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Ponytail Facelift: Best Facelift for Younger Patients

Tagged: Facial Treatments

Date: 22nd February 2024

Medically Reviewed by:  Mr. Bryan Mayou (GMC: 1414396)

Last reviewed: 22nd February 2024

What is a Ponytail Facelift?

A ponytail facelift, also known as a mini facelift, or short scar facelift, is a minimally invasive facial cosmetic procedure designed to address signs of aging in the lower face and neck region. Unlike traditional facelifts that involve extensive incisions and tissue manipulation, a ponytail facelift utilizes smaller incisions and focuses on tightening specific areas of the face and neck. 

How Does a Ponytail Facelift Work?

During the procedure (which is available for men and women), the surgeon makes discreet incisions around the ears and sometimes along the hairline. Through these incisions underlying tissues are tightened and muscles can be repositioned. Excess skin can then be trimmed to create a smoother, more youthful appearance.

The overall effect results in a subtle yet noticeable improvement in facial contours and definition. For a visual demonstration of the end results, these Ponytail facelift before and after photos show the effects that can be achieved.

Particulars about the ponytail lift procedure include:

  • Surgery Time: 1-1.5 hours. 
  • Hospital Stay: Day case. 
  • Reasonable Mobility: After 1 day. 
  • Time off work: 7 days. 
  • Shower: After 1 week. 
  • Exercise: 4-6 weeks. 
  • Sexual activity: 4-6 weeks. 
  • Sleeping on back: 3-6 weeks. 
  • Driving: 1 week. 
  • Full recovery: 4-6 weeks. 

What are the Benefits of a Ponytail Facelift?

Minimally invasive procedure

One of the primary benefits of a ponytail facelift is its minimally invasive nature, which typically results in less scarring, reduced discomfort, and quicker recovery. The procedure is completed as a day case, with the surgery taking only between 1-1.5 hours. Not only that, but you can expect reasonable mobility after one day, and be driving and back at work within a week.

Natural-looking results

Because the pony tail lift procedure targets specific areas of concern, it can achieve natural-looking results without the need for extensive surgery. During the treatment, the underlying tissue is tightened, and the skin is lifted which means the surgery doesn’t look “artificial”.


A ponytail facelift is a versatile procedure that can target multiple conditions and areas of your face including an improved jawline definition, diminished jowls and sagging skin, and reduced wrinkles and folds in the lower face and neck region.

Minimising visual scars

Small incisions are made behind the ears during a ponytail lift surgery which are easily concealed. The scars are usually hidden on the natural creases behind your ears so there is effectively no visual indication of your surgery, except the end results. 

Who is Suitable for a Ponytail Facelift?

Ideal candidates for a ponytail facelift are individuals who have mild to moderate signs of aging in the lower face and neck area but do not require extensive surgical intervention such as a full facelift. Specific lower face conditions that the ponytail face lift is effective at targeting include the jowls and neck lines and wrinkles.

The ponytail facelift is often a first choice for younger patients. Whilst most facelift patients are between their 40s and 50s, the minimally invasive ponytail facelift can combat the mild to moderate signs of ageing in patients in their late 30s and onwards.

Good candidates are also generally in good overall health, have realistic expectations about the outcome of the procedure, and are committed to following post-operative care instructions. 

How Does a Ponytail Facelift Compare to Alternative Facelifts?

Compared to traditional facelifts, which involve larger incisions and more extensive tissue manipulation, ponytail face lifts have several differences. They typically result in less scarring, reduced risk of complications, and shorter recovery times.

However, it's essential to note that ponytail face lifts may not provide the same level of correction for severe sagging or excess skin as traditional facelift techniques. This is because the incisions are smaller, and the work undertaken is of a lesser degree i.e. less tissue and skin is removed. 

Vs Traditional Facelift

Compared to the mini facelift, the full facelift offers more extensive corrective measures as the skin and platysma are tightened more so than during a ponytail face lift. Larger incisions are made (but still concealed behind the ears), and this procedure is better suited for corrected more developed signs of ageing for older patients.

Vs Deep Plane Facelift

The Deep Plane Facelift is considered the most invasive procedure. It uses a deeper plane (deep facial plane) of surgical dissection compared to the full facelift and ponytail face lift with the aim of correcting more developed signs of ageing. It is suitable for people with more developed features such as:

  • Deep facial wrinkles. 
  • Deep nasolabial folds. 
  • Sunken cheeks. 
  • Pronounced marionette lines. 
  • Excess face, jawline, and neck skin. 

Which Procedure is Right for You?

Deciding which facelift is right for you should be a decision made with consultation from a qualified plastic surgeon. The consultation should include an assessment of your signs of ageing or specific condition, together with a clear discussion of the potential treatments and the benefits and expected outcomes of each.

What is the Recovery Time for a Ponytail Facelift?

The recovery time for a ponytail facelift varies from person to person but is generally shorter compared to traditional facelift procedures, and averages between 4 – 6 weeks.

Most patients can expect some degree of swelling, bruising, and discomfort in the days following surgery, which can be managed with pain medication and proper post-operative care.

Patients are typically advised to avoid strenuous activities and heavy lifting for the first few weeks after surgery to allow for proper healing. Most individuals can resume normal daily activities within one to two weeks, although it may take 4-6 weeks for swelling and bruising to fully resolve and for the final results of the procedure to become apparent. 

What are the Risks of a Ponytail Facelift?

Like any surgical procedure, a ponytail face lift carries some risks and potential complications. These may include:

  • Infection. 
  • Bleeding. 
  • Wound breakdown. 
  • Adverse reactions to anaesthesia. 
  • Changes in skin sensation. 
  • Unsatisfactory results.

However, with proper pre-operative evaluation, skilled surgical technique, and adherence to post-operative care guidelines, the risk of complications can be minimized. 

How Much is a Ponytail Facelift?

The cost of a ponytail face lift can vary depending on factors such as the surgeon's expertise, geographic location, facility fees, and the extent of the procedure.

On average, the ponytail facelift cost is £6,000 - £8000 which is much cheaper than the cost of a full facelift which usually start from £10,395.

It's essential to discuss pricing and financing options with your surgeon during the initial consultation. Oftentimes flexible financial plans are available including low interest rates and the ability to spread payments over a monthly schedule as opposed to an upfront one-off cost.

Also, before committing to the best facelift procedure for your condition, it’s important to assess your financial situation, determine how you will fund the surgery, and be sure that you can commit to a long-term repayment plan. Failure to make repayments could ultimately affect your credit score and cause other financial problems. 

Frequently Asked Questions

The term "ponytail facelift" refers to the technique's ability to lift and tighten the lower face and neck, similar to the effect of pulling back hair into a ponytail. It is also known as a short scar facelift because it leaves minimal scarring.  

There is no specific best age requirement for a ponytail lift. The ponytail lift procedure is typically recommended for individuals who have mild to moderate signs of aging in the lower face and neck area, regardless of their age. It's essential to consult with a qualified plastic surgeon to determine if you are a suitable candidate for the ponytail lift surgery. 

Yes, a ponytail facelift is generally considered less invasive than a traditional facelift. It involves smaller incisions and focuses on tightening specific areas of the face and neck, resulting in less scarring, reduced discomfort, and shorter recovery times compared to traditional facelift techniques. 

While some discomfort and soreness are to be expected after a ponytail facelift, it is generally well-tolerated by most patients. Pain medication may be prescribed to help manage any discomfort during the initial stages of recovery. Most individuals find that any discomfort resolves within a few days to weeks following the procedure. 

The duration of a ponytail facelift procedure can vary depending on the extent of the corrections needed and whether additional procedures are performed simultaneously. On average, the procedure typically takes between 1-1.5 hours to complete. 

The results of a ponytail facelift are long-lasting, but they are not permanent. While the aging process will continue, most patients can expect to enjoy the benefits of their facelift for 5-10 years. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle, including proper skincare and sun protection, can help prolong the results of the procedure. 

While the results of a ponytail facelift are long-lasting, they are not permanent. Over time, the effects of aging, gravity, and other factors may gradually impact the appearance of the face and neck. However, many patients find that they continue to look younger and more refreshed compared to if they had not undergone the procedure for 5-10 years. 

Words From Our Founder

Mr. Bryan Mayou

The Ponytail Facelift is particularly beneficial for younger patients as it offers subtle yet impactful results. By addressing early signs of ageing in the late 30s or 40s, a Mini Facelift can prevent the need for more invasive procedures later in life. This approach results in a natural-looking appearance and also allows individuals to maintain a youthful appearance with minimal disruption.
Mr. Bryan Mayou

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