View Full Version : Is this a normal hair whirl or is my crown starting to bald?

03-02-2016, 01:13 PM
I have dark blonde hair, and my skin is paler than snow. I've always had a crown swirl ever since I was little that formed a little dent in my hair (sorry, that's the best way to describe it). We recently moved into a new house, and I think this new bathroom is causing me to worry about my hair way more than I normally would.

Basically, there are a set of lights directly above the bathroom mirror that are extremely bright. They give off warm light (a yellowish tinge), and I will typically use my iPhone in the video mode to check my hair for signs of hair loss. When looking at the parting in my hair (I part it down the middle), it makes it look like it's nearly an inch wide. When looking at my crown, it looks like a giant golf ball sized bald spot right in the middle of my head.

However, when I go outside and use my iPhone to check my hair, everything looks normal. I can barely even see my crown at all, and the parting in my hair looks normal as well. This has led me to constantly question which one is right. Is it the mirror with the bright lights or my camera outside in the sun?

I'm somewhat worried about my crown showing through too much. I'm not sure if it's thinning or whether I just have a large whirl. As a disclaimer: I'm not shedding and no hairs come out when I do the pull test.

My crown facing towards the mirror with the bright lights: http://imgur.com/8JEtbXK http://imgur.com/QLTwyR8

My crown facing away from the mirror (i.e. normal lighting conditions): http://imgur.com/uGfo4Dv http://imgur.com/ZnBNcf7

My main concern is this picture: http://imgur.com/QLTwyR8

It just looks bad with that one area just kind bare amongst all of that hair. Is that just my whirl or is that the start of crown thinning/balding? Am I just being paranoid? Any insight into this would really help me out and put my mind at ease.

Ken Anderson, MD
03-02-2016, 02:39 PM
Dear LongHaired,

While it appears as though we're seeing more scalp in through the swirl area, this may just be due to the swirl itself and the light color of your hair. I get this question somewhat frequently from guys who are in their 20s and 30s and unsure if they have hair loss around the swirl. What I do for these patients is use my micro-exam camera and look closely at the follicles as they emerge from the scalp in this area. The image is displayed on the TV of front of both of us. What I'm looking for is miniaturization. Specifically, the thickness of the hair shaft diameters in the swirl. It's normal to have up to about 15% of the hairs in a miniaturized state. But checking the hair shaft diameters in the swirl area and comparing them to the diameters in the donor area of your scalp will help to concretely determine if indeed there is any hair loss occurring in your swirl area. I hope this information is helpful to you.

03-02-2016, 02:58 PM
Looking at your picture I would say that your crown does not look like it is thinning. A thinning crown without recession in the temples is rather rare. You can take a look at the change in your temples and keep track if there is any change.

03-02-2016, 06:32 PM
Ya deffinitely not thinning.