While hair thinning and loss is common with age, watching your hairline go back a few millimetres each time you look in the mirror can feel justifiably stressful. Fortunately, help is at hand. With a timely diagnosis of the root cause of the hair loss and vigilant preventive measures, it is possible to put a stopper in the process. From the hairstyle changes to the DIY hair care tips that can boost hair growth, here’s all that you need to know.
What is a receding hairline and what are its causes?
When the hair strands along the hairline area start thinning and become sparse, giving the appearance of a broader forehead, it is considered as a receding hairline, says dermatologist Dr Jamuna Pai. She adds, “It can start as early as in the mid-to-late 20s. While the most common cause of a receding hairline in men is genetic male pattern hair loss, it can occur in women due to the extreme tension and traction of certain hairstyles. While genetic reasons cannot be treated, hormonal and lifestyle choices can be managed and improved over time.”
Dr Khushboo Thakker Garodia, a Mumbai-based trichologist, seconds the notion. “In women, it is commonly observed as the V-shape created in the middle of the head, also known as a widow’s peak, as the hairline recedes. This is often a natural part of ageing. There are thousands of hair follicles on the surface of the scalp from which the hair grows. As these strands fall, new ones replace them but if the follicles become damaged for any reason, the result can be hair loss and a receding hairline,” she explains. Hormonal changes can also serve as a trigger for the damage of hair follicles. “The hormone called dihydrotestosterone (DHT) is linked to pattern baldness in both men and women as it causes the hair follicles to reduce in size to a point that new hair cannot grow from it,” she adds.
If you are looking to weed out other suspects for a receding hairline, it might be time to reconsider extremely tight ponytails in your hairstyle lineup. “Also known as traction alopecia, when the hair is tied tightly backwards, the hair follicles experience a pull, making them weak and more susceptible to falling. Looser ponytails or making the switch to a different hairstyle that does not pull the hair can offer some respite from traction alopecia,” explains Dr Pai.
How to treat a receding hairline
While there are a wide array of in-clinic treatments that can sufficiently combat a receding hairline, if you don’t have access to a dermatologist during the lockdown, both experts believe that certain at-home remedies can be called upon for help as well.
- If you’re looking for a leg up, you’ll want to add hair supplements to your diet. Vitamin D is known to be beneficial in strengthening hair while Vitamin B complex can contribute to hair density and the quality of hair shaft as well. Biotin is also a handy agent to fortify hair and help it grow faster and stronger.
- Make the switch to a high-protein diet that helps in reducing hair fall along the hairline while also promoting new hair growth.
- Eggs also serve as an excellent source of protein, and the egg yolk contains peptides that stimulate hair follicle growth. To give your hair an extra boost of strength, beat one egg yolk and apply it on the follicles as well as the hair and leave it on for an hour before rinsing it with shampoo.
- Likewise, the caffeine present in coffee can help the growth of new hair follicles. Mix one tablespoon of honey with a similar amount of olive oil and add two teaspoons of coffee powder. Apply the mixture as a mask on the scalp, leave it on for 20 minutes and rinse with shampoo.
- Fresh lemon juice or lemon oil also makes for a worthy candidate to boost hair growth and maintain a healthy scalp. To leverage its benefits, apply fresh lemon juice to your scalp and hair 15 minutes before you shampoo. Alternatively, you can choose to add some lemon to your hair mask of choice as well.
- Massaging the area along the hairline with nourishing oils, such as coconut oil and almond oil, helps in inducing blood circulation, thereby leading to the strengthening of hair.
- The use of a topical solution, such as Minoxidil, can significantly help in volumising the hair and concealing a receding hairline.
How to prevent a receding hairline
If you are looking to prevent your hairline from receding, some handy measures in time can always help. The first step towards a healthier, fuller hairline is investigating the underlying cause for hair fall, believes Dr Pai. She advises, “Knowing about the cause can help significantly in reducing hair fall, such as vitamin and iron deficiencies, thyroid insufficiency, hormonal or lifestyle causes. Diet modifications can also strengthen hair while regular exercise and yoga are also recommended to help calm the mind. A soothed mind will conquer stress, thereby reduce hair thinning.”