What are the stages of baldness in men?
The term baldness, or alopecia, means a partial or total hair loss. This loss can be temporary or permanent. As human beings, we naturally lose between 50 and 100 hairs per day, which is gradually replaced. Some daily loss is therefore normal, as long as the number of hairs growing (in the anagen phase) is 80-85%.
From adolescence until the end of life, the density of the hair decreases at the level of the scalp and more markedly in the frontal and temporal regions. This normal loss is completely natural and is invisible to most people, and should not be confused with alopecia.
Androgenetic alopecia is characterized by abnormally high hair loss, in excess of 100 hairs per day. A lack of hair is noticeable from the moment when the number of hairs per square centimeter is equal to 100 or so. Androgenetic alopecia can be caused by any number of factors: poor diet, stress, endocrine disorders, certain drugs. A major contributing factor, of course, can be found in our genes.
Read on for information from Starks, a clinic specializing in hair services, regarding the different stages of male pattern baldness.
The stages of baldness in humans
Male pattern baldness is measured using the Norwood Hamilton scale, designed by Dr. James Hamilton in the 1950s and later revised by Dr. O’Tar Norwood.
In general, men lose their hair according to a defined pattern: the hair recedes at the level of the temples, on the top of the head, before thinning and disappearing completely on large surfaces.
Note that after stage 5, there are no treatments available — only hair transplantation or hair dermopigmentation are viable solutions against those advanced stages of alopecia.
The first stage of androgenetic alopecia is marked by very little, if any, hair loss in the hairline. At this stage, no treatment is necessary. Also, there is nothing to worry about, except if you have a family history of baldness. If so, you can monitor your hair loss and take action at the appropriate time.
During the second stage, the decline in the temporal zone is more noticeable. There is a triangular receding of the hairline, usually symmetrical. In addition, the front central area of the scalp may become less dense. This is when the first signs we traditionally refer to as baldness become apparent.
According to Norwood, this is when we normally see is as baldness. Indeed, hair in the vertex area is starting to become increasingly rare. The loss of the hair on the temporal zones is very obvious — there is no more hair or, perhaps, only a fine down. Towards the end of stage 3, hair loss at the top of the skull occurs at a greater rate than is common with age.
Stage 4 is characterized by the more severe loss in the temporal zones. In addition, the lack of hair at the vertex is much more visible. We can see that a more or less dense band of hair separates the two parts of the bald head, connecting the two areas covered with hair on both sides of the head.
At this stage, the separation between the vertex and the anterior temporal region is still visible, but it is less and less so, as their hair continues to lose density. The strip is much thinner and narrower. Hair loss at the vertex and temporal areas is also more apparent.
At this point, the band of hair has now completely disappeared. There are only a few hairs left on the front of the skull because of the junction of the two temporal zones into one. On the sides, hair loss is even more pronounced.
This is the last, most advanced stage of alopecia. Hair is now only present on the back area of the skull and on the sides. Not only that, but it may be noticeably thinner than before. The top of the skull is either completely hairless or covered with a light down.
If you are suffering from any of these stages of baldness, we have good news: it is now possible to delay the advancement of its different stages. In cases of more pronounced hair loss, hair transplantation is available. For more information, contact a specialist at Starks, the hair care professionals.