Hair loss at the temples can be an early warning sign that you might have male pattern baldness and that your hairline will continue to recede over time. While this kind of thinning and receding is certainly an alarming experience, your situation is not without hope.
This article will introduce the various causes of hairline recession, focusing particularly on the area around the temples.
You will then learn a variety of methods you can use to stop further loss and even reverse it so you can get back your youthful hairline.
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What Does It Mean to Have Balding Temples?
While most commonly seen in men with Male-Pattern Baldness (MPB), pattern hair loss is a phenomenon that can affect both men and women.
This is loss of hair that occurs in the temporofrontal region of the scalp. It may also be referred to as a receding hairline. It can begin as thinning, but may progress to full-on baldness quite quickly depending on the cause and contributing factors.
If you suspect temple hair loss, here are a few symptoms to be aware of:
- Thinning of the hair
- Increased loss
- Itching or irritation of the temporofrontal scalp
- Flaking or crusting
- Brittle or easily damaged hair strands
- A noticeable peak at the forehead, known as a widow’s peak
When you catch these symptoms early, you are in a much better position to treat them.
What Causes Balding To Start Here in Particular?
While there is one main cause (MPB), there are a number of other causes that should be addressed, as well.
As the most common reason for temple hairline recession, MPB is a condition characterized by hair thinning and loss over a period of time.
This occurs as a direct result of DHT sensitivity, and you may be genetically predisposed to this condition if any other males in your family (such as your father, grandfathers, or uncles) suffer from it.
While DHT plays a role, the way in which loss occurs is a bit more complicated.
DHT is a sex hormone (androgen) that is necessary for pubertal growth. It contributes to the development of secondary sexual characteristics such as growth of body hair and increase in muscle mass (1).
Unfortunately, those with MPB suffer from sensitivity to this hormone.
This sensitivity occurs at the hair follicle (where testosterone is directly converted to DHT by the enzyme 5-alpha-reductase) and, in men, this typically begins at the temples and forehead.
Depending on the way you wear your hair, you may experience a problem known as traction alopecia.
Traction alopecia is hair loss caused by physical stress on the hair follicles. This occurs – typically over a long period of time – when hair is pulled back tightly into ponytails, braids, buns, or other such styles.
In addition, the excessive wearing of hats or repetitive behaviors (such as pushing your hair back at the forehead) can damage the hairline and trigger loss.
Shedding triggered by stress is sometimes referred to as telogen effluvium; this is due to the interruption of the hair growth cycle at the telogen phase, and this commonly occurs as a response to emotional or physical stress.
Common stressors include external shock (such as surgery or injury), illness, and medications. Of course, a chronic stress condition (such as insomnia and Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)) can also trigger loss.
Can Hair Loss at the Temples Be Treated?
The answer to this is not exactly straightforward. This is because there are different causes, as well as different severity levels. However, if the hair recession has only just begun, then there may be a few things you can do to not only stop it, but even reverse it.
How to Treat Early Stage Loss and Regrow Your Hair
Step 1: Find the Real Causes
As there are a few different causes of early-stage hair loss, it is first vital that you discover the exact cause so you can treat the loss accordingly.
This may be difficult – especially if you believe that a number of factors have played a role. You may need to consult with your doctor, or a specialist, to find the underlying issue.
With this in hand, you can then move on to the next step.
Step 2: Treat the Source of the Loss
With the methods above, you can successfully put a stop to further recession. However, what can you do to treat the cause of the loss and trigger regrowth? The answer to this question will depend on the exact cause.
As discussed previously, DHT sensitivity is the culprit in MPB. With this in mind, you can treat the source of MPB by reducing the DHT that is produced, and removing it from your scalp.
To really get to the source, you need to stop 5-alpha-reductase and DHT in their tracks. An effective way to do this is to alter your diet.
There are a few ways to go about doing this. Initially, you can start by adding in foods that inhibit 5-alpha-reductase and DHT. This will help to lower levels of DHT within the body, and it can lead to less hair loss.
If traction alopecia is the real cause of your rising hairline, then the obvious method of treatment is to stop the cause of tension altogether. However, if hair loss has already occurred, then the damage has already been done to the follicles and a more aggressive approach will be required.
As the constant pressure on your follicles has led to hair miniaturization, you can help to treat the issue by stimulating the scalp and improving blood flow. The two most popular methods are scalp massage and microneedling.
Both of these will work to deliver the best nutrients to the follicles, and, in fact, can even increase the thickness of the hair (2).
Stress is known to decrease immune function and contribute to the development of illness (3). The most obvious treatment for stress-related temple balding is reducing stress. This can be a bit tricky (especially depending on the cause of stress), but it is possible. Here are a few methods to consider:
Practiced for centuries by many societies, breath control is a practice that can lower cortisol levels and put an end to physical symptoms (4).
All you need is five minutes and a quiet environment to get started.
At first, breath control techniques can seem odd. After all, you are not used to focusing on this automatic function.
However, over time, breath control will become almost second nature; this means you will be able to practice it in the midst of hectic environments and stressful situations.
In cases where stress is emotional in nature, you may require the help of a medical professional (such as a mental health worker or psychiatrist) to treat the underlying issue.
Certain stress conditions, such as Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and GAD, can be triggered by major life events or by chemical imbalances. With the help of a professional, you can address the issues and treat them at their source. This will lower the cortisol levels in your body and can put an end to further thinning.
Of course, if the stress you have experienced was triggered by an external shock, such as surgery or anesthesia, sometimes all you can do is wait it out.
While it may feel like it, temple balding is not the end of the world. There are a variety of treatment methods you can use to put a stop to the hair loss you are experiencing, and even reverse the loss.
Remember, the sooner you catch it, the easier it is to treat.