A receding hairline is a form of baldness caused by a combination of genetics, environmental factors and aging. This type of frontal hair loss is more common in men, although women can also be affected, and it can begin anytime after the end of puberty, according to NYU Langone Health.
It is important to realize that a certain amount of shedding is normal; most people lose between 50 and 100 hairs daily, according to the American Academy of Dermatology. But if you are concerned about more excessive hair loss, there are a few things you can do to help halt the recession of your hairline.
1. Follow a Healthy Diet
A nutritious and balanced diet may combat a receding hairline, particularly if it includes the B vitamin biotin. According to the National Institutes of Health, a lack of biotin may be responsible for thinning hair — and even a total loss of all body hair if the deficiency is severe. Adults should strive for 30 micrograms a day, which can be found in a variety of foods, including eggs (10 micrograms each), canned salmon (5 micrograms), sweet potatoes (2.4 micrograms) and almonds (1.5 micrograms).
Overall, make sure to focus on foods that are high in protein, minerals, carbohydrates and "good" fats. The protein found in chicken, lean red meat and shrimp in particular is key because hair is mostly made from protein, according to the Mayo Clinic.
And if you're considering a supplement in your daily diet, take vitamins that are essential for regeneration and overall well-being. The most critical ones for optimal hair health include vitamins A, E and D, as well as the mineral iron.
2. Don't Overdo It With Hairstyling
If you're hard on your hair, you'll experience loss, according to the Mayo Clinic. This includes excessive hairstyling such as ponytails, buns, cornrows and permanents that can pull at the roots of your hair and may expedite a receding hairline. Hairstyles such as ponytails and cornrows can damage the hair shaft and hair follicles. Additionally, extreme amounts of combing, rubbing, twisting or tugging at hair may result in a receding hairline.
3. Experiment With Scalp Massage
Who doesn't love a good head scratch? And if rubbing your scalp can actually improve your hair's health, then all the better.
According to a January 2016 study in Eplasty, the open-access journal of plastic surgery, a regular head massage can enhance your hair by improving circulation in the scalp. This in turn may prompt hair follicles to grow, resulting in thicker, healthier hair. Get into the habit of massaging your scalp for a few minutes each day.
4. Combat Stress
Elevated levels of stress and anxiety are two more common factors related to hair loss. Whether you're dealing with on-the-job pressure, issues at home or financial burdens, some people experience hair loss after a stressful life moment.
To ward off anxiety and breathe a little easier, consider adopting a regular exercise plan. The experts at Harvard Health Publishing note that working out on a schedule can reduce stress hormones like adrenaline and cortisol and pump up feel-good chemicals known as endorphins.
Not much of a gym rat? Just breathe. Yup, studies like a 2018 paper published in the International Journal of Yoga show that slow breathing reduces the perception of stress.
5. Consider a Hair Transplant
A hair transplant can reestablish a receding hairline and reduce frontal hair loss. The procedure is conducted by using one-hair follicular unit hair grafts. Subsequently, a doctor takes the grafts and implants them on your frontal hairline in an irregular, weaving pattern.
Unfortunately, hair loss that's deemed to be hereditary can't be halted with surgery. Also, keep in mind that these operations can be expensive and may result in bleeding and permanent scars.
6. Ask About Medication
Medicated topical foams or solutions may be effective in preventing hair loss and regrowing lost locks. Although there has been some skepticism about the effectiveness of these treatments for a receding hairline, recent research takes a positive view. A June 2015 study published in the British Journal of Dermatology, for example, found that minoxidil topical foam induced hair growth in both the frontal and vertex scalp of patients with androgenetic alopecia when applied twice daily for eight weeks.
It's generally recommended to apply minoxidil twice daily and use the product on a continual basis. If you stop using minoxidil, any gains will disappear. According to the Mayo Clinic, some physicians recommend using minoxidil after a hair transplant to mitigate any further hair loss.
Although minoxidil is available in over-the-counter products, it's a good idea to talk to your doctor before using the treatment, to make sure it's the right medication for you.
7. Shed a Little Light
There's some promising news in the field of laser light therapy and hair thinning. Research published in the online version of Lasers in Surgery and Medicine in August 2013 showed that low-level light therapy treatments are safe and effective in both men and women who are trying to combat hair loss. These treatments may stimulate stem cells in hair follicles, causing them to restart a dormant growth phase.
- National Institutes of Health: "Biotin"
- Mayo Clinic: "Get Radiant Hair, Skin and Nails Naturally"
- Mayo Clinic: "Hair Loss"
- National Library of Medicine: "Low-Level Laser (Light) Therapy (LLLT) for Treatment of Hair Loss"
- National Library of Medicine: "Standardized Scalp Massage Results in Increased Hair Thickness by Inducing Stretching Forces to Dermal Papilla Cells in the Subcutaneous Tissue"
- Harvard Health Publishing: "Exercising to Relax"
- National Library of Medicine: "Effect of Modified Slow Breathing Exercise on Perceived Stress and Basal Cardiovascular Parameters"
- American Academy of Dermatology: "Do you have hair loss or hair shedding?"
- NYU Langone Health: "Types of Hair Loss"
- British Journal of Dermatology: "Similar Response Patterns to 5%Topical Minoxidil Foam in Frontal and Vertex Scalp of Men with Androgenetic Alopecia: A Microarray Analysis"