Adulting is hard work. Unfortunately, life, much like a pleading child or a hungry kitten, demands that you pay attention to it. Right. Now. So you do, day in and day out. What you probably don’t realize is that all of that work brings with it some bad habits, all of which are affecting you in ways you might not realize. Perhaps one of the worst ways adult life is kicking you in the gut rather hard right now is with your hairline. You may be bearding like a champion, but hairlines follow their own rules. Too bad their rules involve a cowardly retreat.
What is a receding hairline, anyway? The receding hairline definition might scare you a bit: It’s where the hair on your scalp will slowly begin to peel back, much like a beach at low tide. Eventually, you’re left with the dreaded empty bowl on the top of your head, with a few hairs clinging to the side of your head in desperation. If you’re seeing your hairline retreating, fight the urge to do a bit of retreating yourself (in this case, into the fetal position). You’re not alone.
...two-thirds of all men in the U.S. will experience hair loss by the time they are 35.
According to the American Hair Loss Association, around two-thirds of all men in the U.S. will experience hair loss by the time they are 35. A further 85% will have somewhat significantly thinned out hair by the time they are 50. And ladies, don’t giggle at men’s woes too quickly. Around 40% of people begrudgingly accepting their hair loss are women.
We can hear those desperate cries in your head right now. “How do I tell if my hairline is receding!?” It’s simple, really. You can check for the typical “horseshoe” pattern that begins at the sides of the temple. Alternatively, you can try to feel if the hairs along the temple are thinner than those near the middle or the side. If you’re a visual learner, you might even take a few selfies once a day or once a week for a month or two to see if you can notice any changes.
While age and genetics play a significant role in whether you will or will not win the hair loss lottery, your own actions could be leading to an acceleration of the problem. Whatever you’re doing right now -- stop it! You might be furthering your problems. There are 7 common things you could be doing each and every day.
1. Washing Your Hair Too Much
While hair washing by itself is not going to make you go bald (please, keep washing your hair!), it’s how you treat it right after you wash it that’s having a deleterious effect. When water hits your hair, it causes it to lose the oils, making it brittle. Your hair is more likely to snap off, resulting in thinner hair overall. Keep doing this long term, and, well, you get the idea.
2. Hot Water
Again, we don’t want you to stop washing your hair, but we have to tell you: Hot water isn’t helping your cause. When extremely hot water (we’re talking boiling point here) hits your scalp, it causes the hair follicles to weaken. Your hair is much more likely to fall out as a result. This is why unhairing an animal hide usually involves hot water. It just helps get the hair out with ease. We’re not saying your head is like a leather purse, but you might as well not treat it like one.
You knew it was coming. Stress is unfortunately one of this most common factors related to hair loss. More stress? Less hair. It usually works out that way. Sadly, stress is one of the leading causes of hair loss that is often somewhat beyond our control. That doesn’t mean you can’t do what it takes to eliminate unnecessary stress from your life. Even a single stressful event can lead to significant hair loss. We predict a beach vacation in your future.
4. Not Brushing Your Hair
Bored? Lacking the proper stimulation? Well, your hair may be bored and lacking in stimulation as well. If you’re anti-brush, you’re going to find that your hair is anti-growth. Blood circulation to your hair follicles can be impacted by follicle stimulation, often from brushing. No brushing means less stimulation which means, you guessed it, thinner, weaker hair!
That vegetarian diet might be wonderful for your body, but you can’t forget the protein. Your hair needs loads of vitamins and minerals to grow healthily. This includes protein. After all, your hair is composed primarily of protein. If you leave this one out, you’re going to find your hair is one of the first to suffer the consequences. Forgetting to put a good amount of iron in your diet can lead directly to hair loss. Yes, that means that one good receding hairline treatment is changing your diet! You know what’s rich in both protein and iron? Steak!
6. Too much or too little heat
People tend to shy away from using a blow-dryer because it’s common knowledge that heat will damage your strands. Air-dying is the answer…right? What most people don’t now is that a blow-dryer damages the surface of hair. But air-drying your hair can compromise the interior of your hair strands since water actually makes your hair swell. Don’t throw your hair-dryer away just yet, instead of using the highest heat, opt for a less hot or cool setting for that happy middle.
7. Towel Drying
The process only seems natural. Take a shower. Dry your hair with a towel. All done! But you might want to be a little nicer when you take the towel to your head. Rubbing your hair too hard can break the hair, and constantly breaking your hair off will inevitably lead to hair loss.
We admit that the list is a bit...disconcerting. Everything on the list might make you just want to shave your head and be done with it. But not everyone looks good with a bald head, and really, there’s nothing better than having a full head of hair. It’s important to face some realities, however. For most men, and many women, a receding hairline is simply an inevitability. We can bang our fists in impotent rage all we want, but that hairline is going to recede whether we want it to or not. That doesn’t mean there is no receding hairline treatment, however, and it certainly doesn’t mean we can’t do anything about it.
Maintaining good habits when it comes to your hair is probably the best receding hairline treatment you can find.
Maintaining good habits when it comes to your hair is probably the best receding hairline treatment you can find. Don’t stop washing your hair, but do make sure you’re using a good, warm temperature water, and avoiding tearing your hair to pieces with your towel. And while we certainly can’t help you with your stress level, you may want to try to find ways to destress whenever you can. Finally, check out your diet. What you’re eating could be playing a role in how quickly your hair is running away from you.