Receding hairline

What you can do if you notice your hairline receding?


A receding hairline is very common among men as they begin to get older. You might start to notice the signs of it at age 25 and above. While it’s normal, it can be a very upsetting experience. However, there are things you can do to slow hair loss and improve the way it looks. 

What is a receding hairline?

A receding hairline is the gradual loss of hair experienced by men as they get older. It begins around the temples and the edge of the hairline surrounding the forehead, where you’ll notice it gradually waning towards the centre of the scalp in a ‘v’ shape. In time, this eventually results in balding in the middle of the scalp, with a ring of hair surrounding it which may be thinner than it was. 

This is very common for men in their late thirties and above but it can happen at any age from early- mid twenties.

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What causes a receding hairline?

Men with a family history of male pattern baldness are much more likely to experience a receding hairline and subsequent hair loss. There are other potential factors that can contribute to causing a receding hairline:

  • Aging: losing hair is a normal part of aging. This affects 80% of men by the time they turn 80
  • Hormones: the DHT hormone causes damage to the hair follicles so that they shrink and can no longer produce hair. Overproduction of this hormone is a major trigger for a receding hairline
  • Chemotherapy: cancer treatments commonly cause hair loss, and tends to happen more rapidly than natural hair loss
  • Stress and illness: stress can cause hair to fall out in clumps. This is usually temporary, but it might exacerbate an existing receding hairline

Can women experience a receding hairline?

While women can also experience hair loss, it’s less likely to happen in the pattern of a receding hairline which begins at the temples. Instead, female hair loss tends to happen in scattered patches all over the scalp. This is much less common and may also be temporary in many cases. 

What causes hair loss in women?

There are a number of possible causes for hair loss in women: 

  • Alopecia: this is a condition that causes the hair to fall out suddenly. It will usually begin in small patches and often the hair will grow back
  • Family history: hair loss can be genetic, so if other women in your family have experienced it this might mean you are more susceptible to it
  • Medical conditions: there are a number of conditions that can trigger hair loss in women. These include thyroid disorders, polycystic ovary syndrome, anemia and certain skin conditions
  • Hormonal changes: You may notice hair loss during pregnancy or menopause
  • Ill health: experiencing a long illness, extreme stress, rapid weight loss or trauma can trigger hair loss 

How can you stop a receding hairline?

It’s not possible to prevent your hairline from receding, but once you notice it starting to happen there are steps you can take to slow down thinning hair and stop further hair loss from happening. This involves using treatments which are designed to treat hair loss which come in tablet form and also as topical treatments to stimulate the hair follicles. 

Receding hairline treatment options

There are a few different treatments available to purchase from pharmacies to slow down hair loss and prevent the hairline from receding further. 

  • Finasteride is a medication which is taken daily. It works by blocking the production of the DHT hormone to retain the health of the hair follicles.
  • Propecia is a popular medication, and is the branded version of Finasteride.
  • Minoxidil is a topical treatment which is applied directly to the scalp in foam, lotion or liquid form. It’s more commonly known as Rogaine which is the branded name. 

Hair transplants are a more permanent solution to treating hair loss. This is done at a private clinic and involves new, healthy hair follicles being inserted into areas where hair loss has occurred. This then stimulates new hair growth over a period of 6-12 months. 

How can I quickly disguise a receding hairline?

However normal it is to experience, noticing the onset of a receding hairline can feel distressing. The available treatments take time to work and can be costly, so looking at your hairstyle and how you can change it might help you to deal with it in the meantime. 

Some men with long hair might be inclined to cling on to it, but this can actually make a receding hairline more obvious. Others may embrace what’s happening and shave off their hair entirely. Finding a style and cut that you’re happy with can help to deal with this change.

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