Everything You Need to Know about the Norwood Scale and How to Deal with Male Hair Loss

Toni S.
Norwood Scale | What is the Norwood Scale | Male Pattern Baldness

Are you noticing a prominent letter V forming at the front of your hairline, and it seems to get worse with each haircut? If so, you may be experiencing early signs of male pattern baldness.

For most men, it begins in adolescence and becomes more evident around age 21. As it worsens over time, you are eventually faced with a choice between keeping your receding hairline or going completely bald. We are happy to let you know that a solution is available.

Identifying your stage of male pattern baldness is the first step in dealing with the hair loss issue. It aids in your comprehension of the best course of action and the gravity of the situation. The Norwood scale is the finest tool for this, and in this post, we'll show you how to determine your baldness' stage.

What is the Norwood Scale?

Hair loss is a common condition among men – many men are expected to experience hair loss over their lifetime. The situation usually worsens over time, and it leads up to baldness. But when addressed early on, such fate can be avoided.

Of the various causes of hair loss, male pattern baldness is probably the most well-known. It accounts for 95% of men's hair loss conditions. It starts with a recession or thinning of the hair at the top of the head and progresses until you are completely bald.


a man looking at his hairline in the mirror


So that you can monitor how serious your hair loss has become, the Norwood scale was developed by James Hamilton in the 1950s. Although Dr O'tar subsequently improved it in 1975, it has aided medical professionals in determining the extent of a patient's baldness. 

Knowledge of the Norwood scale can be helpful for an individual in several ways. For instance, having a good understanding of the progression of your hair loss can help you determine the best treatment plan. It can also help you understand the progression of hair loss and know when to seek professional help from a specialist. 

Knowing your baldness's stage might also help you understand what to anticipate from a procedure like a "hair transplant."

Measuring Male Pattern Baldness Through the Norwood Scale 

The Norwood scale has seven distinct stages, each expressing the degree of hair loss. Every individual begins at stage 1 and advances through the seven stages. Let's examine each stage's visual characteristics;

Norwood Scale Stage 1

Male pattern baldness stage one Norwood scale patients are often in their adolescence. With only a slight recession visible, this is the stage of hair loss that is the least noticeable.

Although hair loss can be stopped at this point, many people aren't even aware of their hair's condition at this phase.

It typically begins with a tiny bit of hair thinning on the crown of the head, which could be more evident if you have short hair or if you part your hair in a particular way.

When some people wake up in the morning, they might discover that their hair is thinner or less complete than it once was or that there is more hair in their brush or pillow. These are all early signs of Norwood scale 1.

Norwood Scale Stage 2

Compared to stage one, the hair recession is now more evident. But since there isn't any hair loss on the scalp's vertex, the recession is still relatively mild. Additionally, this stage of hair loss can be maintained, so it does not warrant too much concern.

The hairline may begin to recede gently at this point, and the crown of the head's hair may begin to thin out, giving the head a unique "M" shape when viewed from above. In some cases, a U-shaped or V-shaped hairline could be visible. Some individuals may even observe an increase in hair shedding or discover that their hair is not as complete or thick as it once was.


an illustration of the phases of hair loss


Norwood Scale Stage 3

Hair loss becomes more apparent in this stage, and the recession worsens. At this point, it is easier to see the V- or M-shaped hairline. Compared to the other stages, this stage is typically more problematic.

The hairline has moved further away from the forehead in stage 3 of the Norwood scale, with noticeable top-of-the-head hair loss or thinning. It's also possible that the hair at the crown (the top of the head) is thinning. The top of the head's remaining hair may resemble a "V," with the "V's" point at the back of the head.

Norwood Scale Stage 4

Hair loss is more pronounced and noticeable at this point. There is no denying that you have a hair problem because of the apparent bald appearance. It's critical to respond right away at this stage.

The top of the head has more significant hair loss in stage 4 of the Norwood scale, and a bald patch may be noticeable. They have thin hair or none at all on the vertex scalp or top of the head.

Norwood Scale Stage 5

When hair loss reaches this level, the crown of your head will experience a noticeable hair loss. Some people argue that your hairline has disappeared. The traditional horseshoe pattern of hair loss becomes more evident at this point in the majority of men. Usually, at this point, hair loss becomes more challenging to treat.

Norwood Scale Stage 6

The extent of your hair problem is now rather apparent. Most of the hair would have been lost around the hairline, vertex scalp, and crown. Although there may be hair to divide these places, it is thin and scant. By this point, it's simple to see the traditional horseshoe pattern of your hair on the back and sides of your head.


gloved hands checking a man's scalp


Norwood Scale Stage 7

The most severe and last stage of hair loss is now reached. Your scalp's hair is almost completely gone at this point. Some people could completely shave their heads at this point, while others might decide to use a wig or another form of the hairpiece to hide their hair loss.

What is the way forward?

While it's true that most men are destined to experience male pattern baldness, You have a few choices that could spare you from such a tragedy. For instance, taking adequate care of your hair at the beginning of the Norwood scale may help stabilize the condition. Consider taking the option of medications. 

However, hair transplantation is considered one of the finest solutions to male pattern baldness, especially at stage four. It has a permanent effect and delivers superb, long-lasting results. We at Hair Transplant Pro are dedicated to matching you with experienced and expert doctors who can perform the procedure for you at affordable cost at first-class clinics in Mexico, Turkey, the UK, or Greece.

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