Norwood Classification The Norwood classification, which was published by the American doctor O’tar Norwood in 1975, is the most popular classification for hair loss in men used till date. It states that there are two major hair loss patterns in men while there are others those are less common. According to Norwood pattern, the two areas which are most affected are the temple regions and the crown which gradually enlarge and continue to shed hair until the frontal, top and crown (vertex) of the scalp become bald.
Class I depicts the hairline of an adolescent which is not balding in any case. An adolescent’s hairline usually rests on crease of the upper brow.
Class II depicts an adult or mature hairline which is just a finger (1.5cm) above the crease of the upper brow, with traces of some temporal hair recession occurring during adulthood. But this also isn’t considered balding in any way.
Class III marks the onset of hair loss in men. The hairs start receding in a symmetrical pattern along the temple areas.
Class III Vertex stage results in beginning hair loss in the crown area of the scalp (vertex).
Class IV is that stage when more frontal hair loss occurs and hair loss becomes more prominent in the crown area. There is still a band of full hairs present in between the crown and frontal part of the scalp region.
Class V marks the steady progression of hair loss in the crown and frontal areas. It also results in the vanishing of that hair band which was present in-between the frontal and crown areas.
Class VI points to that stage of hair loss, in which the hair band separating the frontal areas of the scalp and crown of the head completely disappears leaving a large bald area. The hairs are still present on the sides of the scalp.
Class VII marks the ultimate stage when individuals face extensive hair loss with just a few strands of hair remaining in the rear and side areas of the scalp.
Norwood Class A Type Classification
It basically refers to that hair loss which begins from the front of the scalp and proceeds gradually to the rear parts of the head. According to Norwood Class A classification, there isn’t a connecting bridge that is formed and hair loss in the crown area of the scalp is limited even at an advanced stage.
These patterns are less common to be faced by men but significant because they usually give an appearance that makes men appear very bald even though hair loss is minimal. Men who suffer from Class A patterns should seek treatment early since the frontal part of the scalp doesn’t responds well to medicatios and there is a sharp contrast in areas with hair and those areas which have experienced hair loss. Individuals suffering from Class A patterns should opt for hair transplantation since that’s the best way to deal with their baldness and hair loss.
Diffuse Patterned and Unpatterned Alopecia
Genetic hair loss can occur in two more ways in men which doctors usually tend to overlook. Detecting these two types of genetic hair loss conditions known as “Diffuse Patterned Alopecia” and “Diffuse Unpatterned Alopecia” can be a tough task. It’s essential that doctors conduct all kinds of tests to determine which kind of alopecia may be affecting the patient so that proper treatment can be carried out.
Diffuse Patterned Alopecia (DPA) is a type of an androgenetic alopecia which basically results in gradual thinning of hair beginning from the middle part of the scalp and progressing towards the sides. It affects the front, top and crown areas of the scalp radically.
The first two images on the left shows the advancement of male hair loss in Diffuse Patterned Alopecia (DPA) while the two images on the right depict the advancement of Diffuse Unpatterned Alopecia (DUPA). In DUPA, the sides also thin out equally fast.
Diffuse Unpatterned Alopecia (DUPA) is also androgenetic in nature, but affects men much lesser than Diffuse Patterned Alopecia. It advances much faster than Diffuse Patterned Alopecia and results in a horseshoe kind of a pattern similar to Norwood’s Class 7 classification. It’s different from Diffuse Patterned Alopecia since in this type of hair loss, hair thins out from the temple regions of the scalp at the same pace at which other hairs are thinning out. Conducting hair transplantation becomes really difficult due to the fact that hair loss is extensive and unstable in this condition.