Hair loss or maturing hairline – What’s the difference?

The Mature Hairline Explained - Are You Balding or Maturing?

Maturing hairlines can be a concern for many people especially younger men as it is often confused with hair loss. However, a changing hairline is not necessarily indicative of hair loss. Hairlines very rarely remain in the same position for males throughout their lifetime and although this can be worrying for a lot of men it doesn’t always mean it’s time to fear the worst.

Maturing hairline

A maturing hairline may show signs that are comparable to hair loss and will appear to recede until it reaches a point where it stops. This stop may not always appear regular and irregularities can occur. These can include a ‘Widows Peak’ which is where the hairline takes an almost V shaped line as a result of the hairline receding further on the sides leaving a somewhat larger area of hair more centrally on the forehead. Although it’s debated whether a widows peak is a sign of a maturing hairline or simply a hairline in its own regard. Often a good sign of hair loss is if the hair line has receded by more than 1.5cm and the temples have significant recession.

Widows Peak

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Source: GQ Australia

Unfortunately, upwards of 90% of men experience some form of maturing hairline or a change in the shape of the hairline. Some women even experience this and there is almost nothing that can be done to alter this. However, this doesn’t mean all of the hair is going for good. For men, signs of a changing hairline can begin as early as the age of 17 and the changing from a juvenile hairline to a mature hairline is simply a natural sign of ageing and shouldn’t be feared. It should be made clear that this process isn’t a sign of balding.

Why does this happen?

Maturing hairlines come down to a hormonal change within the body. It’s theorised that the Dihydrotestosterone hormone (DHT) is very closely connected to the process of maturing hairlines. DHT is a steroid hormone and has a higher percentage in men after puberty. This hormone causes a reduction in hair follicles which is why it’s suspected as being a cause for maturing hairlines.

Hair loss and MPB

When it comes to hair loss there are certainly some signs to look out for. Although as discussed earlier a maturing hairline may not mean someone is experiencing hair loss however this coupled with thinning hair on top of the head could be a clear sign that someone is balding. Hair thinning on the top of the head is a gradual process and is usually noticed fairly quickly even years before baldness. Hair on the crown and temples thinning is also another possible sign of hair loss. Some men get a singular bald spot and others see their hairlines recede to an M shape which may then continue to recede until the hair is almost completely gone.

Male pattern baldness (MPB) is when the growth cycle of the hair begins weakening resulting in shrinking hair follicles. This then produces shorter, fine strands of hair until eventually there is no hair growth cycle at all and the hair ceases to grow altogether. Genetics play a large role when it comes to MPB. Men who have relatives with MPB are at much higher risk of experiencing it themselves.

Hair loss is usually nothing to worry about and often has no side effects however in some cases the hair loss is a sign of a more serious medical condition.

Hair Loss

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Source: HairBro

Hair loss prevention

There is no sure way of preventing hair loss. However, it is well documented that stress can contribute to hair loss so keeping more relaxed and doing whatever possible to keep calm and limit stressful situations could definitely be a benefit.

When does this occur?

Males can begin to experience a maturing hairline from the age of 17 and most men won’t keep the hairline they had when younger. Most men will see their hairline move back roughly half an inch to one inch from where it was originally. It’s nothing to be concerned about as it’s a completely natural occurrence for the majority of men and nothing to worry about. Hair loss is slightly different and some men who go through hair loss can expect to see the signs before the age of 21 and around 25% of males with hereditary male pattern baldness will experience this around this age.

Treatment for hair loss

A hair transplant is one method of recovering from hair loss. Hair transplants work by removing hair from the scalp that actively has hair growing hair and this is then transplanted to the thinning or balding areas of the scalp. It’s not uncommon for multiple treatments to be necessary. This procedure produces the most natural look as well as being permanent.

Some other methods of helping prevent or slow the hair loss process include laser light therapy which consists of using lasers to increase the density of scalp hair. One other way is by using medications which can be rubbed onto the scalp to help prevent further hair loss.

In Conclusion

To conclude there isn’t always a clear way to define when someone’s hairline may be maturing or if they are experiencing hair loss altogether. Here are some bullet point notes to consider if you think you may be experiencing either a maturing hairline or hair loss.

  • A mature hairline isn’t always a sign of male pattern baldness
  • Male pattern baldness displays signs of hair loss for instance a thinning crown
  • Male pattern baldness occurs dues to shrinking hair follicles
  • Maturing hairlines can begin in teenage years
  • Male pattern baldness can be linked to genetics
  • If the hair loss is persistent it could be a sign of hair loss
  • A mature hairline rarely exceeds past the anterior borders of the ears

Written by: Lewis Mahoney

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