Mature Hairline: What Is It And How You Can Handle It?
Mature hairline can seem like your hairline has begun to recede, and you might worry that it’s a sign of impending baldness.
But moderate recession at the front of the scalp doesn’t always mean you’re guaranteed to experience more severe hair loss later. You could simply have a mature hairline instead. And there are multiple ways to deal with it.
Join us as we explore everything you need to know. We’ll cover the common signs to be aware of, how it’s different to a receding hairline, and how you can live with yours.
Understanding mature hairlines
A mature hairline is a natural sign of ageing and is nothing to worry about.
While some men will retain a young hairline for their entire lives, most will develop a mature hairline somewhere between 17 and 30 years of age. This occurs when the hairline recedes from its juvenile position slightly, either half an inch or a full inch.
Men tend to have a full head of hair with a juvenile hairline in their teens. Key traits of a juvenile hairline include a neat, straight outline at the front with rounded corners.
How do you know if you have a mature hairline?
Here’s a simple test: wrinkle your forehead and check whether or not your hair is on the highest wrinkle. If it is higher, you have a maturing hairline.
The different shapes of the maturing hairline
Mature hairlines develop at varied speeds and in diverse patterns. Some mature so gradually, possibly even over a decade, that the individual and others around him may not notice the change.
But other men see their hairline recede sooner and fear that it’s the onset of male pattern baldness, which affects around 50% of men over 50.
Here are some of the common characteristics of a mature hairline:
- Usually the maturing happens gradually, which is why the change may go unnoticed, though that’s not always the case.
- It forms a widow’s peak or M-shaped pattern, without the round curves of a juvenile hairline. A widow’s peak leaves a V-shaped patch of hair in the centre of the hairline while the rest of the hairline recedes to a higher position. An M-shaped hairline loses the round curves of a juvenile line.
- It usually recedes to a point no higher than one to 1.5 inches above your highest forehead wrinkle. You may see around one finger’s width of space between the top wrinkle and the hairline.
How is a maturing hairline different to a receding one?
You may initially mistake a maturing hairline for a receding hairline, and vice versa. The former is a common sign of aging that’s unlikely to lead to further hair loss, and the latter is usually related to male pattern baldness. It can be difficult to identify how a man’s hairline is changing and how it will progress.
But here are a few ways to spot the difference between a maturing and receding hairline:
1. Advanced recession near the temples
A mature hairline may have an M shape, though it tends to be fairly subtle. If you notice increasingly less hair around your temples over time, you may be developing male pattern baldness.
2. Developing short hairs before the hairline
It’s normal to have some shorter, smaller hairs growing ahead of your hairline, but if you find you have many of them, that could indicate approaching baldness too.
3. Losing more hair than usual
It’s natural to lose between 50 and 100 hairs a day (according to the NHS) without realising. You may notice hairs missing if you have a mature hairline, but if you find clumps of it in the shower, on your pillow, or while applying product, it may be a sign of impending baldness.
Doctors or hair specialists (i.e. hair restoration surgeons or trichologists) can help you understand whether the frontal line of your hair is receding or maturing. They’ll examine your hair and scalp to identify signs of hair loss. And they can offer advice on treatment options.
You may feel relieved if a doctor or hair specialist confirms that your hairline is maturing rather than receding. But it can still be frustrating to see your hairline sitting an inch or more higher than it used to be.
Some men struggle to accept this change, particularly if they can’t wear their preferred style or they worry about other people noticing their raised hairline.
Here are a few tips to help you feel more satisfied with your hair:
You might worry about losing more of your hair and becoming bald when your hairline matures. But your hair could stay strong and healthy for decades to come before you experience any further shedding. Try to relax and enjoy your hair instead of stressing.
You may not be able to style your hair exactly how you like to when you develop a mature hairline — but that doesn’t mean you can’t still have fun with it.
Speak to a stylist about techniques to minimise signs of hair loss around the hairline, such as slicking it back or parting it in a different direction.
Hair transplants are more popular and affordable than ever. The procedure is fairly straightforward: a skilled surgeon will remove healthy hair follicles from the back or sides of your scalp and implant them at the front.
They’ll cultivate new growth which lowers and thickens your hairline. Your hair will look more youthful but still completely natural, as only your own follicles are used.
It’s perfectly normal for men to develop a mature hairline: more than 95% of males will experience this type of mild hair loss. You may have a mature hairline if you see recession at the hairline — it doesn’t mean you’re going bald. Most hair specialists agree that maturing hairlines don’t necessarily lead to baldness.
A maturing hairline usually takes on an M-shape: a peak starts to become visible in the centre, and the hairline curves back near the temples. A balding hairline will begin with this shape but will keep receding to create a well-defined line. A maturing hairline won’t continue to recede in this way.
It’s normal for the hairline to rise above the forehead as you age. Men will usually start to experience this from 17 to 29 years of age. But your hair thinning may slow down or stop altogether when the hairline becomes “mature”.
Thinning hair on top of the scalp is typically caused by male androgenic alopecia (otherwise known as androgenetic alopecia or male pattern baldness). This is part of the ageing process for many men, particularly if their parents were affected by the condition.