LifeTYME Blog

Temple troubles—5 causes of hair thinning at temples and how to treat it

Alt text: Woman on a computer with her hair pushed into a tight ponytail. Taken from Pexels

Whether it’s age related or due to your slick back bun, you’re not alone when it comes to hair thinning at your temples 

Did you know that we can lose between 50 and 100 hairs every day, often without even noticing? Now that’s a staggering statistic that highlights the constant cycle of hair shedding that our bodies undergo, but for many, it’s the reality. Whether these hairs end up tangled in our hairbrushes, scattered on our pillows, or simply drift away unnoticed, the fact is, that hair loss is a natural and ongoing process for many of us—and something we can’t shy away from. 

This daily shedding may seem alarming at first glance, but it's important to recognize that it's a normal part of the hair growth cycle. As old hairs reach the end of their lifespan, they make way for new ones to take their place—a hair awakening if you may. So, if you've ever worried about the handful of strands that seem to fall out every time you run your fingers through your hair, rest assured, it happens to everyone.

But here's the thing—while this daily shedding is perfectly normal, there are other factors at play that can contribute to hair loss, and they might not be as innocent as they first seem. Take, for example, those sleek and stylish hairstyles we've been rocking for the last few years—the slicked-back ponytails, the Sofia Richie buns, and the Kim Kardashian gelled-back hairlines. Sure, they may give us that instant "wow" factor, but they also come with a hidden cost. Over time, the constant pulling and tension from these hairstyles can take a toll on our natural hairline, leading to hair loss and thinning in areas like the temples. 

So while trends may come and go, it's our hair that's left facing the consequences—and we’re here to get to the root cause and get some answers, once and for all. 


Why is my hair thinning at the temples? Let’s find out

Hair loss, particularly at the temples, can be a distressing experience for many individuals. Not only does it affect our physical appearance, but it can also impact our self-esteem and confidence levels. If you've noticed thinning or receding hair around your temples, and you’ve recently been using a shadow pallet to fill it in—this is for you. 

There are several common causes of hair loss in this area, ranging from lifestyle factors to underlying health conditions. Let's take a look into five of the most common causes and explore effective treatments to address them.

1. Genetics

A significant factor in hair loss at the temples is genetic predisposition (that’s right, it’s your parents fault). Whilst that is a common joke in families, if you have a family history of hair thinning or baldness, you may be more likely to experience similar issues. This genetic predisposition can lead to a condition known as androgenetic alopecia, or male and female pattern baldness—which typically results in progressive hair loss around the temples and crown of the head. While we can't change our genetic makeup, understanding our family history can help us prepare for and manage any potential hair loss.

2. Hormonal changes

Like us girlies don’t go through ENOUGH…Hormonal fluctuations can also play a significant role in hair loss, particularly in women. Changes in hormone levels, such as those experienced during pregnancy, menopause, or thyroid disorders, can disrupt the hair growth cycle and lead to temporary or permanent hair loss. For example, during pregnancy, elevated levels of estrogen can prolong the growth phase of the hair cycle, resulting in thicker, more luxurious hair. However, after childbirth, hormone levels normalize, and many women experience significant shedding, known as postpartum hair loss. Ever heard your mum say her hair isn’t the same since having you? She was right all along—and now we’re going through it! Similarly, hormonal imbalances associated with conditions like polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) or thyroid dysfunction can cause hair thinning and loss at the temples.

3. Stress and lifestyle factors

Now, we aren’t talking about a text-back drama kind of stress, so do not panic! Chronic stress, poor dietary habits, and lifestyle factors can all take a huge toll on our hair health and contribute to hair loss at the temples. High-stress levels can trigger a condition known as telogen effluvium, where a significant number of hair follicles enter the resting phase at the same time and cause shedding. That’s right, not just hair brush shedding, we mean pillow shedding, styling shedding—hair thinning all over (not ideal). Additionally, scientists also note that nutritional deficiencies, such as iron or vitamin D deficiency, can impair hair growth and contribute to hair thinning. 

We recommend adopting stress-reduction techniques (hello yoga), maintaining a balanced diet (goodbye cheetos), and prioritizing your self-care to help promote healthy hair growth and minimize your risks of hair loss. Bceuase we needed an excuse for some TLC? Yeah, right!

4. Traction Alopecia

Have you ever admired a tight, Ariana Grande-worthy ponytail or opted for a slicked-back top knot on a busy morning or after a few days of relying on your trusty dry shampoo? These clean-girl era hairstyles, while chic and convenient, can unknowingly contribute to hair thinning and loss over time. Traction alopecia is a condition caused by this persistent pulling or tension on the hair follicles, particularly around the temples and hairline.

Styles like tight ponytails, braids, and extensions (if done incorrectly) can exert constant pressure on the scalp, leading to damage and eventual hair loss. Along with this, excessive use of heat styling tools can make the problem worse. Have you ever noticed an increase in hair fall after using those straightening irons from the noughties? Overheating your strands or too much heat styling can weaken the hair shaft and compromise its integrity, making it more prone to breakage and thinning. Which is why our TYME iron pro was made to cut the styling time in half! 

Protecting your hair from any potential threats is needed for maintaining its strength and vitality. By avoiding tight hairstyles and minimizing heat exposure, you can safeguard your locks against traction alopecia and promote healthier hair growth in the long run.

5. Underlying health conditions

In some cases, hair loss at the temples may be a symptom of an underlying health condition or medical issue that needs to be treated. Conditions such as alopecia areata, an autoimmune disorder that causes patchy hair loss, or scalp infections like ringworm or folliculitis, can lead to inflammation and hair loss around the temples—so if you look after your scalp, care for your hair, and this is still happening—reach out to your doctor. 

If you weren’t going through a lot already, it is also worth noting that certain medications, such as chemotherapy drugs or those used to treat autoimmune diseases, can cause hair thinning as a side effect. 

Please, please, seek medical advice for an accurate diagnosis, and never self diagnose yourself. We know it can get scary on the internet, but sometimes your scalp may just need a little bit of nourishment and TLC. You got this. 


Long-term hair-loss treatments for hair thinning at temples

While addressing the underlying causes of your hair loss is necessary to get to the root cause, implementing long-term treatments can help promote sustained hair regrowth—and prevent further thinning. 

Here are some effective strategies that we would recommend investing in to save those tresses. 

1. Topical treatments

Over-the-counter topical treatments, such as minoxidil (Rogaine), can help stimulate hair growth and improve the density of thinning hair. These treatments are applied directly to the scalp and are available in various strengths, depending on the severity of hair loss. It's essential to follow the instructions provided and use these treatments consistently for the best results. We recommend daily usage, and massaging it gently into clean, dry hair. 

2. Oral medications 

Oral medications, such as finasteride (Propecia), may be prescribed to individuals experiencing genetic hair loss, but it's mostly given out for male pattern baldness. 

Finasteride works by blocking the production of dihydrotestosterone (DHT), a hormone that contributes to hair follicle shrinkage and hair loss. While effective, it's important to discuss potential side effects and risks with a healthcare professional before starting this medication as it isn’t recommended for some of us girls and definitely not for those planning to become pregnant. Do your research girlies!

3. Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) therapy

This is probably one of the biggest things on the market for hair loss right now, and it’s taking social media by storm. PRP therapy is a minimally invasive procedure that involves injecting platelet-rich plasma derived from your own blood into the scalp. It’s conducted by taking a vial of blood from your arm, spinning it into a machine, and injecting the ‘liquid gold’ directly to the scalp. The growth factors present in PRP help stimulate hair follicle activity, promote hair growth, and improve overall hair density. 

While multiple treatment sessions may be required, PRP therapy brings significant improvements in hair thickness and coverage—but can come at a hefty cost. Do some digging for the best prices and approved doctors. 

4. Low-Level Laser Therapy (LLLT)

Another Insta trend coming thick and fast for the hair loss girlies is LLLT. Also known as red light therapy or cold laser therapy, it is a non-invasive treatment option that uses low-level laser light to stimulate hair follicles and promote hair regrowth. This therapy can be administered at home using FDA-approved devices or in clinical settings under the guidance of a healthcare professional. 

While individual results may vary, LLLT has been shown to be effective in improving hair density and reducing hair loss. Oh, and red light works wonders on your skin, so invest in a good laser machine and you’ve got yourself the perfect skincare routine sorted. Thank us later.

5. Nutritional supplements

This one may not come as a shock, but keeping yourself healthy on the inside is one of the most important things to remember. Nutritional supplements containing essential vitamins, minerals, and amino acids can support overall hair health and promote hair growth. Key nutrients for hair growth include biotin, vitamin D, iron, zinc, and protein—and by incorporating these supplements into your daily routine, you can help address nutritional deficiencies that may be the reason behind those first signs of hair thinning.

All of these long-term treatments, once added into your hair care regimen, can support healthy hair growth and combat hair thinning at the temples effectively. But, we truly recommend consulting with a healthcare professional before starting any new treatment to ensure that it's safe and appropriate for your personal needs.


Keep yourself healthy and your hair will follow 

In addition to medical interventions, there are several proactive steps you can take to support hair health and minimize any further loss. Practicing good scalp hygiene, avoiding harsh chemical treatments, and protecting your hair from excessive heat and styling damage can all help maintain the integrity of your hair follicles. 

We also recommend adding in some nutrient-rich foods to your diet and staying hydrated with plenty of H20. Stocking up on all the superfoods and water can provide the essential vitamins and minerals that your hair is lacking. 

While hair loss at the temples can be a challenging issue to navigate, it's important to remember that you're NOT alone—and there are resources and support available to help you along the way. Whether you choose to explore medical treatments, adopt a cleaner, greener lifestyle, or seek emotional support from your friends, know that there is hope for restoring your hair health back to how it once was.


Your haircare is a journey, not a destination 

As we've explored the various causes of hair thinning at the temples and learned about effective treatments, it’s important to note that our hair's health is a journey—not a destination. From hormonal changes to lifestyle factors, there are many influences on our hair's growth and vitality that come thick and fast with daily life. Rather than viewing hair thinning as a setback, we can choose to see it as an opportunity for growth, self-care, and some ‘me-time’, 

So, whether you're experiencing hair thinning at the temples or simply seeking to enhance your hair's strength and beauty—remember, our hair is a reflection of our overall well-being, and investing in its health is an investment in ourselves. Here's to healthy, vibrant hair and growing back those wispy temples.

P.S. For now, we heard through the grapevine that root touch-up fixes those temples perfectly for your big night out. 

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