Many men and women struggle with a receding hairline. It’s when the hair on the front of their scalps begins to move backwards.
Usually, it occurs due to androgenetic alopecia (pattern baldness), but there are many other reasons why this can happen. This recession can be permanent or temporary, depending on the underlying cause of the problem.
It’s important to keep an eye on the signs of a receding hairline so that you can get early treatment. In addition, you should also know about the different treatment options so you are more prepared.
What Is A Receding Hairline?
A receding hairline refers to the loss of hair at the temples and front of the scalp due to permanent or temporary alopecia.
Although both men and women can experience a hairline recession, it’s more common in men because of the way in which they lose their hair. Its risk may also increase with age.
According to a study published in the British Journal of Dermatology, a hairline recession occurred in 25% of men between the ages of 40 and 55. However, 31% of men between the ages of 65 and 69 had receded hairlines.
Still, depending on the cause of the recession, it can occur at any age. And it can have a significant impact on the self-esteem of an individual.
How To Tell If Your Hairline Is Receding?
If your hairline has started to become uneven, with a “V,” “U,” or “M” shape, it’s likely receding (and not just maturing). The pattern of hair loss can vary depending on the cause of hair loss.
For instance, if you’re losing hair due to traction alopecia, you’re likely to experience recession along the temples. However, if you have male pattern baldness, your hairline will take on an “M” shape as you lose hair on the top and crown of your scalp as well.
In women, pattern baldness usually results in diffuse thinning. However, it can follow different patterns, which have been identified in the Ludwig and Savin scales (different scales to measure the degree of hair loss in females).
In Ludwig’s scale, the hairline remains intact, with no recession.
However, in the advanced stages of the Savin scale, the hairline also starts to undergo recession.
Keep in mind that pattern baldness is the most common cause of hair loss in both men and women. And since it occurs quite gradually (over 15 years or so), you might not notice that you’re losing hair until a significant recession has occurred.
What Are The Stages Of A Hairline Recession?
As mentioned above, hairline recession can progress differently in men and women (if it’s not diffuse). Let’s take a closer look at each:
What Are The Stages Of A Male’s Receding Hairline?
At first, there’s only a slight recession of the hairline and the temples. It’s one of the early receding hairline signs. However, slowly, you’ll lose more and more temple hair. As a result, your hairline will take on a very distinct “U” shape.
This is usually accompanied by the thinning of the hair on the top and vertex of the scalp. This isn’t always the case, though. Sometimes, the hairline just takes on a “U” shape and keeps receding till it reaches the crown.
What Are The Stages Of A Female’s Receding Hairline?
Women’s hairlines are usually not affected by pattern baldness, but if they are, it will happen after the loss of hair on the top and crown.
As polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is also associated with androgenetic alopecia, its pattern of hair loss might also be same as above.
Besides that, frontal fibrosing alopecia (FFA), which mainly affects postmenopausal women, is another type of hair loss that progresses in a pattern.
Usually, FFA also takes place gradually, starting with a band-like loss of hair that runs the entire length of the hairline.
This band keeps moving backwards until it reaches the middle of the scalp. Meanwhile, the hair follicles continue to scar, resulting in permanent hair loss.
There are other causes of receding hairline in women, but they may not necessarily take a distinct pattern. For instance, trichotillomania can result in the recession of the hairline, but it often results in the formation of irregular-shaped patches.
What Causes A Receding Hairline?
In general, hairline recession can occur due to one or more of the following reasons:
- Ageing – Hair follicles shrink and disappear
- Tight hairstyles – Traction alopecia pulls the hair out from the front and the back
- Illnesses – Physical shock, immune dysfunction, skin problems (eczema, psoriasis, seborrheic dermatitis, etc.), or hormonal imbalance affect hair follicles
- Genetics – Predispose follicles at the front and top to miniaturization
- Medication & Therapy – Radiation, chemotherapy, or drugs (for depression, arthritis, cholesterol, etc.) interfere with the growth cycle
- Poor diet – Shock to the body and lack of nutrients causes shedding of hair at the front
There are gender-specific causes of receding hairlines. Here’s a closer look at them.
What Causes A Receding Hairline In Males?
A receding hairline in men is usually due to a combination of genetics and hormones, as happens in androgenetic alopecia.
According to Alopecia UK, pattern baldness affects 50% of men above the age of 50. It affects millions around the globe and is primarily responsible for hairline recession in men.
What Causes A Receding Hairline In Females?
It is usually hormonal changes, tight hairstyles, and autoimmune conditions that cause a receding hairline in women.
While androgenetic alopecia is the most common cause of hair loss in women, keep in mind that it doesn’t really affect the hairline.
However, other life changes, such as periods, pregnancy, menopause, miscarriage, and polycystic ovary syndrome, can cause a hairline recession in many instances.
Similarly, women tend to wear certain hairstyles that make them more prone to hairline recession due to traction alopecia.
Additionally, hairline recession can occur due to autoimmune conditions like FFA and alopecia areata, which are more common in women.
How To Fix A Receding Hairline?
Depending on the cause of the receding hairline, you may be able to slow it down or stop it with:
- Platelet-rich plasma injections
- Laser therapy
- DHT-blocking shampoos
You can also consider getting a transplant surgery. While it won’t stop or treat the cause of hair loss, it can restore your hairline permanently.
When looking at how to stop a receding hairline, some people also try more natural remedies like scalp massages (to stimulate blood flow and promote growth) and oils (rosemary, olive, coconut, etc.). However, these might not be as effective as other treatment options.
In any case, you should seek the help of a medical professional for a receding hairline treatment. If you have a health problem, your hairline recession won’t stop until you’ve been treated.
Can You Reverse A Receding Hairline?
In the case of permanent alopecia, such as scarring alopecia or pattern baldness, you will not be able to reverse a receding hairline. Although you may be able to slow it or even stop it with the right treatment.
If, however, you are experiencing a temporary recession due to certain hairstyles or lifestyle habits, you may be able to completely reverse it, and grow your hair back.
How To Prevent A Receding Hairline?
If you have androgenetic alopecia or any other type of permanent alopecia, you might not be able to prevent your hairline from receding. However, in case it’s temporary, you may be able to avoid it by doing the following:
- Avoid wearing tight hairstyles (cornrows, dreadlocks, braids, top knots, high ponytails).
- Use sulphate and paraben-free shampoos.
- Don’t use heat-styling tools excessively.
- Don’t dye or bleach your hair too often.
- Have a healthy lifestyle (sleep well, exercise, don’t smoke).
- Eat healthy foods (with proteins, zinc, iron, biotin and selenium).
If you and your hair are healthy, you can avoid many different types of hair loss that cause a hairline recession.
How To Hide A Receding Hairline?
If you have hair with a receding hairline, you can do the following to hide it:
- Get a haircut – You can choose to go completely bald or have a buzzcut. But if you want to keep your hair long, there are other receding hairline haircuts that you can try, such as a faux hawk, blowout, fringe, fade, crew cut, or quiff.
- Try fibres – You can use spray-on fibres to temporarily hide the bald spot. These don’t last as long, though.
- Get a scalp tattoo – Scalp micropigmentation can create the illusion of hair through specialised pigments.
- Wear a wig – There are different types of wigs that you can wear to hide the recession of your hairline.
- Try makeup – If your bald spots are not too large, you can try to fill them and create shadows with powders. Additionally, you can use a root touch-up spray.
These are just temporary fixes, and some of them can be a bit of a hassle. If you’re looking for a more permanent solution, you should consult a medical professional.
A receding hairline is usually a sign of androgenetic alopecia in males. However, in women, it’s usually due to hormonal imbalance, an autoimmune condition, or damaging hairstyles.
It can take place rapidly or gradually and can be permanent or temporary. It all depends on what made the hairline recede in the first place.
If you’re experiencing a hairline recession, you must seek the advice of a medical professional. They’ll give you an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan.
Why is my hairline receding?
Hairline recession can occur due to genetics, hormones, skin problems, autoimmune conditions, medical therapies, poor nutrition, and tight hairstyles.
How far will a receding hairline go?
Usually, a receding hairline will go as far back as the crown or vertex of the scalp. However, in some cases, it can also extend to the nape of the neck.
Does biotin help with receding hairline?
Biotin can only help with a receding hairline if you have an existing biotin deficiency. Otherwise, there’s no evidence that it will help restore your hairline.
Will shaving affect your hairline?
Shaving will not fix or exacerbate your hairline recession. It only cuts off the hair above the skin, so it doesn’t have any effect on the hair follicle.