Reading time: 7 min.
Receding Hairline At 20: Signs, Symptoms & Treatments

Noticing a receding hairline at any age can be stressful. If you’re only 20 and you spot the signs of a receding hairline, it can be especially worrying. This may bring up questions like: How soon will your balding become noticeable? How will hair loss affect your life? And is it really hair loss, or are you just paranoid?

Here, you’ll learn everything you need to know about developing a receding hairline at 20. We’ll explore:

  • How common early onset hair loss is.
  • The signs and symptoms of a receding hairline at 20.
  • How to regrow your hair and cope with your symptoms.
Table of Contents
Is it normal to have a receding hairline at 20?

Is it normal to have a receding hairline at 20?

While a noticeably receding hairline at 20 isn’t that common, it’s not unheard of either. According to the American Hair Loss Association, 25% of men with male pattern baldness will start to notice their hairline recede by the age of 21 [1].

You’re more likely to have a receding hairline if there’s a history of baldness on either side of your family. For example, if your dad or either of your grandfathers are bald, you may be more likely to see early onset hair loss.

A receding hairline can also affect young women, though this is much less common. Frontal fibrosing alopecia, which is the most common cause of hairline recession in women, typically starts after menopause, though there have been instances of FFA in women as young as 21 [2]. Female pattern hair loss may also affect 3% of women in their 20s [3].

Signs and symptoms of early onset hair loss in men

Some level of hair loss is normal. People with healthy hair lose up to 100 hairs a day. So it’s only if you’re losing more than this that you should be concerned.

Signs of sustained hair loss in 20-year-old men include:

Your hairline may also change shape. If it used to be straight, you may now start to see a slight M-shaped hairline developing:

Signs and symptoms of early onset hair loss in men
M-shaped hairline

The good news is that most men who see a receding hairline at age 20 are in the very early stages of pattern baldness. This is measured on the Norwood Scale:

The Hamilton-Norwood scale shows the different stages of male pattern hair loss
The Hamilton-Norwood scale shows the different stages of male pattern hair loss

Most younger men are at Norwood stage 2 or Norwood stage 3, which means there are plenty of effective treatments available to help with hair regrowth and prevent further hair loss. Find out how to tell if your hairline is receding.

Female receding hairline at 20: signs and symptoms

The symptoms of a female receding hairline at 20 are similar to those of young men. You may see visible increases in hair coming away in the shower or on your pillow when you wake up, as well as hairline shape changes.

Female receding hairline at 20: signs and symptoms
Female receding hairline

Although a receding hairline in young women is less common than in men, the impact can be debilitating. Hair often forms a strong part of a woman’s identity, especially in her 20s. Additionally, it’s more difficult to diagnose the cause of women’s hair loss, so seeing a receding hairline in your 20s can be both confusing and concerning.

Why is my hairline receding at 20?

The most common reason for a receding hairline at 20 is androgenetic alopecia, commonly known as male pattern baldness. This occurs as a result of your genetic sensitivity to a hormone called dihydrotestosterone, or DHT.

Even though around 80% of men will develop male pattern baldness at some point in their lives, only an unlucky few see hair loss as early as 20. This normally happens if the androgen receptors in your hair follicles are super sensitive to DHT.

There are some other potential reasons your hairline is receding at 20. These include:

  • Traction alopecia — This is a major cause of a receding hairline among people who wear their hair in protective or tight hairstyles, such as ponytails, buns, dreadlocks, and braids.
  • Alopecia areata or alopecia totalis — These autoimmune conditions can affect hair on any part of the scalp, including the hairline.
  • Frontal fibrosing alopecia — Most commonly seen in postmenopausal women, this condition can also affect younger women in rare cases.

How to cope with early onset hair loss

Are you struggling to deal with your receding hairline and thinning hair? These tips can help you cope with early-onset hair loss.

  • Find a hairstyle that makes you feel confident — The right hairstyle can help you hide a receding hairline. See which male hairstyles for a receding hairline and female hairstyles for a receding hairline we recommend.
  • Seek support and advice — Speak to specialists at the Wimpole Clinic for impartial advice. Many of our consultants have experienced their own hair loss, so they know what you’re going through.
  • Learn about treatments — Understanding your condition and the relevant hair loss treatments can help you decide on an active treatment plan to tackle your receding hairline.
  • Live a healthy lifestyle — Quitting smoking, cutting down on alcohol, and eating a healthy hair diet can prolong your hair health and reduce the stress you might feel about your hair loss.

How to stop your hairline receding at 20

A receding hairline at age 20 can cause stress and worry. Fortunately, there are several proven solutions that can help you tackle your receding hairline and encourage hair growth. These include:

With the exception of Finasteride, all these solutions are available over the counter or from health shops. Finasteride isn’t suitable for everyone (including most women, as well as men who are trying to conceive a baby) so it’s available on prescription only.

If these treatments are unsuccessful, a hair transplant may be the best option, although many clinics prefer you to wait to get a hair transplant when you’re 25.

The good news is that at age 20, you may be able to completely stop hair loss and even spark hair regrowth with non-surgical treatments. So it’s a good idea to exhaust these options before opting for a FUE or FUT hair transplant.

If you’re not sure which solution to try, book a consultation with a hair loss specialist at the Wimpole Clinic. We can talk you through and provide treatment plans for your receding hairline at 20.

Receding Hairline At 20: Signs, Symptoms & Treatments, Wimpole Clinic

Early onset hair loss FAQs

Have more questions about losing hair in your 20s? Here are the answers to some of our most frequently asked questions.

It’s pretty common to experience hair loss if you’re a man in your 20s. Research suggests 16% of men under 30 have moderate to severe hair loss [6].

Minoxidil, Finasteride, rosemary oil, and caffeine shampoo have all been shown to stop balding. These first-line treatments are often effective if used during the early stages of hair loss.

If your balding is more moderate or extensive, consider using a combination of treatments or an alternative hair loss therapy like high-frequency treatment or laser regrowth therapy. Hair transplants are also effective if these first-line hair loss treatments don’t work.

You’re more likely to lose hair if other men in your family are bald. This isn’t necessarily your dad, as the main baldness gene — the AR gene — is inherited from your mother. However, you can also inherit other genes that contribute to baldness from either parent.

Yes! It’s often possible to regrow your hair, especially if you start using hair regrowth treatments at the first signs of balding. So don’t lose hope — even if you have a receding hairline in your 20s, you can stop it from advancing to permanent hair loss and maintain your hair for decades to come.

A receding hairline tends to be the first sign of hair loss in men. But it’s also possible to see crown hair loss in your 20s. Just like temple hair loss, your crown is home to DHT-sensitive hair follicles, which can cause the hair follicle to shrink when DHT binds to the androgen receptors.

The Wimpole Clinic offers FUE Hair, Beard & Eyebrow Transplants & Trichology.
Talk to a specialist ☎ 020 7935 1861.

Book a consultation

Simply fill in your details in the form below and we'll get in touch with you shortly.