Struggling to deal with a receding hairline? We know hair loss of any form is not the slightest bit fun and can decrease our self-confidence, and sometimes even our overall self-worth. The good news is you’re not alone—nearly 40 percent of women will deal with hair loss of some sort in their lifetime. In fact, a receding hairline is a common hair loss problem across the globe and while there’s no overnight fix, there are some ways to at least mask the issue. We reached out to a few experts to get their advice on the best receding hairline hairstyles to make your hair appear fuller. Keep scrolling to see which styles work best.
(Image Source: Getty / Boytaro Thongbun)
About the Experts
Kate Holden is a UK-based trichologist and an associate member of the Institute of Trichologists. She is also the owner of the Kate Holden Clinic in Manchester.
Alex Brown is a Chicago-based celebrity hairstylist and the owner of Space by Alex Brown.
Philip Berkovitz is a scalp expert and the founder of his eponymous brand Philip B Hair Care.
Most Common Causes of a Receding Hairline
UK-based trichologist Kate Holden shares that “the three most common causes of a receding hairline in women are traction alopecia, telogen effluvium, and frontal fibrosing alopecia.” And while genetics do play a role, so does your environment. Below, Holden explains each of the receding hairline causes so you can better understand what may be causing your hair loss and how to fix it.
You may have heard the term “ponytail alopecia” tossed around before, which is a synonym for traction alopecia. Essentially, it’s hair loss caused by wearing repeated tight hairstyles (i.e. a ponytail). “With traction alopecia, you will often notice that your hairline has gone backward, and you will tend to have lots of short hairs at the front still,” notes Holden. “You may also notice that the back hairline has recessed too.”
The cure for traction alopecia? Stop wearing tight hairstyles. Yes, it really is that simple. Holden notes that your hair should recover once you let it down and opt for looser styles. However, if you’d had it for longer, you might not be able to recover. “If you have had traction alopecia for many years, the area may have scarred over so, unfortunately, the hair will not regrow. But, you may get some regrowth if you change your haircare routine,” she shares.
Otherwise known as hair shedding, Holden mentions that telogen effluvium “can be caused by lots of things including stress, illness, hormonal changes, and nutritional issues.” To know if you have telogen effluvium, Holden says “women often notice that the hairline at their temples has recessed and that their hair feels thinner all over.”
The nice thing about telogen effluvium is that it is usually temporary. Once you get your stress in check and ensure you’re feeding your body what it needs, you should notice less shedding. Holden does note that “it can go on for a long time depending on the underlying cause.” So be sure to speak with a dermatologist or trichologist if you’ve noticed this issue for a while.
Frontal Fibrosing Alopecia
Frontal fibrosing alopecia is more common in post-menopausal women. Holden reveals that it “is a condition that is caused by the immune system attacking the hair follicles, resulting in scarring along the front hairline. The hairline slowly moves backward and the skin where the immune system has attacked it is smoother and slightly paler than the rest of the skin on the forehead.”
Unfortunately, there isn’t the ability to undo hair loss with this condition. Holden shares that this is the case because it’s a scarring condition. Thankfully, that’s where the receding hairline hairstyles come in to help you hide your thinning strands.
Best Receding Hairline Hairstyles
In general, shorter hairstyles and bangs tend to be the best hairstyles for receding hairstyles, as they lend themselves to covering up the hair loss. Our experts each shared some of their preferred receding hairline hairstyles to give you some ideas as to how to strategically style your hair.
Switching Your Part
Sometimes hiding your receding hairline is as easy as switching up your part. If you tend to go with a deep side part, try a center part instead. Celebrity hairstylist Alex Brown shares that “moving the part around to a side that covers the hairline better is a great and simple alternative.”
Philip Berkovitz, the founder of Philip B Hair Care, is a big fan of the zig-zag part. With the Y2K style being worn by various celebs, we think it’s safe to say it’s making a full comeback.
We know this is a bit general, but shorter haircuts of any kind will work best with your receding hairline. “Shorter haircuts and shorter layers can make hair look fuller which will add volume and draw attention away from your hairline,” notes Brown. She also recommends taking into account your face shape and hair type when deciding on a style.
Similar to the above option, there are a number of fringe styles that will work to hide a receding hairline. It all comes down to your hair type and texture when deciding on the best bangs for you, notes Brown. “Front bangs or curtain bangs are great for disguising a receding hairline, but sometimes that style may not be for everyone,” she says.
Berkovitz suggests “trying variations of bangs—longer, wispy, and more side fringe varieties which can take attention from the top to the front with some height over the forehead.”
Layers are an easy way to add movement to any receding hairline hairstyle. They’re especially great for those not willing to compromise on length. Should you still want a longer style, Berkovitz suggests “subtle layers to create movement and volume that showcase bounce and shine.” He also recommends you avoid blunt, one-length cuts.
The asymmetrical bob is back, baby. And the perfect hairstyle for a receding hairline, according to Berkovitz. “An asymmetrical bob with a deeper side part can be a good haircut to cover the area that is thinning,” he says.
Pixies are everywhere these days, with so many iterations rising in popularity. Berkovitz recommends a messy pixie style for your receding hairline. “A shorter, messier style pixie with lots of different layers and lengths that add textures will eliminate weight” to fake volume, he notes.