As you age, your hairline will naturally recede. This happens to nearly all men – and some women – and usually starts in the late teens or early twenties. A receding hairline can cause panic in younger men who assume they are starting to go bald, when in many cases it’s simply a maturing hairline, rather than the onset of male pattern baldness.
What is a mature hairline?
A mature hairline typically starts to appear around the age of 17, but can happen up to the age of 29, and is found in 95 per cent of Caucasian men. The juvenile hairline, characterised by being relatively low down and straight on the forehead, will recede slightly to become slightly higher up around the temples and will lose some of its definition. Many men worry that they are starting to go bald when they notice a change in their hairline, but a maturing hairline is just a shift in position, rather than the genetic loss of hair.
Am I going bald?
Male pattern baldness is the most common cause of hair loss, affecting around 70 per cent of men and 40 per cent of women. It is brought on by the male hormone dihydrotestosterone (DHT), which stimulates the hormone receptors in the roots of the hair and triggers the hair loss process. The hair growth cycle weakens and the hair follicles shrink, which causes the hair to grow back finer and shorter, and eventually not at all.
Genetics play a major role in male pattern baldness – if you have close relatives with it, then you are more likely to develop it. It’s more common in adult men but can begin in your teenage years.
So, is the change in your hairline down to maturing or male pattern baldness? The latter tends to present a thinning crown and/or a receding hairline with a more prominent V-shape and miniaturising hair follicle shafts. With a maturing hairline, it will tend to move up at the same distance – approximately 1cm above the juvenile hairline – whereas it will usually shift further if it’s down to male pattern baldness, with deeper recession around the temples.
If you have just spotted a maturing hairline, it shouldn’t be an immediate cause for concern. However, if you’re worried about male pattern baldness, it might be worth getting it checked out. Generally speaking, if you are under the age of 25 and in the early stages of hair loss, we would exercise extreme caution if you are considering a hair transplant. By having surgery at this stage you could end up with a patchy result as the hair continues receding, which means you would likely need further surgery in the future.