The Norwood Classification of Hair Loss in Men

The Norwood classification is the most widely used classification for hair loss in men. Published in 1975 by Dr. O’Tar Norwood, it defines two major patterns and several less common types. In the regular Norwood pattern, two areas of hair loss – a bitemporal recession and thinning crown – gradually enlarge until the entire front, top and crown (vertex) of the scalp are bald.

Norwood Classification of Male Pattern Baldness

Class I represents an adolescent or juvenile hairline and is not actually balding. The adolescent hairline generally rests on the upper brow crease.

Class II indicates a progression to the adult or mature hairline that sits a finger’s breath (1.5cm) above the upper brow crease, with some temporal recession. This also does not represent balding.

Class III is the earliest stage of male hair loss. It is characterized by a deepening temporal recession.

Class III Vertex represents early hair loss in the crown (vertex).

Class IV Is characterized by further frontal hair loss and enlargement of vertex, but there is still a solid band of hair across top separating front and vertex.

Class V the bald areas in the front and crown continue to enlarge and the bridge of hair separating the two areas begins to break down.

Class VI occurs when the connecting bridge of hair disappears leaving a single large bald area on the front and top of the scalp. The hair on the sides of the scalp remains relatively high.

Class VII patients have extensive hair loss with only a wreath of hair remaining in the back and sides of the scalp.

Norwood Class A

The Norwood Class A patterns are characterized by a front to back progression of hair loss. Norwood Class A’s lack the connecting bridge across the top of the scalp and generally have more limited hair loss in the crown, even when advanced.

Norwood Type A Varient

The Norwood Class A patterns are less common than the regular pattern (<10%), but are significant because of the fact that, since the hair loss is most dramatic in the front, the patients look very bald even when the hair loss is minimal.

Additional Information

10 Responses to “The Norwood Classification of Hair Loss in Men”

  • I suffer from Hair loss of Class IV. To my dismay, I found the necessary information only after the only thing that stopped my hair loss, was the floor 🙂
    Nowadays I simply shave my head once every few days.
    Wigs are not an option.
    What are the options for my case?

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  • Christina from Baby Playmat Store:

    Well, I have a friend who has this Alopecia, and I think it’s the Class III Vertex. He doesn’t smoke and believe it or not, he doesn’t drink alcohol. Im not either sure if it runs on their family but he is definitely looking for some remedy about this. What would be your suggestion how to cure and have the hair grow again?

  • Though gradual many of the initial signs of hair loss are obvious, as early as the age of 15 you can tell if someone will grow to have a hair line that will lead to being bald.

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  • Bob from Mens Wigs:

    Thanks for the information’s. Balding is definitely not pleasant. My friend, just like me, started to wear a wig and with this modern wigs, it is quite ok. But i still hope that someday they invent something to stop hair loss.
    .-= Bob@Mens Wigs´s last blog ..The Advantages Of Wigs =-.

  • Jon:

    Interesting article on hair loss. I’d never realised that anyone had gone to such length to classify this. It’s one of those subjects that we just mention subtly as one is going slightly thin. Now I’ve just got to work out which one applies to me. Where’s that mirror gone when you need it.
    .-= Jon´s last blog ..Post #2 =-.

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  • Jeena from Hair:

    Great information on hair loss. This is a must see for many people. My husband is going through hair loss right now, and it has been hard on him.

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