Whether you're a man or a woman I'm sure you'll agree with me when I say that noticing a receding hairline or that you are losing your hair is a scary and uncomfortable realization.
And not knowing how or why it's happening to you and what to do about it can be really frustrating.
So today I'm going to show you exactly what a receding hairline is, how to tell and track if your hairline is receding, and different things you can do to stop your hairline from receding.
I'll also show you some great receding hairline haircuts, and you'll learn how a receding hairline can be a warning sign for other underlying health issues.
As a bonus I'll also tell you about some future solutions that are being worked on for hair loss in some of our most prestigious universities.
How to tell if your hairline is receding
The main types of hair loss in both sexes are classified as Androgenic Alopecia. Hair loss in men is classified as Male Pattern Baldness (MPB) and in women as Female Pattern Hair Loss (FPHL).
In the initial stages of male pattern baldness the hairline is the most commonly affected area usually starting with thinning of the hair line in the temple area. As the hairline recedes it forms the M shape on the front of the hairline. The hair thinning later progresses towards the back to the crown of the head eventually progressing to baldness.
In women, instead of the actual hairline receding the thinning starts gradually in the part line. This is followed by increasing diffuse hair loss radiating from the top of the head. Women's hair line will rarely recede and they will rarely go completely bald. But women's hair can get progressively thin at the top to the point of it looking very see through.
Procedure for checking to see if your hair line is receding.
An easy way to tell if your hairline is receding is to check for that ominous M shape on your forehead. Take a fine tooth comb and comb you hair back from the front over the crown of your head. Hold the hair in place and check to see if your hairline rises significantly at the temples and dips down in the center.
If there is no M shape yet, you can also check to see if the hair in the area above your temples (the ones that might go M) are thinner than the hair on the side of your head. If the hair is pretty much the same, you are doing great. If the hair above the temples is thinner you might have started down the road to M (Melon).
For women, the best way to check to see if you are thinning is to create a center part from the front of the head towards the crown. Take a look throughout the part to see if the hair is full and dense all the way through. If you start to notice areas that are uneven in the thickness of the part or areas that are very thin in hair stemming from the part you have some diffuse hair loss issues.
Receding Hairline stages for men and Female Pattern Hair Loss Stages for women.
Men - Norwood Scale:
In the 1950's and 1970's two doctors named Norwood pioneered a classification of MPB stages which predict the progression of MPB.
The Norwood scale consists of 7 stages progressing through noticeable incremental hair loss. Men should pay attention to this chart starting in their mid 20's to see if they are experiencing any hair loss. You can learn more about the Norwood Scale here.
Women – Ludwig Classification
The Ludwig Classification categorizes female hair loss in to 3 Types.
Type I: minimal thinning at the part line that can be camouflaged with hair styling techniques.
Type II: Decrease volume and noticeable widening of the mid-line part.
Type III: Diffuse thinning with a see-through appearance at the top of the scalp.
To learn more about female hair loss patterns you can visit here.
Women should monitor their part line and compare it to the Ludwig Classification to determine their hair loss stage and proper treatment.
About 1/3 of all women experience some sort of hair loss and about 2/3 of post menopausal women are suffering from hair thinning and bald spots. Keeping track of where your at on the Ludwig Classification can help you plan for future treatment.
How to fix a receding hairline or thinning part line.
Whether you're a man or woman these tips can help you to reduce the outside factors contributing to your hair loss.
A stressful environment wrecks havoc on your health. Too much of the wrong stress can produce reactions in your body that can diminish the production of hair in the Anagen phase (growing phase) and extend the folicles Telogen phase (dormant stage). Stress is one of the main causes of temporary hair loss. So do your best to reduce stress.
A healthy diet with proteins and vitamins can work wonders for you. Both your physical health and hair health will benefit. Great foods to incorporate into your diet include: Avacados, Salmon, Chicken, Sweet Potatoes, Spinach, Healthy Oils. Check out this article for more healthy food options.
Topical Hair Serums:
RevuCell's Twice Daily Hair Serum is rich in Organic Pea Sprout Extract and Organic Aloe Vera to help kickstart the Anagen (growth) phase of the hair life cycle. It also helps to strengthen hair and extend the growing phase. You can try some here.
No Tight Pulling Styles or tight Braids:
This is self explanatory when you think about it. When you create to much tension on the hair at the root, the hair starts to get pulled out as the result of the hairstyle. Really tight braids, corn rolls and other styles that pull on the hair should be avoided.
Scalp massage has been shown to increase blood flow to the scalp thus increase blood flow to the follicle. Twice daily massage with the right hair serum can make a big difference.
Reduce Chemical Damage:
Hair color processing, bleaching, and permanent straightening can cause mild to severe damage to your hair. The more of these processes your hair endures the more likely that it will be damaged, broken and thinned. If you absolutely must color your hair opt for a no ammonia product like Mastey Hair Color that will be less damaging. If you are bleaching try to have your stylist use a bonding additive in the bleach like Olaplex to help minimize hair breakage and visual hair thinning from breakage.
Research and Rethink your medications:
Your body chemistry has a lot to do with your hair and it's health. Take a look at your medications and supplements to see if any have hair thinning or hair loss side effects. If you discover that this may be a cause of your hair thinning then consult with your doctor to see if there are alternatives with less risk for your hair.
Receding hairlines and your health.
As I mentioned above, your body chemistry has a lot to do with how your hair looks, grows, and lasts. There are plenty of studies out there that chronicle how body chemistry and hormone levels can affect your hair growth and hair loss.
What is interesting is that this is an inverse equation.
So you can look at it from the opposite angle to help diagnose health problems that are not yet present. This is where hair loss can actually be a life saver.
I recently read this study on the Relationship of Early Onset Baldness to Prostate Cancer in African American Men. The conclusion of the study noted that more researched needed to be done, but they see these type of results:
Men with any balding had more than 3 times the odds of being diagnosed with high-stage cancer (OR = 3.43; 95% CI, 1.37–8.61) and more than twice the odds of being diagnosed with high-grade prostate cancer (OR = 2.33; 95% CI, 1.03–5.28).
Frontal baldness particularly increased the odds of severe disease.
In a separate study Harvard Physician's Health Study concluded that men with Vertex Baldness have a 1.5 times greater chance of developing prostate cancer than those with no bald spots.
The risk of coronary artery disease is
23% higher in men with mild vertex baldness
32% higher in men with moderate baldness
36% higher in men with severe baldness
Hair loss and Thyroid Levels
When your thyroid is out of whack and causing issues for your body, it can have a negative effect on your hair. It can alter the hair growth cycle so that more of your hair is resting rather than growing.
This hair loss can be amplified by not treating your hormone levels with the proper medication and diet.
If your hair is thinning and you are not feeling well, gaining or lose weight rapidly for no reason or have other odd physical symptoms, see a doctor and ask them to check your thyroid levels.
That hair loss can be the signal for you that something else is wrong so you can get the treatments you need to not only stop the hair loss but also feel a whole lot better.
So, if you notice your hair start to thin or that hair line receding make sure you check yourself out with a physician to make sure the rest of your body healthy.
That thinning hair could be the warning sign that saves your life.
Future cures for a receding hairline
Hair loss therapy is big business. From organic topical treatments, to medications and surgical transplants, there are many treatments that you can currently use to help slow or stop hair loss and kick start hair growth.
There are also future therapies in the works and some of our best universities are looking at how to use new technologies to reduce the burden of hair loss.
The lab of USC scientist Krzysztof Kobielak, MD, PhD has published a trio of papers in the journals Stem Cells and The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) that describe some of the factors that determine when hair grows, when it stops growing and when it falls out.
Check out the USC website article with links to Dr. Kobielak's papers and a link to a paper published in the Journal Stem Cells in November of 2013 that focused on how the gene Wnt7b activated hair growth,
Fibroblast Growth Factor 9
In a study published in Nature Medicine, Doctor George Cotsarelis, MD of the University of Pennsylvania reported a possible way to grow new hair follicles by wounding the scalp and treating the wound with a substance called Fgf9 or Fibroblast Growth Factor 9. Since people don't have very much Fgf9 Dr. Costarelis proposes a combo treatment of wounding the scalp and applying a synthetic fibroblast growth factor 9.
The theory of quorum sensing says that you can induce hair regrowth from dormant follicles by plucking the hair from the follicles around the dormant ones. Check out this study write up: that discusses how Plucking a high density of hairs within a small region prompts regrowth of all hairs in that area, whereas plucking more widely spaced hairs does not lead to regeneration, according to a study conducted in mice and funded in part by the NIAMS. The study, which was published in the journal Cell, suggests that hair follicles located adjacent to each other can coordinate a response to an injury in a way that widely spaced follicles cannot.
Men's hairstyles for thin hair and haircuts for receding hairline
Fullness Products for thinning hair
Adding fullness and volume can help to give a more desired look to your style. Try a volume conditioner like RevuCell Instant Volume Conditioner to give you an instant boost of fullness. This lightweight conditioner helps to prep your hair for the style that is right for you, it will not weight the hair down or make it look greasy.
Try to stay avoid other heavy conditioners and hair masques that will weigh your hair down or make it look flat and lifeless.
The undercut for receding hairline in men
The undercut is the most popular hair cut for men at the present time and this hair cut can be modified into a multitude of variations. It takes advantage of shaved sides and it gives you options for how to handle the top of your head.
Shave your sides and grow long what you do have. This may sound counter intuitive, but hear me out.
Short sides are awesome if your hair is thinning and hair line is receding. You see getting a fade or shaved sides gives you the illusion that there is more hair in the area that is not faded or shaved.
So for example when you check out the hair cuts we are highlighting, you'll notice that the sides are all tightly manicured and very trim. While the growth is concentrated on the areas right around the thinning: the hair line and the crown.
You can also plan out your hair cut so that you intentionally grow the hair around the thinning in a way that it can help cover or provide fullness when styled. Not your grandfathers melon comb-over, these comb-overs are all over the fashion magazines and on all the stars and athletes.
The contrast of short and long makes your hair look thicker and fuller while helping to camouflage the hair loss.
Check out these undercuts for more options: and make sure you bring a picture of what you want to your barber or stylist when you are getting your hair cut. Lastly be realistic with what you can do with the hair on the top of your head.
If you're too far gone bro, Embrace Baldness
A study in the journal Body Image finds that men who “embrace” their receding hairline tend to do better than men who try compensation techniques, such as surgery or medicine, the Cleveland Clinic reported.
So if you feel you are too far gone for more natural hair loss therapies and the only option is surgical restoration, take a step back for a minute to see if you can embrace the baldness. If not you can check out our breakdown of hair loss therapy treatments, side effects, and costs.