Knowledge Center




  • 07th Sep 2017
  • 902

Gone are the days when turning bald was just associated with sexagenarians. Hair loss in men is no more a rarity. While some of us may experience it in late 40’s, others might even hit the adversity shortly after puberty. And with changing lifestyles, stressful routines, and our growing propensity to experiment with our hair, one can only expect the situation to worsen with time.

However, early diagnosis of hair loss & identifying its root cause can help you fight it better. The purpose of early diagnosis is to rule out other possible factors that could be affecting your hair growth and to fight them proficiently with a timely solution. Just like all hair loss cases are not alike, treating them also requires a personalized approach.

The Norwood Hamilton Scale

The Norwood Hamilton Scale is the standard measure of hair loss progression in men. Norwood Hamilton Scale was first conceptualized by Dr. James Hamilton in the 1950’s, who developed the baldness classification system. This was later revised by Dr. O’Tar Norwood in the 1970’s. The Norwood Hamilton Scale divides hair loss progression into 7 different stages, all with distinctive features. Early stages of hair loss measure a Norwood Hamilton reading of 1-4. Anything above the measurement of 4 is seen as an advanced stage of hair loss. While level 1 on the Norwood Hamilton Scale describes someone with minimal to no hair loss, level 7 describes someone who has lost a majority of his hair from the top of the head, leaving just a thin ‘horseshoe’ of hair at the back and the sides. Identifying where you are on the scale is imperative, as it will help you determine which hair loss treatment is suitable for you.

Stage 1: Norwood Hamilton Scale

At this stage, there are no visible signs of hair loss. The hairline and crown area remain unharmed, with minimal or no signs of miniaturization. If you are at stage 1, you don’t need any medical treatment, as things are fairly under control. However, if you have a history of androgenetic alopecia in your family, you may want to monitor the situation closely and take appropriate and timely action to keep the situation under control.

Stage 2: Norwood Hamilton Scale

If you ever happen to notice receding hairline at the corners, take it as your first sign of hair loss. In stage 2, there will be a minor recession at the front of your hairline.

Stage 2 (Anterior)

This is when the transition of your juvenile hairline into mature hairline becomes highly evident. Here, recession affects the entire frontal hairline. This will lead to triangular and typically symmetrical areas of recession at the front temporal areas.

Stage 3: Norwood Hamilton Scale

As hair loss progresses, the hairline continues to recede backward. Most scalps at this stage have deep asymmetrical recession showing at the temples that are bare or only sparsely covered by hair.

Stage 3 (Anterior)

At this stage, the recession becomes even more significant at temples along with receding hairline.

Stage 3 (Vertex)

This may be the point at which hair becomes noticeably thinner at the vertex (crown) area as well, followed by the continuous significant recession at the front of the hairline.

Stage 4: Norwood Hamilton Scale

At this stage of Norwood Hamilton Scale, the front temporal recession becomes increasingly more severe than stage 3. It is sparse, or in some cases, no hair on the vertex, as hairline moves past mid crown. Hair growth becomes far more difficult at this stage.

Stage 5: Norwood Hamilton Scale

At stage 5, there is very little hair left on the top of the head. Hair loss at the vertex is still separated from the front temporal region but the division is not very distinct. The band of hair across the crown turns narrower and thinner. The scalp of people who come under the stage 5-7 of Norwood Hamilton scale, when viewed from the top, will show the remaining hair at the sides and back as a distinct horseshoe shape.

Stage 6: Norwood Hamilton Scale

At stage 6, the top of the scalp is completely bare. The frontal and vertex balding areas merge into one and increase in size. Hair transplant is the only viable option for people who fall under this category. Even the strongest prescribed medications are unlikely to make any significant difference.

Stage 7: Norwood Hamilton Scale

The most advanced phase of Norwood Hamilton Scale, stage 7, leaves people with a bare top of the scalp. Only a narrow band of hair in a horseshoe shape survives on the sides and back of the scalp. The hair left at stage 7 are genetically resistant to further hair loss.

Now that you are aware of the various stages of the Norwood Hamilton Scale, and can identify which phase are you in, you can focus on looking for solutions that work specifically for you. This will also serve as a guide for your trichologist to recommend the best course of treatment to you. To find out how Livon Hair Gain can help you manage hair loss, get free consultation at

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