There is a certain type of hair loss condition that follows a pattern as it progresses. This is known as androgenic alopecia also known as male pattern baldness. It is a condition that men in their late twenties to their early thirties start to undergo. This will continue until the later years of their life and will result in hair loss on the top of their scalp.
Dr. James Hamilton, in an effort to diagnose the current stage of this condition came up with a picture chart in the 1950’s detailing its progression. This scale established a workable model to determine the different phases of male pattern baldness. After about twenty years, Dr. O’Tar Norwood was able to refine it to suit current standards. This allowed others to further categorise the different cases that can occur at each stage of hair loss.
The use of the Norwood Hamilton Scale can aid in determining the type of remedy that should be applied. It also makes the diagnosing of this condition possible over the phone. All the patient has to do is to relay the information of how his scalp looks like to the doctor. Below is an interpretation of how these different stages are described.
There is hardly any hair loss at this stage. Further observation is required to determine if a remedy is necessary.
An imaginary line just before the ears represents the point where the receding hairline of the frontal temporal region halts. It does not progress further than a few centimeters before it. Hair surrounding the entire head is still full. Only the recession from the temporal regions is detectible.
Stage Two (A)
There is similar recession in hairline as in Stage two combined with a thinning area in the frontal central region just above the forehead.
The hair loss has progressed further toward the back of the scalp and stops right before the imaginary line of the ears. A patch of hair resembling a triangular shape is located at the frontal central region of the scalp. There is noticeable balding at this point.
Stage Three (A)
The hair loss is the same as in Stage Three with regard to the frontal temporal area. There is no longer a triangular patch of hair in the frontal central area.
Stage Three (V)
The progression of hair loss is similar to Stage Three and Three (A) regarding the frontal temporal region with the addition of balding in the center of the vertex region of the scalp. There is also no longer a triangular patch of hair in the frontal central area.
Hair loss in the frontal temporal region progressed further and has actually become aligned with the ears. The frontal central area has experienced more thinning while the vertex area’s balding has expanded more than what was observed in Stage Three (V). The sides of the head are connected by a bridge-like band of hair that acts as a line separating the frontal and vertex areas of the scalp.
Stage Four (A)
The progression of hair loss in the frontal temporal area is similar to Stage Four. There is no balding in the vertex region. There is close to no hair growth in the frontal central area.
Hair loss has further expanded in the vertex region with a circumference the size of an orange. There is a reduction in width of the bridge-like band that separates the frontal and vertex areas. The frontal central area has a small triangular patch of hair separated from the bridge-like band.
Stage Five (A)
The progression of hair loss in the frontal temporal area is the same as Stage Five with the exception of the disappearance of the bridge-like band. Almost no hair exists in the vertex region.
Stage Five (V)
The progression of hair loss in the frontal temporal area is the same as Stage Five with the exception of an M-shaped hairline. The bridge-like band has almost dissipated because of the progression of balding in the vertex area.
This is a more extreme version of Stage Five (A). Hair loss is total in the vertex region. The upper areas of the sides and back of the head are thick and dense. There is almost no hair in the area where the bridge-like band used to be.
The hair loss is total over the entire top region of the scalp. Only the lower sides and back of the head have hair growth.
It is advised to consult with a qualified physician to get a confirmatory diagnosis of the progression of one’s hair loss.