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Maturing Hairline vs. Receding- How to Know the Difference?

Don’t we all wish we could stay forever young? But that is just wishful thinking. As we age, our bodies transform and mature, including our hairline. A change in the hairline is called a maturing hairline, but how do you know if it is just a natural response to your body developing into maturity or if it’s the beginning of a receding hairline?

We share the difference between a maturing hairline vs. a receding and what proactive measures you can take to manage and preserve your hairline.

Difference between maturing hairline and receding hairline

What is a Maturing Hairline?

A maturing hairline is a natural occurrence that can start at 18-19 years old. The hairline begins to form further back from the forehead, slowly changing from a juvenile hairline where the line forms very low to the forehead, rounded on the sides.

Hormonal changes within the body can cause the hairline to change its shape. In theory, the Dihydrotestosterone hormone (DHT) is closely related to the process of maturing hairlines.

Dihydrotestosterone is an androgen, a hormone that plays a vital role during puberty and develops adult male characteristics. This hormone can affect hair pattern growth and loss.

What Shape Does a Mature Hairline Take?

A maturing hairline in males makes an “M” shape, with the hair receding on the sides or around the temples of the forehead. Typically, this hairline takes form by 40 years of age.

Is a Maturing Hairline a Sign of Baldness?

A maturing hairline doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a sign of a receding hairline or male pattern baldness. For a maturing hairline, it’s natural for the hairline to typically recede 1.5 cm away from the forehead, especially around the temples. However, hairline receding more than 1.5 cm could indicate receding hairline or balding.

What is a Receding Hairline?

It may be challenging to figure out how far back the hairline is naturally forming or if it’s progressively receding. One possible sign of a receding hairline is when the shape of the hairline transforms to a “V’” rather than an “M.” The angles of the hairline become more dramatic from the hair loss at the corners by continuing to go further back.

Another possible sign of a receding hairline is the combination of thinning hair, which can also indicate male pattern baldness. Thinning hair is caused by the miniaturization of the hair follicle, specifically the decreasing size of the hair shaft. The miniaturization of scalp hair can be caused by a person’s age, genetics, or DHT hormone levels.

Keeping track of the volume of your hair could also be challenging to obtain, or perhaps you may not want to wait for the signs of thinning hair to take active measures to help manage and save your hairline.

How Can I Find Out If My Hairline is Maturing or Receding?

The most comprehensive and accurate assessment to find out if your hairline is just maturing or if its actively losing hair is by having a microscopic hair evaluation, also known as a miniaturization study.

A microscopic evaluation of the hair and scalp can help determine the miniaturization rate of your hair, starting with placing a digital microscope at different areas of the scalp. Areas prone to active hair loss, like the hairline and crown for men, are evaluated and compared to areas where hair loss is not active, like the back or sides of the head.

The evaluation should be performed by an experienced hair restoration practitioner trained to determine if the hair follicles under the microscope have begun the process of miniaturization. If the scalp area shows a high level of miniaturization, it is highly likely to lead to active hair loss.

Performing a microscopic evaluation can be a great predictor for future hair loss patterns and classes of balding. A miniaturization study can help predict where hair loss can occur on the scalp and approximately when it will happen 10 to 20 years from now—allowing patients to have a proactive approach by working with a hair restoration specialist. From then on, the specialist and the patient will develop a master plan and treatment to preserve the areas of non-active hair loss, on the likelihood of it becoming a donor site for possible future hair transplant procedures.

Final Takeaway- Maturing Hairline vs. Receding

Our hairlines will naturally change as we age. But if you have a family history of baldness or have noticed your hairline increasingly moving further back, especially at the corners, it may be the beginning staging of a receding hairline.

We never want to assume the causes of hairline change without properly evaluating the scalp. And having a miniaturization study performed on your hairline and other areas of your scalp is the only way to determine if the hair loss will stay relatively under control or if it’s predetermined for active hair loss in the future.

If you are interested in having your scalp evaluated for the possibility of miniaturization of follicles around your hairline, please contact our highly trained and experienced hair restoration specialist.