Receding Hairline: The Causes, Stages, and Solutions

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When you first start noticing your receding hairline as a man, it can have a bit of a traumatic effect. A straight hairline is said to frame the face in a pleasant-looking way. A receding hairline is an indication of hair loss and aging. No man wants to look old before their time. However, it is not the end of the world. There have been several people that have rocked the receding hairline look.

Can you imagine Jack Nicholson any other way?

Understanding Receding Hairlines for Men

It might not make you feel better to know that men with receding hairlines are quite common, but it is. If you are facing a hairline that is receding, join the pack. There are millions of men with receding hairlines and other signs of hair loss.

For many guys, it can start receding in their early twenties. If you are lucky enough, you may keep it away well into your forties. But that usually isn’t the case. In fact, two-thirds of all men in America have visible signs of hair loss by the age of 35. Much of the time, it begins with the hairline receding.

Receding Hairlines Happen When Hair Is Shed Faster Than It Can Grow Back

Think of your hair as like a well-groomed lawn. The grass has always seemed to be growing fine and thick. But then one day, patches of the grass in your yard starts growing slower and thinner. Then one day, the grass stops growing there altogether. This is what it is like with a receding hairline. The hair stops growing mainly around the temples, so your hairline is affected. The joke that your forehead becomes a five-head as it gets larger because of the receding hairline can be hurtful, but it is best to keep your sense of humor through it all.

What Causes a Receding Hairline In Men?

Ever hear that the best offense is a great defense? If you can determine what causes a receding hairline, there will be ways to combat against it from it ever affecting you. If you are worried about it, it might be time to get defensive.

Aging Is the Most Common Cause of a Receding Hairline

There is no escaping Father Time. We may try our best to keep our youthful appearance as long as possible, but eventually aging will catch up to all of us. Research that was posted in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology showed that 80 percent of all European men have a receding hairline by the time they reach 80 years old. You can look at this information in two positive ways as well.

If you are fortunate to reach 80 years old, you probably have more serious health issues to worry about other than a receding hairline. Plus, there is 20 percent of men that reach 80 years old without a receding hairline at all. However, for the rest of us, with coming age will also come a receding hairline.

Hormonal Changes Can Disrupt Regular Hair Growth

There is a hormone called DHT that has a link to male pattern baldness. It can shrink the follicles until there is no more hair growing in them. DHT is also responsible for body hair in men as well. So you can blame your hairy back and bald head both on DHT.

Some Medication and Treatments Can Cause Hair Loss

There are some medications and medical treatments that can cause hair loss as a side effect. Blood thinners are one such medication. Plus, a medical treatment like chemotherapy can also cause someone’s hair to fall out as well. Hair loss can have quite a traumatic effect for those dealing with cancer, so keep that in mind if you are bummed out about your receding hairline. No matter how bad you may think a situation is, it can always get worse.

Having Too Much Stress Can Cause a Receding Hairline

The old tale that too much stress in your life can cause your hair to fall out is true. However, the good news is it will usually grow back after you have reduced the pressures of your life.

Lifestyle Choices Like Hair Styling Can Affect Hair Growth

There are certain lifestyle choices that a person can make that will cause a receding hairline or hair loss. Having your hair heavily braided can result in hair loss. Smoking can cause your hair to thin out dramatically, too. Plus, a diet lacking in protein could lead to hair loss.

What Are the Norwood Receding Hairline Stages?

Receding Hairline

There is a type of grouping that is done to assess the stages of men’s hair loss called the Norwood Scale. A hair professional could tell the stage you are in immediately. However, by using the chart above, you might be able to figure it out on your own. After all, who is more familiar with your own hair loss than you?

Stage I

If you are in Stage I of the Norwood rankings, then you are a very fortunate individual. If there is any hair loss present, it is not noticeable one bit. If you can look at the image of the Stage I rating and place yourself in this category, then you must have won the genetic lottery.

Stage II

If you are in Stage II, then you shouldn’t have much to complain about. There is barely any receding except around the temples. There are some men who have hair loss stop around this stage. With the proper haircut, very few people would be able to tell you are losing any hair at all.

Stage III

The Stage III of Male Pattern Baldness is more noticeable than the previous stage. There is a deeper recession at the temples. By this point, it is common for a man to be looking for a solution to the problem. They might have just noticed that their headline has receded in the last couple years.

Stage IV

Stage IV not only has the hairline receding even more, but there is a bald spot forming on the top of your head. It is considered thinning hair at this moment, but that could change very soon.

Stage V

By this stage, you are realizing that you are fighting a losing battle. The hairline has receded and the bald spot on the top of your head is getting larger. Be ready for the bald jokes to be coming at you at a furious pace. There is one clump of hair left in the middle of your head and things aren’t looking good.

Stage VI

Stage VI is the horseshoe stage. You basically have enough hair left on your head to form a U, or as it can appear, a horseshoe. There isn’t much of anything you can do about it either. You can’t style your hair to cover up this much hair loss. The best thing you could do is the next time you are shaving your face, just keep on going over your head, too.

Stage VII

Can it get any worse? At this stage, you will barely have any hair left at all. Your haircuts should be just a fraction of the cost of a guy with a full head of hair. But look on the bright side. If you start shaving your head, it will only take about a minute.

How to Stop a Receding Hairline

Just like Kenny Rogers sang, you have to know when to hold them and know when to fold them. There are certain treatment options available if you have discovered that you have a receding hair. Just remember, a receding hairline is usually the first step in your hair loss journey.

Lower Your Dihydrotestosterone (DHT) Levels Naturally

Remember how we said that DHT is responsible for the shrinking amount of hair on your head and the growing of hair on your back? There are natural ways to try lowering your DHT, thus stopping it from doing both of these things. Tomatoes, watermelons, carrots, and nuts are all said to help lower your DHT level by acting as a DHT inhibitor.

Try Finasteride to Regulate Hormones

Finasteride, the generic version of Propecia, is said to prevent testosterone from converting over into DHT. In fact, it has been clinically approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). It is a prescription drug that you will have to take daily to achieve the best results. At the very first signs of hair loss, jumping on finasteride would be a wise move if you would like to keep the rest of your hair. It has been reported to stop further hair loss in about 86 percent of all men. Maybe they will give a discount for a lifetime supply?

Use Minoxidil to Bolster Hair Health

Minoxidil is the other approved drug by the FDA that is proven to fight hair loss. It is a topical solution that is applied directly to the scalp. It has been shown to stop hair loss and even produce new growth. It can be purchased over the counter and can come in either a spray or foam. Some people like to use both minoxidil and finasteride in combination to achieve the best results.

Change Your Lifestyle to Reduce Stress

Reducing the stress and anxiety in your life could definitely help with hair loss. Incorporating exercise and proper nutrition could also be beneficial as well. Part of the reason hair loss occurs in the first place is dwindling blood circulation to the scalp. It would make sense that exercise could increase circulation and promote healthy hair growth.

How to Pick a Hairstyle for Receding Hairline

There are some basic receding hairline hairstyles for men that could be used to help hide a receding hairline. For example, some men do apart near the middle of their scalp. If your hair is thinning, it might be better to do a side part instead.

Also, keeping hair extremely short on the sides can hide a receding hairline at the temples and make it much less noticeable. Of course, depending upon how much your hairline has receded, there is always the possibility of taking out the electric clippers and having a buzz cut. With such a close crop hairstyle, it is tough to pinpoint a receding hairline.

Decide What You Want to Do

The first decision you have to make is to decide what you would like to do. How are you going to approach a receding hairline? If you catch it early enough and want it to stop receding, you may have to make a lifetime commitment to finasteride. The good news is that finasteride is not that costly, but you do need a doctor’s prescription for it.

If you choose to ignore it and hope it doesn’t get any worse, you can always do that as well. But there is a good chance you will be kicking yourself at a later date when you look into the mirror and notice even more hair loss. A receding hairline is usually just the beginning of hair loss, so expect more of it.

Remember that this is something most men will face in their lifetime. It is nothing to be ashamed of. Just figure out the best way to deal with it for you.

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