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Understanding the Different Stages of Hair Loss and How to Treat It

dermatologistnc September 29, 2020

Hair loss can be a problem for adults and teens alike. Trying to hide it doesn’t really fix it; thankfully, there are real treatment options available!

Male Baldness: The Norwood Scale

Male pattern baldness often appears along the hairline, starting with a familiar “M” shape. Over time, the mid-crown hair becomes shorter and finer until you have a bald patch. Physicians use The Norwood Scale to diagnose hair loss stages in men; here’s one example:

  • Stage 5 – At this stage, hair loss is much more significant and occurs mostly on the vertex and the crown. Balding will become more prominent around the temples and crown, as well.

Female Baldness: The Ludwig Scale

Hair loss in women tends to work a little differently. Most women lose hair from the top of their head, rather than at the forehead hairline. Here’s an example from The Ludwig Scale that physicians use for women:

  • Stage 3 – Typically involves complete hair loss in the crown area of the head. If there’s enough donor hair available, Stage 3 patients are still good candidates for hair restoration.

Treatment Options for Hair Loss

The typical rule of hair loss treatment is the earlier, the better. Here are some examples of treatment options:

SURGICAL

  • Tissue Expansion – One of the more advanced procedures available, involving stretching part of the scalp (and/or the forehead) with a balloon tissue expander.  

MEDICAL

  • Minoxidil (Rogaine) – One of the most common treatments for hair loss, it enlarges the hair follicles, allowing hair strands to thicken.

Treating Hair Loss

Hair loss can be tough to deal with, but you’ve got options! Check out all the details in this infographic from the fine folks at Winston Salem Dermatology.

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