My True Story
My Receding Hairline Experience
By … Pamela C.
This is my true story about how I corrected my receding hairline. Please note that this can work for a male as well as a female.
I didn't even realize I was losing my hair until my hairstylist, Pat, pointed it out. I had shown her a picture of myself and said, "I can't get my hair to look like that in the front anymore."
Pat looked at the picture and then at my hair. "That’s probably because you don’t have as much hair as you did in the picture," she said. She picked up her mirror and held it so I could see the top of my head, and pointed out two deep V’s in my hairline at the temples.
I was shocked! It was scary. My heart sank as I thought, "Oh, no! I’m losing my hair!" Then it soared as I heard Pat say, "You still have a chance to grow it back."
"I do?" I asked.
"You see these little fine hairs around the edge?" Pat asked. "They aren’t growing, are they?"
I knew I had these hairs, but I never thought about whether they were growing or not. I had just assumed they were breakage. After thinking about it, I realized that they were definitely not growing and wanted to know the reason.
"Do you brush your hair?" Pat asked.
"Not very much," I said.
Due to having perms for the previous several years, I was only using a vent brush and a very wide tooth comb or a pick. Pat also mentioned that females with long hair may have a habit of not starting all the way at the front of the hair when they brush. My opinion is that having bangs or fringe can contribute to that habit. When I have fringe, I don’t like to brush that short hair back with the long hair. So what happens is … I tend to start behind the fringe instead of at the hairline.
Pat told me that if I started brushing my hair, especially concentrating on the hairline, I could have my hair back within a few years. I was so happy to hear that! I believed her, and I started brushing for several minutes every day.
To my joy and amazement, after two weeks those little fine hairs that weren’t growing were HALF AN INCH LONGER!!! I took pictures of my hairline then, after two weeks of brushing. I regret that I didn’t take them before I started. The date on those pictures is April 1999. I took photos again in June 2002, three years later. The difference is very noticeable, but shows there is still some room for improvement. Another picture a year later revealed a little more improvement. So you can see that this is not something that happens quickly. It can be compared to growing out your hair, which also takes several years to accomplish.
The manner in which my hair grew in was interesting. It grew back in layers. A new layer started as the previous one got longer. A covering of fuzz has grown where there is still no noticeable hair, which indicates to me that I will be able to grow hair up to the point that the fuzz stops, at least.
I can’t tell you how many layers have started and grown out. But, I can say that the past six years has been a long time to have little hairs constantly sticking up in the front. Once they grow a couple inches long, they aren’t so much of a problem. But layer after layer growing out has been a pain in the neck. However, it’s not as much of a pain as not having any hair there would be, so it is tolerable.
Now, it probably doesn’t have to take six years to correct a hairline receding at the temples. In my case, I had 3 babies during that six years, and after each one I lost some ground because of the post-partum hair loss. Also, at some periods of time I was not brushing as much as I should have been due to being busy caring for the children.
During the years of growing my hair back, I have been making many observations, some of which are as follows:
1) The "V" in my hairline was worse on the left side, the side I part it on. This side would not have received as much brushing throughout the years, since brushing is usually done starting at the part, not across the part.
2) Many of the young ladies that I know have at least somewhat of a "V" at their temples. The ones that are more prominent are the ones who have had long hair almost all of their life.
3) The men seem to be losing their hair at a younger age than usual, maybe due to the very short hair fashion in recent years. No brushing is required.
4) My father always uses a brush. Though it is thinning and receding now, he had a good head of hair until well on in life. When he brushed, he brushed from the part across the top, then from the crown down the back. In doing this, he neglected the crown area. That is where he started balding.
5) I was told that one of my husband’s grandfathers was almost completely bald. In the last years of his life, he couldn’t get around well. He would sit and brush his head to pass the time. By the time he passed away, he had a full head of hair.
The Reason Why
How does brushing cause hair to grow?
Brushing stimulates blood circulation to the scalp. Hair follicles need that blood circulation in order to grow a strong, healthy hair. When a single hair falls out, another one will grow in its place. If the follicle continues to receive good blood circulation, the hair will be healthy and strong like the one it is replacing. But, if it is not receiving blood circulation, it will not be quite as strong and will not be able to grow as long in length as the previous one. This pattern will continue, with each consecutive hair becoming weaker and weaker, until a hair may only be able to grow about an inch long (give or take). It may also be very fine, like baby hair. When this hair lives its lifetime and falls out, the follicle may not even be able to produce another hair in its place.
Even if the hair has gone this far, the follicle will still live for a time in a dormant state, until it eventually dies completely. If blood circulation is regained at any time before the follicle dies, it can begin anew to produce hair.
Hair growth occurs in a cycle. The hair grows to its maximum length, depending on blood circulation, nutrition and other factors. Then the growth ceases, the hair is shed, and the cycle starts again. At any given time, only around 85% of the hairs on our head are actively growing. The rest of them are in the resting stages.
The hair growth cycle has three phases:
Anagen: active growth … lasts between one and a half and seven years with three being the average.
Catagen: breakdown and change … the hair detaches from the base of the follicle. This phase lasts about three weeks.
Telogen: resting stage … the follicle rests for about three months. The hair can be brushed out during this time or when the new hair begins to grow.
I’d like to touch on "male pattern baldness". I read an article recently that says it is not caused by poor scalp circulation. It states that "male pattern baldness" is hereditary and caused by the male hormones testosterone and DHT. The article says that DHT affects the follicles’ growth cycle, causing them to become smaller and produce progressively thinner and shorter hair, until these follicles finally die. I am not trying to disprove their theory, but surely people blame their hormones for hair loss when it is simply caused by poor blood circulation. Or even if it is caused by hormones or hormonal changes, has anybody ever experimented with trying to get it to grow back in by increasing the scalp circulation? Or prevent it by frequent brushing to maintain the circulation? I would think it’d be worth a try.
A few years ago I came across an article written by a doctor who said brushing will CAUSE your hair to fall out. I couldn’t believe my eyes! This idiot was telling people not to use a brush! He was saying that the old adage of 100 strokes a day was an old wives tale. I have also seen a few websites that tell people not to brush their hair. I feel sorry for anyone who thinks they can keep their hair from falling out by not brushing it. Who knows? Maybe the people who don’t want you to know you should brush your hair are the ones in the hair transplant and hair regrowth products industries. The only hairs that would come out because of brushing are those in the resting stage.
I realize that there are people whose hair breaks when using a brush. It would not really be necessary to brush the whole length of the hair. You could just brush the hairline or wherever your problem is. But this makes me wonder if the reason for brittle hair is poor scalp circulation. Another option besides brushing is scalp massage. The only side-effects I have experienced are: 1) my hair doesn’t clump together like it used to, and 2) because of the exfoliating action of the brush I no longer have an itchy, flaky scalp. It’s wonderful!
I have had such great results with regrowing my hair, that I can’t keep this to myself. If I could grow my hair back by just brushing, you can too! I desire to have everyone know that they have a chance of regaining hair they have lost. I also want to emphasize the importance of maintaining good blood circulation to the scalp from the beginning, so that hair loss may not occur.
I encourage you to inspect your hairline. Ladies should comb all their hair back and take a look at the pattern of the hairline. Also, take notice to whether you have short, fine baby hairs at the edge, and see if they are growing. If they are not growing, chances are good that when these hairs reach the end of their lifetime, there will not be enough strength in the follicle to produce a hair to replace them. Scary, isn’t it?
If you decide to try this for yourself, make sure you take pictures first, and date them. The way I took my pictures is with wet hair combed straight back. Then, commit yourself to brushing your scalp every day. Concentrate on the hairline and areas that are thinning or bald. Brush for several minutes. You can even take hold of a brush when you are on the phone, while reading a book, waiting for a computer program to load, and countless other extra minutes when you are not using your hands. You could keep a brush in your car and use it at red lights, in traffic jams, in line at the drive-thru, and waiting for kids. Any extra time you get to do a little brushing will be beneficial.
As far as penetration of the hair to get to the scalp, I have found it best to use a stiff boar bristle brush with a curved brushing surface. The ones that are flat will not get through long hair. I have also used a stiff nylon bristle brush, but boar bristle is easier on the skin. Also, parting the hair off in various places and brushing away from the parts will help you get down to the scalp, where the hair is thick at the crown, for instance.
If you realize an improvement over a year or more, I would like to see your pictures. The ideal scenario would be to take a picture each year. You could e-mail them to me at the address at the end of this story, or just send me a link to where I could view them. I would like to start a gallery pertaining to this on my Webshots photo album, with permission from the individual. The pictures would be, like mine, only of the head with no identification. You can view my pictures at the following internet address:
Copying this story in its entirety with no changes is permitted and encouraged. Send it by e-mail to your friends or include it on your website. Thank you to anyone who helps me spread the word. My e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org. I welcome your e-mails.