Receding hairline: Why it Happens and What you can do

By Skin & Hair Academy | August 05, 2022
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Have you started noticing more of your forehead as you comb your hair? That’s a classic telltale of a receding hairline, a form of hair fall. It shows up as hair thinning at the front of the head, especially in the temple area, where it forms an M-shaped hairline. Receding hairline is a common bane of the lives of most men rather than women and is age-proof. This means that people in their 40s, 30s, or even 20s can be affected by it. It is usually gradual, but sometimes it can occur suddenly or otherwise abnormally – lowering your confidence with every hair fall.

There’s no denying that receding hairline tags along with it a fair share of grim feelings. Watching your hairline dwindle slowly and creep back one millimeter at a time can be frustrating and saddening. Since sparse hair usually isn’t ideal for a lot of hairstyling and could instantly affect your appearance. Not to mention, it can feel like your youthful days are behind you, and time has finally caught up with you. But is it so?

Hair today, gone tomorrow. But why?

The symptoms of receding hair can range from mild hair thinning and pattern baldness to total baldness. To better understand thinning hair near temples and not beat our self-confidence over it, we need to look at what’s triggering the hairline recession in the first place.

According to our experts, here are the main reasons for hair loss:

  • Age : This goes without saying. Hair recession is a natural part of life and aging. There are numerous hair follicles on the scalp, each growing its hair. When the hairs fall out, new ones replace them on the follicle. But as we get older, follicles become damaged due to various factors, resulting in hair loss and a receding hairline.
  • Hormonal changes : Hormone changes are infamous for causing many woes, and hair loss is one of them. The DHT hormone may be linked to male pattern baldness. That’s because it causes the follicles to shrink to the point that no hair can grow in them anymore.
  • Family history : For some, genetics play a key role in hair recession. Men with a family background of baldness are likely to experience a receding hairline. The pattern of the loss may even be similar to previous generations.
  • Medications or treatments : If you’re undergoing some heavy medical procedures or treatments, it is possible to experience hair loss. Chemotherapy is a classic and a well-known example to explain this, as it inevitably causes a person’s hair to fall out. But there could also be a less intense medication that could be the root cause. Always see hair loss as a sign of a side effect and consult your doctor to know if it’s a concerning matter.
  • Illness or stress : Telogen effluvium is another notorious occurrence of sudden hair loss, with illness or stress acting as its primary triggers. People usually label it as an unexpected shedding — where they lose much more hair than usual in a short period. Fortunately, this kind of hair loss is often reversible without treatment.
  • Lifestyle choices : Sometimes, taking a good, hard look in the mirror can help determine why your hair is falling out, especially thinning hair near the temples. Styling the hair in tight ponytails or braids can cause hair loss called traction alopecia, which causes the hairline to recede due to pulling forces on the hair follicles.

    Apart from that, people who smoke and consume unhealthy levels of alcohol may experience hair loss faster than people who don’t. While evaluating your daily habits, look at your diet as well. Eat right so your protein, iron, and other vitamin levels are adequate.

Regardless of the cause, hair care is always better than hair fall cure.

Receding hair is a challenge, but one that can be avoided or minimised with the proper preventive measures, such as:

  • Avoiding hairstyles such as braids, cornrows, ponytails, or buns that pull the hair tight
  • Not harshly rubbing wet hair to make them dry faster
  • Using a wide-toothed comb and gently combing or brushing hair
  • Using sensible hairdressing techniques
  • Avoiding supplements that could cause hair loss when possible
  • Quitting smoking
  • Minimising stress by practicing yoga or other de-stressing habits

Note, if hereditary is the cause of a person’s receding hairline, it cannot be prevented.

Treating the Tresses – Back to Life Again

The good news is, there’s plenty you can do to treat hair loss if it bothers you—from lotions and potions to surgical options. The goal of treating thinning hair is to encourage the hair follicles to function to the best of their ability. Here’s a compilation of the most common treatment options for receding hairline in men and women.

  • Minoxidil serum : Commonly, Rogaine (minoxidil) is used to slow down hair loss or, in some instances, to reverse it. Keep in mind that typically Rogaine is known for being more effective at restoring your hair in small batches rather than in large areas. That’s why it’s commonly used for reversing receding hairline that is linked to male pattern baldness. Always consult a dermatologist before going ahead with this.
  • Propecia (finasteride) : Hormone changes are infamous for causing many woes, and hair loss is one of them. The DHT hormone may be linked to male pattern baldness. That’s because it causes the follicles to shrink to the point that no hair can grow in them anymore.
  • Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy : This is a medical treatment in which a person’s blood is drawn, processed, and then injected into the scalp.
  • Surgical hair restoration : This is the most common form of treatment involving transplanting hair follicles.
  • Corticosteroids : This is a prescription drug that lowers inflammation around the hair follicles, in turn encouraging them to grow new hair.
  • Essential oils : It is observed that lavender oil, castor oil, and peppermint oil may help boost hair regrowth.

Remember that a receding hairline’s treatment depends on the cause. If a condition such as thyroid disease is causing a person to lose their hair, the treatment would involve treating the thyroid condition.


In most cases, hair loss is an everyday matter and nothing that warrants medical attention. But if you want to do something about it, we recommend wasting no time seeking expert help as better outcomes can usually be achieved when the hair loss is at an earlier stage. Visiting a dermatologist when you notice changes in your hairline pattern or experiencing hair loss can help you fight hair recession better.

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