-fold.

First, the lift’s effects are meant to be like fastening a person’s hair into a tight, high ponytail. This gives the effects of pulling the skin of the scalp and, subsequently, the forehead, cheeks, and brows upward. Doing so creates a more elevated and youthful appearance.

Second, the procedure gives the effect of a facelift without the traditional scars of a facelift. Since scarring (which would traditionally be in front of the ears) is minimal, the patient is theoretically able to wear their hair in a high ponytail without fear of exposing obvious scars.

Ponytail Facelift: What the Endoscopic Facelift Involves

A ponytail facelift is technically a type of endoscopic facelift.

In particular, the qualified facelift surgeon performs the endoscopic surgery using small instruments, a tiny camera, and small incisions that are made far away from the area trying to be lifted (usually along the temporal hairline).

These small incisions allow the surgeon to lift the underlying connective tissues (technically called the SMAS). However, it does not lift any skin—this would have to be cut out via another larger incision.

On the positive side, it is less invasive, so scarring is minimal. In addition, the downtime and recovery time are less than that of a traditional facelift. Also, as with any type of facelift, the results are long-lasting.

When you do an endoscopic procedure, it’s great that you can have an incision that’s far away from the area that you want to lift. By doing this, the surgeon can hide the incision within the hair on the scalp.

However, the downside is twofold. For one, you can’t remove any excess skin. Secondarily, you run the risk of losing hair since the incision is usually near or on the scalp. If it heals improperly, it could damage the surrounding hair follicles.

Benefits of a Ponytail Facelift

A ponytail facelift has many benefits including being minimally invasive.

Here are the benefits of a ponytail facelift:

1. Minimally Invasive Surgery

This procedure is minimally invasive and consists of a single incision hidden behind each ear.

A minimally invasive surgery involves making only a few tiny cuts (incisions) and using only a few stitches. When doing minimally invasive surgery, it may be necessary to make one or more extremely small incisions in the patient’s body.

In order to direct the surgical procedure, a laparoscope—a piece of equipment that resembles a thin tube and is equipped with a light and a lens for viewing—is placed through one of the incisions.

Moreover, to do the operation, smaller surgical instruments will need to be placed in other incisions. The patient may have less discomfort, scarring, and damage to good tissue during minimally invasive surgery. The patient may also recover from the procedure more quickly than they would following traditional surgery.

2. Shorter Recovery Time

Recovery from a ponytail facelift is much shorter than that of a traditional full facelift procedure. In fact, most of my patients go home after the treatment. My patients also get back to their daily routine in just a few days after the procedure.

Some patients may also experience some minor redness or swelling at the incision site. Most patients show signs of bruising. However, the bruises will naturally fade away after about a week.

3. Amazing Results

The results of a ponytail facelift are amazing. The procedure leaves my (Dr. De Silva’s) patients looking years younger with a lifted and rejuvenated appearance.

4. No Scarring

Another factor that makes a ponytail facelift appealing is that it produces no scarring. You won’t see any visible scars during or after your recovery. This means that you don’t have to worry about stepping back into your social circle a week after the procedure.

5. Little Risk

All surgeries carry some risks. However, a ponytail facelift carries little risk for my patients. Even if you experience some side effects, they go away quickly.

Ponytail Facelift vs. Traditional Facelift

A ponytail facelift differs from a regular facelift.

The main difference between a ponytail facelift and a traditional one is where the incisions are made. A traditional facelift will have longer scars around the ear and into the scalp.

The position of the incisions gives doctors the ability to remove loose skin, pull up the lower face, and even deal with the neck during a regular facelift. However, that can’t be done during a ponytail facelift.

On the other hand, because a ponytail facelift is minimally-invasive and the scope of procedure is less than that of a traditional one, the recovery is quicker.

Healing From A Ponytail Facelift

When compared to a complete facelift, the recovery time for a ponytail facelift is significantly less. One week is the typical amount of time needed for recovery. After this, you’ll be able to go back to your job.

In my Harley Street Clinic, the operation will be performed under sedation anaesthesia. The vast majority of patients do not report substantial levels of pain or discomfort during recovery.

Furthermore, the pain will be treated with medicine that I will prescribe. After the procedure, you should refrain from engaging in any physically taxing activities for at least a month.

Remember, the amount of time it takes to become better varies greatly from patient to patient. Throughout your consultation, make sure to bring this up with me so that you may get additional information about what to anticipate during the recovery period.


You must follow certain guidelines to revolver from a ponytail facelift properly.

Here are guidelines that you must follow for recovery:

1. Tend to Your Incision

I will provide you with information on how to properly clean and tend to your incisions after surgery. If you properly follow the guidelines, it will help your scars and skin adjust to their new position more quickly.

2. Don’t Layer Stress on Stress

Keep in mind that your body is in a stressful situation during a ponytail facelift recovery. Hence, you should avoid activities that add to that stress load, whether it be putting your hair up in a tight ponytail (ironically), riding a roller coaster, or visiting a steam room.

3. Keep Vampire Hours

Your skin will never benefit from exposure to the sun. Keep this in mind while you’re recovering. Applying sunscreen to your skin during this period can help avoid skin discoloration, particularly around the incision site greatly helps.

4. Watch What You Drink

During recovery, it is essential that you drink plenty of water. Water helps the body eliminate impurities and is also crucial to skin hydration.

If you don’t like water, try fruit juices, teas, and other alternatives. However, avoid alcohol which can induce undesired effects.

5. Take Your Medication

Prescription medication can assist reduce soreness and stiffness as well as relieve pain.

Risks of A Ponytail Facelift

Just like any surgical procedure, a ponytail facelift has risks.

Here are the risks of a ponytail facelift:

1. Bruising

Bruises are a common side effect of surgery. Don’t worry about them though, as they do not last for long.

2. Infection and Anaesthesia Reaction

Infection and adverse reactions to anaesthesia are always possibilities following any kind of surgical procedure. However, sedation anaesthesia (the one I use in my clinic) is generally safer than general anaesthesia.

3. Haematoma

It is possible for there to be a haematoma, a collection of blood under the skin. In most cases, the removal will be performed by the doctor. Although this is reported in almost 10% of patients undergoing facelift surgery, Dr De Silva has found that with modern techniques this risk can be reduced to less than 2%.

4. Slower Healing Process

It’s possible that smokers, in particular, will experience a lengthier than usual recovery time after having a facelift.

When someone smokes in the days preceding up to surgery or after surgery, this increases their risk of skin injury, which can result in permanent scarring. Dr De Silva recommends all patients to stop smoking before surgery to get the best results, oxygen therapy can be used to aid recovery for some patients.

5. Scarring

Scars may not heal properly. As a result, these scars will be more noticeable or thicker than expected. They may also require scar removal or revision, generally speaking the risk of issues with scars including keloid scarring is approximately 1%.

Visit Dr. Julian De Silva

The take-home point is, it’s all about the cosmetic surgeon, not the name of the cosmetic procedure, which is important. After all, giving something the same label does not mean that it will produce the same result.

So, seek out recommendations from friends, family, and other physicians. Then, research the surgeon as if your life depends on it. You’ll also want to see consistently great facelift results in before-and-after photos and have an in-depth conversation with the surgeon about your overall goals.

Looking for a cosmetic surgeon that fits the criteria above? Contact us to book an appointment with me, Dr. Julian De Silva, now!

About the Author: Dr. De Silva

About the Author

Finding the most reputable facelift expert is never easy. Therefore, you should always research the best surgeons in your area and ask plenty of questions. Dr. De Silva is a facial cosmetic and plastic surgeon, author, global educator, with a track record of doing procedures for top celebrities. He is based at world-renowned Harley Street in Central London and specializes in three main procedures: Face and Neck lifts, Blepharoplasty, and Rhinoplasty.

Come witness a custom-built surgical centre that is not your average hospital. You are guaranteed to experience natural-looking results and fast healing thanks to regenerative technology, growth factors, regenerative cells, stem cell, oxygen therapy, and state of the art technology.

By specialising in only the face, you can rest assured knowing that you’re getting premier results. Dr. De Silva achieves natural-looking results for his patients using the latest regenerative technology, so they can heal quickly and look their absolute best. No matter what your reason for wanting a cosmetic treatment is, Dr. De Silva and his team are here to help. To find out more information about Dr. Julian De Silva and his work, check out our website.

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