How to define the receding hairline

If you are reading this article, you may have found out that your hairline is starting to recede. You do not have to prematurely worry, since it is not said that in a few years you will become like price William.

First of all, let’s clarify this theme and let’s take a look at examples and tables that will help us in understanding the matter.

When can a men be defined as a receding one?


The not-receding hairline (Juvenile Hairline)

An example of someone with a “closed” and “low” hairline (contraries of a receding hairline) are Colin Farrel and Brad Pitt.

Two extreme cases of closed and low hairline are the football players Steven Gerrard and Gennaro Gattuso.

In these cases, the hairline is straight and low on the sides too, giving to the forehead a rectangular shape.


A minor or masculine hair receding (Mature Hairline)

A minor hair receding is the one that characterises the actor Joel Kinnaman. In his case it is possible to notice a light V that forms the lateral closure of the hairline.

Henry Cavill’s hairline instead can be defined as receding. In this case, the temples are uncovered and the hairline consists in a central climp that creates a pretty pronounced V shape.


The real receding hairline considered as incipient baldness

The actor Jim Parsons (aka Sheldon Cooper from Big Bang Theory) can be defined as characterised by a accentuated receding hariline. Of course, this before he underwent an hair transplantation, but this is another story.
In this case, the hairline barely exsists. Hair starts from the mid of the head and, even if they go low, they cannot cover the forehead. The hairline is receding and high.

Another example is the actor Nicolas Cage in recent times.


How do I understand if my receding hairline is physiological or a beginning of androgenic alopecia?

A precise border between receding hairline and beginning of baldness does not exist. The problem is that many people naturally own an high hairline, which can be easly confused with the first stages of the androgenic alopecia.
In fact, the first three phases of the androgenic alopecia mainly present a progressively increasing receding hairline. This phenomenon does not happen for some patterns, such as the one that starts from the crown, typical of some baldnesses such as Zinedine Zidane’s one. However, in all the frontal patterns (1,2 and 5, the most common) the first 3 stages are similar to the physiological (natural) receding hairlime.

So, the question is: is it possible to present a natural receding hairline without suffering from androgenic alopecias? The answer is yes. A perfect example is the american swimmer Katie Ledecky, who presents a natural receding hairline but that is immune to the masculine androgenic alopecia.

When can I be sure that mine is not only a mature hairline but a real androgenic alopecia?

First of all, it is important to underline that this question should be asked to a dermatologist, even if many times doctors have different opinionis. Some doctors diagnose an androgenic alopecia as soon as a signal of receding hairline occurs. Others prefer to wait until greater receding and hair loss occur.

Anyway, when a person presents a receding hairline higher that level 3, he can be pretty sure to suffer from androgenic alopecia. A classic example is the actor Jude Law. High levels of receding hairline do not exist in nature, if not due to the androgenic alopecia.


Another sign of androgenic alopecia, in addition to the receding hairline, is the presence of the miniaturized hair. This hair pass from being healty to a vellus status (dying and almost invisible hair). This thinning process represents the de-evolution of the hair follicles, typical of the androgenic alopecia. The presence of this hair on the sides of the hairline is often a symptom of androgenic alopecia


What if I only have a natural receding hairline?

On the contrary, which are the signs of a physiological receding hairline (mature hairline)? It is important to underline that, normally, between 17 and 23 years old, the typical masculine secondary and somatic characters develop. For example, the beard often does not reach its full lenght until the person is 23/25 years old. Moreover, while aging, the skin and the tissues expand and the bones of the face move, making the face larger and bigger. In addition to this, it is pretty common to gain some weight while getting older. This means that a minor receding hairline when you are 19 years old  or older is not a symptom of androgenic alopecia. Good clues to look for are pictures of the receding hairline in the teenage period and in the pre-teenage one. If when you were children and teenagers your hairline already was characterised by a V shape and this shape has not changed much, this is a good sign. A second clue can be found studying the hairlines of your male relatives, not only father and brothers, but also distant relatives. If other relatives present a minor receding hairline without other signs of baldness, this is another good sign.

Lastly, another good sing is the absence of miniaturised hair. If the hairline is a little bit receding but the hair is strong and healty on this line, it is likely to be only a physiological receding hairline.


Final comments

To conclude, we absolutely have to specify that the hairloss world is very complex and that it can be hard to understand some concepts for who does not know much about this theme. There are lots of technicalities and there are many theories, sometimes even contradictory. Moreover, in order to understand how much is still unknown also to the experts, it is enough to think that the two main drugs aganist androgenic alopecia, Minoxidil and Finasteride, has been discovered by chance (the first one was used against hypertension and the second against bening prostatic hyertrophy) and that the way they work is not totally clear yet.



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