What are the stages of the Norwood scale?

Androgenetic alopecia is a male pattern of hair loss that is caused by testosterone. Hair follicles are hypersensitive to this hormone, so they may gradually fall out. First, increasingly larger bends are visible on the head, and then the hair begins to fall out on the top of the head. It should be mentioned that androgenetic alopecia affects both men and women. One way to classify and assess the severity of this disease is the Norwood scale, which is used by doctors.

  • What is Norwood scale?
  • Male pattern hair loss – seven stages of male pattern baldness
  • Treatment of androgenetic alopecia

What is the Norwood scale?

Significant hair loss can be problematic for many people. Very often, it is caused by androgenetic alopecia, which can be treated, and its progression slows down. However, you must first estimate the level of advancement of the disease in order to select the best treatment methods. The Norwood scale can be used to determine male pattern baldness.

The Norwood scale was invented in the 1950s. It was based on Dr. Hamilton’s research. That’s why you may encounter it with a different nomenclature, when it is called the Hamilton Norwood scale. It uses patterns that facilitate the assessment of disease progression and patterned hair loss.

Male pattern hair loss – seven stages of male pattern baldness

If natural hair growth is noticeably slower and more difficult, it may indicate progressive androgenic alopecia. This can be assessed using the Norwood scale, which has as many as seven stages of hair loss.

In the first stage, the patient does not notice hair loss. The hair grows normally, does not fall out, and the hairline does not change.

In the second stage, the hairline recedes. If hair falls out, it is only in small amounts, so you don’t notice it. Sometimes such a small change appears when the patient is older. The rest of the hair is no different. If such a change is disturbing in younger people, you can already at this stage consider appropriate treatments and care to stimulate hair growth.

In the third stage, the patient can notice more hair loss and a receding hairline. This change forms an M-shape. Some patients do not decide to undergo hair loss treatments at this point, but they are increasingly seeing receding hairlines on their heads.

In the fourth stage, the remaining hair become less and less frequent, as they decrease significantly around the forehead and temples. The patient also notices other balding areas, such as scalp reduction.

In the fifth stage, the bald scalp becomes more and more visible. Either these areas are completely bald or there are only sparse hair on them. This is the stage when the amount of hair in the front of the head is already small, so it is very difficult to mask any gaps and progressive baldness.

At stage six, further hair loss is still visible. The tops of the head and the entire frontal area are already bald. Sparse hair remaining on the head is very thin, limp, and weak. There is little or no hair on the top of the head and on the forehead.

In the seventh stage, the hair loss pattern and complete hair loss on the forehead and top of the head are clearly visible. Only the hair on the sides and back of the head remains, as it is not sensitive to changes caused by androgens.

Treatment of androgenetic alopecia

There are different ways to deal with hair loss. At an early stage, you can slow down the hair loss process by using aesthetic medicine treatments. Some people also decide to undergo hair transplantation. It is also possible to undergo a skin micro pigmentation treatment. This involves applying pigment in such a way that it imitates hair growing back after shaving. This is a non-standard, but long-lasting solution.