The Norwood Scale – To Identify How Bald Are You?

Male pattern baldness is a common problem nowadays and it can happen to almost anyone. People often ignore this hair receding pattern only to express concern when there is very little or no scope left for redemption. Therefore, the need is to be alert and know your stage of hair loss at an early stage. It will be easier to take the necessary steps accordingly, like visiting a hair loss expert, opting for requisite treatment, etc. But how to be aware of your baldness stage? Is there any scale to measure its intensity? Yes! Norwood Scale is the befitting answer to your anxieties.

What is Norwood Scale?

It is a visual representation to help you know about your hair loss stage, followed by the types of your receding hairlines. Also termed as Norwood Hamilton Scale after the name of its creator, it is a widely accepted scale for categorizing hair loss and pattern baldness among males. It works effectively as a reference point for the hair experts to diagnose the baldness stage. Evidently, they can suggest the best and most effective treatment for hair restoration.

The stages in detail

The Norwood Scale starts with Type 1, which points toward a minimal damage and advances to type 7, which is the most threatening hair loss stage. Let’s find out more about these patterns.
Type 1: This initial pattern shows least or no bilateral recessions in the frontoparietal locations along the hairline’s anterior border. Men should start keeping a check at the hair thinning signs from here on.

• Type 2: The front region has triangular recession areas along the anterior border. It can extend up to 3 cm anterior to the section created on the oronal plane. This stage also starts showing signs of hair loss along midfrontal border of the men’s scalp. But it is still less as compared to the depth of affected locations in the frontoparietal zones.

• Type 3: This includes borderline cases and is perhaps the foremost type that necessitates treatment. It also comprises type 3 vertex, which refers to the thinning hair and receding hairline on the top of the patient’s scalp, or vertex. Scalps with inaccurate classification also accommodate this type and may occur due to unusual sparseness, asymmetric denudation, hair thinning, etc.

• Type 4:You can observe bigger and more prominent bald spot on your vertex and hairline; good enough to declare baldness. Additionally, you may observe symmetrical recessions in frontotemporal region, which can be bare or have thin hair covering. Type 4 is very much same as Type 3 with the difference that the former has more recession in anterior hairline. If the hairline’s anterior border has very sparse hair or lags behind in broad band, it represents Type 4 A classification of the Norwood scale.

• Type 5:Frontal and frontoparietal recessions increase extensively as compared to Type 4 stage. The bridge separating the back and front portion of the head becomes narrower, hence exposing more bare skin on the head.

• Type 6: The band that demarcates the rear and front section of the hairline regions (the tonsural region of alopecia) almost diminishes, leaving only few hair in between. Type 6A scale indicates even lesser hair in the mid-frontal hair island or peninsula.

• Type 7: The horseshoe shaped area of denudation goes bigger, hence representing most severe hair loss stage. Those developing this pattern start going bald right in their early 20’s or in the late teens. The major reason behind this pattern is the confluence and spreading of the anteriorly located and tonsural regions of alopecia.

The entire Hamilton classification acts as a benchmark for future categorization of the hair loss patterns in mail. But it missed several patterns, which later on found inclusion in the Norwood classification. Hence, as of now, it is popular as Hamilton-Norwood classification.

Treating the hair loss problems

If you are observing continuous loss of hair, then it is wise to visit a hair loss specialist for proper diagnose. After thorough examination of your scalp, he can be in a better position to decide the intensity and type of hair loss. Follicles that do not produce hair any more become inactive in around two years. Hence, prompt attention for hair restoration is inevitable, if you want to regain your hairy appearance. Here are some prescribed and non-prescribed treatments.
 Non-prescribed treatment: Some over the counter non-prescribed treatments may include using Minoxidil, seek the help of laser devices (not advised), etc.

Prescribed treatment: The hair specialist may often recommend you the intake of Finasteride (Proscar, Propecia). As per American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), this drug combats hair loss problems in around 88% males and ensures regrowth in 66% males.


Most of the times, surgery is the last and perhaps the mostreliable resort to get away with the hair loss miseries. Some of the prominent procedures in this regard may include:
• FUE hair transplant
• FUT hair transplant
• Scalp Micropigmentation (SMP)

The above three treatments may or may not undergo a combination with hair transplantation as per the suggestions of the surgeon. As you might already know, hair transplantation refers to removal of hair from the donor or fertile area of your scalp and transplanting them to the recipient or balding areas.

Wrapping up

With all the necessary information right here, it is now for you to decide about the type on the Norwood scale with which your hair loss problem identifies the most. If you are really finding something severe, visit an experienced hair loss expert today before it gets too late.

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