When is a hair whorl a bald spot?
By Prof. Dr. Soner Tatlidede 2022-02-17
Hair whorl or bald spot? Many men, especially when they are young, ask themselves this very question when, after seeing their crown for the first time in a photograph, or due to some friend’s comment, they realise that there is an area with less hair on the top of their heads. But, is it just a natural hair whorl, or balding becoming evident?
We at our clinic of hair transplant in Turkey receive all kinds of queries from people who are concerned about their hair, and who ask us about the cost of a hair transplant because they think they are experiencing the first symptoms of alopecia on their scalp. Although usually they are suffering from hair loss problems that really require professional care, sometimes they are worrying about what are just false alarms: sometimes people, obsessed with not becoming bald, mislead what actually are natural processes or features, with symptoms of baldness.
That is why it is so important to always consult a specialist, who will make a correct diagnosis and prescribe the appropriate treatment... And that is why it is so important to read this article, and learn when is a hair whorl a bald spot, and how to distinguish the real symptoms of baldness... from those that are not.
Are hair whorls bald spots?
So, what is a hair whorl? It´s when hair grows in a circular pattern around a visible center point on the scalp: that’s the meaning of a hair whorl. But, does everyone have a hair whorl? Actually, yes: people have a hair whorl from birth, and female hair whorl is not different from male. Some people may have even multiple hair whorls (usually 2 hair whorls, but sometimes even 3).
Normally, it´s a friend or family member who, looking down on our head while we’re sitting, notices our whorl and says something like “Beware, you’re becoming bald!”: a simple comment that, however, can cause deep concern among some people, especially among children and teenagers. Young people – usually between 18 and 30 years old – worried about this issue, usually take photos of their own crown and share them on Internet forums, asking for help because they don´t know if what they see is just a simple whorl, or the 1st step towards baldness.
First of all, it´s important not to become obsessed over this topic, and of course not to pay much attention to other people's comments. Often, those who make such comments are just joking, and simply repeat the same joke they have suffered themselves. And if we check by ourselves if something is wrong with our hair by taking a picture of our crown, what we will normally observe is nothing more than the natural whirlpool that absolutely everybody has, as we mentioned before.
It is true that, if the feared alopecia appears, that whirlpool can gradually lose hair density and grow until becoming a big hair whorl, and finally a bald spot; but, if that happens, it normally takes many years. And, as you probably guess, it is practically impossible to determine from a simple photo of our head during our childhood or adolescence, if that is just a big hair whorl or balding, because baldness takes years and depends on many factors.
Many young people, however, get alarmed when someone calls their attention about the presence of the whirlpool... simply because they never realised it was there. And if they take some photos, they often use flash and mobile cameras, which increase contrasts and make whirlpool look bigger and with less hair. Besides, certain types of hairstyles and haircuts can also make our head crown appear with less hair density. In any case, if you still have doubts about your hair whorl, the best option is to consult with a specialist.
How do I know if I’m becoming bald?
So, how do I know if that on the top of my head is a bald spot, or a hair whorl? How do I know if I´m getting bald? There are several signs or clues than can help us to identify if we are dealing with baldness, or if on the contrary, it´s nothing to be worry about.
Hairs on pillow and shower:
One of the first symptoms that our hair is falling out more than it should be, is when too many hairs appear on our pillow after waking up, or on our comb, or after taking a shower. Does that mean that whenever our hair falls out, we should worry? No, because normally we lose between 100 and up to 150 hairs a day; but if we notice that there are too many hairs on the pillow or in the shower... Something is wrong, and it's time to ask for help.
Abnormal hair loss:
There are certain periods when we can lose more hair than usual: in spring, or in autumn, we normally lose more hair, but it is something natural due to seasonal hair loss, and hair grows back. However, if it is not one of those periods, we should consult with a doctor, or with a trichologist. Certain illnesses, stress, or physical or emotional trauma can also cause sudden and accelerated hair loss, as occurs during telogen effluvium.
Receding hair line:
In men, one of the first symptoms of hair loss does not appear on the top of the head, on the crown, but on the front, with the appearance of the receding hairline. But, not every man with a receding hairline will go bald, and there are many receding hairline stages; in fact, the appearance of a receding hairline is something natural as years go by. In sum, if we are wondering if our hair whorl is the beginning of alopecia, but we have no receding hairline, most likely there is nothing to worry about.
It is a fact that inheritance and family history are key in pattern hair loss, which is the main cause of baldness. It is not possible to know for sure if we will suffer from alopecia just by looking to our parents or grandparents, and in fact it seems that the genes that make us prone to baldness are transmitted not by father, but by mother; but if there are people with hair loss in our family, there quite chances that we will also suffer from it.
No matter how much we take care of our hair; it doesn´t matter if we do not have a family history of baldness... Everybody gets older. Over the years, we lose hair density: at 50 years old, 50% of men have some degree of alopecia, which normally begins to manifest after 30 years old: therefore, we have to watch our hair more after 30s. And remember: if you want to recover your lost hair, you can get a hair transplant, at any age.
Consult with an expert:
We mentioned it before: there are many factors that can cause hair loss, and only a specialist can clearly identify the symptoms of alopecia, and prescribe the most appropriate treatment to stop its advance.
Therefore, if you have doubts about whether what you see on your head is a hair whorl or a bald spot, our advice is always to consult your problem with the best experts. Clinicana is the best hair transplant clinic, and we are specialised in all hair treatments. Request your free consultation, and ask us for a free, no obligation estimate. You can still save your hair!!