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Uneven Hairlines: Are They A Sign Of Hair Loss?

As you enter your early to mid 20s, you may notice that your hairline is starting to look a little lopsided. In fact, up to 25% of men experience noticeable hair loss by the time they’re 21 — so having an uneven hairline is a natural part of ageing.

It can be distressing when your hairline starts to recede or become uneven, especially if it happens at a young age. However, an uneven hairline isn’t always a sign of irreversible baldness — and even if it is, there are steps you can take to restore your hair.

So what causes an uneven hairline, and what can you do to address it?

Table of Contents

What is an uneven hairline?

An uneven hairline is a type of hairline that occurs when the hair follicles around your temples stop producing hair. As the hair stops growing, your hairline changes shape. This usually affects the sides of the forehead initially, creating a kind of M-shaped hairline. However, depending on the cause of your hair loss, you may see a slightly different pattern.

example of an m-shaped hairline
Example of an m-shaped hairline

Your hairline can start changing as young as your mid-teens, but it can also begin when you’re older. Men are more commonly affected, but hairline changes can impact women, too. Understanding the cause can help you determine whether your uneven hairline is a sign of hair loss or just a natural part of the ageing process.

Maturing vs receding hairlines

While they present in similar ways, there’s a big difference between a maturing hairline and a receding hairline. A maturing hairline slowly edges back over time, creating a deep, distinguished hairline that looks natural for your age. A receding hairline, meanwhile, usually happens much more quickly and at a younger age, causing you to look older than you are.
hairline with no hair loss (left), mature hairline (center), and receding hairline from male pattern baldness (left)

Women experiencing a receding hairline should seek a medical professional for an appropriate diagnosis. 

Is it normal to have an uneven hairline?

Nobody has a perfectly even hairline. Most people have asymmetrical bodies and faces and our hairlines are no different. Even if you’re not experiencing any kind of hair loss, you probably don’t have an even hairline.

If your hairline is receding, it’s normal for one side to recede faster than the other, giving the appearance of losing hair on one side of your head. This can cause the hairline to look uneven or imbalanced. While this is natural, it can make you feel self-conscious about your hair.

Before Danny Ings’s hair transplant, the Premier League player had an uneven hairline:

Danny Ings natural uneven hairline

What causes an uneven hairline?

There are many factors that contribute to an uneven hairline. Age, genetics, and lifestyle choices can all play a part in how quickly your hairline starts to lose its symmetry.


father and son with male pattern hair loss
Genetics is the number one factor affecting hair loss. Most hair loss is caused by high levels of DHT, a byproduct of testosterone produced naturally in the body. DHT is responsible for male pattern baldness, which typically causes receding and uneven hairlines.


Uneven hairlines

As you get older, hair growth naturally begins to slow down. This is true for both men and women, although men typically see more noticeable hairline recession.

Traction alopecia

traction alopecia

Certain hairstyles and styling methods can cause traction alopecia, a kind of hair loss that results from excessive stress on the hair follicles. This usually results from wearing your hair in dreadlocks, top knots, or tight ponytails. Traction alopecia is often reversible if it’s caught and addressed quickly enough.

Diet, stress, and other lifestyle factors

woman looks at shedded hair in hand

A poor diet and high-stress levels can cause hair loss, as well as harsh styling choices like vigorous brushing and bleaching your hair. These factors often cause temporary hair loss, so you can stimulate hair regrowth by addressing the root cause.

Does an uneven hairline mean you’re going bald?

Having an uneven hairline can be a sign of hair loss — but it doesn’t always mean you’re going permanently bald from pattern baldness. Most people have a naturally uneven hairline, so this isn’t always a clear-cut sign. You should also consider:

  • The extent of your hairline asymmetry
  • How quickly you’re losing hair
  • If you’re also losing hair on the crown or across the scalp
  • How old you are
  • If there are lifestyle factors that could be contributing to your hair loss or hair thinning

Do you need to straighten an uneven hairline?

Uneven hairlines are perfectly normal — so there’s no real need to straighten your hairline unless it’s causing you to feel self-conscious. Many men learn to love their maturing hairline as they get older, as they feel it corresponds with their age.

However, if you’re still young and/or your hair loss is impacting your confidence and self-esteem, there are steps you can take to straighten and lower your hairline.

How to address your uneven hairline

To find out the best course of action for fixing your hairline, it’s important to find out the cause. If diet, stress, or other lifestyle factors are causing you to lose hair, the first step is to address these underlying issues. Find out which foods can promote healthy hair regrowth and the best ways to deal with depression or clinical stress and the hair loss it causes.

If your hair loss is genetic (for example, hair loss due to genetic conditions like male pattern baldness or female pattern hair loss), medical intervention is usually needed to restore your hairline. There are a few medical hair restoration options, including:

Treating hair loss is never a one-size-fits-all solution, so to find out the best course of action for you, it’s important to speak to an experienced trichologist.

What to do if you’re worried about your receding hairline

If you notice your hairline receding and it is getting you down, book a free consultation with a hair loss specialist. They’ll help you understand and establish the cause of your hair loss, so you can find the right treatment plan to restore your hair.

Browse our gallery and take a look at our reviews page to get an idea of the type of high-quality service our long-established award-winning clinic has provided for our patients over the years.

Uneven Hairlines: Are They A Sign Of Hair Loss?, Wimpole Clinic

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