Reasons for Receding Hairline Getting to the Root

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So if you’re not losing hairs because of all the stress currently, as we age our hair does too. Some hair loss is acceptable. We average on shedding around 50 to 100 strands each day.

But noticing your widow’s peak expanding or your temples looking somewhat bare may have you asking, if your hairline is receding?

This occurs for a number of reasons not necessarily permanent. You can’t exactly fix this overnight but there are ways to stop it or maybe even reverse the damage with some situations. (Support)

What is the Cause?

Well sometimes a receding hairline is hard to avoid. Eventually, your hair reaches that “mature hairline”. In the case of your aging hair this is the new normal.

Anyway, when the thinning doesn’t slow down or stop it can be a problem and there may be a number of underlying reasons. These vary from person to person but there are common factors.

For men a receding hairline has to do with genetics, the biggest factor. This is referred to as androgenetic alopecia (aka male pattern baldness), which causes high levels of androgen in the body to make a hormone called Dihydrotestosterone responsible for binding certain proteins in the body.

It necessarily doesn’t have to do with the amount of testosterone or DHT present that leads to baldness but leaning more to the reaction of the hair follicles, this is genetic. This also reduces follicle size, resulting in shorter hairs, delayed growth and hair thinning. The follicle has stopped functioning and producing any new hair.

Women can also experience androgenetic alopecia or it would be called female pattern baldness. This looks somewhat different on the scalp. (celebrities)

Men as well as women can suffer from thyroid conditions or mineral deficiencies; this can lead to noticeable hair loss.

For women experiencing hair loss it is usually caused by frontal fibrosing alopecia or traction alopecia.

Frontal fibrosing alopecia is an auto-immune condition where the follicles are under attack. It is a form of lichen planopilaris, this is the name given when the skin disease lichen planus begins affecting the hair.

This hair loss can be seen along the front hairline resulting in follicular damage and scarring that affects regrowth.

It can however be a bit confusing for the hair loss can be seen above the ears or even towards the back of the head. Around 50% of patients may lose their eyebrow hair and the eyelashes also.

Frontal fibrosing alopecia usually affects postmenopausal women of all ethnic groups. It is thought due to the low estrogen environment circling the hair follicles.

This may trigger the fibrosing alopecia process. There is no known cause and it has been seen in young women as well as men.

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Man bun Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels

Traction alopecia is common on the other hand. It is due to long term pulling hair back in styles of tight braids, weaves, buns or ponytails (men also wear hair in these styles), especially if you use hair dyes and other chemicals (these can damage hair shaft).

Women also may experience (postpartum) hair loss around a pregnancy. It can feel frustrating with a thin looking hairline. The good news is it usually grows back around 6 to 12 months.

Usual Signs Hairline is Receding

Again, individuals may differ but there are some common signs.

For men it’s typical to start on the top of head by the temples or crown. When starting at the temples it usually takes a V shape pattern. When starting at the crown, men may notice a certain patch is bare and still others notice the receding hairline takes an M shape.

For women while it is possible to experience a receding hairline, chances are more likely for women to result with thinning hair. This usually is not seen front to back but in the area from the center going outward. This may be noticed as your part becomes a bit wider or in the temples looking thinned out. Thinning hair with traction alopecia women typically notice a thinner or smaller ponytail and more hair than normal in the brush or shower.

How to Treat Receding Hairline

In the case of genetics and aging not much can be done but there are ways to delay the process once the receding has started. There may be a difference in treatment of the condition according to whether your hair loss is scarring (as in fibrosing alopecia) or non-scarring. To begin it is important to know the root of the cause.

Well balanced diet. This provides healthy hair follicles and promotes strong hair growth. All those vitamins and minerals are essential for hair, skin and the entire body as well. Omega-fatty acids and antioxidants will help to neutralize those free radicals that can cause oxidative stress (resulting in hair and skin aging). A vitamin rich supplement may also be added to promote healthy hair, especially Collagen and Biotin. Collagen includes amino acids your body needs to make keratin (you know, what hair and skin are made of). Some research has shown proper iron intake is needed in order for hair follicles to function right. Eating iron rich foods can show improvement.

Take care of scalp. When our scalp and follicle function are good it shows in the hair strength, thickness and vitality. To keep inflammation at bay and the scalp environment balanced, proper cleaning and stimulation are needed. You don’t want a buildup of products suffocating your follicles and possibly leading to a severe case of hair loss.

A regular scalp massage will help to stimulate blood flow to the follicles which encourages hair growth. Brushing the hair each night also provides stimulation as well as oxygenation. Although this benefits the scalp and hair, there is no proof on whether it prevents hair loss.

Research vasodilators. A common FDA approved vasodilator minoxidil (aka Rogaine) can be applied directly on the scalp as a spray or foam product. The medicated topical can make the follicles bigger extending the hairs growth phase. It is better to use these as a preventative option. For regrowth it could be a period of months to work. (Keep in mind the different phases of our hair growth cycle).

There is not a lot of research on natural vasodilators such as essential oils, however, they have been shown to encourage circulation and boost hair thickness in a similar way.

Opt for loose hairstyles. Concerning traction alopecia the only prevention is to stop pulling hair back so tightly. Wear hair down and natural as much as possible. Try a shorter hair style that doesn’t need to be pulled back. If you must get hair off your face go for a loose hair style. Traction alopecia typically grows back after months.

Avoid heat styling and processing. People sometimes confuse hairline breakage with a receding hairline. Take a break from styling with heat which can cause breakage along the hairline. Don’t pull hairs or over process your strands either.

Keep the hair you have healthy and thriving by nourishing those strands and noticing harsh styling routines.

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Header Photo male interacting with his dog indoors by Zen Chung on Pexels

Mary is the founder of All About Our Skin. Former esthetician and CPC. Enjoys researching skincare and has been studying our skin for the past fourteen years.

Researching content:

https://www.mindbodygreen.com/articles/how-to-treat-receding-hairline?  Accessed 11/10/2020

https://www.hairscience.com/frontal-fibrosing-alopecia/ accessed 11/14/2020

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