As you grow older, it’s natural to see your hairline begin to recede. The condition, called androgenetic alopecia, affects at least 50 million men and 30 million women in the United States.
In men, the condition is sometimes called “male pattern baldness.” Hair loss tends to start at the front of the scalp, and the hairline recedes in a predictable pattern.
Women who have androgenetic alopecia tend to experience a more general thinning of the hair all over their heads, although their hairlines may recede slightly as well.
This article will cover the many home remedies, clinical treatments, and surgical procedures you may want to consider if you want to stop or reverse the thinning of your hairline.
There are genetic and environmental factors at play whenever someone begins to lose their hair, making it hard to predict who will experience a thinning hairline.
It does seem that having a close relative who’s lost some or all of their hair from androgenetic alopecia will put you at a higher risk for developing the condition.
Men over 50 are the most likely to experience hair loss. Fifty percent of men in this category have started to see a receding hairline.
If you’re looking to restore your hairline, get started as early as you can with natural hair loss remedies.
While most of these remedies can’t actually regrow hair, they may be able to preserve your current hairline and slow the loss of additional hair.
Peppermint oil contains menthol, which may help to increase blood circulation to your scalp and reduce hair loss.
A 2014 studyTrusted Source done on mice showed that essential oil from peppermint stimulated hair growth.
Folic acid is a synthetic version of folate, a B vitamin. Folic acid helps your cells make DNA, reduces inflammation, and prevents anemia.
Anecdotally, some people claim that folic acid can help prevent hair loss.
There’s currently no medical evidenceTrusted Source that shows people with hair loss have low folate levels, so the effectiveness of folic acid for hair loss isn’t yet established.
Biotin is a B vitamin that your body uses to convert food into energy. Some people swear by using biotin supplements to regrow and restore their hairline.
More researchTrusted Source is needed to understand if biotin can help thicken your hair, but there’s research that supports its use for other health conditions.
If you smoke cigarettes, curbing the habit is one way that you may be able to slow or stop your hair loss.
Toxins in cigarette smoke have been shownTrusted Source to harm hair follicles and accelerate hair loss.
Regular scalp massage may increase blood flow to your scalp, resulting in hair regrowth.
Most of the supporting evidence for this practice is anecdotal, but there’s at least one small studyTrusted Source that found that this could work to create a thicker hairline.
If natural remedies don’t help your hair loss symptoms, you might want to try clinical treatments and over-the-counter (OTC) medications.
Minoxidil was originally a hypertension drug. Now it’s an ingredient that you can apply to your scalp as a serum or a foam, or you can take it as a pill.
The formula is typically available at 2 percent or 5 percent strengthTrusted Source, though the 5 percent strength is much more effective.
Women are advised to stick with lower-dose treatments, though it’s safe for men to take higher doses of minoxidil.
Minoxidil can’t necessarily regrow hair at your hairline, but it may be able to stop you from losing more.
Finasteride is an oral tablet medication used to restore hair loss and stop androgenetic alopecia by increasing your testosterone.
Men and women can take finasteride, but women may be more likely to experience severe and unwanted side effects.
A 1999 studyTrusted Source of 1,879 male participants showed significant improvement in hair loss symptoms after 1 year of using oral finasteride.
Dutasteride is another oral medication that works similarly to finasteride.
A 2019 reviewTrusted Source of the medical literature suggests that dutasteride works as well or better than finasteride for men with androgenetic alopecia.
Side effects, including sexual dysfunction, were also similar to those of finasteride.
Laser treatments for hair loss use low-level doses of laser therapy to stimulate circulation and encourage hair growth.
This noninvasive treatment has varying success rates and appears to work for some people but not others.
Hair transplant surgery
If none of the above treatments work to help restore your hairline, you may want to consider cosmetic surgery.
The hair restoration surgery methods of a generation ago have come a long way. These types of surgery are now minimally invasive and have long-lasting or permanent results.
Hair transplant surgery takes your own hair follicles from areas parts of your scalp and grafts them individually onto the front of your scalp and other places where hair loss is more noticeable.
This method can be costly, but it’s highly effectiveTrusted Source.
There are also OTC products that you can use to cover up thinning hair. Some products on the market are wearable helmet-like appliances that claim to stimulate hair regrowth.
- Toupees are hair accessories that can hide thinning hair. They’re customizable and can be made of natural hair that matches your hair color.
- Scalp sprays are hair products that you can apply to your hair. The sprays add color to your scalp that creates the appearance of a fuller hairline. The color is temporary and washes off.
- Light therapy devices called hair growth helmets or laser caps can be worn on your head in an attempt to stimulate hair growth. These devices aren’t as effective as light therapy treatments administered in a professional setting, but there’s reason to believeTrusted Source they may work for some people.
Living with hair loss
Even though hair loss is normal and quite common, it’s not unusual to feel a sense of sadness over losing your hair. Your hair can feel like an integral part of your identity, and it can be hard to get used to having less of it.
You don’t have to be embarrassed or self-conscious about losing your hair, but if you do, allow yourself to feel the way you feel — and then decide on a course of action.
You don’t have to accept losing your hair as inevitable. You can try natural treatments and home remedies to see if they slow or stop your hair loss.
You can move on to OTC medications and in-office treatments if home remedies don’t work. There are new products and medications coming onto the market all the time for this very purpose.
When to talk with a doctor
Hair loss isn’t unusual, but it can be the sign of an underlying health condition. Speak with your doctor about your hair loss if any of the following is true:
- you feel self-conscious or worried about your hairline receding
- you notice clumps of hair coming out when you shampoo in the shower
- you find excessive hair in the shower drain and on your pillowcase and bedding
- you’re losing hair from your eyebrows or eyelashes
The bottom line
Losing your hair is a natural part of aging for many people. If your hairline doesn’t start where it used to, you might take it as a source of pride — many people see a receding hairline as a sign of wisdom and maturity.
If you’re concerned about how your hairline looks, there are lots of treatment options. The earlier you start to treat your hairline, the more of your natural hair you’ll be able to maintain.
Speak to your doctor if you’re concerned about your hair loss.