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Early Receding Hairline: 3 Signs & Treatments

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Worried about a potential early receding hairline? Well, you’re not alone. Let’s talk about how to spot it, and how to treat it. 

Hair loss in men is extremely common. By the young age of 21, around 25% of men will start losing their hair due to hereditary male pattern baldness. As you get older that percentage only grows -- by 35 around 66% of men will have experienced some hair loss.

For those of you who might be seeing early signs of hair loss during your early twenties -- this is not all that uncommon. For some men, an early receding hairline could start as early as their teenage years. 

If you’re wondering if young men can lose their hair -- the answer is yes. Male pattern hair loss occurs in stages, so it’s best to spot hair loss at an early stage.

Let’s get into the details of an early receding hairline. 

Causes of an early receding hairline

When it comes to early male pattern baldness, a receding hairline is caused by a combination of hormones and genetics. 

Androgenic alopecia (aka male pattern baldness), is the culprit of 95% of hair loss in men. It’s caused by high levels of a testosterone byproduct called DHT. This androgen binds to hair follicles causing follicle damage and hair loss. 

Androgenic alopecia is inherited from your parents. So it’s a good idea to look at the hairlines of your father and your maternal and paternal grandfathers. If they experienced an early receding hairline and hair loss -- it’s possible you will too. 

When does hair loss normally begin?

The timeline for hair loss varies. For some men, they might be lucky enough to keep a rather full head of hair well into their 60’s while others might have an M-shaped receding hairline as a senior in college. 

By drinking age you have a pretty decent chance of seeing signs of hair loss. Research shows that by 21 years old, 25% of men will begin to see signs of crown balding or a receding hairline. 

By 50, roughly 85% of men have experienced some degree of thinning.

Early receding hairline in your teens 

It’s more uncommon to see early receding hairline in teenage boys but it’s not unheard of. Research shows around 15% of adolescent boys experience some degree of hair loss. This is called adolescent androgenetic alopecia

This type of hair loss might not just affect your hairline though. It might cause thinning around the crown of your head. (See more signs below.)

While DHT-related hair loss is possible in your teens, there might be other causes to consider. It’s always best to consult a doctor to rule out possible autoimmune disorders, nutritional deficiencies, or adverse effects of medications. 

Early receding hairline in your 20’s

Hair loss in your twenties is relatively common among men. A receding hairline is most common among men over the age of 25, however, it may happen sooner. 

If you are noticing hairline changes in your 20s, you might be among the 25% of men who deal with early hair loss. 

Here are 3 helpful signs of early balding. 

Top 3 signs of early hair loss

You know your hair best. You’ll be the first to notice when things start changing. If you’re worried about hair loss, there are a few things that are telltale signs to look out for. 

Here are 3 things to look out for:

#1 Thinning of hair 

If your hair begins feeling and looking thinner -- that may in fact be the case. Early signs of balding often start with thinner-looking hair. This is because your hair follicles may not be replacing hair as quickly as you’re shedding it. This may point to an issue with your hair follicles and growth cycle. 

#2 Excessive shedding

When showering or brushing your hair, if you notice excessive shedding (more than 100 - 150 hairs per day) that might be a sign of balding. This along with being able to see your scalp a bit more than usual is a telltale sign something is up. 

#3 Change in hairline pattern

If your hairline is becoming uneven, that may be a sign of hair loss. A receding hairline doesn’t always move backward symmetrically. Often they will recede in an uneven pattern forming an “M”, “U”, or “V”. 

Learn more: What Are the First Signs of Balding?

You can do something about your hair loss

So you might be wondering if an early receding hairline can grow back? Well, hair loss treatment is tricky. But there are multiple promising treatments that may be able to help. 

When it comes to androgenic alopecia, there are some medications that may help stop the progression of the condition. These medications help by blocking the conversion of around 65% - 70% percent of DHT. These medications might also help with hair regrowth in some users. 

Another great FDA-approved option is physician formulated minoxidil to help encourage hair growth. Minoxidil helps by stimulating the hair follicle by increasing scalp blood flow which may help wake follicles from their slumber.

Here at Strut Health, we both prescribe DHT blockers in oral or topical form, and formulated minoxidil combinations -- totally online. 

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