Good surgeon & luck. Well placed and designed scars are virtually undetectable at a conversational distance and are one of the hallmarks of a well planned and well executed facelift. Luck and genetics play a small role, but are important, as well. The key to great scars is a lack of tension on the skin closure, and help to avoid giving you the "pulled" look common in facelifts of old.
Experience. An experienced surgeon will hide the facelift scars well by avoiding excess tension on the skin. If you have had the facelift already a second procedure may help. Also hair transplantation can hide scars around hairline.
Scar Trade-offs. Male aesthetics vary from that of the female. The goal is to rejuvenate the face without feminizing it. The beard is the problem with a male. Two options: #1 place the scar in front of the ear in a natural crease, which will be slightly more visible or #2 place it along the contour of the ear which is better but may relegate one to trim some hairs on the ear. Surgical technique and art is key!
Facelift scars. There are many types of facelifts. A surgeon with experienced hands should be able to minimize scarring by strategically placing the incisions. Your best bet would be to have your face evaluated by a board certified facial plastic surgeon.
Options. Certainly placement of the incisions and execution of a meticulous closure are of paramount importance. After that some people heal better than others. Further options to help minimize visibility of the scars include: skinmedica scar recovery gel, excel v laser (genesis) treatment of the scars, fractional laser treatment of the scars.
Good surgeon. An experienced facelift surgeon will hide the facelift scars appropriately by choosing the proper placement and by not pulling to tightly.
Proper planning. There are many facelift techniques. The most inconspicuous scars would be carefully positioned in the hair bearing scalp, fall into the crease between the top of the ear and the sideburn, then sneak behind the tragus (cartilage in front of the hearing portion of the ear), around the earlobe, and behind the ear in the groove. Consult with a qualified board certified plastic surgeon.
Fine scars. Facelifts typically produce fine scars that are not often visible unless you are truly looking for them. However scarring is not predictable and subject to individual variations that may be effected by tension, skin color, texture, hair pattern, thickness, etc. Hair styles will also effect one's ability to conceal the scars.
Usually Very Minimal. Proper placement of incisions typically results in very minimal width and noticeable scars hidden in natural creases in & behind ear. Some have incisions behind the tragus (front of ear) to try to mask scar placement (but does occasionally distort that area, making a more obvious ear canal view. Incision placement in males is very important and different than females.
They shouldn't. Be visible.
Other options. Some nonsurgical options maybe options for you as well depending on your goals. Skin resurfacing which removes fine wrinkles and tightens the skin can rejuvenate your face. This can be achieved by laser, peels, or ipl. Fillers can restore volume and can achieve what is known as a "liquid facelift". However a surgical facelift can give more dramatic, but natural results that last longer.