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Mature or Receding Hairline: when should I be worried?

  • 29th April 2024
  • 11 min read

Our hairlines play a significant role in our self-confidence and are one of our most striking features. A full, thick hairline is often seen as the ideal, and anything less than this can greatly impact how happy we feel about our appearance.

As you age, you may find that your hairline has changed slightly over time. The good news is that this isn't automatically a reason to worry. In fact, almost all of us will see some changes to our hairline as we get older.

That said, it can be difficult to discern whether these changes are simply a mature hairline resulting from the passage of time or whether you're developing a receding hairline — one of the early signs of balding. While the former is a natural process requiring no interference, a receding hairline will worsen if not treated. In this guide, we'll explain the difference between the two, helping you identify whether your hairline is a cause for concern.


Understanding Your Hairline

As you get older, your hairline naturally undergoes several changes. As a result, you may notice that the gap between your eyebrows and hairline seems wider or see some hair loss when combing your hair in the morning. Although this can feel alarming, it's important to understand whether these changes occur due to maturity or whether you'll need to speak to a hair loss specialist.

What is a Mature Hairline?

When we're younger, our hairline is referred to as 'juvenile'. Typically, this hairline has rounded edges and cuts straight across the top of the forehead. Your hair will often be rich in colour, thick, and voluminous.

A 'mature hairline' refers to the natural change that occurs as your hairline transitions from its 'juvenile' state to its final form between the ages of 25 and 30. Like every other body part, your hairline changes with age — due to lifestyle choices and hormonal changes. Over time, your hairline will fluctuate in thickness, colour, and shape. 

As your hairline matures, it's normal to notice some slight thinning of your hair, along with a greater distance between the eyebrows and hairline. This is because the hairline naturally moves backwards slightly over time, and the thinning of hair follicles causes hair loss. Unlike your juvenile hairline, you may observe that your hairline has now taken on more of a sharp, M-shaped appearance or even a V-shape — commonly known as a 'widow's peak'.

While these changes sound drastic, the good news is that they take place relatively slowly over a few years. Once you hit 30, your mature hairline will have fully formed, and it’s unlikely that it will undergo any significant changes in shape. 

What is a Receding Hairline?

Although you are expected to lose some hair as your hairline reaches maturity, excessive hair loss can indicate something else. A 'receding hairline' is the most prominent symptom of pattern baldness — a common hair loss condition (androgenetic alopecia) that affects around 6.5 million men and 8 million women in the UK alone. This condition causes the hormone testosterone to convert into dihydrotestosterone (DHT), which forces the hair follicles to become inactive.

A receding hairline is characterised by progressive hair loss, creating pattern-like bald patches across the hairline and wider scalp area. This hair loss often begins at the temples and forehead, creating a trademark 'M' or 'U' shaped hairline. While a mature hairline recedes evenly, a receding hairline will often result in more significant hair loss in certain areas, creating an uneven hairline.

Unlike a mature hairline, a receding hairline can occur anytime — regardless of age. A mature hairline will reach its final look by age 30, whereas a receding hairline will continue to worsen until there is complete baldness on the scalp. Because of this, many who experience pattern baldness choose to undergo treatment to repair their hairline and prevent balding.


Causes for Hairline Changes

Your hairline can change for various reasons, and many conditions that cause hair loss are temporary. Some of the most common causes for changes in your hairline include:

  • Stress — Excessive amounts of stress can cause the body to produce higher cortisol levels. This hormone can cause telogen effluvium, causing hair follicles to enter a premature 'resting period', resulting in mass hair loss.
  • Genetics — Unfortunately, genetics can predispose you to hairline changes and hair loss. If you have a family history of pattern baldness, there is a high likelihood that you will also lose your hair to this condition.
  • Hormones — Many forms of hair changes are caused by the presence of too much DHT (dihydrotestosterone). This hormone causes hair follicles to shrink, leading to hair loss.
  • Ageing — As you age, your hairline naturally undergoes a maturation process that makes it marginally further back on the head and may create slightly thinner hair.
  • Hair care — How well you take care of your hair and how you style it can also contribute to hair loss. Frequently tying your hair back into restrictive styles, such as a ponytail, can lead to traction alopecia, meaning your hair follicles are pulled from the scalp.
  • Diet — A healthy and balanced diet is essential to maintain the health of your hair. Eating plenty of protein and vegetables is critical to a thick, healthy head of hair. In contrast, eating a nutritionally poor diet can cause your hair to become frail and may lead to excess hair loss.


How to Diagnose Your Hairline

Although very different conditions cause a mature and receding hairline, they share some similarities in appearance — particularly in the early stages of pattern baldness. The secret to diagnosing whether your hair is simply getting older or whether you could benefit from hair restoration treatment is in the following factors:

Family history

Pattern baldness is a hereditary condition, meaning it is passed down from parents to their children. If you have relatives with pattern baldness, there are higher chances that you will also. To help you determine whether you have a likelihood of experiencing androgenetic alopecia, you should speak to your close family members and determine whether there is a family history of the condition.


A mature hairline forms between the ages of 25-30 and will not continue to change and develop after this. To determine whether your hairline is receding, it's important to consider your age now and the age you were when you first noticed your hairline thinning. Statistically, you are far more likely to see the appearance of a receding hairline during your late teens and mid-twenties, far before your hairline starts to mature. If you're older than 25 and noticing changes to your hairline, it's likely due to age. However, if you're over 30, it's worth speaking to a hair specialist to determine whether it could be due to pattern baldness.


Although there are certainly some similarities between the two, a receding hairline typically has a far more dramatic appearance. Your hairline may be uneven and sharp, whereas a mature hairline is normally a softer 'M' or 'V' shape, with relatively even hair thinning/loss on either side.

A hair restoration expert is the best person to help you identify any potential issues with your hairline, so if you have any doubts about the cause of your hairline changes, it's always recommended to speak to a professional. These experts will analyse your hair loss using the Norwood Scale to decide whether treatment is needed. In many cases, catching hair loss early is the secret to achieving better results during treatment.


Non-Surgical Treatment and Management

If you have determined that your hairline is receding, there's no need to panic. Technological and scientific advances mean that there are now, thankfully, a variety of treatment options available for a receding hairline.

A standard treatment for receding hairlines is the use of medications. In particular, Finasteride and Minoxidil are often prescribed to help promote hair growth and slow down the effects of hair loss. These are commonly used as a combination of oral and topical applications, targeting hair loss from multiple angles.

Other non-surgical options include Low-Light Laser Therapy (LLLT), which uses a medical-grade laser to stimulate new hair growth on the scalp.

In many cases, it is advisable to make some lifestyle changes to help your hair return to health and prevent further balding. These changes will depend on the type of hair loss you are experiencing, but the most common areas for improvement are:

  • Reducing stress levels
  • Eating a balanced diet
  • Introduce Vitamin A supplements
  • Wash your hair regularly
  • Use gentle styling methods


Hair Transplant Surgery: FUE Technique

The most common surgical treatment for a receding hairline is an FUE (follicular unit extraction) hair transplant. This process uses minimally invasive surgery to extract healthy hair follicles from a donor area (often on the back or side of the scalp) and transplant them into the areas that have experienced hair loss.

In 2021 alone, over 700,000 FUE hair transplants were performed, indicating their rapid surge in popularity. These procedures have become favoured for their natural-looking results and quick recovery times, with many patients requiring just two weeks to feel back to normal.

In addition to their remarkable recovery times, FUE transplants leave minimal scarring — making them a preferential treatment method for hair loss across the head and face.


Why Choose FUE Clinics?

At FUE Clinics, we have the know-how and experience to deliver fantastic results time and time again. Founded in 2007, we have been performing FUE hair transplants for well over a decade. Our aim has always been to switch the focus in a field that has long prioritised profit over patient care, which is why we offer various flexible payment options to our clients — including 0% finance schemes to help everyone achieve the hair of their dreams.

Our expert surgeons perform cutting-edge surgeries daily, providing long-lasting, natural-looking results catering to each individual's needs. We're committed to upholding the highest standards of care for our patients, which is why our surgeons are registered members of the Care Quality Commission (CQC) and the General Medical Council (GMC).


Restore Your Hairline With FUE Clinics

At FUE Clinics, we understand the importance of a healthy hairline and how hair loss can impact your confidence. We pride ourselves in being the UK's number one hair restoration specialist, providing industry-leading hair transplant services to thousands of patients every year.

So, if you're ready to start your hair restoration journey and replenish your hairline, book your free consultation with one of our experienced specialists today. 

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