Balding Crown: How to Spot it – and What to Do about It

Written by
The Manual Team
Medically approved by
Dr Earim Chaudry
Last updated
31st August 2022

In 30 seconds

A balding crown is easy to spot by a thinning or loss of hair at the crown, with hair growth at the sides remaining constant; perhaps accompanied by a receding hairline. Hair loss during aging is totally normal, but there is plenty you can do to tackle it.

The Balding Crown: An Early Sign of Male Pattern Baldness

When you’re young, you feel invincible. You take your hair for granted – wearing it long or styling it freely. And, in the joys of youth, you’d never think your hair’s days are numbered.

The tragic thing is that, for the majority of us men, a full head of hair doesn’t last forever. And the first signs of balding inevitably come as a shock. It’s usually a receding hairline, or thinning hair across the whole scalp. Yet, there’s another early sign of balding that can be really traumatic. That’s the bald spot.

In this article, we’ll talk you through some of the early signs of the balding crown – as well as a couple of steps you can take to manage it. We know you might not feel it’s the best look, but it’s not the end of the world. With effective hair loss treatments out there, you can regain that youthful confidence. 

What Causes a Balding Crown?

A balding crown is one of the most common and recognisable signs of male pattern baldness (MPB) – or androgenetic alopecia, as it is medically known. This is a condition that many men experience – at any age. Despite the association with older gents, this most common type of hair loss can strike early too.

MPB is caused by the presence of a hormone known as dihydrotestosterone, or DHT, a powerful androgen that is converted from testosterone. While that is part of a natural biological process, this DHT can cause problematic side effects. Your hair follicles, for example, are sensitive to it – and, in its presence, these can shrink, weaken, and stop producing new hair altogether.

Predictably enough, the follicles that are most sensitive to DHT are at the hairline and – you guessed it – at the crown. Those that sit at the side and back of your head are much more resistant to DHT.

Importantly, though, DHT doesn’t mean that your bald spot becomes squeaky clean immediately. Rather, your hair thins slowly – and may ultimately connect with a receding hairline to uncover the whole of the top of the head. This comes with time, though – and you do have time to catch it before the game is up.

Common Signs of a Balding Crown

How to spot a balding crown? might seem like a daft question. Yet, progressive conditions such as MPB can sneak up on you. And when you are living life as normal, you may not notice the changing conditions on the back of your head.

However, treating MPB effectively means spotting it early. You have two things to look out for: generalised thinning or concentrated balding at the crown. A receding hairline can also provide a good indication that a balding crown may be on the horizon.

Hair Loss at the Crown

It’s in the most difficult place for you to see. However, hair loss precisely at the vertex of your head is one of the earliest signs of MPB. You may not see anything different anywhere else – with the hair on the sides and back of your head exactly the same as before.

If you are struggling to assess the situation for yourself, ask someone you trust for their opinion. It can be hard to hear the answer, but it does mean that you can get on and address it.

Thinning Hair

Hair loss doesn’t need to just be localised. In fact, when it comes to MPB, you may notice a general reduction in your hair’s density. This will again happen at the top of your head – leaving the back untouched – and may spread from the crown to the hairline.

You may find that, as hair coverage becomes less dense, the quality of the hair changes, too. Individual hairs can become more brittle and wiry across the affected area. 

The Receding Hairline

While not a type of balding crown, the receding hairline is one of the major symptoms of MPB – and it may suggest that a bald spot is not so far away.

Like all of the other signs of hair loss, though, it can be hard to be sure whether your hairline is receding or not. Comparing yourself in the mirror alongside an older picture of yourself can be useful in assessing just how much your hairline has changed.

What to Do about a Balding Crown

Now that you know what you are looking for, it would be a good time to remember that there are things you can do to combat the bald spot.

When it comes to treating the symptoms of male pattern hair loss, there are a range of options. Yet, these don’t all require you to go under the knife, like a hair transplant would. Rather, there are treatment options that are easy, painless, and pretty reliable too.

#1 Don’t Panic

The necessary first step, however, may be easier said than done. The fear that you are losing your hair can be tough – and the confirmation of that fear even tougher. Men can feel like their hair is part of their identity, and losing it is losing a big part of themselves.

We understand this. And millions of men across the UK understand it, too. Yet, crucially, hair loss is no longer something we’re all doomed to experience. Knowing that hair loss is reversible is the first step to feeling much better.

#2 Find a Style You Feel Comfortable With

For men with a bald spot, it is often the case that they can no longer rock the hairstyle they were sporting before. An important way to feel happier about the way you look is to find a style that suits your new appearance – and that you feel comfortable with too.

This could be a combover. You could embrace the buzzcut, or the shaven head. Or, if you’ve never been someone mad about the styling products, now might be a good time to experiment.

Finding a way to be comfortable in your own body is crucial to managing the potential emotional weight of male pattern baldness.

#3 Kickstart Regrowth with Minoxidil and Finasteride

If that’s not working for you, you have two medical options that can truly turn the tide of hair loss. These are Minoxidil and Finasteride – and they are both medically proven to tackle the causes of hair loss and kickstart hair regrowth.

Finasteride – or Propecia, to use its common brand name – is the most effective treatment for hair loss. This tackles that hormone, DHT, that we mentioned above, by targeting the enzyme that converts it from testosterone. By inhibiting that enzyme, Finasteride reduces your DHT levels, meaning that your hair follicles don’t undergo that process of miniaturization.

It actually works. A massive analysis of 6,000 patients showed that Finasteride stopped hair loss in 9/10 of patients. Meanwhile, a more recent study showed that, in 87% of cases, hair regrew.

Then there’s Minoxidil – or Rogaine, as it is often known. Rather than intervening in the hormonal cause of hair loss, this drug improves the health of your hair follicles – by encouraging blood flow to the area. As a result, oxygen and nutrients boost the follicles’ ability to produce hair.

Like Finasteride, Minoxidil does more than just prevent further hair loss. 60% of Minoxidil users see hair regrowth.

Many men report that topical Minoxidil has not worked for them because they lack the SULT1A1 sulfotransferase enzyme in their hair follicles to activate the topical Minoxidil to the active form Minoxidil Sulphate.  Studies show oral Minoxidil (a tablet form) is more effective as it utilises the sulfotransferase enzyme present in the liver, and is not reliant on it being present in the scalp.

Key Takeaways

When it comes to treating a balding crown – or any of the symptoms of MPB – starting treatment early is crucial. The longer you leave it, the weaker and smaller your follicles get – and the less able they become to produce hair.

If you are beginning to notice the early signs of a balding crown, act fast. Finasteride and Minoxidil are your best options for treating MPB. They can bring back that confidence you once took for granted. 


What does it mean if I have a balding crown?

A balding crown is one of the earliest signs of Male Pattern Baldness, which means that you’re aging and as a result your body is less and less able to replenish your hair. In time, you will likely lose more hair and maybe even go bald. Fret not though, there are ways to tackle MPB (hair loss).

How common is hair loss or Male Pattern Baldness?

Hair loss is extremely common in men, with the majority of men experiencing some symptoms of Male Pattern Baldness by the age of 50. It’s nothing to be embarrassed or ashamed about, but there are treatments out there to help you deal with it.

How do I tell if I have a balding crown?

Common signs that you have a balding crown include: hair thinning on the top but not around the sides, hair at the crown becoming more brittle, and/or if you have a receding hairline.

What is the best treatment for a balding crown?

If you’re not comfortable trying new hairstyles or wearing a hat, you can use a combination of Finasteride and Minoxidil, which when used together can be up to 95% effective at treating the symptoms of hair loss or Male Pattern Baldness.


  1. EMC -Finasteride 1 mg Film-coated Tablets:

  2. Akio SatoAkira Takeda (2012). Evaluation of efficacy and safety of finasteride 1 mg in 3177 Japanese men with androgenetic alopecia:


  3. EMC -Regaine for Men Extra Strength Scalp Solution 5% w/v Cutaneous Solution:

While we've ensured that everything you read on the Health Centre is medically reviewed and approved, information presented here is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. It should never be relied upon for specific medical advice. If you have any questions or concerns, please talk to your doctor.

Further reading

From our health centre. Experts, information and hot topics. See all Hair Loss articles

Hair Loss products by manual

Hair loss treatments at Manual

Effective in over 9/10 men, our hair treatments are clinically proven to help you keep and grow your hair.