Hair Loss: Determining Your Degree of Loss


When we talk of hair loss we would probably just think about hair shedding.

But for those who are unfortunate to go through it, it is good to rate the degree of loss they are experiencing.That is why there are a number of methods in which to do this. Let us discuss each of this to help you determine the extent of your hair loss problem. This will be important especially when you do phone consultations with a hair restoration specialist.

1. The Norwood Scale

When we talk of rating hair loss the Norwood scale is always the first to come to mind, and it is also the most popular. Not only does it help diagnose the approximate extent of hair loss but also to avoid misdiagnosing it. This scale is mainly used to diagnose male hair loss.

The Norwood Scale goes up to seven levels with each level often abbreviated as NW1-NW7.

norwoodscale - male pattern hair loss


  • NW1 is when the degree of hair loss is not noticeable because it only just started.
  • NW2 is characterized by some recession of the hairline and even the area near the temples. Although it may not be that apparent, but you may start to notice this.
  • With NW3 the degree of hair loss is more obvious as evidenced by a pronounced hair loss at the temples and the frontal hairline.
  •  Another variation of NW3 is NW3 vertex where the same level of hair loss starts at crown of the head but with minimal to no hairline recession from the front and the temples.
  •  NW4 happens when there is balding at the crown and hairline recession at the front. At some point the baldness from the frontal area and from the crown would sometimes meet.
  • NW5 is a worse version of its predecessor however there is still some amount of hair separating the two bald areas.
  • In NW6 the hair that separates the two balding areas has increasingly thinned out, in some weird case some retain small amounts of hair at the very front of their head.
  • With NW7, no hair is left at the front and crown portion at all, creating that distinct U shaped pattern of balding.

2. The Ludwig Scale

The Ludwig scale is used to measure female pattern baldness. Since the manner of hair loss in women is different compared to that in males, it is important that they have their own scale in determining the extent of the problem.



The Ludwig scale has 4 stages, with the gravity worsening as the scale progresses. Stage one shows the beginning signs of hair loss, which in women is characterized by generalized thinning all over the scalp. However, balding is not that apparent at this point. At stage two there is a more obvious thinning along the area that parts the hair. Stage three displays a more severe hair loss with almost 70% thinned out and baldness becoming more apparent. Hair transplant is also more likely recommended by doctors because of its severity. And lastly, stage is four is the severe type of alopecia where there is pronounced balding.

These scales provide a more definite classification as to where your hair loss belongs to. Hopefully you find yourself enlightened and be more able to know the appropriate measures for your kind of hair loss.

If you have more questions about hair loss and hair transplant, Please call us on 1300 733 092 or make an enquiry by filling in the fields below.

Resources: (2017). American Hair Loss Association – Men’s Hair Loss / The Norwood Scale. Available at [Americal Hairloss Association] [Accessed 27 Nov. 2017].

Harries, M., Tosti, A., Bergfeld, et al. (2015). Towards a consensus on how to diagnose and quantify female pattern hair loss – The ‘Female Pattern Hair Loss Severity Index (FPHL-SI)’. Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology, [online] 30(4), pp.667-676. Available at: [PUBMED] [Accessed 27 Nov. 2017].


We offer free, no obligation hair transplant consultations and at any of our clinics in Sydney and Melbourne.

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The Australian Institute of Hair Restoration

The Australian Institute of Hair Restoration is the leader in surgical hair restoration in Australia, with two clinics based in Sydney and Melbourne. If you are worried about hair loss you can arrange a free consultation with our hair transplant doctor, Dr Andrew Kim. You can also phone 1300 733 092 any time for our hair loss helpline or to enquire concerning hair transplant cost.