Receding Hairline Remedies

A receding hairline is frequently a symptom of androgenetic alopecia, also known as male- or female-pattern baldness. It’s a condition characterized by excessive hair fall. While the loss often starts gradually, you eventually notice a thinning or receding of the hair. Treatment options vary depending on gender as hormonal complications can arise with certain medications when used by men.


Both men and women benefit from the use of minoxidil, a topical medication used in the treatment of androgenetic alopecia. When applied twice a day, the Mayo Clinic maintains that minoxidil can encourage new hair growth while slowing the progression of hair loss. It can take upward of 12 weeks to see an improvement in the hairline, so a three-month supply is all most people need to determine whether or not minoxidil works for them.


Unlike minoxidil, finasteride helps to correct the root cause of a receding hairline in men. The American Hair Loss Association explains that this prescription medication inhibits the production of type II 5-alpha-reductace, an enzyme responsible for changing testosterone into dihydrotestosterone, or DHT. This androgen shrinks follicles, leading to hair loss. The decline in type II 5-alpha-reductace results in a decline in DHT, slowing the progression of thinning and receding as well as encouraging new hair growth.


According to the American Hair Loss Association, women can stop hair loss with the use of spironolactone, a prescription diuretic. This medication decreases the production of male hormones such as testosterone which can decrease the levels of DHT within the scalp. It’s also said to prevent DHT from shrinking the follicles. The American Academy of Family Physicians states, however, that spironolactone isn’t effective for stimulating new hair growth. Another medication needs to be used to provide this effect.


Another medication beneficial for women suffering from androgenetic alopecia is estrogen, advises the American Academy of Family Physicians. If estrogen levels are low, as would be seen during menopause and other medical condition, systematic use of this hormone can slow the progression of hair loss. But much like spironolactone, it won’t provide hair regrowth.


The American Hair Loss Association and the American Academy of Family Physicians agree that cimetidine can help treat women suffering from female-pattern baldness. With this medication, DHT can no longer bind to the hair follicles, and thereby stops the progression of hair loss.

Oral Contraceptives

Women can also slow the progression of hair loss with oral contraceptives. This is largely due to the decreased production of androgens that occurs during use. When less male hormones are produced by the body, women experience a decrease in DHT. With lower levels of DHT, the follicles maintain their normal size, continuing to produce hair.