Diffuse Thinning Hairline: What Is It & What Can You Do to Prevent It?

30 May, 2024 | Hair Transplant | Author : Shveta Virmani

A rising concern among the youth is hair loss. What was once an occurrence restricted to old age now starts at any age. It can come in different forms. One can get a bald spot or a receding hairline. The most common type of hair loss is diffuse thinning hairline. 

It does not stay contained in a specific area; rather spreads out and gives the hair a thin appearance. Let’s look at a few potential causes of diffuse thinning and how to avert it. 

What is Diffuse Thinning?

A diffuse thinning hairline is one of the most prominent hair concerns among people. It takes place via hair shedding and results in a thin, see-through type of hair, which in turn makes the scalp significantly visible. Diffuse thinning is also referred to as ‘diffuse unpatterned alopecia’. 

A unique characteristic of this form is that it does not adhere to any specific pattern. Diffuse thinning takes place throughout the scalp. It can affect individuals of any age, irrespective of gender. 

What are the Symptoms of Diffuse Thinning?

To cure a diffuse thinning hairline, it is important to first identify its symptoms at an early stage. 

  • Low Hair Density: The first symptom of diffuse thinning is that the hair density reduces. You will see that your hair appears thin, and your hair parts will appear wider.
  • Increased Hair fall: The normal hair shedding rate is between 50 to 100 strands a day. If you see that you are losing a significantly higher amount every day, chances are you have diffuse thinning. Check shower drains and pillowcases for better assessment. 
  • Visible Scalp: Another sign of diffuse thinning is that the scalp becomes visible through the hair. You will see it, particularly after a shower when the hair is wet or if you see your scalp under extremely bright light.

Causes of Diffuse Thinning

Thinning hair can happen due to various causes, including hereditary reasons, medical conditions or any nutritional deficiency. The major causes of a diffuse thinning hairline have been narrowed down to the following reasons. 

Telogen Effluvium

It is the most common cause of diffuse thinning. A healthy strand of hair undergoes various phases while growing. In its anagen phase, every strand takes 2 to 6 years to grow out of the follicle and reach its length. After that, the hair enters the catagen phase and the active growth stops. 

Lastly, the telogen phase begins, where the growth fully stops, and the particular strand gets replaced with a new one. Telogen effluvium is developed when a hair enters the telogen stage prematurely. It mostly occurs due to acute stress. Some other prominent triggers are:

  • A major injury or illness
  • Fever-causing illness
  • Hormonal fluctuations
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Sudden dietary changes and low-calorie intake
  • Nutritional imbalance and deficiency
  • Some medications like retinoids

It is important to remember that diffuse thinning due to telogen effluvium is not permanent and will stop once the root cause is cured. 

Androgenetic Alopecia 

Also known as pattern hair loss, it occurs in both males and females. The basic sub-divisions are:

  • Male Pattern Baldness: It can happen to men of any age, although the target age group is those above 50. It is often hereditary and is related to androgens and male sex hormones. 
  • Female Pattern Hair Loss: This is also hereditary and affects the part-line. Acute female pattern hair loss can lead to diffuse thinning.

Anagen Effluvium

This takes place as a side effect of highly toxic medications, acute trauma or severe treatments. It leads to losing a massive amount of hair, leading to diffuse thinning. It also leads to breakage since it makes the hair fibres weak. Anagen effluvium can be cured once the causative treatments stop or are controlled.

Alopecia Areata Incognita

This can happen all of a sudden and lead to severe hair shedding. In this case, diffuse thinning is evident in a few weeks rather than a longer period of time.

Diffuse Alopecia Areata

This is similar to alopecia areata but occurs during a longer time period. It affects the whole scalp area and causes diffuse thinning. 


A common reason behind diffuse thinning is ageing. In fact, it is the most natural cause of hair loss. Based on genetics, the exact age may differ between individuals. 

Ways to Prevent Diffuse Thinning

There are a few tested ways, from natural to medicinal, to prevent and treat diffuse thinning. These are:

  • Address the Root Cause: In most cases, diffuse thinning occurs due to telogen effluvium, medical treatments, medications, or stress. Once these causes are cured and adjusted, the diffuse thinning also gets reversed. 
  • Minoxidil: It is a topical solution to treat hair loss that takes hair strands back to its anagen stage. It also enhances blood flow. However, it is best to consult a medical professional for the right dosage. According to a study, about 84.3 % of men reported positive results from using minoxidil. 
  • Finasteride: This is also a medication which is available on prescription. It reduces the influence of 5-alpha reductase, which is responsible for transforming testosterone into dihydrotestosterone. The latter helps reduce hair follicles. This, however, can only be available upon professional consultation. 
  • Hair Vitamins: Consuming hair vitamins like biotins can also help promote hair growth and reduce hair fall. Have a diet rich in zinc, iron, and folic acid for healthy hair. 
  • Scalp Massage: The most affordable solution, a good massage helps relieve stress and also enhances blood flow in the scalp. Light pressure in the main points can induce a feeling of relaxation and help promote healthy hair growth. 
  • Essential Oils: Certain essential oils like rosemary and lavender derived from plants are helpful in preventing hair fall. This is more preventative and curing. 
  • Specialised Shampoos: There are some shampoos which are made to make the hair appear dense and support any other hair growth treatments. These are mostly medicated shampoos with essential amino acids to treat any scalp issues. 
  • Corticosteroids: These are a form of prescript treatment that helps reduce diffuse thinning caused by alopecia areata and inflammation.


A diffuse thinning hairline, although concerning, can be effectively treated. It is always recommended to maintain a healthy lifestyle and have a well-balanced diet. Proper sleep, stress management, and regular care can majorly prevent diffuse thinning from occurring. However, in severe cases, it is best to consult a doctor for proper diagnosis and treatment. 


What medicines help treat diffuse thinning?

Minoxidil and Finasteride are two medicines that can cure diffuse thinning. It is advisable to consult a doctor for proper dosage recommendations.

Can diffuse thinning be cured?

Yes. Most causes of diffuse thinning can easily be cured and treated. This includes dietary, medical, and hormonal factors. However, age-induced hair thinning is mostly permanent. 

Can oiling cure diffuse thinning?

It mostly depends on the cause. If your hair loss is due to stress, then a good massage with essential oils three to four times a week can increase blood flow and promote hair growth. Oiling, however, is more of a preventative method.

Medically Reviewed By

Dr. Gaurang Krishna

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Disclaimer:The content published on this website(hairtransplantdelhi.org) is meant to spread awareness and educate the concerned patients regarding baldness and hair transplants as well as the treatment options available for baldness and hair transplant treatment in Delhi India. Any information on the website shall not be regarded as a prescription from a professional dermatologist. We recommend visiting a dermatologist in person for the right diagnosis and the treatment for any hair issues. We do not guarantee specific results as the treatments and the results vary from person to person.

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