What causes a receding hairline

What causes a receding hairline?

A receding hairline is most common in men and starts at the sides. The hair is often lost in a particular fashion such that the person has a pattern in which hair is lost first on the sides and then on the front of the head. When the hair loss begins, the appearance is often that of a widow’s peak with the hair taking on a specific V-shaped or even an M-shaped appearance when viewed from the front and depending on what stage of hair loss a person is in.

The degree of hair loss is characterized by the Hamilton-Norwood scale which has seven categories of hair loss. Baldness happens when more hair is lost than is being replaced, and it is a common occurrence, especially in men. Women can experience thinning hair but it is not normally in the form of a receding hairline, which is more typically associated with men.

Receding hairlines and hormones

The typical male pattern baldness is called androgenetic alopecia and it is often associated with levels of the hormone dihydrotestosterone. This is an androgen hormone that is most abundant in men, and that seems to be linked to the condition. In addition, it is also a fact that genetics plays a large role in balding as well. In fact, often all the men in a family over several generations will show similar patterns of hair loss and baldness.


The occurrence of male pattern baldness increases with aging and in fact, while about ¼ of men show hair loss when they are about 25 years of age, as many as half of all men show some baldness by the time they are over 50 years of age.

Receding hairlines – other causes

A receding hairline can be partly the result of other factors including environmental stresses. Overuse of certain chemical hair treatments and even fungal infections or medications can cause some degree of hair loss. There are clinics, such as the Vera Clinic, that specialize in the treatment of receding hairlines, and they can offer options to slow the loss and also provide various hair transplant procedures such as the FUE method.

Women can have some hair loss but most commonly this occurs after menopause and can be due to hormonal fluctuations. Other medical conditions such as thyroid problems or the condition trichotillomania can also result in significant loss of hair.

To prevent damage to your hair you should be careful in how you treat your hair. Staying healthy and fit is also beneficial as certain chronic medical problems also stress your hair out. Medical procedures such as the chemotherapy used in cancer treatment can also lead to hair being lost rapidly.


While there may not be much a person can do about their natural hormones and genetic factors, staying healthy is a good first step. There are also many viable options for hair transplant surgery that are available today, with specialists who are experienced and can help in treating receding hairlines.


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