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What Is An M Shaped Hairline?

What Is An M Shaped Hairline?

Photo of a man with a m shaped hairline

Hairlines come in many shapes and forms, and can often make us feel uncomfortable if we are not happy with their appearance.

With over 50% of us expected to experience hair loss at some point in our lives, it is very common to be unsatisfied with our hairlines. There are many different shapes and types of hairlines, and in this article, we will discuss the M shape hairline which is a distinctive M shape at the tip of our forehead and is often associated with hair loss.

We will discuss how to identify if you have one, what measures you can take to prevent it, and the treatments available to you should you decide you are unsatisfied with it.

Key Takeaways

  • The M-shaped hairline is a distinct pattern often indicative of the early stages of hair loss, such as male pattern baldness. It is a common hairline shape that may start developing as early as puberty.
  • Male pattern baldness, or androgenetic alopecia, is genetically linked and typically associated with the M-shaped hairline, caused by the hormone DHT’s effects on hair follicles. However, having an M-shaped hairline doesn’t always mean one will go bald, as it can also represent a mature hairline.
  • Treatments to fix an m shaped hairline include medications such as finasteride and minoxidil. Surgery can also be used including techniques such as FUE for hairline restoration surgery.
  • Hair loss treatments include medications like finasteride and minoxidil, hair transplantation surgeries like FUE and FUT, as well as lifestyle changes embracing holistic health care, such as diet and stress management, to prevent further hairline recession.

Table of Contents

Male Checking M Shape Hairline In The Mirror

How To Identify If You Have An M Shape Hairline​

To identify whether your hairline is classed as an ‘ M shape hairline “ you will need to stand in front of the mirror and take a closer look.

Follow the instructions to identify your hairline shape.

  1. Observe Your Hairline Shape: Stand in front of a mirror and closely examine the shape of your hairline. Look for a gradual curve starting from the front and receding into the temples. If you notice this pattern, with the hairline forming an M shape, you may have an M-shaped hairline.
  2. Note the Recession Pattern: Pay attention to how the recession pattern appears on your temples. Some individuals may experience a more horizontal recession, while others might notice a more pronounced recession at the temples. Understanding the specific pattern of recession can help confirm whether your hairline aligns with the M shape rather than what’s known as a mature hairline. 

M-Shaped Hairline vs Widow’s Peak: How To Spot the Difference

An M shaped hairline is often compared to a widow’s peak based on the similarity of the V forming at the tip of the forehead. But to determine whether it’s a widow’s peak or an M shape, you need to pay attention to the recession. With a widow’s peak, you will see a protruding V shape that breaches the normal line where the hairline forms.

Another big difference between the two hairlines is that a widow’s peak is often a genetic trait, and the M shape hairline is most likely a result of hair loss. While widow’s peaks are certainly not immune to hair loss, it is much more common to see hair loss with the M shape, especially in males.

What Causes An M Shaped Hairline

Male pattern baldness, also known as androgenetic alopecia, is the leading cause of M shaped hairlines in men. It is caused by (DHT) dihydrotestosterone which is a hormone that plays a huge role in the story of your hair. When DHT levels rise, it binds to receptors on hair follicles, initiating a chain of effects that lead to the follicles’ miniaturisation and the characteristic receding pattern that forms the M shape.

Other factors such as stress and lifestyle can also play a role in the development of your hairline. Stress has been linked to hair loss, with many studies revealing that chronic stress can disrupt the hair growth cycle by inhibiting the activation of hair follicle stem cells. A recent study conducted by Dr. Ya-Chieh Hsu and her team at Harvard University further clarifies this connection, demonstrating how stress hormones like corticosterone can interfere with hair regrowth.

Does Having An M Shape Hairline Mean You Are Going Bald

Photo of a man assessing his hair loss in the mirror

M Shape Hairline Vs Mature Hairline

A mature hairline is a common occurrence among older gentlemen, presenting with minimal recession and a subtle upward curve at the corners. Unlike the more pronounced “M” shape associated with hair loss, a mature hairline typically reflects the natural ageing process rather than significant hair thinning. It’s a natural transition that many men experience as they mature, without necessarily indicating hair loss concerns.

Key Differences Between Mature And M Shaped Hairlines

Recession Level:

– Mature hairline: Minimal recession, slight upward curve at corners.

– M-shape hairline: Pronounced recession forming distinct “M” pattern.

Hair Loss Association:

– Mature hairline: Typically not associated with hair loss.

– M-shape hairline: Often indicative of male pattern baldness.

Cosmetic Implication:

– Mature hairline: Considered a natural part of ageing, generally not a cause for concern.

– M-shape hairline: Can cause worry and prompt individuals to seek solutions.

Hairstyles To Help With An M Shape Hairline

Certain hairstyles can help conceal your uneven hairline and provide a more flattering look. While no hairstyle can completely fix or hide your hairline it can provide you with a boost in confidence by drawing the attention away from your hairline.

Here are some hair styles we would recommend trying.

Buzz Cut

When your hair is short, thinning areas are far less noticeable, so you may find a buzz cut can provide you with an overall fuller look.

Textured Crop

Bringing your hair forward by using paste and hair spray you are able to manipulate the shape of your hairline and a talented barber can help shape a natural hairline.

However if you find the above hairstyles to be unsuitable and are still unhappy with your appearance there are many treatments available to help.

Treatments To Fix An M Shape Hairline

photo of a man before and after hairline surgery

If you are suffering with the early signs of a receding hairline then medication may be the answer to help stop it developing further. While it will not re-grow any bald spots you can reduce further hair loss and slow down recession.

Popular medications/Treatments include:

For a permanent fix of an m shaped hairline then you will need to invest in a hairline transplant. While medication and treatments can help slow down recession and help thicken your hair, they do not replace lost hair. Hair transplant surgery is the only method available to directly replace lost hair follicles.

For a receding hairline you will usually require around 1000-2500 hair grafts. This is a very common hair transplant procedure in the UK and can be done within a day with little down time. The aim of the surgery is to restore a more natural hairline and fill in some volume behind the hairline that would have been lost due to male pattern hair loss.


It’s important to remember that our hairline is unique to us and is a part of our story. While many choose to embrace their hairline, others opt for medications and surgery. The choice is down to our personal preferences and desired outcomes.

We have laid out some popular hairstyles you can try to help boost confidence, and spoken about treatments available to combat hair loss and to help restore a “normal hairline” Whichever option you choose, we are always here to help.

If you are suffering from hair loss and you would like an expert’s opinion, you can use our online assessment to send photos and receive free advice! One of our experts will reach out and arrange a call to discuss the options available to you.

Frequently Asked Questions

An " M shaped hairline " is much more common in men, as it's a primary recession pattern during male pattern baldness. Female pattern baldness often presents itself in a more diffused manner with wide spread hair thinning.

If you have an M shaped hairline then it is usually a strong indicator that you are suffering from hair loss. The extent of the hair loss will depend on your genetic predisposition and the measures you take to protect your hair.

Yes, many men consider their uneven or receding hairlines to be unattractive, but these features can be considered distinctive, unique, and even attractive! An M-shaped hairline is completely normal and can be considered attractive.

Yes, buzz cuts and a textured crop can help you conceal your hairline and boost your confidence! While they will not help with your hair loss they can certainly provide short term relief.

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