Identify the Level of Male Pattern Hair Loss by Using the Hamilton-Norwood Scale

Saturday, 30 July 2011

The Hamilton-Norwood scale is a standard measurement scale of male pattern baldness, which ranges from stages I to VII. (The higher the number, the more advanced the loss). It was initially introduced by Dr. James Hamilton in the 1950s and later revised and updated by Dr. O'Tar Norwood in the 1970s.

We can use the Hamilton-Norwood scale to categorize the level of male pattern baldness. It's one of the easiest ways to determine how far along you may be with hair loss and what you can expect if left untreated. May be this scale is not a perfect way of measuring baldness, but it is the most common and widely recognised way available so far.


The rate at which men lose hair is very independent. It can begin in your teens, 20s, or 30s. Usually 50% of men will experience some degree of hair loss by the age of 30, but some men will lose their hair very rapidly in their 20's and come to stage 3 or stage 4 and stay at that point for the rest of their lives. Other men can have no detectable amount of hair loss until they are in their 50's, only to advance to a stage 6 or stage 7 in just a few short years.

Normally if the individual begins to thin early in life there is a very good chance that he is destined for a great deal of hair loss. The family history is an important indicator that we can study to possibly help determine how far hair loss will advance, look at both sides of your parents, especially any older males: your grandfathers, father, uncle, brothers, etc.


Men typically losing their hair in 2 main types, first are receding at the temples, we call it Anterior (front), and the other is on the top back of the head known as Vertex (back).

As we can see from the chart clearly, from Stage 1 to Stage 2 is mild, only slightly recession of the hairline and the central front part of the scalp become less dense. Prevention is better than cure, early detection of hair loss problems means that you can start the treatments at the early stage and more likely you are to get back a full head of hair if you follow the proper recommendations.

From Stage 3 to Stage 4 is moderate, hair loss is clearly visible. The hairline move deeper to the back compare to Stage 2 with bald spot grows larger. It is the crucial moment, and you should take more aggressive action to save your hair. Without treatments, the conditions would become worse!

Finally from Stage 5 to Stage 7 is severe, basically any topical or medication will not effective much in these two stages, but you should look at it a different perspective, there are still some solutions available, you can consider: hair transplant, hair weaving, Wearing hats or wigs, Do the bald look!


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