Maturation of scalp hair line

I saw an 18 year old patient today who was worried about the recession of his hairline. We mapped his scalp hair to analyze the degree of miniaturization using a digital microscope. Here are pictures from the microscopic of his donor hair (left) vs. very frontal hairline (right).

donor hair miniaturized hair

Healthy donor hair (left) vs. significant miniaturization in hairline (right)

You can see significant miniaturization in the frontal area. When we examined a few centimeters behind his frontal hairline the miniaturization rate dropped sharply to less than 20% which was consistent throughout the top and crown area of the scalp. The patient’s father lost his hair at an early age. Patient started taking finasteride a month before his visit with us and topical Rogaine about a week before this visit.

What we observed was the maturation of his hair line, which occurs between the ages of 16-25 in most men. Hair line maturation is when the hair line migrates 1 to 2 cm higher than its normal position as when we are child (kiddy hairline). It is more significant in the corners but could be seen in the midline too. As Caucasian men go through the maturation process, the hairline rises, but many non-Caucasian men never experience hair line maturation and the hairline stays flat and low.

The best way to distinguish the maturation of the hairline from the early stages of baldness is by comparing miniaturization in different scalp areas. If you are experiencing early hair loss, your miniaturization could be seen behind the first centimeter of the frontal hairline, but if the rate of miniaturization drops sharply it could indicate that the hair line is going through maturation and the hair loss may stop shortly after maturation is complete.

We stopped all anti hair loss medications that the patient recently started, and we recommended another miniaturization study in 6 months to a year to follow his hair loss progression.