Mature Hairline: What it is, and what it’s not

- Reviewed by: Dr. Jae Pak, M.D.

Actual Patient of Jae Pak, M.D.

All hair restoration experts can agree that there are many misconceptions and misunderstandings in the industry.

The subject of the “mature hairline” certainly needs some clarification, especially for men who want to set themselves up for a lifetime of healthy, natural-looking hair.

The problem is that most men don’t really know what it means to have a mature hairline and find themselves misled from a young age – leading to poor hair care decisions.

We owe it to all the men out there to set the record straight about mature hairlines, what they really mean, and when you might want to start thinking about preventive measures for further hair loss down the road. Let’s get started.

What Is a Mature Hairline?

The hairline is a prime indicator for the overall status and health of a person’s hair, especially for men, who tend to show signs of pattern balding on the front of the scalp and sides of the temples.

In the hair restoration space, we usually use the term “mature hairline” to refer to the natural hair maturation process in men between the ages of 17 and 29.

A helpful point of view is to compare a mature hairline to a juvenile or youthful hairline.

While juvenile hairlines are typically low and full on the frontal region of the scalp, mature hairlines are set back, closer to the vertex, often with more space on either side of the head in a slight M-shaped pattern.

A mature hairline should not be confused with a receding hairline, however. Receding hairlines advance beyond what is considered to be a mature hairline, characterized by the miniaturization of hairs on the front and sides of the scalp.

Should I Be Worried About a Mature Hairline?

While some men are concerned about developing mature hairlines, there is no reason to raise the alarm in most cases.

It’s natural for men to want to hang on to their youthful appearance as they age, but the truth is that only about 5 percent of men maintain their juvenile hairlines beyond their teenage years.

Many men look better and more distinguished with a mature hairline. On the other hand, some men seek hair restoration advice and pursue various protocols to turn back the clock on a mature hairline and restore the hair of their youth.

In these situations, we encourage men to aim for more realistic goals such as maintaining a strong mature hairline into advanced age. This typically results in more long-term satisfaction and fewer issues regarding medical or surgical intervention.

Mature Hairline vs. Balding

There’s one important question we can’t avoid when it comes to a mature hairline: how does one know when a mature hairline turns into a receding hairline?

This is a key area of focus because men with a mature hairline are not invincible against the progression of androgenetic alopecia or male pattern balding.

What might appear to be a strong and shapely mature hairline may soon show signs of advanced recession, in which case measures must be taken to slow, stop, or reverse the trend.

There are a few key things we look for to differentiate a mature hairline from a receding one.

First off, we keep an eye on shedding and encourage clients to do the same. While a bit of shedding in the shower is fine, large clumps of hair on the pillow or in a hairbrush may be a red flag.

If you have a mature hairline, it’s a good idea to take note of the quality of your hair before scrutinizing the quantity from day to day. This is because the miniaturization process of male hair is the first indication that balding may soon occur. It gives men an early signal that they should start addressing the issue proactively instead of waiting until later.

It may be smart to document and stay aware of potential problem areas around a mature hairline, namely the hair on the scalp’s temples and frontal side regions.

As we see in images from the Norwood scale, for example, most male pattern balding cases reveal a distinctive M-shaped hairline beyond a mature hairline’s typical shape.

While some men accept these slight changes at first, they may soon find themselves with more severe thinning on the front or vertex of the scalp, which could leave them with fewer options later on for hair restoration.

Do You Have a Mature Hairline?

There are a few ways to tell if you have a mature hairline or if your hair has already begun to recede or is thin to a greater extent.

Use these various techniques to take stock of your hairline as it currently stands, and track the status of your hairline moving forward to ensure you take proper action if required.

At-Home Tests

The quick and simple way to test for a mature hairline doesn’t require any complicated tools or a visit to the clinic.

Simply place your index finger horizontally over the highest wrinkle on your forehead and see if the width of that finger fills the gap to the front portion of your hairline.

Mature hairlines tend to only be about 1.5 inches from this highest wrinkle, so if you pass the finger test, you are probably in good shape. If your hairline is any higher than finger width above this top wrinkle, it could mean that the hairline has already receded further back onto the scalp.

Do keep in mind that no two men have the exact same hairlines due to genetics and lifestyles. One man’s mature hairline might seem a bit high or disproportionate to another’s, so avoid trying to measure up and compare your hair to friends and celebrities.

Once again – don’t panic if your hairline has gone beyond this point or if you notice some minor thinning on the temples.

Use this test every so often and make a record of your hairline with photos to ensure you take proper steps if the pattern does progress.

Professional Consultations

It may not be a bad idea to seek professional guidance to analyze your mature hairline and stay on top of future developments, even if you feel confident with your current situation.

As men reach their 30s and 40s, having a plan in place for hair protection and preservation is a smart move since there’s no telling if a mature hairline may start receding further at any time.

Styling a Mature Hairline

There are many ways to sport a mature hairline with modern, stylish looks.

Men can look great with a mature hairline with a swept-back style or the traditional high-and-tight haircuts that we see on movie screens and television.

Even long hairstyles can be easily done with a mature hairline since it doesn’t necessarily mean that the hair on the scalp has miniaturized or weakened. Men can wear shoulder-length styles or even go longer with ponytails, top buns, and a range of other different looks.

While it might be a bit discouraging to lose a youthful hairline at first, men with a mature hairline have more than enough options when it comes to styling their hair in a distinguished and attractive way – especially if they take good care of their hair with diet, natural products, and hair loss prevention protocols.

Protect Your Mature Hairline – Tips and Advice

If you like the look of your mature hairline and wish to keep it for as long as you can, there are a few things you can do as preventive measures.

In this section, we’ll also highlight the possibility of surgery to restore a hairline that has gone past the mature phase and into the receding territory.

Lifestyle and Care Basics

While science shows that genetics is the main factor in hair loss, plenty of evidence supports that a healthy lifestyle and haircare are key components in preserving a mature hairline into advanced age.

Men should aim to balance their diets, keep stress low, get enough exercise, and style their hair in a way that doesn’t put unneeded stress on their hairlines.

Supplementation can also help keep a mature hairline in place for longer, including hair growth favorites like collagen, biotin, and others.


The FDA approves two medicines for hair loss in men – Finasteride and Minoxidil.

Men with mature hairlines will first want to consider Finasteride, a once-daily oral medication, to preserve their hair and prevent the onset of balding in this area.

While topical Minoxidil can also be effective, trials show that this medication works better for preserving hair on the vertex – the top of the head, rather than the hairline.

Surgery Options

If a hairline has receded significantly, hair transplantation may be the best course of action to restore a mature hairline.

Follicular unit transplant, or strip surgery, and follicular unit excision can both be used for large and small hairline procedures.

Follicular unit transplant, or strip surgery, leaves a linear scar, but the number of hair follicles available over a lifetime using this method are greater. In contrast, follicular unit excision leaves only pinprick size incisions but less hair follicles are available over a lifetime.

Handle Your Mature Hairline the Right Way

There’s nothing to fear if you know the facts about a mature hairline! Keep this guide on hand and be ready for the road ahead.

When it comes time to think about hair restoration or simply hair loss prevention, reach out to Jae Pak, MD, and our team to get your game plan in order.


Work With A Mature Hairline | My Health Guide

Hairline Evolution Research | Hair Transplant Forum

HAIRLINE | Cambridge English Dictionary

The Norwood scale: Understanding the stages of balding | Medical News Today

Androgenetic alopecia | MedlinePlus 

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