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Can your hair grow back after balding naturally?
Dr Kieran Dayah (GMC)
Medically reviewed by
Dr Kieran Dayah (GMC)
Updated on October 4, 2023

Growing your hair back after going bald is a very common desire among those who have experienced any kind of permanent hair loss.

Most men who experience hair loss can suffer from confidence issues, with the presence of hair loss even going so far as to cause issues with social, and work lives. According to the American Hair Loss Association, 25% of men begin balding before 21 years of age [1].

There are a few promising options for hair restoration out there, however, these options often include medical, or surgical intervention, and many people want to avoid this and do anything they can to achieve natural regrowth.

In this article, we will discuss whether your hair can grow back after going bald naturally, what balding is, when it is too late to reverse balding, and how you can protect your hair against balding.

Table of Contents

Can your hair grow back after going bald naturally?

Before answering this question, we need to define ‘going bald naturally’. Going bald naturally usually refers to the condition of androgenetic alopecia. This is a common type of non-scarring, permanent hair loss in men and women.

Non-scarring hair loss means that the hair follicles are preserved, which means that hair regrowth is possible, however, the later the stage of hair loss, the more difficult it becomes to reverse [2].

The condition is most commonly caused by a genetic predisposition, with male pattern baldness accounting for over 95% of hair loss in men [1]. 

Female pattern hair loss, the most common form of hair loss in women, can also cause large amounts of irreversible hair loss and balding; this condition can be more challenging to diagnose, unlike male pattern baldness, as female hair loss is less common than male hair loss [3]. 

Strictly speaking, hair loss due to these conditions is permanent, and unless combatted with successful medical intervention in the early stages, such as Minoxidil or Finasteride, it is progressive. 

Surgical intervention such as a hair transplant can be performed in the later stages of hair loss.

A cure for baldness is yet to be discovered, however, there are some promising developments in the works.

What causes balding?

There are a few different reasons you can go bald, however, the most common cause of balding is androgenetic alopecia

In men, the condition is referred to as male pattern baldness, a genetic condition that is diagnosed using the Norwood scale of male hair loss stages. 

The condition occurs when an enzyme called 5 alpha-reductase, which is responsible for converting several androgens and estrogens into various derivatives, converts testosterone into a hormone known as dihydrotestosterone [4]. 

Dihydrotestosterone (DHT) attaches to receptors in the hair follicles and causes hair follicles to shrink. 

The shrinking of the follicle leads to hair loss, and eventually the death of the follicle. A shrunken follicle that has been inactive for years loses the cells responsible for hair production, so it cannot be revived. This is why you cannot achieve ‘natural’ regrowth with advanced male pattern baldness.

Whether you will be affected by male pattern baldness is dependent on your genes. The genes responsible for male pattern baldness are sometimes referred to collectively as the baldness gene, however, there are actually many genes that contribute to the predisposition of baldness.

When is it too late to reverse balding?

If you still have healthy hair follicles, it is possible to reverse balding and begin hair regrowth. But temper your expectations – it’s not usually possible to regrow hair naturally in a short timeframe.

You would need to see a trichologist in order to determine whether your hair follicles are healthy, and the overall possibility of hair regrowth.

Norwood stage 4 is when common treatments such as topical Minoxidil 5% may no longer be effective, as this medication is more effective in earlier stages of hair loss.

How can I avoid going bald?

Avoiding baldness isn’t always possible, and when it is, you’re not really ‘avoiding’ it, but instead halting or temporarily slowing the progression of hair loss.


Medication, such as Minoxidil or Finasteride, is usually the first point of contact for those trying to combat progressive hair loss.


While Minoxidil can be less effective as hair loss progresses, a topical 5% Minoxidil solution has been proven to be effective at aiding hair growth in later stages. 

A 12-month observational study was conducted on 984 males with androgenetic alopecia, which assessed the efficacy of 5% topical Minoxidil [5]. 

Patients applied 1 ml of the solution twice daily. By 12 months, it was reported that the affected area had become smaller in 62% of the patients. Regarding hair regrowth, Minoxidil 5% topical solution was deemed very effective in 15.9% of the patients, and effective in 47.8% of the patients.

In another study, comprising 90 men with androgenetic alopecia, the efficacy of 5% Minoxidil was assessed against 10% Minoxidil and a placebo over a 36-week period [6].

The first group applied 5% topical Minoxidil twice daily, the second group applied 10% topical Minoxidil twice daily, and the third group applied a placebo twice daily.

By the end of the trial, 5% topical Minoxidil was deemed to be significantly superior in increasing hair regrowth compared to 10% Minoxidil and a placebo.


Finasteride is an FDA-approved hair loss medication for men, however, Finasteride is not approved for use in women

With many successful cases of hair regrowth, it is safe to say that Finasteride works for hair loss.

A study, which comprised 1879 men, was conducted on the treatment of mild to moderate male pattern baldness with 1mg Finasteride.

The section of the study which focused on frontal hair loss saw a 70% reduction in hair loss over a 12-month duration [76].

Another study, which took place over 3 years, assessed the efficacy of 1mg Finasteride in 3177 Japanese men [8].

The overall effect of hair growth was reported in 2230 men in the study, and hair growth was reported as having increased greatly in 11.1% of men, moderately increased in 36.5% of men, and slightly increased in 39.5% of men.

Alternative remedies

Many people look to grow their hair back using natural methods instead of medication or surgical restoration. 

Some studies suggest the use of natural remedies, such as essential oils for hair growth.  Some of the most commonly used essential oils include:

These essential oils have been proven to be promising when treating mild to moderate androgenetic alopecia and as a way of stopping further hair loss.

Not only are essential oils used to combat hair loss, but there are also some vitamins that promote hair growth, along with minerals and other natural compounds. These include:

  • Caffeine-based topical liquid [19]
  • Vitamin E for alopecia areata [20]
  • Zinc for androgenetic alopecia and alopecia areata [21, 22]
  • Niacin [23]
  • Vitamin D [24]
  • Folate [25]
  • Omega-3 fatty acids [26]

The surgical method

A hair transplant is permanent and so it can be an effective, long-term solution to baldness. 

It is ideal that you are at Norwood stage 3 vertex or above before opting for surgical hair restoration, as a hair transplant should be a last resort after trying medication and alternative treatments. Having a hair transplant too early on is one of the top 5 hair transplant regrets.

If you’re already bald, a completely bald transplant can be performed. In 2022, the most common donor hair area was the scalp, however, if you are completely bald it is likely that this area isn’t available [27]. 

In this case, your surgeon can utilise hair from other parts of the body such as donor hair.

Worried that you’re balding?

If you’re worried about going bald or you want to learn more about preventing hair loss, our expert team is on-hand to answer any questions, or concerns you may have.

We offer hair restoration services such as crown hair transplants, and we also offer non-surgical services such as a consultation with our trichology team, who are equipped to diagnose and set up a line of treatment that is best for you.

Book your free consultation today.

Can your hair grow back after balding naturally?, Wimpole Clinic

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  2. What is Non-scarring Hair Loss | NCBI
  3. Female Pattern Hair Loss as the Most Common Form of Hair Loss in Women | PubMed
  4. The Science of Male Pattern Baldness | NCBI
  5. A One-Year Observational Study Of Minoxidil 5% Solution in Male Androgenetic Alopecia | JAAD 
  6. A Randomized Clinical Trial of 10% Topical Minoxidil Versus 5% Topical Minoxidil and Placebo in the Treatment of Male Androgenetic Alopecia | Cochrane Library
  7. Use of Finasteride in the Treatment of Men With Androgenetic Alopecia | Journal of Investigative Dermatology
  8. Evaluation of Efficacy and Safety of Finasteride 1 mg in 3177 Japanese Men with Androgenetic Alopecia | PubMed
  9. The Use of Pumpkin Seed Oil in Treating Androgenetic Alopecia | Hindawi
  10. Rosemary Oil vs Minoxidil 2% for the Treatment of Androgenetic Alopecia | PubMed
  11. Peppermint Oil Promotes Hair Growth without Toxic Signs | NCBI
  12. Hair Growth-Promoting Effect of Geranium Sibiricum Extract in Human Dermal Papilla Cells and C57BL/6 Mice | NCBI
  13. Hair Growth-Promoting Effects of Lavender Oil in C57BL/6 Mice | NCBI
  14. Hair Growth Activity of Lemon Grass (Cymbopogon Citratus) in Male Albino Rats | ResearchGate
  15. Randomized Trial of Aromatherapy. Successful Treatment for Alopecia Areata | PubMed
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  17. In Vitro Antimicrobial Effects and Mechanism of Action of Selected Plant Essential Oil Combinations Against Four Food-Related Microorganisms | ScienceDirect
  18. Nigella Sativa Seed, a Novel Beauty Care Ingredient: A Review | ResearchGate
  19. Study Assessing the Noninferiority of a Caffeine-Based Topical Liquid 0.2% versus Minoxidil 5% Solution in Male Androgenetic Alopecia | PubMed
  20. Effects of Tocotrienol Supplementation on Hair Growth in Human Volunteers | NCBI
  21. Comparing the Effects of Zinc Sulfate, Calcium Pantothenate, Their Combination and Minoxidil Solution Regimens on Controlling Hair Loss in Women: A Randomized Controlled Trial | NCBI
  22. Oral Zinc Sulphate in Alopecia Areata–a Double-Blind Trial | Wiley
  23. Study Evaluating the Efficacy of Topically Applied Niacin Derivatives for Treatment of Female Pattern Alopecia | PubMed
  24. Vitamin D | NHS 
  25. Evaluation of Serum Homocysteine, High-Sensitivity CRP, and RBC Folate in Patients with Alopecia Areata | Indian Journal of Dermatology
  26. Effect of a Nutritional Supplement on Hair Loss in Women | PubMed
  27. International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery: 2022 Practice Census Results (Page 12) | ISHRS
Dr Kieran Dayah (GMC)
Medically reviewed by Dr Kieran Dayah (GMC)Updated on October 4, 2023
The Wimpole Clinic offers FUE Hair, Beard & Eyebrow Transplants & Trichology.
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