A receding hairline refers to hair receding from the natural hairline on the sides and top of the forehead. Female receding hairlines have many causes, including genetics, aging and hormonal changes due to pregnancy and stress. However, a number of everyday hairstyles may also be responsible for causing traction alopecia or scarring of the scalp caused by pulling. But there are a number of other hairstyles women can wear to mask their hairlines and prevent further damage.

Messy Ponytails & Buns

While a taut ponytail may offer women a quick and natural facelift, it is not the healthiest option for women with receding hairlines. Opt instead for a loose, messy ponytail or bun. This spin on the traditional ponytail still allows wearers to sweep their hair away from their faces while maintaining the overall health of the hairline and scalp.

Bangs, Bangs and More Bangs

Bangs can be added to any style to mask balding or thinning that may be occurring at the hairline. If hair has receded to the point that the forehead appears higher or larger, try blunt straight bangs. Blunt bangs are cut just above the eyes to cover the forehead and hide the hairline. Side-swept bangs achieve the same masking effect and might be a better option for those who don’t want to sacrifice the length of their hair.

Wigs vs. Hair Extensions

Hair extensions put enormous stress on the hairline. Sewn-in extensions are achieved by pulling the hair tightly away from the hairline and adding extension weave over it. Web Md contributor Denise Mann writes “…weaves may increase the risk of developing an irreversible form of scarring hair loss…” Instead of extensions, try a wig. Wigs provide the same length and style options that weaves do, and wigs made with human hair can still be washed, curled and flat-ironed like your normal hair. Plus, wigs allow you to switch your style more often.

Work with Your Natural Hair

Many women use chemical processes, such as perms and relaxers. The American Academy of Family Physicians says that chemicals used in these products “may cause inflammation of the hair follicle, which can result in scarring and hair loss.” Wear your hair naturally curly or straight instead. If you want to achieve a curly look, try non-chemical techniques like roller-setting your hair. And for straight hair, use your flat iron.

Wear a Part

Pulling your hair back away from your forehead emphasizes the hairline and draws attention to thinning. Try parting your hair and letting it fall naturally around your face and over your forehead. This will help diminish the look of hair loss.

Cut it Off

If you are feeling bold, try a short cut. Reducing the length of your hair will make the contrast between the hairline and the rest of the hair on your head less noticeable. Short haircuts will also draw attention away from hairline and emphasize your facial features and bone structure.