What is a Receding Hairline ?
A receding hairline is the loss or failure of the hair to grow at the temples and above the forehead . Receding hairlines are more common in men than in women and the tendency for hair to recede increases as an individual grows older. Available data has shown that by the age of 35, about 40 percent of men have experienced some substantial level of hair loss while hair loss in women mostly become evident as they approach the age of 50.
A study conducted in 2010, by the International Society of Hair Restoration, reported that over 923,599 individuals around the world have sought the assistance of Trichologists for various issues relating to receding hair or hair loss.
How Our Hair Grows and Falls
Understanding the mechanism by which hair grows and falls is important in order to fully understand the phenomenon of receding hairline. The hair grows and falls in 3 distinct phases namely;
The Anagen Phase
The Anagen phase is also known as the growth phase and depending on an individuals genetic make up, this stage can last for between 2-6 years. The rate of hair growth varies between individuals and between races but generally, the human hair grows approximately ½ inch every month.
The Catagen Phase
The Catagen phase is also known as the transitional phase because it signals the end of the anagen phase and the prepares the grounds for the commencement of the final phase known as the Talogen phase.
The catgen phase is characteristically short and lasts approximately 2-3 weeks. During this period, supply of blood to the hair and the cells responsible for producing new hair is cut off.
The Telogen Phase
The talogen phase is also known as resting phase. It is during this period that the hair is released from the follicle and falls. The talogen phase lasts for between 2- 4 months after which the circle repeats its self with the commencement of the anagen phase again.
Causes of Receding Hairline
A combination of gene and hormone levels play a vital role in hair loss especially in men. The conversation of testosterone into dihydroxytestosterone in the scalp is a key factor in this regard . Hereditary hair loss accounts for 99% of hair loss in men.
One of the major causes of receding hairline especially in Africans and other people of color is hairstyle. The pressure,tension and stress inflicted the hair root by certain types of hair styles results in a specific type of receding hairline known as traction alopecia.
Fungal infections such as Tinea Capitis which is caused by a dermatophyte can lead to a receding hairline. Tinea capitis accounts for about 90% of all fungal infections in Europe and America according to the World Heath Organization (WHO).
The type of food an individual consumes has a significant impact on the health of the hair. A research which evaluated the impact of food and certain nutrients on hair reported that women with receding hair have significantly lower levels of iron and vitamin D2 .
The Human body responds to stress by the release of a substance known as cortisol which has a negative effect on the bodys system’s including the immune system and natural hair growth. In men it has been estimated that stress account for up to 40% of hair loss.
Damage from Chemicals in Hair Products
Many hair products contains ingredients that are detrimental to the hair, scalp, and follicles.
The continuous or application of these products cause the hair to thin which eventually contributes to hair loss. It is important to note that the application of certain innocuous hair products beyond specified quantities as recommended by the manufacturers can also lead to loss of hair .
Pharmaceuticals and Other Medications
Pharmaceutical products mainly prescription medicines have been implicated in the loss of hair. One of the first places to look , when a receding hair is noticed should be the the drug cabinet because of the variety of medications that can lead to loss of hair .
Medications that can cause receding hairline:
Hair loss is a major side effect of acne medications especially those containing retinol (Vitamin A). A typical example is Isotretinoin (Absorica , Accutane).
Anticoagulants like warfarin or Coumadin have also been reported to cause hair loss.
With the exception of rosuvastatin (Crestor), the administration of statins such as atorvastatin (Lipitor) and simvastatin (Zocor) often lead to hair loss.
Contraceptives is one of the major cause of receding hairline in women of reproductive age and the administration of hormones such as progesterone, androgen and testosterone is often accompanied with hair loss as a side effect.
Examples of hormonal products which can cause a receding hairline includes medroxyprogesterone
Blood pressure medications such as ACE Inhibitors have been reported to cause hair loss in a limited number of individuals using the medications. The ACE inhibitors implicated in this regard are captopril and lisinopril.
Other medications that can cause hair loss includes ; antifungal medications such as ketoconazole, gout medications such as colchicine, psoriasis medications like soriatane (acitretin) and ulcer / reflux diseases medications such as cimetidine (Tagament)
How to Stop Receding Hairline
The first and the most important step in stopping a receding hairline is identifying the factor responsible for the loss of hair. For any therapy or remedy to be successful in stemming the tide of hair loss it must posses the ability to either neutralize the effect of the factor involved or provide the deficient nutrients causing the hairline to recede.
Randomly picking anti hair loss products without a proper diagnosis or identification of the factor responsible will always lead to failure and disappointment in the long run.
How to Prevent Receding Hairline
Dieting & Supplements
Eating food rich in Zinc as well as other important hair nutrient such as iron , biotin and vitamin C is vital for preventing a receding hair or hair loss. Zinc is a very important mineral for healthy nails, skin and hair. In addition a good zinc supplement or multivitamin containing a good quantity of zinc can prevent or arrest a receding hairline provided the loss of hair is caused by nutrient deficiency.
Stress is one of the major cause of receding hairline in men and the effective management of stress have been shown to have beneficial effect of hair health and overall well-being.
Avoid Highly Corrosive Hair Products
Some shampoo’s and conditioners can cause the hair to thin and eventually recede while others have been reported to have detrimental effect on the anagen phase of hair development.
In 2016, a group of 200 women from 40 States in the US filed a class action lawsuit against after a conditioner from Wen caused unpleasant side effects including hair loss and scalp irritation.
Avoiding Self Medications and Medications that Cause Hairline to recede.
As outlined earlier, the administration of certain medications can have detrimental effects on hair. Discussing with your doctor on suitable alternatives or possible co administration with supplements that boost hair growth such as zinc will help prevent hair loss.
Can Onion Juice reverse Hair loss or receding Hairline?
A research published in the Journal of Dermatology reported that applying onion juice to the scalp for 8 weeks might help hair regrow and reverse a receding hairline in some people. The research involved participants who had alopecia areata, which is a non-scarring, patchy form of hair loss. One of the major setback or side effects of the use of onions juice to reverse hair loss is the smell which can be very irritating especially to others when in public, this unwanted effect can be reduced my mixing the onion juice with a strong oil based perfume.
What are the Side Effects of Onion Juice for Hair loss
- Burning sensation
- Eye irritation
- Pungent smell
- Itchy scalp
- Scalp eczema