Receding Hairlines in Women: A Total Guide
Hair loss can be a scary situation to go through in your life. One minute you have a full head of hair, and the next, you find your hair all over the place. It can lead to insecurities and questions about why this is happening to you.
Hair loss is most commonly talked about regarding men. It is considered fairly common for a man to develop male pattern baldness during his life. Over 80 percent of men are said to experience hair loss.
Did you know that women can also experience hair loss? Hair loss in women is not as openly discussed as it is in men, but that does not mean it is not happening.
Over 40 percent of women experience hair loss at some point. This hair loss can be due to several causes and can be permanent or treatable. Some women who are experiencing thinning hair may even develop a receding hairline.
A receding hairline is when the hair on the scalp recedes. This means that the hair is moving further back from its typical position. Some women’s hairlines can recede up to five inches, though that is in extreme cases.
Women whose hairlines recede are usually post-menopause, but a receding hairline can happen before in some instances. Certain hormonal conditions including PCOS can effect pre-menopausal hair loss.
Lifestyle changes can also cause a receding hairline earlier in life, including dietary and nutritional deficiencies, high stress levels, and pregnancy. If you notice a receding hairline you were not expecting, reach out to your healthcare provider to ensure there’s nothing to be concerned about.
How Can You Tell When Your Hairline Is Receding?
It can sometimes be difficult to notice that you are losing more hair. Daily hair shedding is completely normal when it is not in excessive amounts.
When the hairline is receding, it is not a quick process. Hair slowly falls out, and the hairline gradually moves back. It can take weeks or even months to realize that this change is happening to your hair. You may not notice any hair loss until your hairline has moved significantly.
Before you realize your hairline is receding, you will most likely notice more hair falling out daily when brushing it, or you could notice small patches of thinness.
A receding hairline may also begin with your hair thinning along your scalp. Your ponytails may seem thinner, and your hair ties looser.
What Are the Causes of a Receding Hairline in Women?
Hairlines begin to recede when the hair follicles have been damaged towards the top of your scalp. A hair follicle is a pore that hair grows from. You have millions of hair follicles all over your body, including your head. When the hair follicles are damaged, your hair will no longer grow from them.
There are a few types of hair loss that women can experience. These include frontal fibrosing alopecia, which may be genetic, and androgenetic alopecia, also called female pattern baldness. Regardless of which form of hair loss you may have, bald spots can be a source of insecurity for many women.
There are many different reasons why the follicles could have been damaged, leading them to no longer produce hair. Some of these causes can be reversed, and some cannot.
Let’s break down some of the most common causes of female pattern hair loss that can result in a receding hairline.
Hormonal imbalances. When a woman is going through hormonal changes, they can be more susceptible to hair loss, specifically if they have an androgen imbalance. Certain hormones are essential for hair growth. When hormones are out of balance, your hair growth cycle can be disrupted.
- Stress. Being too stressed can harm our hair. Stress can directly impact both your immune system and your hair growth cycle. If you are too stressed, your follicles can become damaged.
Pregnancy. Pregnancy is a time in your life when your hormones are disrupted, and hair loss is not uncommon. This hair loss can be around the temple and lead to a receding hairline (though often temporary).
- Low thyroid. Having an underactive thyroid can lead to hair loss and a receding hairline. The thyroid can directly impact the development of the hair at the root.
- Genetics. Genetics can play a large role in whether you will experience hair loss, including a receding hairline, as it can be inherited.
- Harsh hairstyles. If you are styling your hair too often, it can lead to a receding hairline. The constant brushing and pulling at your hair can cause breakage and pulling at the scalp, which can cause a pattern of hair thinning called traction alopecia. Common culprits are braids, ponytails, and buns.
- Excessive styling. Applying heat too often can also cause this hair loss. Harsh chemicals and dyes can also contribute to hair loss if used excessively.
- Other health conditions. Some underlying medical conditions, such as anemia and thyroid conditions, can cause a receding hairline.
These are only a few of the potential causes of a receding hairline. Tests will need to be done by a professional to determine which one is directly affecting you.
What Do I Do If My Hairline Is Receding?
If you notice that your hair is falling out and you’re concerned that your hairline seems to be moving back, you can seek a board-certified dermatologist or doctor's opinion to figure out the cause. It could be easily remedied or something that may need more action that only a professional can assist with.
It can come as a shock when your hair suddenly starts receding. This can take a toll on your self-esteem and have you questioning your health, but try to stay calm and breathe through it — you are not alone.
It is important to understand why this is happening so you can find ways to decrease hair loss and try to address the root of the problem.
Once all tests are complete and they have figured out what is causing this hair loss, you can move forward with hair loss treatment options. Whether natural or medical, you can find something that works for you.
Tips for a Receding Hairline
Some of the causes of hair loss in women can be decreased just by changing your lifestyle. Keep in mind that this is not the case for every woman, and more intervention may be needed.
In the meantime, while finding a solution, follow these small steps to prevent added stress on your hair during this time in your life.
- Change it up. It can help to change up your hair care routine. Your everyday products may damage your hair even more than you know. Do your research! Look for gentle products for your hair during this time. You will want a hair-strengthening shampoo and conditioner.
- Avoid heated hair styling tools. Using heated hair styling tools such as a straightener or curling iron can be detrimental to your hair. Limiting the time you use heating tools when your hair is already vulnerable can be helpful.
- Put your hair in loose-fitting styles. Try and avoid tight styles. The more your hair is pulled at the scalp, the more likely hair will fall out, and the further your hairline can recede. Plus, it’s easier to hide bald patches and receding hairlines when your hair is loose.
- Be gentle when brushing and combing. Do not pull too hard at your hair when you are brushing it. This is for the same reason you should avoid tight hairstyles, as too much pulling can cause additional hair loss. Use detanglers to help remove knots and avoid that extra pull.
- Take vitamins and supplements. Vitamins are essential to our bodies and our hair health. If you fear that you lack vitamins, get a test from your doctors and find out exactly what you need to aid in your hair health.
- Eat a balanced diet. A balanced diet can be incredibly supportive of hair health. Eat foods high in protein and nutrients. Also, make sure to drink plenty of water. The average person needs at least eight glasses of water a day. This does not mean you cannot indulge from time to time. It’s okay to live a little!
- Exercise. The healthier your body is, the healthier your hair often is. Exercise produces hormones that assist with hair growth. Exercise is vital in keeping healthy hair and decreasing hair loss. Get moving, even if it is just small exercises throughout the day.
- De-stress! This is a big one! Stress is so bad for your body and hair. Try to take some time and just relax. Get away from those big stressors. You can try to meditate or read a good book. Another good way to relieve stress is to do yoga! Yoga is great for the body and the mind. However, remember that while stress can cause other types of hair thinning (called telogen effluvium), it often does not contribute to a receding hairline.
If your receding hairline seems to be getting worse or you want to change its appearance, first try a serum. Here at Better Not Younger, we’ve formulated scalp serums for early signs of hair thinning as well as advanced signs.
You can also reach out to your doctor or dermatologist for more advanced treatments. Some doctors or dermatologists may prescribe topical or oral medications.
How Do I Style My Hair With a Receding Hairline?
Even though hair loss is completely natural, you may feel embarrassed and want to find ways to wear your hair without worrying if someone notices the receding hairline. You may not be able to mask a receding hairline completely, but you can style your hair differently to take away from it.
Bangs are a great go-to when you have a receding hairline. They give you the coverage over your receding hairline that you long for and are very cute. Opt for a longer bang for more coverage.
A choppy short bob is a good haircut when combating a receding hairline. It is easy to manage, and the choppiness can distract from your hairline. You can just get up, brush the knots, and move about your day!
You can also wear a hat or a beanie to cover up your receding hairline! There are many stylish options to choose from.
Another trick to take eyes off your receding hairline is to add volume and side parts to your hair. Try to avoid extensions, as these can pull on your sensitive hair, but you can wear a wig. Wigs come in all different styles, too, so you can switch them up whenever you like.
At Better Not Younger, we believe caring for the hair you do have is the name of the game. With a full line of products to achieve more volume, serums to support scalp and hair health, and shampoos, conditioners, and stylers to achieve instant results, you won’t have to hide your beautiful hair — thinning or not.
Hair loss can have a negative effect on your mental health. But, you are not alone! Hair loss is common and there are many options for repair.
Looking at the bright side when your hair is thinning can be difficult. Remain calm and centered, even though these times are hard as they are uncharted territories.
More women are going through this with you than you know. This is just another chapter in your life that you will get through.
We endeavor to offer products and resources to people of all ages and stages to support hair and scalp health. At Better Not Younger, we want you to feel your best at any age, inside and out.
Hair Follicle: Function, Structure & Associated Conditions | Cleveland Clinic
How stress causes hair loss | National Institutes of Health | NIH
Hair Dye Ingredients and Potential Health Risks from Exposure to Hair Dyeing | PMC