If you are under 30, looking in the mirror, and asking yourself - why is my hairline receding so early in my life? - you are not alone. Hair transplant surgeon Dr Mark Tam is here to help.
Many men in their early twenties, and sometimes those still in their teens, experience premature hair loss and have a receding hairline beginning to appear at a very young age. It can seem too young when you are busy worrying about going to college or University, starting a career, or your dating prospects, but find yourself stressing over your hair.
According to the American Hair Loss Association, approximately 25% of men who suffer from (hereditary) male pattern baldness begin this emotionally painful process of hair loss before they reach 21.
We understand that this feels devastating; the idea of prematurely balding, thinning, or receding is an unfair life blow.
A receding hairline can occur at any age, but, unfortunately, it often starts quite young. The hair might start to thin or appear to stop growing in certain areas, varying by individual, and this can seem to speed up over time, especially if there is no early intervention. And this is where Dr Mark Tam comes in. He has treated many men under the age of thirty with early male hair loss and an early receding hairline. In fact, his youngest patient for hairline restoration surgery was 18 years old.
If you think you might be noticing hair loss at a young age, it is important to seek medical advice. Your GP can rule out any causes of hair loss that might be related to trauma, stress, medications you are taking, nutritional deficiencies, or un underlying health condition that could be affecting your hair. Dr Tam believes in early help with hair loss in young men and provides a complimentary screening service to assess your suitability for intervention with hairline restoration surgery.
As boys grow into men through puberty and into their youth, a retreating hairline is a common occurrence; this is referred to as a maturing hairline. This process starts to distinguish the male hairline from the female; as face shapes change, masculinisation and hormones kick in, so the hairline becomes more raised in a man (moving up 1-2cm), losing the juvenile, rounded appearance and creating recessed areas at the temples. This retraction of the hairline happens in a uniform pattern from the forehead with minimal noticeable change other than becoming a man.
Conversely, a hairline that moves or retreats more than this can be a sign of a receding hairline. The retraction is much more uneven, and the hairline continues to move back beyond the expectations of a maturing hairline. The hair at the temples starts to recede more than the hair on the forehead, eventually highlighting an M-shape that is a very early sign of male pattern baldness. As well as receding, you will notice the hair starting to thin along the hairline.
A receding hairline is a common form of hair loss for men caused by male pattern baldness or androgenic alopecia. It is a hereditary, hormonal condition, and in younger men, it can also be called early onset androgenetic alopecia or premature male pattern baldness. Men suffer from this because they have higher levels of testosterone in their bodies compared to women. Hair loss is primarily attributed to a chemical by-product of testosterone called dihydrotestosterone (DHT). DHT is a hormone that stimulates the development of male characteristics; some men are more sensitive to its influence on hair.
DHT is thought to affect the hair follicles, making them miniaturise or shrink; this reduces their growth phase. Essentially, they go to sleep for longer, meaning the hair cannot grow to the strength and length it once did, and over time the hair weakens, thins, and stops growing, leading to bare patches at the temples and along the hairline. A receding hairline does not mean you are going to go completely bald.
Anti-hair loss medicines can help slow down or stop further hair loss and, in some cases, promote hair growth; however, hair transplant surgery is often the only recommended option to restore the lost hairline, with prescribed medication used alongside to manage future hair loss. Getting the correct treatment early in your hair loss journey can make a real difference to your future hair loss, hairstyle options, and your hair confidence.
If you are experiencing hair thinning, hair loss from the temples, or it seems like the hair has stopped growing along your hairline, this could be a sign of a receding hairline. Over time, the hairline will continue to move backwards from the front of the scalp at the temples and forehead.
Of course, you might think you are going mad and seeing things, but there are some easy ways to monitor and check if you have a receding hairline. By spotting it early and treating it with anti-hair loss medication and hairline transplant surgery, you can minimise further hair loss, restore your hairline, and get on with your life. No one in their twenties wants to be stressing about their hair, do they?
Here are some top tips to help you to establish the early signs of a receding hairline.
Get familiar with the mirror – we all lose or shed between 50-100 hairs a day, that is completely normal, but if you think you are losing more, it is helpful to regularly check in the mirror and see if you can notice any changes close-up. Hair should certainly not fall out in clumps. Keep an eye out for more hair loss than normal. Look for your scalp shining through more in some areas.
Start taking regular selfies – looking in the mirror is great start, but it can be difficult to remember what you saw the last time you had a good, long stare; get into the habit of taking a selfie or asking someone else to take a photograph of you every couple of months. You can also gather a timeline of photos from your social media feeds or events where friends and family took photographs of you. This allows you to compare your hairline over time and will help you and your hair transplant surgeon to establish the speed with which your hairline is receding.
Feel your hair – To assess whether your hair is thinning and/or receding, get used to how your hair feels. Feel for the thickness, texture, and the quality of your hair as you run your fingers through it, comparing any differences with hair on the top and sides of your head.
Look at the other men in your family – male pattern baldness and a receding hairline tend to be hereditary. If you suspect your hairline is changing, look at your father, grandfather, uncles, or brothers for signs of genetic hair loss.
If you are under the age of 30 and you have made enquiries or had appointments with other hair transplant clinics, they may have warned you that you are too young for hair transplant and hairline restoration surgery. But is that true? The short answer is no.
There are differing opinions among hair transplant doctors, usually driven by their hair restoration specialty, experience, and their usual patient group. It makes sense to think that younger patients are unsuitable for hair transplantation, especially considering the logic behind this view. Male pattern hair loss is usually progressive; thus, the consensus dictates that if you have a hair transplant procedure for a receding hairline in your 20s, it is likely that you may go on to suffer further hair loss in the future caused by the underlying condition (depending on medical management). Consequently, this may require additional hair transplant surgery later in life – and that assumes that enough donor material remains after the first procedure, something Dr Mark Tam ensures he takes great care to protect.
But, and it is a big but. Data from the International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery (ISHRS) shows that almost half (49.1%) of all male hair transplants performed by its members in 2021 were in patients under the age of 39, with 18.1% aged 20-29, and 29.3% aged 30-39. Such data suggests that men – and their hair transplant surgeons – are not waiting until their middle age to undertake hair restoration surgery. In fact, earlier intervention by hair restoration specialists often means that more of the native hair is preserved than with a ‘wait and see’ approach.
Dr Mark Tam believes it is essential to start thinking of age as just a number. Being young should not preclude you from life-changing surgery for a receding hairline. Your age is only one of many factors when deciding if you should have a hair transplant. For many, it comes down to a simple question. Would you like to have a nice hairline now when you are younger, and busy making relationships and embarking upon a career, or wait until you are older? Dr Tam’s own patient data shows what his patients are choosing. Why not read their stories and learn more about early receding hairline case studies.
If you want to invest in bringing back your confidence, feeling younger, and stopping the constant worry about your hair loss and receding hairline, then a fully personalised hairline transplant solution from the award-winning Dr Mark Tam is for you. Complete our complimentary pre-assessment form today. Dr Mark Tam will personally respond to let you know your suitability for a hairline transplant before inviting you in for a personal consultation at his London clinic.
In order to save patients time and unnecessary costs, Dr Tam requires a pre-consultation screening to assess your suitability for surgery based on supplied photographs.
This form of assessment will only serve to give you an idea of whether you are likely to be suitable for a Hair Transplant, as well as providing you with a rough price estimate for the area you wish to have treated.
This assessment is complimentary but does not replace the need for a full consultation.
Once you have submitted your details along with the 3 required photos Dr Mark Tam will assess your suitability and you will receive a full report via email.
Recommended image types for uploading include JPG/PNG/WEBP. Please do not press the back button or refresh the page during the submission process.
* - Required field
After reviewing various clinics across the UK before deciding to go ahead with my transplant, it was clear to me that Dr Mark Tam put the customer at the forefront and the experience which they aim to deliver is unrivalled.
My personal experience - Dr Mark Tam and his team were exceptional from start to finish, the meticulous planning that went into my procedure both before and on the day was nothing short of extraordinary. They made me feel completely at ease especially throughout the surgery.
I would highly recommend if you are considering getting a hairline transplant to meet with Dr Mark Tam and you will see first-hand why he is at the forefront of his field.
I had my procedure with Dr Tam back in June (6 months ago) but I wanted to deliberately wait until now to write my review, so I could also share the amazing results.
The consultation wasn't free but was far, far more thorough than anything else I'd come across. Dr Tam used a range of methods to calculate the number of follicles required for the specific area - his fee structure is completely transparent and is based on this.
Dr Tam is a clearly master of his trade - its clear he takes pride in his work but also provides first class service. I would recommend Dr Tam anyone.
Just wanted to thank Dr Mark and his incredible team for the entire experience. From the initial 'photo / email' consultation, to the in person session in Dr Mark's office, to the day, I was absolutely blown away by the friendliness and professionalism.
I immediately knew that I was getting the best of the best when it comes to hair transplants and now that I am a couple of weeks down the line in recovery I can already see the talented work that he and his team put together.
Highly recommend this to anyone looking for a transplant!
I had my procedure last weekend and as such am now 8 days post procedure. I had 2100 grafts placed in the frontal area.
All I can say is, Dr Tam and his team provided the the absolute highest standard of service before, during and after the surgery. They are a well oiled, highly skilled machine with a genuine empathetic and human touch.
The only mistake I made was turning up tired and anxious about the procedure, which was completely unfounded. If anyone else is getting them self worked up pre- procedure, please don't, you are in the absolute safest hands.
Dr Tam combines excellence with unrivalled client care to provide a service that is, simply put, outstanding.
Every conceivable detail is covered to ensure comfort, discretion, and a positive experience on the day of surgery. Dr Tam is sincerely personable and friendly; he totally puts you at ease from first contact, all the way to the conclusion of surgery and through aftercare. I went to Dr Tam as he was recommended to me by somebody who insisted he is the best hair transplant surgeon in London, and he more than lived up to this reputation.
I would wholeheartedly recommend Dr Tam to anybody considering hair restoration; this is a life changing procedure, and I honestly don't think you could find a more dedicated surgeon, with such phenomenal levels of client care. If you go ahead with Dr Tam, rest assured, you are in the safest hands out there.
Dr Mark Tam and his team were incredible from start to finish. During the initial consultation to the day of the procedure.
Dr Tam was able to answer any questions I had and alleviate any worries. He took his time to ensure I was happy with the area we would work on and proceed to mark out and take sufficient pictures.
His vibrant and positive personality made the whole experience very relaxing and would put anyone at ease. The services he offers from bringing in a hairdresser to a car service are truly unique and just add to the overall smoothness of the experience. He is an excellent choice for anyone considering a procedure and would be my recommendation to anyone I know.
Ryan started with hair loss in his early 20's and shortlisted a few hair surgeons, before deciding to choose Dr Mark Tam.
James had hair loss in his early 20's and researched a hair surgeon specialising in hairline transplants.
Male pattern hair loss looking at the results before and after 5 years with Dr Mark Tam.