It’s got to be the moment every male fears, the realisation that your hairline is slowly creeping further and further backwards. Losing frontal hair, however subtly, can feel like the end of the world. After all, the hair loss is right up front, on display and can be hard to just forget about. A receding hairline is usually down to genetics – it’s so common amongst males that there really shouldn’t be reason to feel self conscious about it, but of course that doesn’t stop many men’s confidence taking a real knock once hair starts to thin. So if you’re on the hunt for an effective remedy for a receding hairline, you’ll be pleased to know that there are actually some great treatments available that have proven themselves to have excellent results.
A receding hairline is often seen as the first stage of male pattern baldness, though bear in mind that losing hair from the frontal region doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ll end up thinning on the crown or back of the head – degrees of hair loss vary from person to person.
Male pattern baldness is a hereditary condition that’s thought to be caused by the hormone DHT, produced from testosterone. DHT can adversely affect head hair, treating hair follicles as foreign objects and rejecting them. Over time, the follicles grow back weaker, thinner and eventually not at all, though the mechanism behind its action still isn’t fully understood.
So what’s the best receding hairline treatment out there?
If you want to slow down hair loss and promote growth, there are two main approved and generally effective treatments to consider: Finasteride (sold under brand name Propecia) and Minoxidil(sold under brand name Rogaine).
Finasteride works by preventing testosterone from being converted to DHT. As DHT is responsible for damaging hair follicles, suppressing DHT production is a really effective way to combat the cause of male pattern baldness and a receding hairline. With regular use, finasteride has been shown to have a marked improvement on hair growth and thickness.
You may have heard that finasteride isn’t much good for frontal hair loss, but more recent studies have shown that it can, in fact, slow down hair loss and increase hair thickness on those frontal areas as well as the mid scalp and crown of the head (though it’s not been proven to be effective on the temples).
Finasteride comes in a tablet form that you’ll need to take every day as an effective receding hairline treatment. Studies suggest that using finasteride can increase the number of hairs on your head, as well as improving the overall look of your hair. Actually the longer you use it for, the more effective the treatment is, with a much higher increase in hair count usually seen after several years of use.
It’s not a magic instant cure for baldness I’m afraid, you may well need to wait for up to six months before you start seeing noticeable improvements in your receding hairline, so be prepared to be in for the long haul. Do also take note that your hairline will continue creeping back if you decide to stop the treatment.
Any side effects?
With any drug, there’s the potential for side effects. It’s not common to suffer from side effects when taking Finasteride, but be aware that there have been reports of erectile dysfunction and reduced libido as well as breast tenderness.
Minoxidil is a topical treatment that you apply directly to the scalp to promote hair growth. It’s still something of a mystery as to how exactly how it works – it’s thought that by widening blood vessels and allowing more nutrients to get to the hair follicles, it encourages hairs to shed and be replaced by stronger, thicker new hairs. Studies have shown that the application of minoxidil can indeed lead to increased growth and darkening of hairs.
As with finasteride, minoxidil was once thought to be ineffective when used to combat a receding hairline, but more recent studies have highlighted successes in treating frontal hair loss, though not in the temple area.
Getting serious with hair transplants
If you’re looking for a more drastic and permanent solution to your receding hairline woes, hair transplant techniques are improving all the time and, when done well, can give seriously impressive results. A hair transplant isn’t to be entered into lightly though – results can’t be guaranteed, procedures are expensive and there are, unfortunately, plenty of unscrupulous companies out there ready to make a quick buck out of those whose self esteem has taken a hit.
Always do plenty of research … and then some more for good measure before signing up for any surgical procedure. It really is worth seeing what results you can get from minoxidil or finasteride before going ahead with such a drastic treatment – you may tend need a prod in the right direction to visit your doctor, but it is worth talking your options over with someone clued up and impartial before making any big decisions.
So if you don’t want to be beaten by a receding hairline, there are effective treatments out there. Minoxidil and finasteride won’t necessarily work perfectly for everyone, but they are worth trying if your thinning hair is getting you down and, given time, could have a really positive effect on your hair growth and confidence.