The Norwood scale helps classify male hair loss in seven stages. It starts at level 1, which is the lowest level of hair loss, and 7 is the highest level. A lot of times, male hair loss goes unnoticed. The sooner you discover that you’re experiencing hair loss, the sooner you can begin to treat it.
The Norwood scale is not the only classification system, but it’s one of the most popular!
Here’s a little more information on the seven stages of the Norwood Scale:
Stages 1 and 2
The beginning stages of male hair loss can be difficult to identify. Typically, the first two stages cover light hair loss. This is where the hairline begins to recede without any major changes to the crown.
Stage 1 is classified by minimal thinning around the temples and a slight recession. Followed by stage 2, where the receding near the temples has moved further inward, creating an M-shaped hairline.
During stage 3 on the Norwood scale, the M-shaped hairline recedes deeper and forms a ‘U’ or ‘V’ shape on the forehead. At this stage, it becomes more difficult to conceal hair loss. You may even begin to notice the hair at the top of the scalp becoming thinner.
Once a male reaches stage 4 of hair loss, noticeable patches of missing hair become more prominent. The hair on the crown will also continue to thin out, leading to losing large patches of hair at the vertex or the front of the head.
At this stage, one may begin to see the early signs of a horseshoe-shaped hairline. If you reach this stage, your hairline has receded significantly. Hair loss in this stage becomes a lot more challenging to treat.
In stage 6, the hairline has likely reached the top of the head. There also isn’t much coverage for the scalp at the crown of the head.
At the final stage, hair loss is considered complete. The hair loss pattern is now a classic horseshoe shape, where the top of the head is fully hairless, but there is still hair that remains on the side.