Receding Hairlines Treatment Options
Is Your Hairline Receding?
When it comes to hair loss in men, 95 percent of it is caused by androgenetic alopecia
or normal male pattern hair loss. Androgen’s are male hormones produced in the testes and are responsible for male characteristics. When this testosterone combines with an enzyme called Alpha 5 reductase, dihydrotestosterone (DHT) is produced. Scientific research has proven that DHT slowly attacks hair follicles, shrinking the diameter and base until they fall out completely, never to return again.
Male pattern hair loss usually begins around the temple regions. Once strong, thick hairs begin to shrink to very fine, vellous-like hairs. The hairline across the temples and perhaps the front begin to recede and create a widow’s peak. See illustration. Left untreated, the widow’s peak or hairline will recede further.
Although most researchers agree that family history (heriditary) does play a role in male pattern hair loss, there is some disagreement and confusion on whether it’s inherited from the mother’s or the father’s side of the family.
According to one recent 2005 study conducted in Germany, heriditary hair loss was narrowed down “…to a series of areas on various chromosomes. In an area where the largest contribution was suspected lay the gene for the androgen receptor. “
The study goes on to point out that the gene for the androgen receptor lays with the X chromosome, which men inherit from their mothers. Therefore, a man’s hairline might tend to take on the characteristics of his maternal grandfather. However, the study is quick to point out that the hereditary genes of male pattern hair loss are not that simple and clear cut with only one usual suspect (gene).
“We have indications that other genes are involved which are independent of the parents’ sex,” Prof. Nöthen stresses.. The hereditary defect can therefore sometimes also be passed on directly from father to son.
As the debate and research continues for a genetic trail continues, men are left to deal with their fading youth and searching for receding hairlines treatment options.
Frontal Hair Transplants for Receding Hairlines Treatment
According to many hair transplant doctors we’ve spoken to, the majority of male patients they treat are looking to turn back the clock on their receding hairlines.
“The first thing you see when looking at a person is their frontal hairline,” said Dr. Shelly Friedman. “When the hairline is receding, it makes you look older.” Dr. Friedman is a double board certified dermatologist and hair restoration surgeon with 30 years experience.
Dr. Friedman reports that by establishing a new hairline with 1 and 2 follicular unit hair grafts, they can make many of his patients look younger again with a natural looking hair transplant.
“That’s what shows a youthful appearance,” he said. “Establishing a new hairline gives them the ability to look younger and takes 5 to 10 years off their appearance.”
To rebuild a natural looking hairline with hair transplants, hair transplant doctors said patients need the smallest, most natural looking hair grafts as possible. “They don’t get any smaller then 1 or 2 hairs,” Dr. Friedman said.
When implanting the grafts, hair transplant doctors stagger them so they are implanted like: – . – . – . – . – . and not in a straight line like: . . . . . . . .
“By staggering those 1 hair follicular units,” he explained, “we can give patients a new hairline that is natural looking and undetectable.”
Important: Read Dr. Friedman’s Article on Restoring a Receding Hairline. Includes 10 images.
Minoxidil and Finasteride
For a long time, minoxidil was thought to be ineffective for frontal hair loss but recent studies have shown they actually are effective in treating FRONTAL hair loss.
According to a 2003 Dermatology Times article examining a study of minoxidil, 1 in 5 men saw improvement in hair growth the frontal region.
“Results at 48 weeks (study conclusion) show that visible, photographically evident improvements were seen in the frontal scalp regions of 51 percent of men using 5 percent minoxidil, 42 percent using 2 percent minoxidil, and 13 percent of placebo users. Among these men, moderate to great increases in hair growth were seen in the frontal scalp regions of 19 percent of men using 5 percent minoxidil, 10 percent using 2 percent minoxidil, and 3 percent of placebo users.” – Dermatology Times, 2003 (1) (Article no longer available without registration)
However, it should be quickly pointed out this does not include hair loss in the temple regions. Dermatologists, hair transplant doctors and scientists do not necessarily include the temple regions in the frontal hair loss classification. Hair loss along the temples is not the same as frontal hair loss. Refer to the baldness map for clarification:
According to the official Propecia website: “There is not sufficient evidence that PROPECIA works for receding hairlines treatment at the temples.“
One finasteride study published in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology repoted that 50 percent of men in the finasteride group saw a self improvement in the amount of frontal hair growth while 70 percent of the group saw no decrease in the amount of frontal hair by hair count.
When it comes to how to stop and reverse a receding hairline, most experts agree that a finasteride user’s main goal should be to maintain his hair count, ie: to not lose any additional hair. Finasteride has proven to be most effective in this regard. If any new hair growth is achieved, it should be viewed as a bonus to one’s hair loss treatment.
Both minoxidil and finasteride require a lifetime committment if new hair growth or stopped hair loss is to be maintained. If you stop using either product, any new hair growth will eventually be lost over 3 to 6 months. The manufacturers of both products do not recommend using both at the same time