The Best Treatments to Stop and Regrow a Receding Hairline, According to Experts
Article Published by: Allure.com
If you’re looking to thicken up a receding hairline, there are plenty of effective (and fast!) longterm treatments available. We asked dermatologists to break down all the best short and longterm treatments available.
When glancing around at family gatherings, you might notice that some of your male relatives are, or are at least starting to, experience what’s known as a receding hairline. Thinning in this area (mainly above the forehead and around the perimeter of the face) is widely common in men, and is directly associated with age: The Journal of Investigative Dermatology says nearly up to 80 percent of European men may have a receding hairline by the time they’re 80 years old.
While it’s true this form of hair loss impacts more men than it does women, this isn’t to say us ladies aren’t affected. Fewer than 50 percent of women have a completely full head of hair for their whole lives, which means if you’re noticing sparseness around the hairline (also called bitemporal recessions), you are far from alone.
Nevertheless, if you’re here, let’s be real: It’s not because you want a spiel on self-acceptance or commiserating with your neighbor, but because you’re looking for solutions. And you’ve come to the right place. Allure spoke with four experts who kindly shared their insight on the matter. Ahead, find fast and long-term fixes for a receding hairline, straight from the pros.
1. Conceal With Powder
This is one of the simplest tricks in the book, and believe it or not, one that hairstylists use on clients all the time to fake the appearance of a fuller, ultra-thick hairline for photos. “[Use] root touch-up powder to fill in the area and make the hair look thicker,” explains Brooklyn-based hairstylist Tommy Buckett. “You can also use any kind of root spray that covers up gray hairs,” he adds. Not sure where to start? This one from Color Wow is a winner (literally, it won a Best of Beauty award this year).
2. Play With a New Part
Another crazy-easy way to disguise a shedding hairline according to Buckett is to go rogue and experiment with a new part. A middle one, in particular, as it drapes over the area just above your forehead where thinning is generally most prevalent. Plus, a center part frames the face in a really pretty way that might just make you forget about your hairline altogether.
3. Ease up on styling and updos
Aside from genetics and getting older, one of the main causes of a receding hairline in women is traction alopecia (more on that here). Meaning, if you’re wearing your hair pulled back tightly or styling it too often, experts like NYC-based dermatologist Francesca Fusco say it could result in thinning of the area. “If an individual is pulling very tightly at their hair, they should ease up on their styling and should also be careful while blow-drying as not to pull too hard on the follicles,” she says. Bottom line? If you’re noticing some sparseness, put down the ponytail holder and styling tools for a few weeks and see if more hairs start to sprout.
1. Advanced Leave-Ins
Cost: $90.00 to $130.00 monthly
While it can be tough to trust the countless leave-in products that claim to increase hair growth, one product that comes highly touted from both experts and editors is Harklinikken’s hair extract. Our executive beauty editor, Jessica Chia, swears by the Denmark-based brand, which uses customized ingredients derived from plants and cow’s milk to make a blend that aims to stimulate growth. Buckett tells Allure he’s on the Harklinikken system, too, and that he’s seen results in months. “I’m on this and it works. It’s amazing.” It is worth noting here that dermatologists say we need to see more clinical evidence, as most of what we have is anecdotal right now.
Cost: Varies depending on medical plan
If one’s receding hairline is caused by androgenetic alopecia (the most common form of hair loss), Fusco says a treatment plan should include minoxidil, or Rogaine, which is a medicine that can be applied topically to encourage new hair growth. Nicole Rogers, a fellowship-trained hair transplant surgeon and board-certified dermatologist also recommends trying spironolactone, which can offset the effects of testosterone on the hair follicle, or certain birth control drugs such as Yaz or Yasmin, as well as oral finasteride (Propecia), the latter of which she says women should only take if they don’t plan to get pregnant. As always, you should check with your doctor to determine what’s right for you.
3. Plant-Based Supplements
Cost: Varies by brand
While you definitely want to consult your doctor before using any new supplement, it can’t hurt to try if you’re given the go-ahead. Rogers recommends palmetto and pumpkin seed oils, as there is evidence that these can help mimic the effects of oral finasteride. “There is also some limited data that ginseng and procyanidins can help,” she adds.
Cost: $500 to $1,200 per treatment
PRP is short for platelet-rich plasma, which is a treatment for hair loss that involves stimulating growth through injections of one’s own blood plasma. For those who aren’t familiar, blood is first extracted and then processed to separate red blood cells from plasma. The plasma contains white blood cells and platelets, which are rich in what are known as growth factors. These growth factors signal skin cells to function. (More on that here.)
Both Fusco and Rogers recommend PRP for everyone, though they do note it can be expensive and take several treatments to start seeing results. That said, it’s an option that’s appealing to those who want to steer clear of antibiotics, so if you’ve got the funds available, it’s definitely worth considering and speaking with your doctor about.
5. Laser Devices
Cost: $300 to $1500
Lasers for hair loss might sound gimmicky, but according to Fusco, she’s had patients reap promising results when using devices such as the HairMax regularly. “They used it two to three times a week and after 26 days, they had results and continue to maintain use,” she says. These types of lasers generally work by delivering light energy straight to the hair follicles with the goal of stimulating hair growth. Consult your doctor first to see if it could be an option for you.
6. Hair Transplanation
Cost: $4,000 to $15,000
As a hair transplant surgeon who’s successfully treated hundreds of patients with hair loss, Rogers can’t recommend this option enough, and Fusco is on board with it, too. “Hair transplantation is a more permanent option that allows us to harvest hair from the donor area in the back of the scalp and move it to areas of thinning over the frontal or receding scalp,” explains Rogers. “The results are generally natural and outstanding; the plugg-y look from your grandfather’s hair transplant is a long-gone phenomenon.” She adds that patients don’t have to take more than a day or two off from work, either, as there’s very little healing downtime.
Cost: $60 a month
According to New York City-based dermatologist Dhaval Bhanusali, Hair Stim is the newest option for dermatologists that allows them to custom-craft personalized prescription hair medications for patients using ingredients otherwise not available, including high-dose minoxidil, topical finasteride and spironolactone, retinoic acid (which enhances penetration), turmeric, resveratrol, and more. “It’s now an option for patients who otherwise were not getting benefits with topicals or didn’t want to take oral medications due to concerns about side effects,” explains Bhanusali. “It launched within the last few months and is another important option for dermatologists to provide for their patients.”
ABOUT IFFIE OKORONKWO, M.D.
Iffie Okoronkwo, M.D. is a Spine and Sports Rehabilitation Medicine and Pain Management physician at Manhattan Spine and Sports Medicine (http://www.manhattanmd.com/), a private practice based in New York City with 40 years of experience providing the finest expert medical care and services to patients around the world.
Dr. Iffie is board certified in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation and, as a physiatrist, utilizes ultrasound guided injections, fluoroscopy guided injections, PRP, regenerative medicine, and more to evaluate and treat a variety of conditions affecting muscles, joints, ligaments, and nerves.