About 85% of men experience major hair thinning by the time they're 50. For some guys, their hairline starts receding before they turn 21. Almost all hair loss in guys results from male-pattern baldness, a genetic trait that comes from your parents or aging. Other causes include certain medications, too much vitamin A, or not enough protein. Illness or stress can also lead to sudden, heavy shedding called telogen effluvium. Good news, though: Hair loss that isn’t from male-pattern baldness often reverses itself.
However, there is not much that can stop this hairline recession caused by male pattern baldness, once it’s started. But there are some therapies, treatments, and at-home remedies that can help make the hair you still have to stay healthy and full. Remember, it’s easier to hang on to your hair than replace it once it's gone.
What contributes to a receding hairline?
A receding hairline is most often linked to aging and hereditary genes. With male-pattern baldness, a hormone called DHT causes hair follicles to shrink. Eventually, they get so small that no hair can grow in them. Some of the following factors can also contribute to a receding hairline and aggravate hair loss.
- over-styling hair, especially with heat
- using chemicals such as bleach and peroxide to color hair
- eating a diet that’s high in saturated fat, processed foods, preservatives, and sugar
- smoking cigarettes
What are my treatment options?
Although there's no cure for male-pattern baldness, there are some medications and remedies that can slow it down.
Minoxidil is a Health Canada approved, over-the-counter treatment you apply to your scalp. It slows the rate of loss and helps some guys grow new hair. But once you stop using it, hair loss returns.
Finasteride is a Health Canada approved a prescription pill that slows down your body's DHT production. Some men have been able to grow new hair while using it. Many experts think it works better than minoxidil. Like minoxidil, it works only while you’re using it.
Eating a balanced diet:
Eating a diet that’s high in antioxidants can help your hair look healthier and full. Antioxidants are ingredients that fight oxidative stress, which can age your hair. Blueberries, spinach, kidney beans, and walnuts are all rich in natural antioxidant ingredients. Try to incorporate foods in your diet that are rich in Vit A, E, B12, iron, and zinc.
A hair transplant is a procedure in which a doctor moves hair from the back of your head to the front of your head, at your hairline. These implanted sections of hair will give your hairline a fuller appearance. There’s a risk of complications from a hair transplant, and it’s not covered by health insurance.
Use Essential Oils:
Some essential oils may promote hair growth. Rosemary oil, peppermint oil, and lavender oil have been found to be effective treatments for a receding hairline. These should be mixed with a carrier oil, such as almond oil, coconut oil, or jojoba oil, before being applied to the scalp.
Try massaging your scalp with these oils for a fuller, healthier-looking hairline. Increased blood circulation at the site of your hairline could be why scalp massage works to stimulate hair follicles.
What can you do next?
There’s no proven way to stop your hairline from receding once it’s started. But there are a lot more options than there used to be for making the hair that you do have more resistant to falling out. A combination of home remedies and medicinal treatments are a good place to start if you want to slow down your hair loss.
Keep in mind that some hair thinning is normal. Mass hair loss is not. If you’re experiencing mass hair loss, you should see your primary care physician or dermatologist.
The views expressed in this article are of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of Science&Humans. They are for informational purposes only, and not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment, and should never be relied upon for specific medical advice.