Hi Doctor. I asked a silly question once before about genetics that you wisely didn’t answer (because it was stupid). My question today, however, is hopefully less dumb. I am 20 years old with thick brown hair. I have no history of baldness in my family minus a couple of great uncles on both sides of my family. The problem, however, is that I seem to be shedding a lot of hair in the front of my head. After shampooing my head or brushing my hair I seem to lose about 5-10 hairs just from the front of my hairline. What’s also weird is that the hairs only seem to fall out from the middle of my hairline (at the widow’s peak), and not at the temples, which is where baldness or thinning should be occurring (at least in my family history). The hair shafts seem to be just as thick as the rest of my head, and when I part my hair to check for thinning, the hair density in front actually seems thicker. I know that it is normal to lose about 100 hairs a day, but this type of shedding doesn’t seem to be occurring anywhere else on my head. Any advise? Thank you for your time.
Hair shedding is not always an indication of permanent hair loss or future balding, as most people lose 100 to 150 hairs every day. I would say that microscopic evaluation of the scalp and hair (a miniaturization study) is probably the most accurate method of predicting the future hair loss in male pattern baldness. Having increased miniaturization (over 20%) in any area of the scalp should be considered as a sign of future hair loss in that particular area.
Some people lose their widow’s peak and very frontal 1-3 cm of their hairline due to maturation of the hairline, which is not necessarily balding (see Maturation of a Hairline — Moving From Juvenile to Mature). So if you are only thinning in the frontal 1-3 cm with no evidence of hair loss or miniaturization elsewhere, it may just be hairline maturation and that will stop when your new hairline is reached.