When your hair is thinning in the front, it's the first place you notice. This can be a very anxiety-inducing moment, especially if you haven't been experiencing any of the telltale early signs of male pattern baldness, such as receding hairlines or widening of your part. But if your hair is starting to thin up top and you're wondering why, there could be a number of reasons.
What is Male Pattern Baldness?
Male pattern baldness is the most common cause of hair thinning in the front. Male pattern baldness is genetically predetermined. It is caused by a sensitivity to the male hormone dihydrotestosterone (DHT) that thickens the hair on your scalp but eventually causes the follicle to shrink and shut down.
Male pattern baldness is responsible for the majority cases of hair loss in men.
For most men, there is a predictable pattern to the hair loss. The hairline begins to recede; the crown of the head begins to thin; and finally, the hairline advances to the top of the forehead. Sometimes the hair loss begins with the crown of the head, but most often it is the hairline that first shows thinning.
The good news is that you can stop your hair loss and even reverse it in some cases.
What Causes Male Pattern Baldness?
Male pattern baldness is caused by a sensitivity to the male hormone dihydrotestosterone (DHT). DHT is the hormone responsible for making hair thick and coarse. The more DHT, the thicker the hair. DHT thickens the hair on your scalp but eventually causes the follicle to shrink and shut down.
When this happens, the follicle can no longer produce hair. The hair remains in the follicle, but is flattened and no longer visible. Male pattern baldness is genetically predetermined.
What Else Might Cause Frontal Hair Thinning?
Male pattern baldness is the most common cause of hair thinning in the front. However, there are other causes of hair thinning in the front.
Lichen planopilaris is a form of scarring alopecia that causes the hair to fall out on the front and top of the scalp. The hair follicles become inflamed, the inflamed hair follicles become clogged, and a scar forms on the scalp. People with lichen planopilaris usually have a patch on the top of their heads.
Trauma to the scalp can cause hair loss. If you have a hairline fracture, the hair follicles in that area will stop producing hair.
Certain medications can cause hair loss, including some blood pressure medications, medications used to treat anxiety, and medications used to treat epilepsy.
Vitamin B deficiencies are also a common cause of hair loss. Vitamin B is essential for hair growth. If you're not getting enough B vitamins, your hair will stop growing and you'll start losing hair.
Hormonal imbalances can also cause hair loss. If you have a hormonal imbalance, your body will produce too much or too little of a particular hormone.
Low and high thyroid levels can both cause hair loss.
Alopecia areata is a type of hair loss that is caused by the immune system. The immune system mistakenly attacks the hair follicles. The hair follicles become inflamed and eventually stop producing hair.
Lupus is a chronic autoimmune disease. The body attacks the cells in the body by mistake. In lupus, the body attacks the hair follicles. The hair follicles become inflamed and eventually stop producing hair.
Infections of the scalp can also cause hair loss. If you have a fungal or bacterial infection, your hair follicles will become inflamed and stop producing hair.
Scalp psoriasis is another autoimmune disease. The body attacks the skin cells by mistake. The skin cells in the scalp become inflamed and eventually stop producing hair.
Treatment Options for Hair Loss in the Front
If you're losing hair in the front, there are treatment options you can consider.
DHT is the hormone that causes hair loss in men. Finasteride, generic for Propecia, is a medication that interferes with the production of DHT. Finasteride causes the hair follicles to produce less DHT, and this causes the hair follicles to stop shrinking and eventually start growing again. This means that Finasteride can stop hair loss and even grow back some of the hair that has already fallen out.
The vast majority of men who try Finasteride notice their hair loss stops, and the majority of men who take Finasteride for more than 2 years even see the hair they lost return.
Minoxidil is another medication that can help stop hair loss and even regrow some of the hair that has already fallen out. Minoxidil can be purchased in 2% and 5% solutions. The solution is applied directly to the scalp in the areas where you're losing hair.
Minoxidil can be purchased over-the-counter or with a prescription. Most people who use Minoxidil once a day notice that their hair loss stops, and some of the hair they've lost even starts coming back.
3. Hair Transplant Surgery
Hair transplant surgery can also be used to treat hair loss. During a hair transplant, hair is removed from the back of the head and transplanted into the balding areas.
Hair transplant surgery is expensive and isn't always successful. However, some people find that hair transplant surgery is the only thing that works for them.
If you're losing hair in the front, you're not alone. If the hair loss in the front is caused by male pattern baldness, there are treatment options you can try in order to stop the hair loss and in some cases even regrow your hair in the front. If the hair loss in the front is caused by something else, then consult with your doctor.
Phoenix Health is a telehealth platform that allows you to consult with board-certified physicians from the convenience of your home or office. With Phoenix Health, you can speak with a doctor who can recommend the best treatment options for your hair loss. No camera is required. Take control of your hair loss today.