Receding Hairline Signs: Everything You Need to Know

Medically reviewedby Dr. Amy Revene M.B.B.S.
WrittenbyLuat Duong
Last updated

A distinctive part of your appearance is the hairline, which is your crowning glory. It can be very distressing when you notice your hair thinning or changing shape.

There can be times when you wonder what has caused these changes, whether they occur over time or in a short timeframe.

Receding hairline signs can appear in both men and women, though more common in men, caused by androgenic alopecia or male pattern baldness. It is typically one of the initial signs of hair loss, which can be due to many factors. 

More than half of all men will experience male pattern baldness by their mid-fifties. The hairline creeps back on either side, exposing more of the scalp or forehead, which is one of the most common ways it begins.

This article will discuss a receding hairline, its signs and symptoms, prevention, and how to differentiate between a receding and a mature hairline.

What is a receding hairline?

receding hairline signs, thinning hair

Receding hairlines cause your forehead to become massive when your hairline is stretched backward. When the hairline recedes unevenly, usually at the temples of the forehead, it is known as a receding hairline. 

In an M-shaped peak called Widow's Peak, the receding hairline becomes shaped like a mountain.

There is often a bald spot on the crown of the head and hair thinning on top of the head with receding hairlines.

There are two options for hair loss. The hair may recede until the bald spot and hairline meet, leaving the head with no hair, or the hair can also be left on the forehead as an "island."

Men often have receding hairlines, but this is not a normal part of growing up. The receding hairline results from a genetic condition called androgenetic alopecia (AGA), commonly known as male pattern baldness.

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What causes a receding hairline?

new hair growth stops, male pattern hair loss

Signs of a receding hairline involve many factors and causes. The primary reasons for a receding hairline are listed below. 

Age 

It is estimated that by age 80, about 80% of men have a receding hairline or signs of a receding hairline. 

Hair loss is a natural and normal part of the aging process. Your scalp contains thousands of hair follicles on its surface that produce hair. When this hair falls out, it is replaced by new hair growth

But if the hair follicles are damaged, you may lose hair around the temples, making your hairline recede. 

Read this: 17 Easiest Ways How To Repair Damaged Hair Naturally

Hormonal changes

Hormonal changes play a significant role in both men and women, leading to male and female pattern baldness, hair thinning, etc. 

In males, this hair loss is often linked to a hormone called DHT, a byproduct of another hormone, testosterone, causing the hair follicles to shrink until they become incapable of stimulating hair growth again. 

Read this: How To Reduce Hair Loss With DHT Blocking Foods?

Family history

Receding hairlines are often linked to genetics and a family history of baldness or losing hair. It is because of a specific male hormone (DHT), making the hair follicles too weak to reproduce new hair. 

Hence, men with a family history of baldness suffer more from receding or uneven hairlines. 

Medications or hair loss treatments

Certain medications or hair loss treatments are also why people lose hair and have low hairlines. The most common example is chemotherapy, causing the hair to fall out entirely. 

Stress or illness

Many illnesses or too much stress can cause sudden hair loss, known as telogen effluvium. The stress causes people to suffer from excessive hair shedding, losing more hair than usual, and that too, in a short time. However, thankfully this type of hair loss gets reversed on its own. 

Other factors associated with causing uneven or receding hairlines include

  • Pregnancy
  • Miscarriages
  • Certain medication
  • Surgeries or hair transplants
  • Poor diet and nutrition
  • Excessive use of styling products and tools
  • Radiation therapies, etc.

Signs of a receding hairline

Hair loss can appear in many ways, depending on what's causing it. In some cases, it can happen all at once, while in others, it can start slowly and spread to the scalp or the whole body.

The following signs may accompany a receding hairline:

The hair begins to act unusual

Only you know more about your hair and how to manage it properly than anyone else. You are the one who decides what style will suit your hair the best and which direction you should comb it to make it look good. 

Hence, with time, when you notice your hair behaving unusually, it can be a sign of hair loss and a receding hairline. You might see excessive hair shedding and your hair not looking the same as before when styled in a certain way. 

You start noticing thinning hair in some areas of the scalp

Hair loss can occur anywhere on your scalp, from your hairline to the area near your crown. 

However, if you have male pattern baldness, you may experience hair thinning all over your scalp with a receding hairline. 

This thinning is most noticeable when your hair is wet after a shower and in direct sunlight. You can check for signs of thinning hair on your crown, hairline ends, and other scalp areas when styling your hair. 

If your hair is getting thinner in the places above, it could be the first sign of a receding hairline.

Excessive hair shedding

Excessive hair shedding is one of the signs of male pattern baldness and may result in hair accumulation on your hairbrush, pillowcase, or in your home.

Approximately 50 to 100 hairs fall out each day. As each hair grows from the follicle to its full length, it goes through a natural, multi-phase growth cycle, which causes this hair shedding. 

You might suffer from male-pattern baldness if your hair is shedding more than usual. 

Your hairline has started to appear uneven

A male pattern baldness diagnosis can be made if you previously had a symmetrical hairline and now notice your hairline is uneven.

DHT, or dihydrotestosterone, is a hormone that hurts your hair follicles and leads to male pattern baldness.

If DHT shrinks your hair follicles and stops them from growing new hair, you may be genetically more likely to lose your hair.

Therefore, seeing old photos of yourself can help you spot any differences if your hairline becomes uneven over time. If you've noticed a bad hairline, your male pattern baldness is likely in its early stages.

How do you keep your hairline from receding?

Here are a few suggestions about how you can prevent a receding hairline. 

1. Scandinavian Biolabs Hair Growth Routine

hair growth routine

A disruption in the hair's natural growth cycle is the most common cause of hair loss. 

Known factors that contribute to hair loss include genes, hormones, illness, medications, and lifestyle. Because of changes in hair follicle cycling, the causes may lead to shorter anagen phases (when hair grows), longer anagen phases, or even hair loss.

Hence, Scandinavian Biolabs has just the right product to give you healthy hair and stimulate growth from the hairline and other scalp areas. 

The Hair Growth Routine is designed to aid in reducing hair loss, promoting the growth of new hair, and maintaining robust and vibrant hair. 

Each product has plant growth factors, some of which were made with stem cell technology. These factors help hair grow by nourishing hair follicles. 

Hair Growth Routine | For Men
Hair Growth Routine | For Men
Formulated to combat shedding & signs of balding

Hair Growth Routine | For Women
Hair Growth Routine | For Women
Formulated to combat thinning hair & visible scalp

2. Minoxidil

Also known as Rogaine, minoxidil is an over-the-counter scalp treatment drug that helps reduce the hair loss rate. In contrast, the effects of the treatment generally last as long as the person uses it, but baldness will return once the treatment is stopped.

3. Finasteride

Finasteride is a prescription drug produced exclusively for treating male hair loss that reduces the amount of DHT in the bloodstream by slowing down testosterone's conversion to DHT. Some men may find this helpful in growing hair or minimizing hair loss. 

4. Platelet-rich plasma therapy

To reverse receding hairlines, PRP therapy stimulates weak hair follicles that are causing your hair to fall out. Tissue repair and cell regeneration activate when your body produces platelet-rich plasma. Also, PRP stimulates collagen and elastin production in the area, thus stimulating hair growth. 

5. DHT-blocker shampoo

Many shampoos are specially made to be gentle on the hair, blocking DHT effects on your hair to stimulate hair growth by nourishing the hair follicles. 

Some shampoos can indeed strip sebum (oil) from your scalp and weaken your hair follicles, but DHT-blocker shampoos can strengthen them. These shampoos contain ketoconazole as their active ingredient.

6. Biotin

Supplements containing biotin to promote healthy hair growth are popular over-the-counter products.

However, it is not known whether adding biotin to shampoos that claim to prevent hair loss will have any effect. But overall, hair health can be improved by consuming foods containing biotin and other vitamins and minerals. 

Vegetables, seeds, nuts, and eggs are the best natural sources of biotin, which helps nourish the hair follicles by boosting keratin. 

7. Healthy diet

As mentioned above, a healthy diet plays a significant role in maintaining strong and healthy hair, thus preventing hair loss and a receding hairline. 

Antioxidants protect your hair from oxidative stress, which can cause it to age. Blueberries, kidney beans, walnuts, and spinach are rich in antioxidants.

Moreover, vitamins and minerals like iron, zinc, and vitamins A, B-12, and E are essential for stimulating hair growth. You can also lower the DHT levels in your body by eating zinc and lysine-rich foods like almonds, cashews, pecans, etc. 

8. Essential oils

Hair-growth agents may also be found in some essential oils. Peppermint essential oil was tested against the standard treatment for hair loss, minoxidil, in a recent study published in Toxicological Research that was conducted on mice.

There was a significant difference in the amount of hair growth in the mice rubbed with peppermint essential oil for 4 weeks compared to those that were not.

In another study, it was found that lavender essential oil produced similar results in mice, as reported in Toxicological Research. The effectiveness of these treatments needs to be verified in humans. Still, they may offer natural ways to thicken hair.

Read this: 17 Best & Effective Hair Growth Oils To Achieve Your Hair Goals

9. Hair transplant surgery

For hair transplants, thicker areas of the scalp are extracted from the back of the head and moved to the front to fill in receding hairlines. Even though the procedure is expensive, many people who get it done feel that it is a better long-term way to stop their hairline from receding.

Normal hairline vs. receding hairline

A few common things need to be clarified about how a man's hairline should look before discussing specific signs of a receding hairline. Let us share the difference between a normal hairline and a receding one.

A normal hairline does not exist, despite what many people believe. Whether it's a rectangular hairline that is almost perfectly straight or a bell-shaped or round hairline, many different hairlines are found in people worldwide.

People's hairlines can range from being high and showing a lot of forehead to being low and sitting closer to the eyebrows. Hence, a high or V-shaped hairline does not necessarily indicate a receding hairline. 

In other words, receding hairlines are more about your hairline moving away from your temples, making your forehead broader. A receding hairline is due to continuous hair loss, and your hairline is moving upward. 

In men, receding hairlines tend to be one of the most initial signs of male pattern baldness, even if one does not necessarily go totally bald.

However, it is recommended to take a receding hairline seriously. Though it may not always lead to baldness, it is better to become proactive and start the treatment as soon as possible.

How can I tell if my hairline is receding?

There is no one pattern for a receding hairline, but there are a number of signs and symptoms that point to an uneven hairline. Aging is one of the most common things that can cause your hairline to move up, but losing too much hair is also a common sign of receding hairlines. 

Moreover, if you notice your hairline to be more defined, with the scalp showing in an M-shape or widow's peak, it can be because of a receding hairline. 

Read this: Widow's Peak vs. Receding Hairline: What’s the Actual Difference?

Can receding hairlines grow back?

In many cases, yes. A receding hairline can grow back. However, the treatment depends on the reason why your hairline is receding. For example, minoxidil is often suggested for men with male pattern baldness because it makes hair grow faster. 

Conclusion

Getting rid of a receding hairline takes time, so you must stay patient and focus on long-term improvements.

A noticeable effect of medications such as finasteride and minoxidil on your hair usually takes several months. However, there are some side effects associated with these medications.

If you are looking for a more natural and safer approach, try the Scandinavian Biolabs Hair Growth Routine. It has been specially designed to give you healthier hair and promote growth from the hairline and other scalp areas.

Finally, remember that healthy lifestyle habits like eating a balanced diet, exercising regularly, getting enough rest, and avoiding stress can also help prevent a receding hairline.

With the right approach and treatments, you can keep your hairline from receding and enjoy a full head of healthy hair.

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Luat Duong

Luat Duong is a Copenhagen-based writer and content strategist specializing in hair loss and health. His work has been featured in MyHealthGuide, The Right Hairstyles, and Woman's Era. He is a graduate of Vaasa University. You can connect with him on LinkedIn.