Noticing areas of thinner or depleting hair around the crown (or vertex) of your head can often be the first sign of male pattern baldness (MPB). Unfortunately balding and thinning at the crown can be a delayed realisation due to the fact that it is on the back of your head and therefor, hard to see.
Have you heard the story about a man who one day looked in a mirror and noticed a bald guy with the same shirt on behind him, only to realise it was just another mirror? It was his own bald head staring back at him but he didn’t recognise it. Has something similar happened to you recently?
Don’t worry, we’re here to help explain a few things.
Does a thinning crown mean baldness?
People can go bald for many different reasons and an unusual patch of hair could also be due to a cowlick. Realistically speaking, though, if you’re a male with family history of baldness, are healthy and are not suffering from trauma, then it could be the start of MPB.
Using the Norwood scale, noticeable hair thinning at the back of your head – or the crown – is at stage three of male pattern baldness. This system is the leading classification in the stages of MPB.
Can you regrow hair around the crown/vertex?
DHT causes the hair follicles to shrink and eventually disappear. “If a follicle has closed, disappeared, scarred, or not generated a new hair in years, then a new hair wouldn’t be able to grow,” Dr. Francesco Fusco, MD of Wexler Dermatology in NYC told GQ.
Caught early enough, however, there are treatments that can encourage growth of follicles that are still intact. This can also help improve the quality of hair that is remaining so that it does not thin as much.
The treatments are rarely 100% successful though, and as the case with The Bald Company member Markus, don’t encourage any new growth.
Treatment options include:
- Finasteride (see Markus’ experience with this). It’s said to be the most successful method to keeping the hairline in place, but only for so long.
- Minoxidil (aka Rogaine) is a more over-the-counter option. Around 60% of people notice a difference when using it.
- Saw palmetto is a herbal medication available over-the-counter that is said to block some of the receptor activity on the hair follicles.
- Ketoconazole shampoo goes by many names (eg. Nizoral) and acts to reduce inflammation in the scalp which can sometimes contribute to hair loss.
- Plasma injections. This is a new technology still being studied but the theory is that transferring ‘growth factors’ from ones blood cells into the scalp may encourage growth.
- Hair transplants are a very evasive and expensive path that many men take. This is only an option to men with enough healthy hair follicles to start with.
How to deal with a balding crown?
If you don’t want to opt for the above treatments, or have tried and failed then here are a few things you can do to style your hair in a way that makes the thinning less obvious. Try one of these options:
Cut your hair short
For anyone with short length hair, the shorter the better. Keeping the leftover hair longer will mean thinning areas are more obvious. PLEASE don’t be that guy with a bad comb over. We beg you!
Grow your hair extra long
In saying that, if the thinning area isn’t too big, it can be hidden well with longer hair. Grow it so long that there is enough hair to cover the bald spot. You could try a slicked back look side part, a messy style or man bun.
Accentuate the front of your hair
Rock the hair you do have left and make the front more exaggerated to direct peoples attention. This could be in the form of a quiff, pompadour or spiked up front.
Short back and sides
Shave the sides and back but leave the top of the head long for an on-trend look.
Use light, volumising products
Throw away any gels that weigh your hair down and use products that will give your hair volume which will hopefully cover parts of your crown.
Blow dry your hair
Air drying unfortunately lets the hair dry flat, whereas blow drying will lift hairs and seperate them making them appear thicker.
Shave it off
Be brave and shave! See how you would look with a bald head and embrace the new you!
Whatever you decide, we’re here to support you every step of the way.