Is Your Hairline Receding?
A receding hairline is one of the most common symptoms of androgenic alopecia. Also known as pattern baldness, androgenic alopecia is a form of hair loss common in both men and women, especially those over the age of 50.
Androgenic alopecia affects over half of men and a quarter of women over 50. The condition often causes a receding hairline, especially in men, who often initially notice the hair at the top of the head getting thin in their 40s or 50s. However, androgenic alopecia sometimes causes a receding hairline as early as a man's 30s.
While other forms of hair loss lead to a receding hairline in some cases, androgenic alopecia is the most likely cause of thinning above the forehead. If you have a receding hairline, keep reading – in this post, we'll provide you with three simple, practical steps you can take to get your hair growth back on track.
How Does Androgenic Alopecia Cause a Receding Hairline?
Androgenic alopecia causes significant hair loss in certain parts of the head. For men, the areas most commonly affected by androgenic alopecia are the top – also known as "the crown" – of the head and the hairline. This type of hair loss often causes the hairline to move progressively farther from the forehead as a man ages. Not every man will deal with a receding hairline – factors like genetics, heredity, hair growth patterns, stress, and more can all affect a man's chances of experiencing thinning of the hairline.
When androgenic alopecia develops, the condition causes the hair follicles in certain parts of the head to become constricted. This follicle shrinkage leads to slowed and thinned-out hair growth, which can quickly lead to the instantly recognizable "balding" look that many men have.
The shrinking of hair follicles in certain parts of the head comes as a result of high dihydrotestosterone (DHT) levels. DHT is an androgen, part of a set of hormones that regulate masculine physical and sexual characteristics in the male and female body. DHT plays a vital role in the physical transitions that you undergo during puberty.
However, the body's DHT levels often continue increasing long after adolescence. Increased DHT levels in later adulthood sometimes disrupt the natural hair growth cycle, causing your hair follicles to shrink and spend more time resting than growing.
Androgenic alopecia does not cause total baldness, but it can cause certain parts of the head to become almost entirely hairless over time.
Is a Receding Hairline Treatable?
As years and decades pass, a man's hairline and the crown of his head can become so thinned out that the loss of hair is nearly irreversible. However, when androgenic alopecia is treated earlier, the condition is often preventable.
Using the treatments we will discuss in the paragraphs to follow, you may be able to prevent and reverse the development of a receding hairline.
Treatment #1: Minoxidil
Also known as Rogaine, Minoxidil is one of the most popular hair loss prevention treatments on the market. Initially designed for high blood pressure patients, researchers later discovered that minoxidil also increased hair growth in many subjects. While minoxidil is still used as a high blood pressure treatment, its most common purpose is hair loss prevention.
Minoxidil is thought to work by increasing blood flow to the scalp and subsequently stimulating hair growth. However, some aspects of how minoxidil works are still unknown. Although it may not be fully understood, minoxidil is an FDA-approved and highly effective hair loss prevention treatment. You don't need a prescription to use it, either – minoxidil is available over-the-counter at multiple strengths.
When using minoxidil, it's essential to keep your hair and scalp as hydrated as possible. The treatment can have a drying effect, which can leave your scalp flaky and irritated. However, don't let these potential side effects scare you away from a highly effective hair loss prevention treatment – instead, take preventative steps to moisturize and nourish your hair and scalp using the next entry on our list!
Treatment #2: DHT-Blocking Hair Products
As you now know, the primary cause of a receding hairline is dihydrotestosterone (DHT). However, you may not know that certain substances inhibit your body's production of DHT. Caring for your hair with natural DHT-blocking ingredients can help you maintain your natural cycle of growth, which can be disrupted by excessive dihydrotestosterone production.
GroMD's shampoo, conditioner, and follicle activator spray contain our signature formula of growth-boosting, DHT-blocking ingredients. These include caffeine, niacinamide, saw palmetto, stinging nettle, pumpkin seed extract, and more. Through daily use of GroMD products, you can hydrate and nourish your follicles, which can directly impact the growth rate, thickness, and overall health of your hair.
If you treat your receding hairline with minoxidil, GroMD products are an excellent defense against irritation and dryness. The inclusion of soothing ingredients like niacinamide and argan oil makes our products the perfect sources of moisture and vital nutrients for your hair.
GroMD's shampoo, conditioner, and follicle activator spray work best when used daily. Our products are perfect for any hair type, and daily use can be highly beneficial at any stage of hair loss.
Treatment #3: Microneedling
Another popular hair loss prevention treatment is microneedling.
This procedure is designed for skin issues. Dermatologists often perform microneedling treatments on patients with acne scarring, aging-related concerns, hyperpigmentation, and other similar problems. However, microneedling – which involves the use of a specialized tool covered in tiny needles – can also be used to stimulate hair growth.
Microneedling creates tiny cuts in your skin, prompting your skin cells' wound healing response to kick in. The treatment can increase your skin's collagen and elastin production, two essential proteins that keep your skin healthy and strong.
So, what does this mean for your receding hairline?
Microneedling can stimulate hair growth by strengthening your hair follicles in parts of your head that have been affected by androgenic alopecia. By boosting your skin's collagen and elastin production and stimulating blood flow to your follicles, microneedling can play an integral role in a comprehensive hair loss prevention regimen.
If you're considering making microneedling a part of your hair loss prevention strategy, there are a few decisions you will need to make before getting started. Microneedling treatments can either be performed at home or administered professionally by a dermatologist. Professional microneedling is generally considered an overall safer and more effective option for treating hair loss than the DIY alternative.
However, professional microneedling can also be much more expensive than at-home treatments. A single microneedling session with a dermatologist can cost hundreds of dollars, but at-home microneedling supplies usually cost less than $50.
With the cost and safety differences in mind, it's up to you to decide which form of microneedling is best for you. If it is within your means to get professional treatments, it may be a worthwhile investment for the sake of your hair. However, at-home microneedling is also worth considering for the sake of saving money and time.
Want To Learn More About Hair Loss Prevention?
If you're curious about the science of hair loss – and how to prevent it – make sure to visit the GroMD blog. There, you'll find plenty of informative articles about the different forms and causes of hair loss, as well as treatments to try.
Dr. Amir Yazdan, MD, is an internationally renowned hair transplant surgeon, expert guest on Dr. Phil and The Doctors, creator of the GroMD hair restoration product line, ISHRS member, accredited member of the IAHRS and a visceral advocate for patient care. Learn more about Dr. Yazdan or read rave reviews from his patients.