The Hamilton-Norwood scale, first introduced by Dr. James Hamilton now commonly referred to as the Norwood scale after the revision made by Dr. O’Tar Norwood in the 1970s can be used as a guide to determine one’s level of baldness.
One thing that we have to remember is that the norwood scale is ONLY a guide to be used to determine approximately our level of hair loss. It is not a perfect guide, but it certainly does a pretty good job in my opinion.
These are the typical patterns one might follow, but ultimately, there are often variations of it. Typically a diffuse thinner follows a different pattern and therefore it’s more difficult to determine where he/she might fall.
But once we classify ourselves on the norwood scale, what do we do with it? How can it help us in our hair restoration journey?
Truly this will depend on the individual, but I believe in considering the following course of action:
- Research everything there is to know about hair loss – the more you know, the better your decision making skills will be.
- Consider medication such as Propecia and Rogaine as your first line of defense to fight against further hair loss. It might even help you regrow some hair, though there is a lesser chance of this. The higher we are on the norwood scale, the more likely hair loss medication will not be enough to restore our hair.
- Research and educate yourself about hair transplantation surgery which to date, is the only highly effective means of restoring your hair.
Hair Transplantation is not to be taken lightly and there is a lot to consider. Patients with higher level norwood scales typically require more follicular unit grafts to achieve decent hair coverage and density.
If you are considering a hair transplant, I recommend reading the following blogs which will kickstart your research regarding hair transplantation:
I welcome any feedback you might have.