We have a line of hair follicles that draw up the outside edges of our hair, this is called hairline. From a number of queries about hair loss problem, uneven hairline on forehead is a common concern. It can affect both men and women, which could be devastating and terrifying to both genders. What causes the problem and how to fix it effectively?
Your hairline looks weird, why is it uneven?
Uneven hairline on forehead is a condition in which the hairline looks asymmetrical. Typically, there is one side with less hair, farther back than the other side.
There are many questions when it comes to discussing uneven hairline, but one of the most common ones is probably what causes the problem.
It’s not always associated with ‘abnormal’ things
First things first, natural hairline in most people is rarely completely symmetrical. It can change naturally with age, making uneven hairline more likely. This is also called maturing hairline.
The shape of hairline will usually change slightly during puberty. This natural process varies by individuals. It may change very slightly, which is barely noticeable. But sometimes it could also be significant enough to be more apparent. Since the hairline can recede naturally, it’s likely to have different hairline than what we had at the age of 17.
Just ask yourself when and how the change appeared. The recession of maturing hairline is usually mild, not aggressive. In case if hair loss is barely noticeable (slightly hair loss) along with very mild recession, maturing hairline is likely to blame.
As your body matures, so does your hairline. Maturing hairline will stop on its own. In such case, treatment is usually not necessary. See more in this section!
Less symmetrical face
Another factor to consider, the face may also change with age and become less symmetrical over time. If the symmetrical of your face change, so does your hairline.
A journal in 2018 showed that facial asymmetry might increase with age . Asymmetric skeletal remodeling could be one of the contributing factors.
If bone structures of your face do change with age and skin start to sag, it’s natural to assume that your hairline may also be similarly affected.
Pattern hair loss (androgenic alopecia)
While uneven hairline on forehead usually occurs as a part of natural changes in the body with aging, sometimes it could also be a sign of androgenic alopecia (a common hair loss problem in both men and women).
In women, androgenic alopecia is less likely to cause hairline recession (read more here). So it’s unlikely to blame if you’re a woman.
But in men, androgenic alopecia often causes receding hairline that will get worse over time if left untreated. In time, it will cause significant recession of hairline with M-shaped pattern, in which hairline on both temples recedes significantly to form an ‘M’ shape.
What causes the problem is not fully known. But it’s often associated with the action of Dihydrotestosterone (DHT), an androgen. It’s thought that many men with androgenic alopecia have sensitive hair follicles to DHT .
Traction alopecia is hair loss that occurs due to prolonged tight hairstyles (e.g. tight ponytails and tight braids). Repetitive tension from tight hairstyles may result in destruction of hair follicles and hairline recession, causing uneven hairline. This alopecia can affect anyone, including people with healthy hair follicles.
Other factors that may make traction alopecia more likely include negative reactions from chemical relaxers or rollers, excessive use of hair extensions, and pulling pressure on hair follicles due to excessively long hair .
Genetics may also have a role
As with most people have varying degree of asymmetry on the face, the same applies for hairlines.
If one or some of your relatives have uneven hairline on forehead, and you don’t have any hair loss problem to concern – then it’s likely that your uneven hairline is your natural hairline and there should be nothing to worry.
But androgenic alopecia also runs in families. So it’s good idea to find out whether your relatives experience it or just a maturing hairline. In case if you have a family history of receding hairline associated with androgenic alopecia, you may also have one as well.
How to fix uneven hairline on forehead?
Treatment for uneven hairline is not always necessary. Even though if it has to do with androgenic alopecia, some people may choose to ignore it! Because it is usually nothing more than a medically inconsequential thing!
But sometimes hair loss problem could also lead to psychological problems, especially in women. Here treatment may be necessary.
If it has to do with androgenic alopecia
Minoxidil and finasteride are two conventional treatments approved by the FDA for androgenic alopecia. They work as long as you use them continuously. If you stop using them, hair loss is likely to return so continued use is required.
Minoxidil. The way of how this topical treatment stimulates hair growth is probably not fully understood yet. But it’s thought that it dilates blood vessels, improving blood flow to hair follicles. As a result, hair follicles will have enough nutrients and oxygen supply to sustain their normal life cycle.
What to remember, minoxidil doesn’t target DHT. So some experts say it’s less effective than finasteride. Nevertheless, it’s quite effective to help treat the recession of frontal hairline, according to one study .
But it takes quite a long time (6 months or probably more) to see a difference. You may also have an initial period of hair shedding before noticing new hair regrowth.
Finasteride. This ‘pill’ hair loss treatment can block 5-alpha reductase, an enzyme that increases the production of DHT in the body. It may reduce the concentrations of DHT in the scalp by about 60-70 percent respectively .
Although it’s more powerful than minoxidil, it may cause more side effects. But in general, it is well tolerated in most men. In addition; in general it’s only approved for men’s hair loss (unlike minoxidil).
How quickly it works? It also takes quite a long time, about 3 months or more, typically depending on the number of doses you take.
Alternative ingredients. Many people are not satisfied with two treatments mentioned above, so they’re likely to look for alternative solution. There are some ‘potential’ alternative hair-growth stimulating ingredients. These include saw palmetto, biotin, caffeine, pumpkin seed oil, magnesium oil and emu oil.
Unfortunately, although there are probably many potential ingredients for treating hair loss, most of them are not backed by scientific conclusive evidence. But absence of scientific proof doesn’t mean that something isn’t happening. In fact, we can find some anecdotes end up growing supported by science down the line.
So it’s not bad idea to also consider trying different alternative ingredients as long as they don’t cause noxious side effects.
See also ‘recommended shampoos’ to promote healthy hair regrowth on your hairline in this article!
How about hair transplant? Hair transplant requires a mature, stabilized donor site of your scalp. So it’s not your best bet when you’re too young. In general, it’s not recommended for men in their 20s.
Does it work effectively? It promises good prognosis of new hair regrowth, including on the bald spots. It works better than OTC hair restoration products, but it costs a fortune.
If traction alopecia is responsible for your uneven hairline
Traction alopecia has various variations in pattern, depending on which part of the scalp is affected. Mostly, it affects forehead area and sides of the scalp, which is usually dependent on your hair care practices.
If traction alopecia is to blame, your uneven hairline may also be followed with other symptoms such as a pulling sensation in the affected area, itching, scaling, redness, multiple short broken hairs, and inflamed hair follicles (folliculitis) . For more guidance about suspicion of this traction, see a dermatologist!
The first thing to deal with traction alopecia is renouncing any bad tight hairstyles or hair care practices that provoke the problem. For examples – avoid cornrows, braids, weaves, tight ponytails & buns, and excessive use of rollers, heat, or bad chemicals to set hair! Cutting long hair is also worth a try!
If hair loss has not become advanced, the affected hair follicles will regrow naturally in months. Meanwhile your dermatologist may also prescribe medical treatments (if necessary), depending on your situation). These may include antibiotics, antifungal shampoos, biotin supplements, or minoxidil.
In advanced cases, hair replacement surgery may be suggested. Surgery is likely to be suggested if the damage of hair follicles is severe or permanent.