How to Stop a Receding Hairline … And Even Regrow It!

Man looking at his hairline in a mirror
Written by

Content by

Last Updated

Last Updated

Science means that hair loss can be optional.

Delivered discreetly from our UK registered pharmacy

Are you amongst the millions of men that worry about slowly going bald?
This article will detail the ways you can fix a receding hairline.


What is a receding hairline?

Male pattern baldness (MPB) or androgenic alopecia, are the technical terms used to describe balding in men. For men all over the world, a receding hairline is a normal, very much a normal part of the ageing process

As boys make the transition into men (around the time of puberty), hair around the temples begins to raise slightly. This is due to the emergence of a hormone known as dihydrotestosterone (DHT). DHT plays a role in puberty, however, excess DHT can contribute to hair loss in men. DHT shrinks hair follicles to a point where they no longer produce hair.

When the production of DHT continues to shrink the hair follicles, the result is a thinning hairline. Men commonly notice their hair receding around the temples, or begin to notice their scalp showing under direct light.

Whilst a receding hairline doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll lose all of your hair, it is usually one of the first signs of balding.


What causes a receding hairline?

There are a number of factors that can contribute to a receding hairline, with hormonal changes being the main culprit. Let’s take a further look:


Hormones

DHT is one of the largest contributing factors to a receding hairline, and hair loss in general. DHT is a male sex hormone that is responsible for the emergence of male sex characteristics, such as body hair and a deepening voice. As you age, DHT plays less of a role in physical development, and is seen as more of a by-product of testosterone. If you produce high levels of testosterone, naturally, you will also produce higher levels of the by-product, DHT.

Unfortunately, DHT binds to hair follicles, causing them to shrink. Hair follicles around the hairline are usually the first to be affected. Shrinking hair follicles will produce fewer hairs, causing thinning at the front and eventually, a receding hairline.

An early receding hairline is an indicator that DHT may be causing your hair to thin. Although not always the case, it can be the start of balding for many men.


Age

As we get older, hair follicles will get damaged and will often die, as a natural part of the aging process. Some men will begin to notice the effects of MPB in their late teens and early twenties. Typically, this is identified by a receding hairline, hair loss around the temples, or the emergence of a bald patch on the crown of the head. 

Many men begin to notice excessive thinning or shedding in their mid-twenties to thirties. As men enter their senior years, hair follicles simply do not grow as fast, and high hairlines become more prominent.


Medication

Certain medication may contribute to accelerated hair loss whilst you’re taking them. Fortunately, hair that is thinned as a result of prescription medication, is often reversed once the treatment protocol stops. Examples of medication that may cause hair loss include:

  • Acne medications containing Vitamin A
  • Antidepressants
  • High blood pressure medications
  • Steroids
  • Thyroid medications
  • Chemotherapy

 

If you’re concerned about how your prescription medication may be affecting your hair, consult your doctor or healthcare provider before stopping a medically prescribed treatment protocol.


Illness

There are many ailments that can cause hair thinning or loss for men. The following conditions may result in significant hair loss:

  • Autoimmune disorders such as lupus and hypothyroidism may exacerbate the onset of MPB for some afflicted individuals. 
  • Although cancer doesn’t cause hair loss, some cancer treatments, including chemotherapy, can cause hair on the head and body to fall out.
  • Diabetes – particularly Type II Diabetes – causes a chronic decrease in oxygen and nutrient supply that can damage hair follicles. 



Stress

Heightened stress and anxiety levels can affect hair follicles, resulting in hair loss around the hairline. Three types of hair loss associated with stress include:

  • Telogen effluvium. In telogen effluvium, the presence of elevated stress levels pushes a significant number of hair follicles into a ‘resting’ phase. Within a few months, you may notice hair suddenly falling out when you’re combing your hair or showering.
  • Trichotillomania. Trichotillomania is an impulse-control condition that can result in the chronic pulling of one’s own hair. This repetitive behaviour can significantly damage hair in the affected area, particularly along the scalp.
  • Alopecia areata. With alopecia areata, the body's immune system attacks the hair follicles themselves, resulting in hair damage or loss.



Lifestyle

There are a number of lifestyle factors that can contribute to hair loss. A lack of nutrients caused by an improper diet, as well as habits like smoking, are two of the largest contributors. Excessive alcohol consumption may also exacerbate hair loss for men. Alcohol is a diuretic, depleting the body of fluids that may result in dry and brittle hair.  Over time, the body’s iron levels may drop to levels that affect the body’s healthy ability to grow hair.


How to stop a receding hairline

Now that we’ve detailed the various causes of a receding hairline, it’s time for the good news: You can effectively prevent a receding hairline.

Let’s take a look at some of the treatment options available today, each of which may be able to restore your receding or high hairline, to its former glory.


Finasteride

Commonly sold under the brand name Propecia, finasteride works to stop hair loss and – in some cases – reverse the balding process. It is one of the most effective methods to regrow your hairline. Taking finasteride 1mg as an oral medication can help regrow your hairline, and is one of the most effective ways of thickening the hairline.

With treatment proving to be effective in around 90% of men, finasteride results are usually visible after six to twelve months of taking the medication on a daily basis. 

Available in 1mg doses, finasteride works to decrease levels of DHT in the body. A decrease in DHT can result in the regrowth of hair and a reduced rate of hair loss. It is worth noting that hair growth in other areas of your body will not be affected. 

After you start taking finasteride, testosterone will be prevented from converting into DHT. Because the production of DHT is reduced, hair follicles are not subject to shrinkage. This results in a reduced amount of hair loss and in some cases even hair regrow – although it will not offer a permanent fix. Once you stop taking finasteride, any hair you’ve grown since beginning the treatment will fall out.


Minoxidil

Often sold as Regaine in the UK, minoxidil is a topical treatment used to combat the effects of MPB. Minoxidil works by increasing blood flow to hair follicles and expanding their size, which can stimulate new hair growth in areas affected by MPB. 

Typically, minoxidil is applied where bald patches or thinning hair have begun to appear. It can also be applied to the hairline, and can help to restore inactive follicles across the front of your head. Minoxidil works by increasing the flow of blood to vessels in the scalp. Owed to a healthier blood supply, the hair follicles have access to a rich supply of oxygen and nutrients. This stimulates the hair follicles to produce thick and long hair which is visible. This process also works to strengthen existing hair, and can support harline regrowth. 

Although you may notice some shedding during the initial stages of using minoxidil, this is a good sign – it signals the growth of new and healthy hair. Within six months of treatment, you should notice some regrowth of your hairline. 

Like finasteride, discontinuing treatment of topically applied minoxidil may result in the new hair growth stopping, and the re-emergence of a receding hairline.


Hair Transplant

For many men, a hair transplant is the most effective method of hairline restoration. 

Hair transplants work by surgically removing grafts from donor sites at the back of the head – where hair is generally thicker and unaffected by MPB – and implanting them in areas that have experienced hair loss, like around the temples or at the crown of the head.

Once the skin heals, the treated areas should continue to produce and grow new and healthy hair.

Hair transplants are carried out in the form of one of the two following procedures:

Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE): FUE procedures involve the harvesting of healthy hair via small, circular incisions from different areas of the head, resulting in tiny round white scars. The healthy hairs are implanted into areas with thinning hair, in order to restore the appearance of a full and thick hairline.

Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUT): FUT involves the removal of a thin strip of tissue along the back and sides of the scalp. Once removed, individual follicles are removed via stereo-microscopic dissection, and then implanted back into the thinning areas of the head. FUT leaves a ‘strip scar’ along the back and sides of the head, but is generally considered to be a more effective and longer lasting treatment than FUE.


Supplements

In the event that your hair loss has been accelerated due to a lack of nutrients, a vitamin protocol may work wonders for restoring your thick and healthy hair. Some of the supplements you can take to aid in hair restoration efforts include:

  • Biotin. A B-vitamin responsible for converting food into energy, biotin helps produce keratin in the body. The recommended daily dose of biotin is 100mcg daily, although excess biotin levels are not harmful and will simply be excreted in urine. The keratin produced by biotin supplementation works to prevent damage to hair follicles and prevent them from falling out.
  • Vitamin A. A lack of vitamin A can cause hair loss, and excess vitamin A can have a similar result. Taking vitamin A in supplement form should only occur if you’re not getting enough in your diet. Sweet potatoes, fish and eggs are common sources of Vitamin A.
  • Vitamin C. Vitamin C is an antioxidant that helps prevent damaging free radicals from harming hair follicles. Vitamin C produces collagen which supports healthy hair growth and prevents anaemia.
  • Vitamin D.  Vitamin D can help with hair loss by facilitating the production of new hair follicles and activating existing hair follicles. There is a link between vitamin D deficiency and alopecia, a condition which causes hair to fall out in small patches.
  • Vitamin E. Vitamin E improves scalp circulation by providing moisture to the scalp and preventing oxidative stress caused by free radicals. Research strongly suggests that vitamin E helps to improve hair growth.



Herbal treatments and essential oils

Herbal supplements like saw palmetto and essential oils (peppermint oil) are purported to have regenerative effects for hair follicles, but a lack of clear scientific data exists to support these claims. They are generally harmless, however, you should check with your doctor or pharmacist beforehand.

 

Bottom Line

It is possible to restore your hairline; however, the longer you wait, the more difficult it becomes to achieve full hairline regrowth.

Talk to your doctor or healthcare provider about the right treatment protocol to overcome thinning hair or a receding hairline.

From finasteride to minoxidil, FUT transplants to FUE, there are several proven and effective hair loss treatments to combat the progression of a high hairline.  


Whilst all of our content is written and reviewed by healthcare professionals, it is not intended to be substituted for or used as medical advice. If you have any questions or concerns about your health, please speak to your doctor.