How to Reverse a Receding Hairline

Two young black girls, one hugging the other, both with different braid styles

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Thinning hair comes with its fair share of feelings. Seeing your thick, luscious ponytail dwindle into a thinner, less-voluminous version of itself is sad enough as it is. But watching your hairline fade slowly and creep back one millimeter at a time is an entirely different kind of torture. Since sparse edges can ruin your hairstyle and take a shot at your confidence, we're exploring some options to recover a receding hairline

We tapped celebrity hairstylist behind the manes of Kirsten Dunst, Rosie Huntington-Whitely, Reese Witherspoon and more for his hair-growing tips. Cervando Maldonado says, "although every situation is different, and some might have a harder time growing it back, a receding hairline can regrow." With the hair-growing tips from an expert, consistency, and the willingness to experiment, anything is possible. Ahead, five tips to try if you want a fuller hairline again. 

how to stop a receding hairline
 Michela Buttignol/Byrdie

Disclaimer: These steps are intended to repair a thin hairline caused by poor care or severe damage. Thinning due to pregnancy, post-birth, menopause, or a change in medications can cause temporary changes. In some cases, women will see their hairlines return after hormones go back to normal. If you suspect a medical cause for a receding hairline or overall thinning of hair, talk to your doctor, as there may be an underlying condition that needs treating.

01 of 05

Establish The Root Of The Problem

"Hereditary traits and changes in hormones can both naturally cause a receding hairline, but can usually be adjusted by your doctor," explains Maldonado. If you notice that your mother or other members of your family have thin and receding hairlines, a dermatologist might be the answer.

If you've recently given birth, the good news is you might just be caught in a waiting game. Maldonado tells us, "usually six to nine months after having a child, most women lose hair around their hairline." While it's totally normal, there's no denying it's something you'll want to treat. "A solution to this is to keep taking your prenatal vitamins for a while even after giving birth to help keep the hair stronger and slow the hair fall-out."

02 of 05

Remove Your Semi-Permanent Hair Extensions

Constant pulling and weighing down your strands can also be the cause of a receding hairline. Maldonado says, "glue-in and tape-in extensions placed too close to hairline" can be a major cause of recession. "I usually do not let my clients get extensions close to the front of the head since this is a delicate area, and because it can cause permanent hair loss if not taken care of properly."

If you love the thicker, longer look of hair extensions, try experimenting with clip-in styles. You'll get the fuller look you love, but with much more control.

Wear extensions further in the back and at the crown of your head to give your hairline a break. You can use clip-in extensions to add as much body as you want, but be sure to take them out and give your scalp a rest in between applications and while you sleep. Your scalp needs a rest too.

03 of 05

Try Regular Scalp Massages

While some options might be expensive and require a professional, like hiring a dermatologist, there's one approach to regrowth that can be done all by yourself and won't cost you a dime. Cervando says, "in most cases, frequent scalp massages can stimulate new hair growth." Although the hair that grows back "won't be super thick, scalp massages could help lightly fill in the area." However, he does mention it won't work in every case (again, everyone is different), but it's definitely worth trying. 

When you massage your head, it's important only to use the pads of your fingers; don't rake over this sensitive area with fingernails. Move fingers in a gentle, circular pattern for a few minutes every day. Finally, try not to press down firmly on your hairline, as this can stunt growth.

04 of 05

Apply Nourishing Oils To Your Scalp

While you're massaging your scalp, the addition of healthy products can aid in the regrowth process. Just be sure to avoid any that are notorious for clogging up pores, such as products with petroleum. Maldonado says, "I like tea tree oil because it helps unclog hair follicles and nourish your roots." If you're looking for a DIY hair-growth treatment, he recommends, "mixing a few drops of tea tree oil with any carrier oil, like coconut, jojoba, almond. Mix it well and massage the mixture on the scalp, then rinse thoroughly." Your hair will feel so much softer and your roots will be fully nourished and prepped for new growth.

05 of 05

Take Supplements With Your Healthy Diet

You know the expression you are what you eat. External changes can come from your diet, the vitamins you consume, and changes that happen internally, like hormones. Maldonado recommends consuming over-the-counter vitamins, saying, "you will see a difference in your hairline after about three months of taking hair-regrowth supplements." He adds, "but remember, this difference is more of a filler and helps to strengthen the hair, and help it grow faster." If you're looking for major changes in the thickness of your hairline, he says, "the best way to regrow it is by taking supplements or a certain medication prescribed by your doctor."

Whether or not you're experiencing changes in your hair, a daily multi-vitamin should be part of your regular regimen anyways, as well as an overall healthy diet full of fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean protein and plenty of water. As for additional supplements, Nutroful and Viviscal are among Madonado's favorites, as they are both natural daily supplements.

When it comes to regrowing any hair, especially the thin strands along your hairline, the most important tool is healthy expectations. Nothing you do will give you visible results overnight, and it's important to keep in mind as you get started on your hair regrowth journey. Above all else, the name of the game here is patience. Maldonado says, "like anything else, you have to put the time in." Now, gather your tools and get ready to put some time in. Trust us, you'll be glad you did.

Tea Tree Oil Skin and Scalp Treatment
Hollywood Beauty Tea Tree Oil Skin and Scalp Treatment $3
Promotes Hair Growth Clinically Proven Dietary Supplement
Viviscal Hair Growth Dietary Supplement $40
Nutrafol Women's hair regrowth supplement
Nutrafol Women's Hair Regrowth Supplement $88
bellami clip-in extensions
Bellami Silk Seam Chocolate Brown Hair Extensions 16 inches / 140 grams $120

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