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Receding hairline vs Mature hairline vs Widows Peak, advice?
09-04-2015, 03:18 PM
Post: #1
Receding hairline vs Mature hairline vs Widows Peak, advice?
Hi, I am a currently 17 years old, my hairline has been a sort of a v-shape for as long as I can remember. I need to know if I have a problem because recently in the last 2 months it has been changing on the sides. I am curious if this is a mature hairline or something else. I need to know if am losing hair or not. I suspect I have a widow's peak hairline, but I am unsure.

Also if it helps: my mother's father had a full head of hair when he died with no baldness aged 67, and my father who has black curly hair (extremely different to my hair type) is currently at a Norwood 2.5 and he is 45 years old.

Thanks in advance for your help.
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09-05-2015, 10:52 AM
Post: #2
The explanation of what's a receding hairline, a matured hairline and a widow's peak.
When it comes to men's hair loss it is always best to provide some pictures. Your account has been upgraded so that you can post as many pictures as you desire. Try to post a frontal picture, a side-profile picture and if possible try posting a picture from behind too so that we can see the vertex, which is the back of the top of your head.

I will wait for your pictures to pinpoint the exact status of your hair. However I will give you some advice on the three types of men's hair scenarios that you've posted. Some of the forum experts will be posting from this weekend onwards and they're some of the biggest men's hair experts online too so keep browsing the forum as there's a lot of advice and information on topics such as this one. Myself, I am a barber with a focus on men's hair loss and modern hairstyles so by joining the moderating team here, we're continuing to build a great online resource with this forum, not to mention all the knowledgeable regular members of this forum who also post their experiences and whatnot.

I'll proceed now to differentiate between a receding hairline, a matured hairline and a widow's peak hairline.

Receding hairline:
A receding hairline is the first stage of male pattern baldness, which is also known as MPB. The hair loss that occurs from MPB is irreversible hence it's very important to catch this type of male hair loss early as it's much easier to keep a hair strand and hair follicle from dying than it is to regrow a hair strand from an already miniaturized hair follicle.

The male pattern balding process follows a predictable pattern, although this pattern doesn't always manifest through the Norwood scale. The Norwood scale starts with the first stage, Norwood I, which is a healthy matured hairline. From the Norwood I stage to the Norwood II stage, the male pattern baldness process starts by manifesting itself with the hairline at the temples receding symmetrically. From there, the continuing Norwood stages have the hairline receding further and further until it meets the vertex (which is also thinning and hence why I've asked for a picture from behind your head to see your vertex too).

This is the Norwood stage model which is used in this forum when dealing and assessing a case of male pattern baldness.

[Image: WySY1EY.jpg]

The best hair loss products for male pattern baldness are minoxidil and finasteride. Minoxidil can be bought over the counter and online, and there are some excellent brands of minoxidil like Rogaine which are proven to help with treating male pattern baldness effectively.

For some great brands containing minoxidil, see this list of minoxidil products and other hair loss products with the list including Rogaine and other affordable brands that have minoxidil as the main active ingredients. I'm just posting this in case that anyone reading this thread wants to start treating his hair loss as soon as possible since minoxidil is the first line of defense against male pattern baldness.

Finasteride can only be prescribed by a doctor but it is very easy to get it prescribed. The downside to finasteride is that it can cause some severe side effects like impotence and depression. These are rare side effects from finasteride, but they do occur if you're unlucky. The great thing about minoxidil is that it doesn't have any bad side effects like finasteride can potentially pose.

One more thing and more as a public service announcement, men with receding hairlines should not wear top knots as the top knot hairstyle puts a lot os stress and tension on the follicles right at the forehead's hairline. Ever since the top knot became a popular hairstyle (in 2014), the topknot has been coined the "hairline killer" as many of us barbers here in the United States are noticing how many guys are destroying their hairlines after months of wearing tight top knots non-stop. If you must wear you hair in a bun then choose the classier man bun hairstyle over the top knot hairstyle.

Matured hairline:
A matured hairline is the final hairline that a male achieves once he matures into a male. This hairline is a healthy non-receding hairline, even though some men will have very deep (hair) lines at the temples. A matured hairline is also known as an adult hairline, most prepubescent boys have a rounded circular hairline which is lost when the body starts to produce huge quantities of testosterone and dihydrotestosterone during puberty.

Some men develop an adult hairline when they're 16 years of age while others can take much longer to develop their final adult hairline. From my experience as a barber and cut the hair of many adolescent males, an adult hairline can develop into one's early twenties. Usually if you're a late bloomer (late puberty) you will develop your adult hairline in your early twenties while an early bloomer will develop an adult hairline in his late teens. If you search around the forum for this topic you will notice that the consensus among the hair loss experts in the forum as well as the rest of barbers agrees with these age ranges.

The problem for late bloomers is that they can mistake a maturing hairline for a receding hairline. While not common, male pattern baldness can occur in one's early twenties. Soccer player Arjen Robben is a classic example of the type of aggresive male pattern baldness that afflicts men in their early twenties. See this link for Arjen Robben's hair loss progression as it was quite shocking, he was close to completely bald by age 25.

This is a picture of Arjen Robben's hair loss. Notice on the left picture how he has receding temples already which form a small "island" of hair right on the center of the forehead's hairline. He has a shaggy haircut so the receding doesn't look as bad as it really is in that picture. The picture on the right is some six years later when Arjen Robben was only 28 years of age. His case is the typical case of a receding hairline in the early twenties leading to devastating hair loss by the time one is in his late twenties.

[Image: W1GUmK5.jpg]

Widow's peak hairline:
A widow's peak is the natural shape of the hairline being in a V-shape. Widow's peaks are not very common and they're inherited, so if you have a widow's peak then someone in either side of your family will also have a widow's peak.

The huge problem with widow's peaks is that many guys who are balding will chalk up their receding hairline to having a widow's peak. This is a big and disastrous mistake to commit as a deep receding hairline (reaching the ears or a Norwood III with no vertex thinning) before the age of thirty is usually a sign of an aggressive hair loss condition.

Here's the widow's peak of Paul Ryan (Republican congressman). He has thick hair and an above-average hair density so he's certainly keeping all that hair for many year to come. The temples simply give an illusion of being slightly receded because of the shape of the widow's peak.

[Image: 800px-Paul_Ryan--113th_Congress--.png]

I've lost count of how many guys have come to our barbershop with their egos destroyed after their doctors confirmed that they were balding and that the funky V-shape of their hairline was not a widow's peak as they (these guys) would claim. These are guys who come to our barbershop for their first time as they move to us from their old barber or hairdresser who failed to notice the early signs of baldness. Not that this is a barber's duty to notice the early signs of MPB but a good barber not only will tell you but he or she will also be able to easily distinguish between a widow's peak and true male pattern baldness.

One key factor to distinguish between a receding hairline vs a widow's peak is the hairline that you had as a kid. A widow's peak is present during childhood so it's very important to look at pictures from when one was nine to twelve years of age to see the pattern and shape of the hairline prior to reaching puberty.

Here's a picture of Paul Ryan's hairline when he was fourteen years of age. Notice how he had a widow's peak at that age. he only pictures of Paul Ryan when he was younger had him with longer hair and a fringe so it was not possible to see the widow's peak. In any case a male at fourteen years of age with a widow's peak is a male who will maintain that widow's peak for life.

[Image: UYyyG5C.jpg]

Here's a picture of Paul Ryan's hairline at nineteen years of age. Again, he has plenty of hair thickness and density to go around and you can see his distinctive v-shape hairline with the prominent widow's peak. This has nothing to do with a receded hairline, and an untrained eye would think of the widow's peak as a receding hairline.

[Image: QVSEKUK.jpg]

In your case and since you're so worried about going bald, try to post a picture of your hairline between the ages of nine to twelve if that's possible. You only need to post a picture showing the hairline alone, so please edit out anything else or erase your face from the picture.
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09-14-2015, 09:56 AM (This post was last modified: 09-14-2015 10:01 AM by markb03.)
Post: #3
RE: Receding hairline vs Mature hairline vs Widows Peak, advice?
Hi Panther,

I would like to piggyback off of this post if that's okay and put up some pictures. However, I cannot post pictures since my account is new.

I'm 25 years old and my hairline looks exactly like a Norwood 2 (slightly receded, however sides stick out just like in that picture). I believe it would be my mature hairline, as I found side pictures of my 20th bday with the same type of hairline (the only difference is my crown seems thinner than before, however I am not witnessing hairloss). This might just be an issue with lighting, as its not something I ever noticed before, but I am "over focusing on" now and there is no family history of baldness. Maybe this is just my natural hairline - dad has a bigger forehead with a norwood 2 type look and no hairloss, and hes 61. Mothers father same look (both have curly coiled hair, where mines is curly slight wavy).

One concern is I seem to have this "small island" of hair more in the center. However, as far as I can remember, I believe I've had a slightly receded hair line since I was a kid (harder to tell, I had longer hair - cesear type haircut before). So maybe this is just an inherited widows peak.

Anyways, I notice that it seems like my hair grows differently on the right side than the left. My left side seems to grow more straight down, and I can comb my hair straight towards my nose/forehead (and it will stay). However when I try to comb my right side towards my nose/forehead, the hair curls back to the other side.

I feel like this gives the appearance that my hairline is higher and more receded on the right side (because the hair curls back the opposite way a bit). I also feel like at the same length, the left side of my head looks different (and better) than the right. Kind of like my hair is not cut evenly and the barber did a bad job.

This is important to me because I keep a 2 inch spiky hairstyle with shorter sides and like to put some hairs covering my hairline making it look less receded (not quite a norwood 1 but much better than a norwood 2 - lets call it a norwood 1.8). Do you think it's a good idea to shave the sides down a little bit to give less of an appearance of this type of hairline? (by sides I mean the peak that's grows closes to your eyebrows).

A professional opinion would be greatly appreciated. If you would like me to make a new post regarding this topic, please let me know. I just felt like it was somewhat related.
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