Often it is difficult to truly asses how much hair you have lost. You look in the mirror every day, so hair loss that is slowly progressive can be difficult to follow. It’s not until you see someone you haven’t seen in a while and who ungraciously comments, “Wow! You’ve lost a lot of hair!” that you realize. Or, you look back at pictures from 5 years ago and you see how different you look.
There is a standard measure for male pattern hair loss called the Norwood scale. It consists of 7 levels of hair loss. You may wonder why the need for a hair loss scale. The answer is it helps us as professionals to classify how far along in that loss you are, and what treatment options are best for you. The seven levels are pretty self-explanatory.
Norwood 1 – Normal head of hair with no visible hair loss.
Norwood 2 – The hair line has begun to recede in a wedge-shaped pattern.
Norwood 3 – Same receding pattern as Norwood 2, except the hairline has receded deeper into the frontal area and the temporal area.
Norwood 4 – Hairline has receded more dramatically in the frontal region and temporal area than Norwood 3 and there is the beginning of a bald spot at the back of the head.
Norwood 5 – Same pattern as Norwood 4 but much reduced hair density.
Norwood 6 – The strip of hair connecting the two sides of the head that existed in Norwood 4 and 5 no longer exists.
Norwood 7 – Hair has receded all the way back to the base of the head and the sides just above the ears.
In general, hair transplant works best for Norwood class 4 and above. There are instances in which patients with Norwood 2 or 3 come in for hair transplant. They want the parts of the hair line that have started to recede to be filled back in. This type of transplant needs to be approached with caution. Hair loss is usually progressive, so spot filling certain areas will lead to “islands” of hair later in life. Unscrupulous doctors may just “take the money and run”, but at Look Natural Hair Restoration your plastic surgeon will certainly not do this. We will look at the overall picture and if we feel that your hair loss pattern is not fit for transplant we will tell you that. We encourage you to make an appointment for a free evaluation today.
About the Author – Dr. Adam Saad, MD, FACS
Dr. Adam Saad is double board certified in general surgery and plastic surgery by the American Board of Plastic Surgery and the American Board of Surgery. He is a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons (FACS) and a member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS).
A New Jersey native, Dr. Saad received his undergraduate degree from Rutgers University. He graduated from Rutgers with honors and was a member of the Golden Key national honor society. He attended medical school at Drexel University where he became involved in multiple research projects and in improving surgical education.