What is the Hamilton - Norwood Scale?

What is the Hamilton - Norwood Scale?

Male pattern balding occurs in a predictable way and once the process is underway, the progression of the hair loss is steady and tends to happen in the same spots as the condition continues to remove hair from the head.  In fact, the stages of hair loss are so common, it is possible to classify the stages of hair loss


What is the Hamilton - Norwood Scale?

The Hamilton - Norwood scale may sound like a sporting or nautical term, but it is actually the most common method of categorising the progress of male pattern baldness. This measurement scale was first introduced by James Hamilton in the 1950s and later revised and updated by O'Tar Norwood in the 1970’s. It is sometimes referred to as the Norwood–Hamilton scale or simply the Norwood scale. The equivalent scale for women is known as the Ludwig Scale.


What are the stages of male pattern baldness?

Male pattern baldness is the most common hair loss diagnosis in men. As a rule, it starts at the temples and crown of the head and over time, the two areas eventually meet. The table below details the loss of hair within male pattern baldness according to the Hamilton-Norwood scale.

Type Description
Type 1 Minimal hair loss.
Type II. Insignificant hair loss at the temples.
Type III. The first stage that requires treatment.
Type III vertex. Receding hairline and thinning hair on the vertex.
Type IV. The bigger pattern on the vertex and hairline.
Type V. Patterns at both sites are bigger but a thin division line is still present.
Type VI. The bridge is gone but several strands of short fine hair may remain.
Type VII. The most severe form of hair loss. Little hair on the front or top of the head


When does male pattern baldness start?

Male pattern baldness can begin any time after puberty.  There is no timeframe to the actual loss of hair, however, many men are starting to lose some hair during their 20’s.  Typically, the earlier you begin to lose your hair, the more hair you will lose and the further along the Hamilton-Norwood scale you are likely to progress.

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