Maturing Vs Receding Hairline
Receding Hairline Vs Maturation
Millions of men and women suffer or will experience hair loss in their lifetime. The issue with hair loss is that you will start noticing it when you already lost a lot of them. Thinning hair can be more difficult to spot than a receding hairline. Often, you will notice that an area of your scalp has thinned after 50-60% or even more of the hair has already been lost.
Receding hairline is a prevalent condition among men but it can also affect women. However, it is more common in men and can be one of the first signs of male pattern baldness. There are several factors that can lead to a receding hairline, from family history to age, to hormonal changes and other illnesses. In women, it is more common to experience thinning of hair than a receding hairline, but it is not impossible.
However, thanks to advances in medical studies and technology, there are several treatment options available to restore a receding hairline, depending on the cause. There are some distinct signs and symptoms associated with a receding hairline, which are more likely to develop post-puberty or during adulthood.
For men, a receding hairline is often the first sign of male baldness. In most cases, this means that the condition will worsen. However, for some, this is just a sign of maturation, and nothing to be concerned about.
THE HAIR CYCLES
As new hair is created in the follicle, it pushes out the hair shaft, creating longer-looking hair. Typically, hair grows about 0.3mm to 0.4mm each day. Thankfully, not all hair follicles are growing new hair at the same time. Hair growth occurs in a cycle. At any given time, each strand is in a different part of the cycle. Otherwise, they would shed at the same time and we would be bald like a tree in autumn!
Let’s have a look at the different phases in the hair cycle:
1. Anagen: Growing phase
First, the stages of hair growth begin with the anagen phase and this is the longest phase, lasting about 2 to 6 years.
During the anagen phase, your hair follicles are pushing out hairs that will continue to grow (about half an inch each month) until they are cut or reach the end of their lifespan and simply fall out.
At any time, about 85/90% of the hair follicles on your scalp are in the anagen phase.
2. Catagen: Transition phase
Secondly, the catagen phase starts when the anagen phase ends, and tends to last about 10 days or so.
During this cycle, hair follicles shrink and hair growth slows. The hair also separates from the bottom of the hair follicle, yet remains in place during its final days of growing.
Only about 5 percent of the hair follicles on your scalp are in the catagen phase at any given time.
3. Telogen: Resting phase
Thirdly, the telogen phase typically lasts around 3 months. It is estimated that 10 to 15 percent of your hair follicles are in this phase.
This phase is also called “resting” because the hairs don’t grow during the telogen phase, but they don’t usually fall out either. The telogen phase is also when new hairs start to form in follicles that have just released hairs during the catagen phase.
Many experts consider the telogen phase the shedding phase, as well, but many scientists have divided this stage into two parts: the telogen and exogen stages.
4. Exogen: Shedding phase
Finally, the exogen phase is essentially a “continuity” of the telogen stage of hair growth. During the exogen phase, hair is shed but losing 50 to 100 hairs per day is normal.
This cycle can last about 2 to 5 months, new hair follicles are growing, and “older” hairs fall away.
Read more: The four-stage cycle of hair
Maturing vs. Receding Hairline: The Difference
As we age, it is normal to notice some changes in our hairline. However, how to tell if these changes are just the result of a natural maturation process, or if they indicate concerning hair loss?
The hairline is a line separating your hair from your forehead and where the hairline naturally lies will depend on genetics and some other factors.
Early in life, males and females have a so-called “juvenile hairline” i.e. very low in the forehead and rounded (concave), and identical to girls’ hairline.
At adolescence, the hairline will naturally recede especially for males. This process is a natural part of physiological maturation, like developing a deeper voice or having a growing mustache. The hairline is raised slightly around 1 to 2 centimeters. Additionally, the hairline retreats quite evenly by losing its concave or rounded shape by becoming a bit more recessed in the area of the temples.
However, a receding hairline differs from the normal hairline maturation. In fact, this is a clear sign of male-pattern baldness.
Indeed, with time the hairline will recede even more. People might even experience hair thinning in areas behind the hairline. Ultimately, this process could lead to baldness.
What is a Receding Hairline?
As we mentioned above, it is important to distinguish a maturing hairline from a receding one. For that, you need to look at how the hairline recedes. If the front line of hair has moved back relatively uniformly, it is most likely that the hairline is maturing. However, if the hairline is quite uneven then most likely this is a receding hairline. If you notice that your hairline has retreated more than 1-2 cm then this could also be a sign of a receding hairline.
You will also see that it creates the characteristic M-shape pattern, also known as the “widow’s peak”.
A receding hairline is the first sign of the most common type of male pattern hair loss i.e. Androgenetic Alopecia.
What Causes a Receding Hairline?
As stated, the sign of Androgenetic Alopecia is the M-shaped pattern of hair loss. And, as the condition worsens, the receding hairline will deepen. Then, after the temples area, the entire hairline will be affected. Then the crown part of the head will start to thin. Ultimately, the condition will lead to baldness.
This condition is widespread as around 25% of men before the age of 21 and over 80% of men by the age of 80 will experience a receding hairline.
It is most common for the hairline to recede or hair to fall with age. As we get older, our hair follicles tend to get damaged, causing hair loss and a receding hairline.
A receding hairline can be associated with family genes from both sides of your parents. If there is a history of baldness running in your family then you are, unfortunately, more likely to experience hair loss. On the other hand, if there is no baldness in your family then most likely your hairline is simply maturing. Some studies have shown that heredity accounts for around 80 percent of the predisposition to baldness.
This said, this is not inevitable, and it is possible that you will not heavily lose your hair despite a history of baldness in your family. Similarly, it is possible to lose your hair even if no one in your family is bald.
3. Hormonal changes
Hormonal imbalances in both men and women can trigger hair loss. In men, the androgen hormone DHT (dihydrotestosterone) is believed to play a major role in the pathogenesis of AGA (balding process). In fact, DHT leads to the shrinking of hair follicles also known as hair follicle miniaturization. Eventually, the miniaturization in affected areas advances to complete baldness.
In women, factors like menopause can potentially lead to thinning of hair, though not always.
4. Unhealthy lifestyle choices
Diet choices like processed foods, sugary foods, foods with preservatives, and saturated fats can contribute to hair loss. Also, smoking can also lead to hairline recession. If you want to keep your hair and your health strong longer then adopt a healthy lifestyle.
5. Other factors
There are other factors that contribute to AGA such as the environment, hair care routines, medication, stress, and illness.
Gradual & Slow Hair Loss
Most people who experience hair loss notice a gradual change in the thickness of their hair and a receding hairline. It is common for hair loss to slowly worsen over time until, eventually, there are obvious areas of thinness or baldness. Slow hair loss can affect both men and women and is often referred to as male or female pattern baldness.
The following are the most common causes of slow hair loss:
- Ageing: Many studies show that age is a major factor when it comes to male and female pattern baldness. Usually, female pattern baldness starts after the age of 40. For men, hair loss can start as early as the age of 20. In general, gradual and slow hair loss starts as the hair follicles shrink, and often stop growing to eventually fall out.
- Genetics: Genetics is another major of gradual and slow hair loss. Indeed, hereditary balding, also known as androgenetic alopecia, is a gradual process that is a result of a sensitivity to androgens. Such sensitivity is a leading cause of both male and female pattern baldness.
Rapid Hair Loss
Rapid hair loss differs from the slower hair loss mentioned above. In this case, patients with this condition will notice the sudden appearance of bald patches. Rapid hair loss tends to be related more to external dimensions, rather than internal ones.
Here, we outline some of the most common causes of rapid hair loss:
- Stress: Stress can have a detrimental impact on a person’s physical and psychological wellbeing. The fact is that excessive stress can lead to hair loss. The reason is that stress can affect the natural hair cycle and also lead to a condition called trichotillomania (in which a person plucks or pulls hair out).
- Trauma: A traumatic event is another potential source of rapid hair loss. Trauma encompasses a wide range of situations, including emotional trauma and physical trauma. In some cases, the shock of a traumatic event could result in rapid hair loss.
- Illness: In some cases, being ill can also affect hair growth. For our body, our hair is just an accessory organ of the skin and is not considered to be very important. Henceforth, when the body responds to illness, certain nutrients may be sent to other areas of the body to assist with healing. As a consequence, this depletes nutrients from the hair follicles and can potentially lead to rapid hair loss. In other cases, rapid hair loss can be related to some medications and treatments.
In most cases, those conditions are temporary and hair should gradually grow back. However, if a patient feels self-conscious and would like more rapid results then some treatments like PRP could help.
Dealing with Hair Loss
Both sexes experience hair loss and hair thinning. For Male pattern baldness, it can affect up to 70% of men. Women are also affected by hair loss as 40% of women will experience it during their lifetimes.
Male pattern baldness displays signs of hair loss such as a thinning crown and a receding hairline; a receding hairline shows a distinct V-shape which is more prominent than a maturing hairline.
if you feel that you have a maturing hairline, it can be difficult to accept. Your hairline is an inch farther back after all. Some men struggle to have their hairstyle or feel a bit down with their hair. Here are some tips on how to handle a mature hairline.
- Remember that a mature hairline is completely normal. The majority of men will experience this, so you’re not alone.
- If your receding hair is a mature hairline, then you’re not going necessarily bald.
- Mature hairlines can look good. Though, It will take some time to get used to your new hairline.
However, if you cannot get used to it and are worried it will get worse then time is of the essence. There are treatments that are natural and that can help you regrow your hair follicles.
TREATMENT FOR RECEDING HAIRLINE
It is a fact that to tackle receding hairline issues, the sooner the better. This said treatment of receding hairline depends on the cause. If a condition is related to a thyroid disease then the treatment would involve addressing the underlying cause. If your case is thyroid-related then we suggest booking an integrative health consultation at Nar London.
If hair loss is related to an immune disorder (such as alopecia areata) or other factors, platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) or Platelet-Rich Fibrin (PRF) injections in the scalp may help. You can also combine these treatments with mesotherapy for hair for optimal results.
Book a Free Consultation
If you suspect that your hairline is receding, then you can book a free consultation at Nar London, Harley Street. We will be able to see the stage of your condition and can propose a course of treatments to get back your hair.