Thami Kwazi
Lifestyle Print Editor
4 minute read
15 Jun 2021
4:08 pm

How to get your receding hairline back

Thami Kwazi

Hairline loss can lead to extreme self esteem issues and hiding behind wearing hats daily. Here's some solutions to the condition.

Picture: iStock

Bringing back a hairline isn’t as easy as losing it and can be very challenging.

Usually the person whose hair is gone in the front saw it happening but proceeded to do a damaging style.

Follicles at the front of the head tend to be far more fragile than the rest of the head and even the most minimal tug can yank them out to the point of no return.

Many factors come into play with hairline loss.

-Hormones (pregnancy)
-Genetics
-Alopecia areata (immune based)
-Traction alopecia (tight hairstyles)

The most common is traction alopecia (pulling the hair so tightly it yanks out and stops growing).

All the ointments in the world and rice water won’t fix a hairline that’s gone, a distinctive sign of this is a shiny bald patch with baby smooth follicles.

What do the experts say?

Dr Reza of Anti-aging Art says: “It is important to understand that baldness is a condition by which the hair follicles under the scalp shrink to the point where they can no longer produce replacement follicles.

“Since each follicle typically regenerates every two to six years, alopecia is a slow but continual physiological process that ends in patches of baldness on the scalp connecting with other patches to form a hairline.”

Recovering a hairline is mostly medical but most people with the problem don’t want to take that route, some because of cost, others because of sheer embarrassment and would rather use store-bought remedies.

He suggests the easiest way to improve the problem is with platelet rich plasma (PRP).

PRP platelet rich plasma is the use of a person’s blood platelets to enhance hair growth.

PRP- treament

Man with a hair loss problem receives injections in the scalp by a trichology doctor

Dr Mia uses PRP treatment for hair loss or to improve the recovery and results of hair transplant surgery.

“In the area of tissue regeneration, research is continuing to progress regarding the use of PRP’s ability to stimulate stem cells, improve wound healing and rejuvenate skin and hair follicles”, he says.

“Initially, patients would return for three treatments over three months. It typically takes another three months to measure the improvements.

“Over time, the course of treatment may need to be repeated depending on the patient’s response to therapy, hair loss condition and goals.”

Supplementary treatments with PRP may be necessary to maintain the desired results.

PRP- treatment

PRP treatment from Dr Reza.

Another medical treatment is Minoxidil for the treatment of male pattern baldness and female hair loss. This hair serum does have side effects which should be explained by a doctor.

It is usually dispensed in different percentages, either 5% or 10% depending on the needs of the user, Minoxidil has a tingling sensation when applied to the scalp and medicinal scent.

Thyroid problems likewise cause hair loss due to hormone imbalance.

Dr Sundeep Ruder, an endocrinologist in practice at Life Fourways Hospital, explains: “The patient who has recently been diagnosed with hypothyroidism and is starting treatment should be under the guidance of a doctor who is experienced in thyroid medicine and who will give medical advice,”

Hair-loss

Hair loss takes time to repair. Picture: Istock

“The solution to this is hormone replacement therapy administered by a qualified medic. The diagnosed medicine is usually levothyroxine.

“Those starting levothyroxine will have to have their blood levels checked after six to eight weeks of treatment so that the doctor can make sure to get the thyroid hormone levels right.”

Do and don’ts of repairing your hairline:

DON’T

  • Don’t go back to the same hairstyle that pulled the hair out to cover up the patches. EG, tight braids, weekly dreadlock styling, Clip-on ponytails, high buns, faux dreads.
  • Give your hair a break from styling. You don’t have to have your root follicles pulled regularly.
  • If a style feels too tight and results in the area getting small pimples this is your skin’s reaction to tension, take the style out.
  • A good hairstyle shouldn’t hurt.
  • If you have micro braids, don’t tie them high daily, even if it is the trend.
  • Don’t force high ponytails with extensions in your hair that are dense and not long enough, take YouTube styling advice with s pinch of salt.

DO:

  • Massage the areas where the hair has been pulled daily for a few minutes. Start over again, many people are afraid to cut hair in the hope that the front will grow back and catch up. This is a myth. Cut your hair if you must and if your stylist advises.
  • Invest in a good professional head massage. This will get the blood flowing in the bald area and encourage growth. (although it’s not enough)
  • Get a good caffeine shampoo that tingles, this encourages hair follicles to be stimulated.
  • Add a bit of biotin to your diet. This can be in the form of biotin tablets but speak to a doctor about this as you may need a cocktail of medications to assist with growth.
  • Lastly, remember there is no magical formula to getting your hairline back, so take the necessary steps where needed.