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.
In this article, I’ll introduce you to the various different causes of hairline recession, focusing particularly on the are around the temples.
Then, we’ll take a look at the variety of methods you can employ to stop the further loss and, if caught early enough, even reverse it, so you can get back your youthful hairline.
Watch our video if you prefer that to reading:
What Does It Mean to Have Balding Temples?
While most commonly seen in men with Male-Pattern Baldness (MPB), pattern hair loss is a phenomena 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’re in a much better position to treat them; but, more on that later.
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. Let’s take a look.
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 – and is an essential element of “maleness”.
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.
In simplest terms, 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 behaviours (such as pushing your hair back at the forehead) can damage the hairline and trigger loss.
Shedding that is 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 isn’t 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, it’s 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.
With this in hand, you can then move on to the next step.
Step 2: Use Natural Methods to Stop further Loss
While hair regrowth is your ultimate goal, you’ll first need to put an end to the progressing loss. This will involve the use of a few different natural methods; let’s take a look!
Cleanse and Rejuvenate the Scalp
Whether due to DHT sensitivity, traction, or stress, it never hurts to cleanse your scalp and provide it with the nutrients it needs for a healthy environment.
To get started, I recommend this effective salicylic acid shampoo.
- Distilled water (1 cup)
- Liquid castile soap (4 tbsp)
- White willow bark extract (2 tsp)
- Tea tree oil (10 drops)
First combine the water and soap, stirring until a soapy lather. Then, add in the white willow bark and tea tree oil and mix well.
To use, pour into your palm and massage deeply into the scalp. Leave in for 2-3 minutes, and then rinse thoroughly.
Salicylic acid is an organic ingredient that breaks down (and prevents) the buildup of DHT, dead skin, and sebum.
This recipe utilizes white willow bark extract, a potent source of salicylic acid, and the tea tree oil adds in a cleansing and soothing component.
Stimulate the Hair Follicles
A main factor of hair loss is hair miniaturization. This commonly occurs in MPB, but can also take place due to trauma or other causes.
To treat the miniaturization, then, stimulation of the hair follicles is a must.
The easiest way to stimulate the follicles is through scalp massage. This will increase blood flow to the scalp, which delivers necessary oxygen and nutrients while also removing harmful waste.
However, a deeper and more effective option is available.
As the wounds heal, they go through a three step process (inflammation, proliferation, and maturation) that can actually stimulate hair growth at FIVE times the normal rate!
As you can see from the graph above, using a dermaroller increase mean hair count 5X more effectively than minoxidil alone after 12 weeks.
Using a dermaroller is perfect for temples because that area is easily accessible and you can see what you’re doing yourself.
It’s easier to use the dermaroller along the hairline then it is to use it with diffuse thinning as shown below.
Step 3: 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’s produced, and removing it from your scalp.
The salicylic acid shampoo above will provide you with a great start, but that’s only the beginning. To really get to the source, you’ll 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 can lead to less hair loss.
However, if you’d like to trigger regrowth, you’ll need to incorporate alkaline foods.
These are foods that can help to balance your bloodstream’s pH. This leads to a healthier environment all around, and can help your hair follicles to “reboot”.
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 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.
Both of these will work to deliver the best nutrients to the follicles, and, in fact, can even increase the thickness of the hair.
Simple stimulation methods include scalp massage and microneedling – both mentioned above. However, you can also apply circulation-improving essential oils, such as peppermint and rosemary oil, to get the boost you need.
Stress is known to decrease immune function and contribute to development of illness. 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 Eastern societies, breath control is a practice that can lower cortisol levels and put an end to physical symptoms.
All you need is five minutes and a quiet environment to get started.
At first, breath control techniques can seem odd. After all, you aren’t used to focusing on this automatic function.
However, over time, breath control will become almost second nature; this means you’ll 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’ve experienced was triggered by an external shock, such as surgery or anesthesia, sometimes all you can do is wait it out.
Must Try Mixture!
One simple trick that myself and my readers have found to work particularly well for frontal hair loss is a homemade mixture which can be applied before bed time each night.
Firstly, buy a bottle of natural magnesium oil. Look for one around 200ml in size with a spray top. To the bottle add 10ml of peppermint essential oil and 10ml or rosemary essential oil and mix together. Never use essential oils undiluted as they can damage the skin.
Now you have a natural mixture that is even more powerful at regrowing hair along the hairline than even minoxidil.
Apply a small amount of mixture to the hairline and rub it into the scalp. Leave it in over night and then wash out with cold water in the morning.
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 the hair loss you’re experiencing, and even reverse the loss.
Remember, the sooner you catch it, the easier it is to treat.
*This article was reviewed by Dr. Debra Rose Wilson.