Classification of Male Pattern Hairloss

by

Currently in the United states there are approximately 50 million men and women that are affected by some type of hair loss. the most common form of hair loss in both is Hereditary Androgenic Alopecia.  Genetic hair loss in male and female is characterized by progressive loss of hair from scalp and there is a certain pattern that develops over time. There are many ways to measure the pattern of genetic hair loss, however most doctors who specialize in hair restoration follow a standard classification when describing hair loss.

In 1941, a classification scale of male pattern hair loss was introduced by James Hamilton. he classified typical patterns of hair loss into eight major types using a series of drawings. Dr. Norwood later on refined this system in 1975, offering four additional variations. the most common and standard classification of male pattern hair loss used today is based on Norwood /Hamilton scale for hair loss. Following is the description used to classify genetic hair loss using Norwood scale.

1. Type 1 Displaying the normal mature hairline with minimal temporal recession.

2. Type 2 Shows mild temporal recession with thinning along the anterior margin of the forelock.

3. Type 3 Depicts deep frontal recession with few or no remaining hairs, which is the minimal amount of hair loss required for the definition of balding. Vertex shows hair loss confined to the vertex with deep frontal recession.

4. Type 4 Displays both frontal and temporal recession and frontal thinning together with little hair in the vertex. The bridge between the frontal area and the vertex is still retained.

5. Type 5 Depicts bigger areas of fronto-temporal and vertex alopecia than Typ35 and only a narrow and sparse bridge separating both areas.

6. Type 6 Shows loss of the bridge separating the frontal and vertex areas with lateral and posterior progression of alopecia.

7. Type 7 Represents the severest form of balding whereby the remaining horseshoe shaped band of hair in the lower scalp is narrow. The preauricular hairs have receded both posterior and inferiorly. The remaining hair band is frequently of lower density with evidence of some miniaturization. The nape of the neck is sparse and in some cases the inferior occipital border is raised significantly.


During the initial consultation with the Dr. Meshkin, he spends a considerable amount of time to educate the patient utilizing computer hair analysis to evaluate the classification and extent of hair loss, hair loss progression, hair characteristics, and the donor availability. If hair transplant is an option, he will provide an estimate of the number of grafts needed, recommend and explain the best technique of harvesting the grafts that best fits the patient's concerns and goals and the method used for the recipient area. Dr. Meshkin will provide all the information necessary for the patient to make an educated decision for the any surgical or medical hair treatment options available.

Article by
Newport Beach Hair Restoration Surgeon