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Receding temples with no apparent thinning - treatment and style advice
07-11-2015, 07:08 PM (This post was last modified: 07-11-2015 07:10 PM by ObsessedInRI.)
Post: #1
Receding temples with no apparent thinning - treatment and style advice
I'm 27 years old. Since adolescence, I have had a widow's peak and a relatively high hairline but it's gotten noticeably higher at the temples. The vertex and forelock appear to be as they always were—neither I nor anyone I've asked have noticed any thinning I've started a twice-a-day regimen of Rogaine 5% foam and plan to schedule an appointment with a dermatologist ASAP.

I can't link to an image but I will if I'm made able.

So three things:

I wear my hair long and I have since my early 20s, but it's time for a change. I'd like to keep a good length—preferably shoulder-length—but I'm not sure what style would be best. Any suggestions? Or should I do something more drastic and perhaps not what I'd really like? I'm open to lowering my expectations, but I'm clinging to some hope here.

Second: I've struggled with depression and social anxiety for most of my life, and I was at the point where I felt like I've gotten a grip on both, but this has triggered very unpleasant feelings of grief over what I feel to have been a wasted youth (which were always there---hair loss is not the cause, just something that forces me to confront them) and has caused me to regress socially. The worst part, I think, is that I don't know how bad it's going to get in the next few years—the time when I'd really like to be able to finally enjoy a social life WITH my hair. I've also recently received a diagnosis of obsessive–compulsive disorder, and I have to say that it's a struggle to not check hair loss sites and my mirror every five minutes, all in an effort to reduce my anxiety, but I only succeed in amplifying it.

In my position, would you take finasteride to try to slow things down? I'm worried, but not terrified, of the side effects as I've heard almost as many encouraging things as discouraging, and I know that people are far more likely to voice negative effects than positive (which they have a right and maybe even an obligation to do if they have experienced particularly bad ones).

(This last one isn't answerable until I can post an image)

Third: if it got to that point, do you think I could pull off a shaved head? I've always told myself that I would go this route if I began to bald (father is bald, mother's father is bald, father's other sons [half-brothers] are not bald but do seem to be receding/thinning in their 40s), but I pretty much imagined that I'd see more diffuse thinning than recession. So it's not such an easy decision.

I appreciate any advice or opinions you guys (or girls) have to offer.
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07-12-2015, 04:49 AM
Post: #2
Provide pictures of your current hair loss and wait for your dermatologist diagnosis.
Hello, your account has been upgraded so that you can post pictures. I will follow up on your case specifically, although these couple of days I will not be in the forum and we have other forum staff in the forum.

I can understand your case and the OCD doesn't help with the obsession about your suspected hair loss. First of all, post pictures and let's see what you have. If you really suspect you're losing your hair, you must see a dermatologist urgently. Good on you to have gotten an appointment already with one.

The only thing that I can tell you at the moment is to be careful when growing hair long if you've begun to go bald. Many guys are growing their hair to wear man buns and top knots, but, if you're balding, you will actually accelerate the hair loss process via the mechanical traction (i.e. ripping off) on your forelock's hairline. Hair follicles are weakened in male pattern baldness, so, as we have emphasized so many times in this forum before, you should never wear hairstyles that put your hair on a tensed state. Not just man buns or topknots but also ponytails and braids, avoid them like the plague!

Another thing is that if you're 27 and you still have plenty of hair, then it's very likely that you don't have the type of aggressive hair loss that affects men in their early 20s, as they're usually a Norwood IV by age 27. A classic example is that of Dutch soccer player Arjen Robben who lost his hair in his mid-20s.

You're doing fine, so right now the best thing that we can do is wait for a dermatologist to tell you what it is. I'm happy to look at the pictures, but always follow the instructions of your dermatologist. It's also difficult to tell if you're truly balding unless you provide pictures of the time when you were past puberty, which is usually by the age of 17 when you're done with puberty. The hairline matures as puberty finishes all the way up to your early 20s, depending on your genes. Thus, you don't get to see your real hairline until you're in your early 20s, and, sometimes, the results aren't as good as one would expect.

Post the pictures and let's see your hairline. For all that matters, you could (very likely, in fact) not be balding and the mere obsession of balding is what is causing you to panic and hyper-focus on your hairline, which has a receded pattern already due to the widow's peak. I've seen this happen a lot, when the reality is that they are not balding.

About finasteride, wait until your dermatologist approves it. Finasteride is a serious medication, unlike minoxidil. Finasteride can have some serious side effects that you need to weigh in against the pros. The side effects can be serious, including depression, which in your case would be something to absolutely consider. Bear in mind that DHT has been found to be a neuro-steroid, meaning that not only is it involved in your sexual development and secondary sex characteristics but it also affects the brain. How much? I cannot answer that, but way too many people have complained of depression, loss of libido and impotence, even though finasteride is supposed to act locally (against DHT) on the scalp.

If you want to shave your head, do not shave it all. You still have a lot of hair, so you can easily pull a military haircut like the High and Tight. Have a look at our High and Tight haircut guide and at our military haircuts guide for lots of cool short haircut ideas. The High and Tight is an excellent haircut for men with early hair loss and it enhances your facial features, as expected from a type of haircut that cleans up the sides and back of the head.

I will keep an eye on your case, but do not jump on the finasteride until you see a dermatologist and even an endocrinologist (after the dermatologist) to measure your basal sex hormone levels.

Lastly, start taking pictures of your hairline every 3 months and forget about your hairline (so you don't hyper-focus on it) and then look at the pictures every 3 months. It's there that you will see a pattern of hair loss (or not). An excellent case in the forum is this one by one of our forum members who started taking pictures to see the progression of his (suspected) hair loss.

I'm one of the admins of this forum. Any questions/issue? Contact me directly or any of the moderators. We welcome any feedback to improve our community.

You can also check out our forum's BEST HAIR PRODUCTS FOR MEN thread to read opinions and useful information on men's hair products.
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07-12-2015, 10:10 AM (This post was last modified: 07-12-2015 10:11 AM by ObsessedInRI.)
Post: #3
RE: Receding temples with no apparent thinning - treatment and style advice
Thank you for your advice and support.

I, of course, would absolutely not consider using finasteride unless it was recommended by my dermatologist.

I've been considering a high-and-tight cut as well, and I don't have any interest in a man bun or top knot. I'm acquainted with traction alopecia. The worst I've done is pulled my hair back into a tight pony tail, which I now avoid.

Here's a front image.
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07-13-2015, 05:18 AM
Post: #4
RE: Receding temples with no apparent thinning - treatment and style advice
(07-13-2015 03:22 AM)Banned User Wrote:  There are other aspects of life too. Don't need to stress out, my high school has been in your situation in his late teen year. He was under influence of other friends but later he left off all those comments and negative thinking. Enjoy life with out worrying about it. You are stressing because you have made a bad social image in your mind not others. Learn to love your self.

I know I should and I appreciate the advice and kind words. Ever since I started therapy, trying to accept who I am to accept that who I am is a good person has been the focus, but it's hard to break old patterns, even when you know they're not helping you.

I'm feeling a little better today, but it's always up and down for me. I can distract myself during the day with work or friends or games, but sleeping at night has been tough for months, even before this became an issue.

I'm trying not to live inside my own head so much, but for now I still need to do certain things to relieve my stress. My therapist floated the idea of anti-anxiety medication, but like finasteride for my hair, that wouldn't be my first choice.
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