Curly Hair Balding – Ask Rogelio

You’ve got your curly hair rocking but suddenly start thinking about going bald. You see your scalp when parting the hair, you can even see your scalp under bright light. What’s going on? Are you going bald or is this normal? Rogelio answers this very much in today’s featured article!

Curly Hair Balding – Ask Rogelio

Hi Rogelio. Your hair is AWESOME. I’m growing out my hair to Shoulder length (right now I’m 5inches, starting to hang down – Awkwaard stage), I have a mix of Type I(very top) and Type II (hairline and sides). Do you think is normal for thin haired people (low density) to show scalp when parting hair? If it’s true, how much scalp have to be shown to have “thinning hair” or early stages of baldness? Under very bright light I can see my scalp and it’s driving me crazy, long hair has been my dream since I was little (I’m 18 yrs old) and hairloss wasn’t in my plans :( … I don’t know if I should keep going, or I’m just suffering from paranoia… I’d love to hear your opinion :D … Btw, sorry for my english, it’s not my first language.

Saludos desde Venezuela \o/

Jesus (Venezuela)

Hey compadre,

I get a lot of questions asked daily and sometimes I missed one or two. Your post is from a week ago and I’m always up for helping my fellow curly comrades (and non-curly comrades too, and, of course, the curly comradettes, nom’sayin?). Anyhow…

Let me help you out.

You will find that the parting line of the head shows some scalp; depending on your hair density, you will show more or less scalp; the actual thickness of the line is genetic and depends on how many hair follicles you have in a given square centimeter. In the early stages of male pattern baldness (aka MPB), the hair on the center of the head still retains density; if you were to be balding (i.e. suffering from MPB) you would show a lot of forehead recession with a thick asymmetric parted line. What I’m trying to say is, if you have a decent forehead hairline with no recession, you are 99% NOT balding and that line when parted is part of your scalp and your natural hair. The one exclusion would be if you suffer from diffuse pattern alopecia, which is a rare male hair loss condition where hair is lost all around the scalp at the same time and with no marked hairline recession; diffuse pattern alopecia is a rare condition although I interviewed a hair-transplant patient who did, in fact, have diffuse pattern alopecia (click the link to see interview). But, like I say, it is a rare hair-loss condition and male pattern baldness is the most common hair-loss condition in men.

Going back to the width of the parted line; as a matter of fact, the thickness of the parted hair line is used when measuring women’s hair loss, as the balding that women suffer is spread out on the top of the scalp without much hairline recession. Ergo, let’s use the Savin Scale, which is a scale to measure the progression of the parted line’s width. See below:

Picture of women's hair loss in a scale

Since you are from Venezuela, I will use centimeters: up to one centimeter of thickness (i.e. width) is fine, and even more width can be fine too depending on your head size and genetically-determined hair density. Measure the thickness of the line and feel free to let me know. As you can see in the above diagram depicting the width of the parted line, the progression follows a predictable pattern, and, with no sign of baldness, the parted line on the scalp will always be fairly visible depending on your hair density. Following the Savin Scale above, up to a I-3 is fine; contrast that with your own parted line and measure the width of your own line. In any case, do consult a dermatologist if the line gets any wider or if you are truly worried about going bald and want the advice of a medical professional.

Now, you also mention seeing your scalp under very bright light: dude, it happens to me too and there’s nothing to worry about. The scalp reflects the light and thus you see through the hair strands. I have the wildest bushy curls and I can see my scalp if I use a very bright light; in fact, I almost sh*t my pants the first time I saw my scalp like that. That was some 4 years ago and I still have my wild curly hair creature on top of my head.

A man with long curly hair and no balding

It’ alive, it’s alive!!

 

Meme of Like A Sir

…with long curly hair

In any case, here at Manly Curls and in my hair-care books I always suggest to take pictures of your forehead, side and top of the head every 3 MONTHS; that way you can track any balding and treat it. I have quite a few guys giving me feedback of this method that I suggested of tracking your scalp and the feedback is pretty good.

So there, worry not, my fellow comrade, your wild curls shall grow from their awkward stage and become so luscious that all those latina chicas will be jumping all over you.

Let me know how it goes, Jesus; you’ve got a friend here.

Rogelio

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Rogelio

Rogelio is the go-to guy when it comes to men's hair. Having embraced his natural curly hair for over a decade while living in 5 countries, Rogelio has learnt a thing or two along the way. Rogelio is the author of the two bestselling men's books "The Curly Hair Book" and "The Men's Hair Book", and his motto when it comes to hair is, "Gentlemen, having a good head of hair should not cost us our testosterone".

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9 Responses to Curly Hair Balding – Ask Rogelio

  1. aakash on December 27, 2013 at 7:54 am

    Hi my hair looks thin near side partition of hair just after a shower . When it gets dry in five minuntes it looks full
    Is this normal . I am getting paranoid on hair loss . I really had not noticed this before .

  2. steffen on November 19, 2013 at 9:12 am

    hello. I have always had a full head of hair that was a nice length. I recently, two months ago, go a really bad hair cut for ROTC. he ran the clippers along the top of my head so much that it felt uncomfortable. Ever since then, my hair has been extremely thin on the top of my head where he ran the clippers at. the entire top of my hair looks very thin now. What did that hair cut do? Is there any way to reverse the damage? the hair on the sides are growing back fine but the top where he ran the clippers heavily is very thin. Some parts are thicker than others but overall its all thin up there. help please!

    • Anthony on January 18, 2014 at 2:43 am

      Hi, since 2009 i haven’t let my hair grow much always shaving it, setting the clipper with no number, basically at 0.I’m letting it grow back but like you in the middle its really thin but on the side and the back is thick, on top of that my hair doesn’t curl no more and im really worried now that it cant anymore let me know if yours curls or not?

  3. Sid on June 25, 2013 at 5:19 pm

    Hey Rogelio,
    Let me just start out by saying that I really appreciate your blog, keep up the good work. I’m a sixteen year old guy with with slightly wavy hair? The thing is that my hair is pretty straight(slightly wavy on the top) however its really wavy/kinky on the sides, and i would really like to how longer hair on the sides. Also, I have a really persistent cowlick on the hair to the right. My hair just sticks straight out on the right side and curls upwards, while the hair on my left is pretty straight and looks good. The hair on my right almost never stays down no matter how much gel I put on, also the hair looks thinner on the right when compared to the left (maybe its just the cowlick?). Please help me bro, that stupid cowlick messes up my whole look. :)

    • Rogelio on June 28, 2013 at 3:18 pm

      Hi Said,

      Usually, what you want to do with a cowlick is style by following the direction of the cowlick (e.g. clockwise). Cowlicks are genetic and there is no real way to defeat them, at least with short hair.

      About the hair on each side, do you have a preferred side to sleep on? That itself can screw up your hair. Wet your hair, dry it softly with a towel or T-shirt,then lift all of the hair up with fingers and style as you wish with fingers and your preferred hairstyling method.

      Let me know if that helps.

      Best

  4. Jesús on June 25, 2013 at 5:18 pm

    THANK YOU SO MUCH \o/! I took the measure of my hair parting and… 1.4 centimeters (more or less…) under “normal” light conditions (under the bright light in my question, it’s like 1cm wider xD…) I don’t have a lot of hair in my temples (It’s been like that since I was a child if I’m not mistaken), my hairline have no recession so, 99% no MPB I guess :’)! The trauma caused by people saying “omg, I can see your scalp!” It’s pretty annoying >:(

    My sister and I have kind of the same type of hair (straight hair during childhood and very fine-thin curly hair later) That’s how genetic works huh?…

    I’m still learning what suits my hair it feels wavy near root, but the end of each strand it’s a big curl ._.’… I shampoo every other day…Sometimes it looks awesome, sometimes lifeless(curls with no pattern, pretty flat looking ), maybe because my shampoo/conditioner have silicone and that stuff? When I wake up my curls are simply destroyed :( Thin/fine hair loses it’s shape pretty easy :(

    Can I keep going with this long comment xD?… So much things I would like to ask >< … Advice for a thin/fine curly hair dude(If that DOES make a difference :s…) would be pretty cool *-*

    I'll keep going through the Awkward stage using what I learnt from you~

    Did I say that YOU are BEYOND AWESOMENESS? lol, Muchisimas gracias!, Saludos :D

    • Rogelio on June 25, 2013 at 6:21 pm

      Hey Jesus,

      Not a problem buddy. Sure you can shoot some more questions but please also have a read through some of my articles first as sometimes the answers are there, especially when it comes to curly hair. Your comments should now be going through without moderation (you’ll see them instantly), but, if you don’t see your comment straightaway, worry not as I will get to see it and allow it through.

      About the line, 1.4 cms is fine; it just means that you are more on the lower side of hair density; curly haired men usually have lower hair density than straight haired men (though this has to do more with ethnicity than curl type) and it also goes with your hair colour. Just keep an eye on the line and watch out for any increasing in width or asymmetry (e.g. widening on the center only).

      Having said the above, you mention that people can see your scalp too (I assume under normal light situations), which is a sign of hair loss but which can also be a sign of simply having a naturally-low hair density. Hair loss doesn’t need to be of the androgenetic type (i.e. baldness caused by having male sex hormones, such as in MPB) but it can also be caused by not good-enough nutrition (especially protein and certain vitamins and minerals); hair loss can also be caused by stress, a malfunctioning thyroid, certain diseases, certain medications etc. It is difficult to tell and I’m not qualified to make a professional, medical diagnosis, as much as I may like to research and study hair in my spare time. I would suggest that you go to the doctor and ask to be referred to a dermatologist as family doctors are usually clueless with regards to male hair loss. Seeing an endocrinologist would also be a good idea just to test stuff such as DHT levels, prolactin, insulin and glucose, thyroid output (ask for free T3 and free T4, don’t just put up with the usual lazy way of doctors to only test TSH).

      I would say that you are fine, but your case, as you describe, could warrant some further investigating. Not trying to scare you; if you had any confirmed hair loss that weren’t MPB it would 99% be easily fixed as most cases I see of hair loss in men that aren’t MPB have to do with bad nutrition and anemia.

      Totally let me know, and I give you green lights to ask me as much as you want if you want to go to a doctor and want me to offer my opinion/offer a second opinion etc :-)

      Un abrazo amigo y olvidate de lo que diga la gente que a la gente le gusta hablar por hablar y decir idioteces.

      Rogelio

      • Jesús on June 25, 2013 at 8:26 pm

        Thank you, thank you, thank you … The people usually said that about the hair part(mostly thick haired dudes,close friends, in college…They also like ahmm “heavy jokes” ?), my hairdresser told me I had low-density hair, so did my sister and mom (because our hair look alike, but as a male, I thought my case would be worse). I even asked for the honest opinion of females friends about how much scalp could they see in my head, I got “You are fine, you don’t have much hair, but it’s ok, pretty normal”… There haven’t been changes in the past couple of years so, I guess it’s almost sure that I have low density hair…Buuut~ I’ll go to the doctor anyways :D

        I’ll continue in my journey to have shoulder length curly hair! I’ll let you know if I succeed (I hope so) :)

        Just one more question, Is the use of beanie hats forbidden? Fact or Myth that hats cause hairloss?

        Tu blog es una gran inspiración, saludos :)

        • Rogelio on June 28, 2013 at 3:16 pm

          Hey Jesus,

          Don’t worry about beanies or hats. Just be careful when putting them on that they don’t get any hairs trapped and pulled them off. Your hair will not suffocate from using a beanie or hat, contrary to what the myth says.
          Best!

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