We are sure you have noticed people’s hairlines changing as they grow. In fact, you can start off noticing it with your father or uncle. Their hair once used to be fuller and thicker, isn’t it? But now with as they age, you might notice their hair growing thinner or notice a few bald patches around the crown. This receding hairline is very common in men and usually starts around the age of 30 or 40.
Well, we are sure it can be scary to see your hairline creeping backward every year. However, there are ways you can prevent your hairline from receding further and, in some cases, even regrow some of the lost hair. In this article, we have rounded up everything that you need to know about receding hairlines, their causes and prevention, how to stop them and even treating the receding hairline.
Scroll down to read more:
What is a Receding Hairline?
A receding hairline is exactly what it sounds like! It is nothing but your hairline gradually moving backward due to hair thinning or hair falling out from either the crown or the front of the hair. In fact, in some cases, it can fall out of both. A receding hairline is the first sign of hair loss in both men and women. However, it is somewhat more common in men than in women. It does not make you completely bald, but it affects certain parts of your head. The receded hairlines usually vary in shape and it generally occurs when an individual grows older. Some men notice their hairline thinning slightly around the temple and turning into a straight hairline that runs directly from one side of their forehead to the other. But for others, it can turn into a widow’s peak that gives their hairline more like a ‘M’, ‘U’ or a ‘V’ shape.
While hair loss can be linked to stress, or diseases like thyroid, anemia, autoimmune diseases, or chemotherapy treatments. However, for receding hairlines, the main factor usually is genetics or hereditary. It is common to notice a receding hairline in the early stages of male pattern baldness which is responsible for almost 95% of hair loss in men. The receding hairline pattern that it falls out in depends on which hair follicles are genetically set with receptors to DHT (dihydrotestosterone). DHT is a male sex hormone that is the active form of testosterone in bodily tissue and also what triggers hair loss.
Causes of Receding Hairline
There are numerous health conditions and factors that play a role in the causing of a receding hairline. The most common ones are mentioned below:
Severe stress may most certainly lead to a sudden hair loss called telogen effluvium. This however is temporary and one can expect hair thinning or hair loss much more than usual in a short period of time. Managing stress could certainly help in preventing a receding hairline. Luckily, this type of stress hair loss often reverses itself without treatment.
Hair loss is usually considered as a natural part of aging. It is said that most of the men experience over the year of receding hairline by the time they are 80 years old. As you grow older, the hair follicles tend to become weaker. In short, there are thousands of hair follicles on the surface of the scalp and of these follicles grow a hair on of its own. As you age, the hair falls out and is replaced by new ones. But as you age the hair follicles go weak or sometimes even get damaged due to various reasons. And as a result, you may notice a receding hairline as and when you age.
3) Medical Issues
Medical issues like thyroid, depression, diabetes, cancer, high blood pressure, heart-related problems, anemia, and more can add to the increase of receding hairline. These health concerns usually have an adverse effect on the hair growth process and can lead to faster hair thinning.
Smoking is believed to be one of the factors that may lead to hair thinning or hair loss. The toxins present in the cigarettes have a harmful effect on the hair follicles and can lead to the shrinking of the blood vessels. This may lead to blocking the supply of blood to the hair follicles. The blood carried all the required vitamins and nutrients that help in promoting healthy hair growth. Know more about how smoking causes hair loss.
5) Hormonal Changes
Hormonal imbalance is yet again the most common cause of hair loss or receding hairline. The imbalance of DHT (dihydrotestosterone) - a male testosterone too has a huge impact on receding hairline concerns. In the early stages of your life, DHT helps you develop male secondary sex characteristics like a deep masculine voice, along with facial and body hair.
However, as you get older, DHT plays a less significant role in the physical development yet the body continues to produce it in a small amount as a by-product of testosterone. When this DHT increases in level, it may lead to blocking, shrinking or damaging of hair follicles. Over time this pile-up of DHT prevents the hair follicles from producing a new set of hair, resulting in gradual hair loss or hair thinning.
6) Genetic Factors / Hereditary
Your genetics play a key role in determining many changes in your body. And receding hairline is one of them too. The hereditary-pattern baldness is a natural condition that occurs if the men in your family have a history of baldness or receding hairlines. This receding hairline can be traced back to previous generations. Either there are patches of baldness or hair thinning, in both ways, you may start noticing the changes from the age of 30 or even earlier in some cases.
7) Frontal Fibrosing Alopecia (FFA)
Frontal Fibrosing Alopecia or FFA is a condition that causes hair loss is mainly in the frontal or crown section of the head. Frontal Fibrosing Alopecia causes inflammation of the scalp and can lead to damage of the hair follicles. This mainly happens in women after menopause, but in some cases is also spotted in men.
8) Androgenetic Alopecia
Androgenetic alopecia is a common kind of hair loss for both men and women. It is a condition that recedes hairline in men, while in women causes severe hair thinning.
9) Alopecia Areata
Alopecia areata is actually an autoimmune disease that causes the body to attack healthy hair follicles. There is no specific cause for this, however, with prompt treatment one may help prevent a receding hairline.
10) Excessive Hair Styling
Using of hair styling products quite often may have a harmful effect on your hair. Heat styling tools like hair dryer, hair blowers and curling irons can easily strip away the natural moisture and natural oil from the scalp. This makes the hair roots dry and weak and extremely prone to damage and hair fall. Using excessive hair styling products also destroys the hair follicle and leads to permanent hair loss.
11) Poor Diet
Poor diet is yet another factor for hair thinning that leads to a receding hairline. Hair follicles require nourishment in the form of proteins and vitamins to produce healthy hair. And food is the only source that naturally provides all the essential nutrients and minerals to the hair follicles. An improper diet that includes junk food, fried food, packaged food along with a diet that lacks green vegetables, pulses, and fruits can lead to severe hair thinning and hair fall.
12) Dandruff Or Seborrheic Dermatitis
Dandruff or seborrheic dermatitis are usually the cause that leads to the scalp either being too oily or too dry. With clogged follicles and constant itching and scratching, the roots of your hair weaken along with the follicles and leading to hair fall.
[ Try: ForMen Anti Dandruff Treatment Kit ]
How to Stop Receding Hairline?
Looking for ways to stop your hairline from receding? Well, with the right combination of medication and hair care habits, you might actually be able to stop the hair thinning. While there are various proper treatments to help overcome receding hairline, trying out a few things to prevent it might actually work wonders. As hair loss can start gradually but can suddenly worsen too, it is better to act upon it instantly when you notice it.
Having said that, here are some ways to help stop or prevent hair loss leading to receding hairline:
1) Lower Your DHT Levels
Higher DHT levels are one of the major reasons that cause of hair loss and blocking the DHT will help curb the worsening effects. Currently, the one medication that is FDA-approved for treating or curbing DHT is finasteride. This DHT-blocking medication is a prescribed medicine that comes in a tablet form and is also known as Propecia.
Finasteride acts by constraining the 5-alpha reductase enzyme, which usually converts testosterone into DHT within your body. And by blocking this conversion of testosterone to DHT, finasteride blocks your circulating DHT levels by a significant amount and prevents DHT-causing hair damage. Once these DHT levels are well curbed, it can help in preventing your receding hairline from getting worse. In some of the cases, it also stimulates hair regrowth in the parts of your scalp with thinning hair.
2) Products to Stimulate Hair Growth
There are various products in the market that help in stimulating hair growth. These also help in curbing the consistent hair fall, thus preventing the hair thinning that causes a receding hairline. Minoxidil is one of those very effective medications that is highly recommended by many for preventing hair fall and stimulating hair growth. In fact, when minoxidil is used with finasteride, it is even more effective at protecting your hair and stimulating hair growth. However, there is one shortcoming with minoxidil, it has to be used consistently, every single day to stop a receding hairline.
3) Hair Loss Prevention Shampoo
Apart from the two medicative ways of preventing hair fall, there are various hair loss shampoos available on the market. Adding these hair loss shampoos may help ward off further hair loss and keep your hairline in good shape. Most of these hair loss shampoos contain active ingredients like saw palmetto and ketoconazole which help in preventing DHT build-up on your scalp thus curbing hair loss. These shampoos also are designed to protect your hair follicles while promoting hair volume and retaining hair’s natural moisture.
4) Changing Hairstyle
Yes, as basic as it may seem, changing the hairstyle and the way you maintain your hair can work wonders for your hair. Brushing your hair too often or over hairstyling it with heating tools and scratching your scalp can damage your hair follicles. This can contribute to faster hair thinning leading to a receding hairline. Although avoiding all that will not stop your receding hairline from getting worse, so changing your haircut and hairstyling habits is one of the easiest ways to ensure your hairline is intact the way it is and hair thinning is prevented effectively.
Comb overs or long fringes are some of the few hairstyles that are designed to cover up bald patches. However, often these end up doing the exact opposite by drawing more attention to your thinning spots. Here are a few tricks you can try out:
If you normally keep your hair short, changing your hairstyle to a buzz cut is an easy way to make your hairline less obvious without looking like you’re trying to hide it.
If you are experiencing quite a lot of hair loss around your temples or crown, you can generally lower the visual impact by keeping the hair on the sides of your head cut short with a longer cut on the top.
Also, another way to deal with hair thinning around your temples is to style your hair into a faux hawk. This draws people’s attention towards the center of your hairline rather than the concerned part.
How to Treat Receding Hairline?
If you are already looking for ways to treat your receding hairline, there we have listed a few below:
1) Eating A Healthy Diet
One of the basic yet important ways to treat hair loss, baldness or receding hairline is to have a proper healthy diet. Improving your diet by adding food enriched with vitamins, antioxidants, minerals and nutrients may help promote consistent hair growth. It’s usually a good idea to get a blood test to check your vitamin deficiency, iron, zinc, and fatty acid levels. Lack of any of these could be linked to hair loss and brittleness.
Remember that there are multiple vitamins that play a key role in helping your hair grow and strengthen better. Vitamins like A, B7, B12, C, D and E, which is also referred to as biotin, all play important roles in hair health. In fact, vitamin A helps in faster hair growth. Also, vitamin D has proven to be very beneficial in helping strengthen your hair and creating new hair follicles. While B-complex vitamins contribute to hair density and quality of the hair shaft. Vitamins like C and E help in creating collagen, protect your hair against oxidative stress and help your body absorb hair-healthy iron. And iron, on the other hand, carried oxygen to the cells in your scalp; which is why its deficiency is a known cause of hair loss. The best way to ensure you get your vitamins and minerals is through a balanced diet. Add nutrient-rich foods such as fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean sources of protein.
2) Medications Or Plant-Based Supplements
You can visit your doctor and get prescribed medications that will help curb and treat the receding hairline. You can also switch to plant-based supplements which help in cater to hair fall or hair thinning concerns and help strengthen and grow your hair faster and healthier.
3) Ayurvedic Remedies
It is believed that hair thickness improves significantly due to an increase in blood flow and direct stimulation to the cells caused by scalp massages. So, this is something you can definitely try! To top this up, use some of the highly recommended and sworn by Ayurvedic remedies like hair oils for effective results.
When it comes to ayurvedic massages, they have been famous for many years now. And a regular scalp massage results in thicker and healthier hair as it increases blood circulation in the scalp and helps to fix receding hairlines.
Ayurveda recommends using oils that help your hair to grow with the best herbs and natural ingredients. Include ingredients that protect your scalp from dryness and provide shine and strength to the hair. This helps in keeping the hair follicles healthy and results in the regrowth of receding hairlines.
The Ayurvedic herbal hair oils that are beneficial to the hair should include ingredients like:
- Amla Hair Oil: Amla is a rich source of vitamin C and is known to treat dry scalp and dandruff. It is also used to treat baldness and premature greying of hair.
- Bhringraj Hair Oil: Bhringraj has numerous benefits like it treats baldness, prevents hair fall, dandruff and prevents greying of hair. It improves blood circulation in the scalp, strengthens hair roots and deep conditions your hair.
- Brahmi Hair Oil: In Ayurveda, Brahmi is considered highly effective in treating alopecia areata, dandruff, and anxiety as it reduces the stress level in the body.
You can also use essential oils like Rosemary, Lavender, Lemongrass, Tea tree, Juniper, Peppermint, etc. if Ayurvedic remedies aren’t suitable for you. These essential oils have non-inflammatory properties and massaging with these natural oils prevents hair from shedding at an early age.
4) Including Actives
Here are a few active medications you can use after consulting your doctor:
i) Finasteride Or Dutasteride
Finasteride (Propecia) is a prescribed medication that helps in reducing the rate that testosterone turns into DHT, therefore, reducing DHT in the body.
Also, the medication Dutasteride (Avodart) which is a medication designed to treat an enlarged prostate. Though Dutasteride is often prescribed to help encourage hair growth and restoration, it can also help in treating the receding hairline concern.
Minoxidil (Rogaine) is an over-the-counter (OTC) scalp treatment medication that has been approved to help slow the rate of hair loss. However, this medication works only as long as the person uses it. Once you stop, you might again notice bald patches and hair thinning. Minoxidil is known to stimulate hair growth by shifting hair follicles into the anagen, which is the hair growing phase of the hair growth cycle.
Watch the following video in which Dr Lalitha explained how Minoxidil works for hair growth.
iii) Saw Palmetto
If you want a natural approach to preventing hair loss, then saw palmetto is your pick. This is most commonly found in various shampoos and conditioners along with hair supplements and vitamins. It is shown to be a herbal option to reduce the production of DHT from testosterone just as the finasteride does. In fact, saw palmetto is believed to work effectively when combined with topical minoxidil.
5) Switch to a Gentle Shampoo
Consult your doctor and switch to a receding hairline friendly-routine. Switch your shampoo and conditioner to the ones that have ingredients like saw palmetto, ketoconazole, minoxidil or pyrithione zinc as the active ingredient. These ingredients have proved to promote healthy hair growth.
Also, chemicals like SLS, SLEs, silicon, parabens, etc. are also a major reason behind hair problems like receding hairline. These chemicals are commonly available in the shampoo or conditioner that damage hair. So, it is best to look at the label before you buy the shampoo and avoid ingredients that may cause damage to your hair. ForMen Hair Growth Shampoo is one of the best choices.
6) PRP Or LLLT Therapy
PRP and LLLT are two of the next-level methods that you can dive into to ensure your hair is strong and does not go through hair fall. PRP stands for Plasma-Rich Platelets, while LLLT stands for Low Level Laser Therapy. Both of these can be done with your doctor’s recommendation.
When it comes to PRP, a blood sample is taken from the patient’s arm and then it is placed in a centrifuge to separate the plasma from the blood. The plasmas contain certain proteins and growth factors that help cellular repair and boost the regrowth of hair follicles. So, with the PRP therapy, this plasma is injected around the head to jumpstart hair follicles and boost hair’s growth and strength.
Whereas, LLLT is a laser therapy is a popular method used to treat hair loss. It helps in stimulating cellular regrowth and improves the blood circulation.
7) Hair Transplant
Lastly, hair transplant is your only option to treat and cover the receding hairline. If nothing else in the above list helps you, consult your doctor and undergo a hair transplant. A hair transplantation is a type of surgical procedure that involves removing hair follicles from the side and back of the head and then transplanting them into areas with hair loss or bald patches.
In fact, this hair is not susceptible to DHT as it is genetically different. So a hair transplant can make your hairline look full, thick and identical to a natural hairline that’s unaffected by male pattern baldness. The process may be costly, but many people feel it is a more long-term solution to a receding hairline.
How to Prevent a Receding Hairline?
There are various preventive ways for receding hairline, a few effective ones are:
- Lifestyle Changes: Changing your lifestyle of sleeping late, indulging in junk food or unhealthy food choices can instantly show a result on your overall health, including your hair.
- Scalp And Hair Massage: weekly hair and scalp massages have proven to help in reducing hair thinning and hair fall. It is also said to improve hair thickness and growth in men with male pattern baldness.
- Ease Up On Hair Styling: Aside from genetics and getting older, one of the main causes of a receding hairline is Frontal Fibrosing Alopecia. It is a form of hair loss that happens when there is a lot of pulling or friction on the hair strands. This happens mostly during repeated hair styling choices as the heat styling tools can severely cause damage to your hair.
- Avoid Hair Color: Often hair coloring can lead to hair loss, especially if you are bleaching it. This can be very damaging as the hydrogen peroxide in the color penetrate in the hair follicles and eliminate the natural pigment, making it easier to break or shed. Though this doesn’t mean you cannot use hair color, you simply must remember to watch the label and avoid products that have harmful ingredients.
- Stop Smoking: It is a known fact that the harmful toxins in the cigarette can accelerate hair loss and premature greying. These toxins could damage your hormones and hair follicles too. It can simply add to the receding hairline if not anything else.
- Less Stress: We know it is easier said than done. But it is best to avoid thoughts that trigger your stress. Stress can cause a lot of hair fall, leading to a receding hairline. This is why, always indulge in calming thoughts and avoid stressing over things that do not require much attention.
- Experimenting Too Many Hair Products: Yes, you read it right. Experimenting with too many hair products can disrupt your hair’s routine and hair growth cycle. As one product might not work for your scalp and hair like some other product might. So find your routine hair care products and stick to them.
When To Talk With A Doctor?
Remember that a little amount of hair shedding is normal. However, if you notice a consistent amount of mass hair shedding for more than two or four weeks, then you can visit your dermatologist or physician to check if there is an underlying health condition. Also, along with this, if you notice bald spots, patchiness, the difference in hair texture, coarse hair, or any other unusual hair loss, then ensure you start your treatment immediately.
It is not always possible to prevent a receding hairline, but the sooner you address it, the earlier treating it may start. Once you start treating the receding hairline with your doctor’s consultation, the more likely you are to prevent irreversible damage. When it comes to hair loss, specifically receding hairline, it is best that you reach out to a professional who can help not only with medication but also advise you on the dietary and lifestyle front.
Q) Can A Receding Hairline Grow Back?
A) With the right treatment and medication, it is possible to regrow your receded hairline. It may also include clinically proven hair loss treatments, natural remedies, or a combination of both. However, if nothing else works for you, you can easily turn to hair transplant or PRP treatment.
Q) What Hair Loss Treatments Work For Black Men?
A) Depending on the hair type and texture, the few hair loss treatments that work on black men are:
- Scalp micropigmentation
- Hairline restoration
- Stem cell therapies
- Red light therapy
- Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) Therapy
- Medications like minoxidil and finasteride
Q) Does A Receding Hairline Always Mean Baldness?
A) No, it is quite natural for hairline to change as and when a person grows. However, if you see consistent hair loss along with changing hairline, then it could be a sign of receding hairline or male pattern baldness.
Also Read the Articles:
- 10 Best Ayurvedic Herbs for Hair Growth And Thickness
- Argan Oil for Hair Growth: Benefits, How to Use, Side Effects, Overview
- Top 10 Benefits of Camphor and Coconut Oil for Hair
- Top 10 Hair Shampoos for Men in India
- How to Fix Patchy Beard and Make it Look Thicker?
Disclaimer: The information provided on this page is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any questions or concerns about your health, please talk to a healthcare professional.