Balding or Big Forehead? (photo)

Okay, so I recently cut off my long hair and lately I have been paying a lot of attention to my hairline. I've always had a big forehead since I was a kid and very thin hair. But I'm not sure if what I'm seeing is balding or just a hairline that some men have. Hopefully the smart doctors here can fill me in

Doctor Answers 14

Balding or Big Forehead? (photo)

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Based on your photos alone and your age, I would highly suggest no procedures at this time.

You stand to little to gain.

If your pattern progesses to more well defined areas of hair loss, perhaps then your yield would be much greater.


Dr. Malouf

Fort Worth Dermatologist
4.7 out of 5 stars 87 reviews

Measuring hair loss with a personal exam and family history - further hair loss and hair thinning can be treated without surgery

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Normally, when people first start noticing hair loss and seek help, they have already lost 50% or more of their hair.

In assessing hair loss in our practice, we usually do first an evaluation. We get the patient’s family history since hair loss patterns sometimes run in families. We also do physical examinations using a microscope to distinguish the difference between strong hairs which are also called terminal hairs from thin or fine hairs. Hairs don’t normally thin automatically but go through a hair growth cycle. One of the phases of the cycle is the telogen phase where hairs shed off.

Currently, there are two medications that are approved for treating thinning hair: one is minoxidil and the other is finasteride. Both of these medications are shown to be effective. However, they have some side effects such as in the case of finasteride which has sexual side effects.

In our practice, we have been using a Hair Regeneration treatment using a material called extracellular matrix (ECM) made by ACell combined with platelet-rich plasma(PRP) to help reverse hair thinning. Extracellular matrix triggers the body to produce adult stem cells called progenitor cells that are absent in balding men. Progenitor cells signal the dermal papilla to begin the hair growth cycle. This material has been used before for wound healing and is injected and applied to the different levels of the skin. Interestingly, it has been very successful in helping our patients. In fact, younger males seem to have better results than middle-age men. 

I advise you look into treatments like Hair Regeneration, but they are not that common and there are a lot of questions about its application.  As multi-specialty surgeon, I have used extracellular matrix on other tissue regeneration procedures like ear replacement and facelift incisions. It isn't a generic procedure so many hair loss specialists may not be aware of it. So, get some attention and information, and make decisions based on the fact that it is better to save your hair than transplant it because you won't get the same volume and hair density from a transplant alone.  I hope that was helpful, and thank you for your question.

Amiya Prasad, MD
New York Oculoplastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 80 reviews

Balding or Big Forehead?

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Based on your photos alone, you appear to have a Norwood II pattern hairline. This pattern describes most young adult men whom the general population would describe as having NO SIGNIFICANT HAIR LOSS.  If you feel you are loosing hair, I would strongly recommend initiating topical therapy like minoxidil OTC and/or initiating a trial of oral finasteride after seeing your primary care physician to rule out any potential medical cause. 

You are certainly NOT a hair transplant candidate at this time. However, if it would alleviate any anxiety this is currently causing you, visiting a hair surgeon to document your current hair density would set a baseline value for future measurement/evaluation and give more objective evidence of loss, especially if combined with photographs. 

Balding or big forehead?

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Without an in-person exam, it is difficult to say.  Cutting the hair shorter will definitely make the hair look thinner and appear as though there is less hair "mass."  That being said, family history regarding hair loss can also be helpful.  Finally, it is important to recognize that an adolescent male hairline is not the same as an adult male hairline, and some degree of frontal and temporal recession is normal and age-appropriate.

A consultation with a fellowship-trained hair restoration surgeon would be helpful.

All the best,

Matthew Richardson, MD
Frisco Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

Balding or Big Forehead?

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While it does appear that you are experiencing hairline thinning due to male pattern hair loss, you also still have a great head of hair! Now is the time to establish a relationship with a Dermatologist comfortable with the management of hair loss. He or she can recommend appropriate medications and/or surgical options if appropriate.

Robert Haber, MD
Cleveland Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

Bid forehead or thinning hairline

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To find out if you are experiencing hair loss due to male pattern hair loss, it is best to be examined by a hair loss specialist. Once evaluated, if you are a good candidate you can have hair restoration to lower your hairline, hair transplant is very successful for lowering hairline if done by experienced hair restoration specialist. 

Michael Meshkin, MD
Newport Beach Hair Restoration Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Med with high foreheads

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Often have recession of their hairline. You need to see a doctor to find this out. Hair transplants are the only treatment for high hairlines in men.  There are two types of procedures for lowering a woman’s hairline. One, is a surgical excision of the upper forehead followed by the downward advancement of the hairline up to an inch from where it was prior to the surgery. To accomplish this, the entire scalp from the frontal hairline to the very back of the crown, is lifted up and pulled forward. When this is done by an experienced surgeon, the hairline can often be advanced about 2/3rd – 1 inch if there is enough looseness when this lifting process is done. This procedure is often complete in one surgical session; however, it may not address receded corners of the hairline if the corner recession is significant. A great advantage of this surgical approach is the immediate impact of the procedure on hairline location with healing usually complete in a week or so. Sometimes this procedure produces a scar in front of the hairline, and if this is this is the case, a hair transplant in front of the hairline can address the scar. If there is corner rounding that is not addressed by the surgical lowering, then hair transplants can address this very well. Hair transplants take 7-8 months to fully grow out.

The second type of hairline lower procedure is done through hair transplantation. The number of sessions varies by the thickness of the hair. For women with other than fine hair, they might do this in a single session. With finer hair, it often takes two sessions. The time to see the impact of a hairline lowering hair transplant procedure is 7-8 months and if a second session is required, it will take another 7-8 months to wait for full growth. See web-references below for four excellent sets of photos of this process on four women.

William Rassman, MD
Los Angeles Hair Restoration Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

If you cut your hair short, it may look thinner.

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If you cut your hair short, it may look thinner.  This is just common sense, right?  If you always had thin hair and a high forehead, it would look worse with a shorter hair cut, right?  If you believe you are balding, you should see a doctor for an examination.

Jae Pak, MD
Los Angeles Hair Restoration Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 106 reviews


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How old are you? It could represent an age appropriate hairline.  As we age, our hairline tends to recede even in the absence of male pattern baldness.  How is the crown? Is there hair loss in the family? Knowing this information would be helpful.

Tim Neavin, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 53 reviews

Hair Transplant - balding or high forehead

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It seems like your fine hair along your hairline is starting to thin.  Therefore, when up close, you probably see that your hairline is receeding.  From a distance, I don't think it looks too much like balding... yet!  Best Wishes!!

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.