Receding Hairline In Men
What Causes My Hairline To Recede?
The most common cause of a receding hairline in men is due to male pattern hair loss or androgenic alopecia. As men mature and levels of testosterone are higher (i.e. after puberty), the shape of their hairline can undergo change. The hairline can recede across the entire frontal area, at both corners of the frontal hairline, or at the hairline at the temples. Each pattern of hairline recession is determined largely by genetics and how prone your hair follicles are to DHT damage (see article on androgenetic alopecia).
There are other possible causes of a receding hairline such as frontal fibrosing alopecia or traction alopecia but this is much less commonly seen.
How Does a Receding Hairline Affect Me?
Men who have a higher forehead are often deemed wiser and more regal or aristocratic in appearance. However, a receding hairline, beyond what is acceptable, can affect a number of aspects of a man’s appearance.
Firstly, the upper forehead margin is undefined and the focal point of the face shifts from the eyes to the forehead. This can mean frequently losing eye contact with someone that you are conversing with.
Secondly, a receding hairline means the normal proportions of one’s face are disrupted. This leaves the midface (from the eyebrows to the top of the nose) and the lower face (from the tip of the nose to the chin) proportionally smaller than the upper face (from the hairline to the eyebrow line). Facial proportions are considered an important marker of beauty, along with contour and symmetry.
Thirdly, this affects the way men can style their hair. There are many products on the market that can conceal thinning hair – sprays, foams, fibres etc. However, the only way to conceal a receding hairline is to wear a fringe that hangs down over the forehead. Some men with M-shaped recession of the hairline are not keen to comb their hair backwards or style their hair upwards.
What is an Aesthetic Hairline in Men?
Because there is a large variation in face shapes, sizes and proportions in men, there is no one-size-fits-all hairline design. However, there are some essential rules to follow when designing a hairline.
Proportions of the upper face, middle face and lower face – This affects the position of the frontal hairline. Generally, equal proportions of the upper, middle and lower face will guide the placement of the frontal hairline. Some men have a naturally lower hairline and may wish to locate the frontal hairline lower than this guide figure. Some men have a naturally higher hairline and do not wish to reconstruct the hairline to be lower than what they were like in their youth.
Facial width – Sometimes, men may experience receding temples together with the receding hairline. The ideal position of the temporal peaks and temporal hairline depend on the width of the face. The forehead width should be approximately equal to the midface width. The jawline width can be 10 – 20% smaller than the forehead and midface width. If the temples have undergone significant recession, the forehead appears wider and less aesthetic in appearance.
How To Stop My Hairline From Receding Further?
As discussed in the segment on androgenic alopecia or male pattern hair loss, the common strategies used to stop a receding hairline are the blocking of the offensive hormone, DHT, using a US FDA-approved medication called finasteride, as well as the thickening up of the existing hairs just behind the hairline (and the rest of the head) using medication or other non-surgical techniques.
Studies have shown that 85% of men with male pattern hair loss will benefit from using finasteride alone, and that figure would be higher when combining multiple methods.
An already receded hairline will not, however, grow back to its previous position with just medical therapy alone.
How To Correct My Receded Hairline?
The best approach to correcting the already receded hairline is to undergo hairline reconstruction via a hair transplant. Hair transplantation done using the FUE method avoids the linear scar that will be visible after a FUT strip harvest procedure. FUE hair transplantation has been performed for decades with good, long-lasting results.
What Do You Consider When Designing A Hairline For Transplant?
Hairline design requires a collaborative approach between the hair restoration physician and the patient. Blindly following a set of rules in hairline design can often lead to unsatisfactory results.
The doctor will consider the age of the patient, whether or not he has receded prematurely and if his hairline is likely to recede further. It is, obviously, unnatural to restore a 50-year-old man’s hairline to that of a 20-year-old.
The ethnicity of the patient plays a part in hairline design. Caucasian and Asian men do not naturally have stark straight hairlines whereas some men of African descent would have naturally straight hairlines. Restoring Caucasian and Asian men’s hairline requires the design to be more bell shaped, sometimes recreating the widow’s peak in the process.
Other factors such as the shape and curvature of one’s head, direction and angle of hairs, position of the parting etc. will be considered by the hair restoration physician before recreating the hairline during the procedure.
Why Not Just Conceal The Receding Hairline With A Combover?
While that is feasible and possible in mild cases of hairline recession, a receding hairline in more advanced stages would make this difficult to impossible.
A common scenario would be as follows: a 30-year-old man with a receding hairline opts to conceal it with a combover hairstyle with the idea that he would just accept that he is bald in 20 years time. 8 – 10 years later, he has an advanced stage of hairline recession and requires a much larger procedure to correct his hairline – which translates to more cost, longer downtime and the possibility of getting a less than optimal result.
If you are concerned about the state of your hairline, it would be preferable to seek advice from a hair restoration doctor early.