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What can I do for a receding hairline?

Question posted by Dan from Barrie, ON

What can I do for a receding hairline? My hair line has been receding since I was in my 20s and I think it will get worse because my Dad has the same thing. It looks kind of like a wave. It’s receded on one side, comes back down in the middle and then recedes again on the other side. What can I do?

Doctor's Response

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2 thoughts on “What can I do for a receding hairline?

  • Dear Dan,

    Thank you for your clinical post and
    this is a very common question.  Receding
    hairlines are usually due to an androgenic male pattern alopecia or genetic
    hair loss.  Whereas females lose and thin
    hair within the central oval of the top of the scalp and never go bald, lose
    hair from the crown of mid scalp and significantly thin and even end up
    completely bald.  This is a genetic
    condition that arises from an ineffective enzyme in the follicle cells of the
    hair at the top of the scalp.  This
    enzyme called 5-alpha reductase cannot break testosterone down into useable
    components and leads to a buildup of 2 3 dihydrotestosterone by fairly lethal
    chemical element that over time terminates the follicles ability to produce a
    hair shaft.

    There are some medical non-surgical
    treatments including the use of androgen blockers such as Finasteride and
    Propecia.  These block the production of
    androgen at the level of the male testis which reduces the amount of
    circulating testosterone and hence diminishes the buildup of 2 3
    dihydrotestosterone and the local toxic effects on the scalp.  Propecia and Finasteride are the only known mechanisms
    to significantly delay or even eliminate male pattern hair loss.  There are some risks associated with taking
    androgen blockade and you should meet with your dermatologist or
    endocrinologist to discuss these issues.  
    Other non-surgical methods such as Minoxidil which causes scalp
    vasodilatation, injections of stem cells like PRP or plasma rich protein,
    topical nutrient serums, nutrient shampoos and low-level light therapy can
    augment the growth of hair, but not significantly delay the genetically
    preprogrammed onset of male pattern hair loss.

    To restore normal hairline or areas
    of significant thinning hair transplantation is still the mainstay of
    treatment.  Hair transplantation can be
    divided into strip graft harvest techniques or follicular unit extraction.  Follicular unit extraction or FUE uses small
    micro rotatory punches either automated or robotic to harvest the hair families
    as they grow leaving a small circular defect that heals imperceptibly.  Strip graft has been around longer, but
    leaves a donor site scar.  Centres
    specialized in FUE can provide extremely natural hair restoration without a
    donor site scar, but takes far more expertise, the investment and expensive
    technology and very few centres in Canada are willing to invest in that.

    At SpaMedica we have pioneered the
    use of automated and robotic FUE and are Canada’s busiest and most reputable
    FUE hair transplant centre.  I would
    recommend you meet with an FUE centre and a strip graft centre and assess your
    options, but be reassured that natural hairlines and significant density can be
    achieved with modern hair transplantation techniques.

    Best of luck.

    To find out more, please visit: https://www.spamedica.com/hair/hair-loss-and-baldness-treatments-in-toronto/fue-hair-transplantation/

    R. Stephen Mulholland, M.D.

    Certified Plastic Surgeon

    Yorkville, Toronto

  • Hi DanReceding hairlines in men are often a sign of genetic hair loss, but part of these changes can also come from a phenomenon called hairline maturation. So, it’s important for young men to be aware of both of these changes. You’re right that there is a familial contribution – the inheritance comes from mom’s’ side and dad’s side. Treatments include minoxidil and finasteride, both of which are FDA approved. Treatments including low level laser and PRP can be considered. After 25, consideration can be given to whether a hair transplant could benefit. Hope this helps,DrDonovan

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