If you’ve noticed that you have an uneven hairline, you might be worried that this is the start of a receding hairline or baldness.
The good news is that it’s incredibly common. Few areas of your body are completely symmetrical, so why would your hairline be any different?
However, there are a number of causes of an uneven hairline. Some are completely natural and some are causing hair loss, which is making your hair asymmetrical.
My hair loss journey started with an uneven hairline, progressed to a receding hairline, and eventually led to a bald head. So it can happen!
Read on to find out what the causes are, which are treatable and which could lead to a bald head in the future.
What is an uneven hairline?
An uneven hairline is when the hairline is asymmetrical, or slightly further back at one side. It is caused by a variety of factors, with some people showing it from birth, or it can be caused by traction alopecia or male pattern baldness.
It’s also important to know what an uneven hairline is not, so you can eliminate these common misconceptions first.
If your hairline is receding at both temples at a different rate, this isn’t merely an uneven hairline. When you look at Jude Law for example, his hairline isn’t exactly the same at both sides, but this is obviously just male pattern baldness.
I’ve seen people referring to their ‘uneven hairline’ when they barely have a trace of their original hairline left. My hairline was never ‘uneven’ in my early 20s, it was just quite clearly receding!
The other common misconception is to mistake a widow’s peak for an uneven hairline. If you have a widow’s peak, where a point of hair protrudes downwards in the center of your hairline, this isn’t an uneven hairline.
Your hair can be completely symmetrical on both sides with a widow’s peak in the middle, so we wouldn’t call this an uneven hairline.
Similarly, if your hair is receding at the temples but still intact in the middle, this is a receding hairline and not a widow’s peak.
Now that we understand the definition of an uneven hairline, we can look at what it means for your hair in the future if you have one.
Is it normal to have an uneven hairline?
It’s perfectly normal to have an uneven hairline. Very few people have a perfectly even hairline, and most people would find it very difficult to find any part of your body that’s perfectly symmetrical. There are various causes, most of which are completely natural.
Given the above, an uneven hairline is nothing to worry about. It’s the people with perfectly straight and even hairlines who are the exception!
Why is my hairline uneven?
An uneven hairline is often perfectly natural. Very few people have a completely even hairline. The sudden appearance of an asymmetrical hairline is commonly caused by genetics if receding hairlines run in the family, traction alopecia, or can be an indicator of male pattern baldness.
Here’s a closer look at each potential cause:
Take a look at the older members of your family to check for receding hairlines. If genetics is playing a part in your uneven hairline, this will give you a good idea of what to expect.
Baldness can be hereditary, and as I found it, it doesn’t always skip a generation! So if your father is bald, it may be time to accept that it’s a real possibility for you, too (but don’t worry, it’s not as scary as you think).
Genetics can also give you a receding hairline that won’t always result in full baldness. Some people just settle into a mature hairline, while others recede to varying degrees without progressing to what you’d call ‘bald’.
Sometimes diagnosing an uneven hairline involves looking at nurture as well as nature. Traction alopecia is defined by healthline.com as ‘hair loss that’s caused by repeatedly pulling on your hair’.
This can be caused by over-styling, or even wearing your hair in a tight ponytail or bun. Styling your hair with chemicals and heat makes traction alopecia worse by weakening the hair. This causes it to break and fall out more easily.
It would be unusual for this to happen completely evenly on both sides of the hairline, making traction alopecia a common cause of uneven hairlines.
If a person stops wearing the hairstyle that caused the hair loss or takes more care while styling, traction alopecia can be reversed. The hair can grow back naturally if this behavior stops early enough, but over long periods it can become permanent.
Male pattern baldness
Male pattern baldness is caused by dihydrotestosterone (DHT), a hormone that is created in men when the testes process testosterone.
There are a number of DHT blockers on the market, including vitamins and shampoos. Before you try them, make sure you’re aware of the side effects of DHT blockers.
Again, it would be unusual to see DHT affecting the hairline completely evenly on both sides – nature tends not to work in straight lines. This means that an uneven hairline can be the result of early-stage male pattern baldness.
Does an uneven hairline mean you’re balding?
An uneven hairline doesn’t necessarily mean a person will go bald. While an uneven hairline can be caused by male pattern baldness, not every uneven hairline is linked to future baldness. Some people just have them naturally, or they can be caused by traction alopecia.
An uneven hairline can also be related to the appearance of a mature hairline. This is the natural movement of the hairline in young adults.
Younger men and women have very solid hairlines with closed corners, but as men age, the hairline elevates and starts to thin at the temples.
This doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll continue to recede or go fully bald. Lots of people recede without visible thinning, in which case there’s every chance the hairline stops receding and stays exactly as it is.
Where there is all-over miniaturization of hair follicles, male pattern baldness is the cause. Balding hair is where the miniaturization continues after the hairline recedes to the elevated stage, and thinning occurs across the whole top of the head.
The first sign of this is generally thinning of the frontal forelock and hair at the temples, caused by the effects of dihydrotestosterone (DHT) on hair follicles.
DHT is a hormone that is created in men when the testes process testosterone, which starts during puberty. DHT shrinks the hair follicles, causing hair to thin.
Men are affected by DHT to varying degrees, with some losing all their hair (like me) and others keeping the majority into their old age.
How do I know if I’m going bald?
If you’re worried about your uneven hairline and potential hair loss, pay attention to how much hair you’re losing in the shower. While this can’t be scientifically measured, it can be a good indicator if the shedding seems to be getting worse over time.
Another way to check whether you’re experiencing hair loss is to monitor the appearance of your hair under light, or when wet. Take a picture once a month in the same place and conditions to track any changes.
If you can see your scalp through your hair, it’s not necessarily a problem unless it becomes more visible over time. This is an indication of hair loss.
This can take time though, so if you want a quicker diagnosis you can consult a professional. There are more scientific ways to distinguish an uneven hairline from a receding hairline.
Microscopic evaluation can give an indication of whether someone is genuinely balding or whether they are simply developing a mature hairline.
Under a microscope, it’s possible to see significant miniaturization of hair follicles at the very front of the hairline (in the first 1-2cm). This is an indication of active hair loss, but if you simply have an uneven hairline, a microscope won’t show any thinning or miniaturization.
How can I fix my uneven hairline?
There are several ways to ‘fix’ an uneven hairline. Some hairstyles will cover it completely, while more drastic solutions include a hair transplant, or scalp micropigmentation (essentially a hair tattoo). Treatments like Minoxidil and Finasteride can help if your uneven hairline is caused by hair loss.
Let’s look at each solution in more detail, starting with the simplest:
Hair styling techniques are the most obvious solution for an uneven hairline. Shorter haircuts will make asymmetrical hairlines more obvious, so if this makes you self-conscious, simply grow it out.
That way, you have lots of options for different styles to try out. A longer fringe will make it largely impossible to see the shape of your hairline if there is no hair loss or thinning.
A more drastic option is scalp micropigmentation, or SMP. If you’re happy to buzz your hair from now on, getting your hairline straightened by tattooing the ‘missing’ areas is an option.
SMP is more commonly used to hide hair loss, so let’s take a look at other options to address an uneven hairline caused by male pattern baldness:
A hair transplant is normally used to treat more severe cases of hair loss. An uneven hairline can be treated with FUT or FUE techniques, but this comes with the risk of a further receding hairline in the future.
An asymmetrical hairline may be the full extent of the issue, but it’s difficult to predict whether you’ll experience male pattern baldness later in life. If you’re a teenager or in your 20s, I’d advise against a transplant until you can be more confident your hairline isn’t going to change again in the next few years.
If you are curious about the procedure but nervous about potential discomfort, it might be helpful to know that hair transplants don’t hurt as much as you might think. There is some swelling and discomfort for a few days, but it settles down quickly.
However, without being able to predict the future progression of hair loss, the risk is that the transplant ends up looking very unnatural. It can also leave bald patches in unexpected areas of the scalp as the spread of male pattern baldness continues.
Minoxidil is the active ingredient in Rogaine. It is used by both men and women to treat hair loss caused by a variety of factors. It is applied using drops or foam and massaged into the scalp using the fingertips.
If your uneven hairline has been caused by the loss of hair that was there previously, Minoxidil can be an option.
It’s not guaranteed to work but does show significant results in most patients. One study showed that around 94% of test patients reported the treatment to be at least moderately effective.
Finasteride is taken in tablet form and is used to treat enlarged prostate in men. Because it works by restricting the production of dihydrotestosterone (DHT), which shrinks hair follicles, it is also an effective hair loss treatment.
If your uneven hairline is caused by hair loss, Finasteride could be an effective treatment. One study found that 66% of men experienced some regrowth of hair after two years of continuously taking Finasteride. Another concluded that Minoxidil had been at least ‘moderately’ effective in 84.3% of patients.
What to know before taking hair loss medication
There are a number of pros and cons to taking hair loss medication. The two main areas for consideration are the effectiveness of the medication and the potential negative side effects.
Hair loss medication can have side effects ranging from trivial conditions such as Eczema and redness to more worrying issues including a decreased sex drive, erectile dysfunction, and low blood pressure. As a result, using Minoxidil or Finasteride isn’t a practical solution for everyone.
It’s important to understand that neither Minoxidil nor Finasteride can cause hair to grow anywhere where it didn’t grow in the first place.
It’s not possible to use either treatment as a solution to correct a naturally asymmetrical hairline, as they treat the hair follicles in the scalp, not on other areas of the forehead. No hair follicles = no hair!
Can I hide my uneven hairline?
It’s possible to hide your uneven hairline if you’re self-conscious about it. The simplest way to hide it is with a longer hairstyle. The extra length will cover your hairline, while shorter haircuts will make it more visible and therefore more obvious.
This is a practical solution if your hairline is naturally uneven, or if your hair has settled into a mature hairline. However, if the asymmetry in your hairline is caused by the onset of male pattern baldness, it’s likely to get worse over time.
Rather than try to hide it, it’s much easier on your mental health in the long run to choose a shorter haircut. You can gradually transition towards a buzz-cut, or even a full shave if your hair loss progresses.
If you’re balding or have a receding hairline, my advice is always to take action rather than ignore it. You don’t have to shave it all off right away, but it’s better in the long run if you accept the inevitable.
Some people are cool with balding and just carry on regardless. This is an enviable level of self-confidence. While I wish I was this much at ease, I like to look as good as my bald head will let me.
I’m now around a Norwood stage 6 and wet-shave my head 2-3 times a week. However, everyone should make their own decision based on what makes them comfortable.
That said, my advice is always to take the plunge sooner rather than later. Take control and own your baldness, instead of letting it affect your confidence. If you’re still unsure whether to shave your head, this might help: What would I look like bald?
It’s very common to be born with an uneven hairline. Given the fact that it’s very rare for any part of the body to be completely symmetrical, it’s far more unusual for babies to be born with completely straight and even-sided hairlines.
Whether an uneven hairline will grow back depends on the cause. Hair loss from traction alopecia can be reversed, while an uneven receding hairline caused by male pattern baldness won’t grow back without treatment with drugs like Minoxidil and Finasteride, which are effective but not guaranteed.
Summary – will I go bald if I have an uneven hairline?
Uneven hairlines are completely natural and nothing to worry about in many cases. Very few people have completely uneven hairlines and most people don’t need to worry.
If you’ve had an uneven hairline since birth, it doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll go bald. Male pattern baldness can affect anyone, but there’s no link with asymmetrical hairlines.
If you’ve noticed your hairline changing over time, it could be the start of a receding hairline or simply the development of a mature hairline that will stay in its new shape and position.
If your uneven hairline is a symptom of traction alopecia, it’s important to treat your hair with more kindness to prevent the hair loss from becoming permanent.
However, if you notice your hairline starting to recede and/or thin out on top, you could be on the road to baldness. If this sounds like you, it’s best to accept the inevitable and take control.
You can opt for a hair transplant or treatments like Minoxidil or Finasteride if you can’t bear the thought of losing your hair. What’s important is that you don’t just ignore what’s happening and hope nobody will notice.
Balding is a terrible look, so when you’re ready, my advice is to shave your head. If you need help deciding if now is the right time to get the clippers out, read my guide to knowing when is the right time to shave your balding head.