7 Stages of Male Pattern Baldness – What Stage are You?

7 stages of male pattern baldness explained

Male Pattern Baldness Stages

Though men are not as fashion conscious as women, they are pretty attached to their hair.

Why would not they be? The hair influences how a man looks more than anything. Men’s age and personality are often judged with their hair. Which affects their personal and professional life and relationship to a large extent. So when these men start losing hair, they have a right to be concerned, especially if they are on the younger side.

Hair loss in men is much more extensive than in women. Male Pattern balding is one common reason for hair loss. 

Male pattern baldness or Androgenic Alopecia is a condition that mostly occurs in men. It is characterized by gradual, yet extensive loss of hair. Male pattern balding generally begins with a receding hairline beginning at the temples, which keeps widening and progressing towards the crown of the head and beyond. However, there are other patterns of hair loss as well. The thinning can develop on the crown itself or general balding over areas of the scalp.

During this time the condition goes through the 7 stages of hair loss in men.

If you are losing a significant amount of hair, you could be suffering from male pattern baldness and knowing which stage you are in can help slow down hair loss or even reverse hair loss faster.

Androgenic Alopecia

Androgenic Alopecia is the scientific name of Male Pattern Baldness. The causes of Androgenic Alopecia can be varied, but most people develop the condition due to hereditary factors. Male Pattern Baldness afflicts 90% of the men who suffer from suffering from baldness. Normally, each strand of hair grows from a hair follicle and goes through a cycle of growth and fall. The condition develops when some hair follicles start to shrink and grow weaker and shorter hair till. As the condition progresses follicles stop growing hair altogether. Androgenic alopecia usually develops in middle-age, it can strike youngsters even in their teens.

Male pattern baldness goes unchecked because we are not aware that parts of our head have stopped growing hair; we do not recognize the warning signs. In most cases, once we do come to know, it is too late. Hence, it is crucial to know when you permanently start losing hair so your hair treatment can be proactive. You can slow the thinning of hair, try and stem hair loss or even reverse the condition in some cases. If you wait to take action till the time the balding starts affecting your looks, you would have a difficult time in growing your hair back, if at all.

Hamilton-Norwood scale for Measuring the level of Hair Loss in Male

The Hamilton-Norwood scale is the leading yardstick for measuring male pattern baldness. Men generally lose hair in one of the recognized patterns over the course of decades. Though there are other scales used by researchers, doctors and hair transplant surgeons, the Hamilton-Norwood scale remains the preferred measuring device by most medical practitioners. The Hamilton-Norwood scale uses images to reference different stages of male pattern baldness. The scale provides reference points to diagnose the extent of hair thinning or baldness and measure the effectiveness of treatment.

this image shows 7 stages of male pattern baldness

7 Stages of Male Pattern Baldness

Stages I and II cover slight hair loss. These are the stages when the hairline begins to recede imperceptibly with any changes in the crown hair.

Stage I:

Male Pattern Baldness - Stage I
Male Pattern Baldness – Stage I

The hairline looks like an adolescent’s, generally beginning from the crease of the upper brow. There is no hair loss either at the crown or at the hairline but the hair has begun to get thinner around the temples, where there may also be a slight recession. By the time a man goes to stage II, the balding at the temples moves further inward starting the creation of the M-shaped hairline, which is common in men.

Stage II:

Male Pattern Baldness - Stage II
Male Pattern Baldness – Stage II

There is a marked recession of the hairline around the temples, which is known as a mature hairline. Here, the hairline starts slightly above the crease of the upper brow. At this stage, hair loss is mild and usually occurs at the frontal hairline only.

Stage III:

Male Pattern Baldness - Stage III
Male Pattern Baldness – Stage III

This stage begins with the first clinically-significant balding, which may also be noticeable. The hairline has receded sharply at both the temples, deepening the angles of the ‘M’. The recessed areas are either sparsely covered with hair or completely bare. There is a phenomenon called the Stage III vertex where the frontal hairline remains at Stage II, but there is clinically-significant hair loss at the crown of the head or the vertex.

Stage III is the earliest stage of hair loss cosmetically considered as balding. Most men show a deep and symmetrical recession from the temples. There’s little or no hair near the temples. This is also the stage when balding spots begin to appear. It becomes harder to conceal hair loss.

Stage IV:

Male Pattern Baldness - Stage IV
Male Pattern Baldness – Stage IV

The frontal recession is more acute than in Stage II; the hair on the crown is sparse or has disappeared altogether. The areas of hair loss at the front and the temples are separated by a strip of hair on the sides of the scalp. Hair loss at the vertex is evident and often a bridge of dense hair separates the frontal recession and the bald patch at the crown.

The sides of the head will typically have dense hair. In this stage the male pattern baldness becomes obvious. You may also start losing big swathes of hair at the back of the head or from the frontal hairline.

Stage V:

Male Pattern Baldness - Stage V
Male Pattern Baldness – Stage V

This stage marks the beginning of severe hair loss. Hair loss at the temples and the front is larger and occurs faster than in stage IV. The separating strip of hair at the sides of the head would have grown narrower. Loss of hair at both the temporal regions and the crown is more acute. In this stage, the former ‘M’ shape becomes a horseshoe. The baldness enters a critical stage in Stage V and from here it becomes very difficult to treat.

Stage VI:

Male Pattern Baldness - Stage VI
Male Pattern Baldness – Stage VI

The bridge of hair across the top of the head, between the temples and the crown, has disappeared or the hair is sparse. The hair mass that separates the crown from the frontal hairline is also almost gone. The remaining hairline now fully resembles a horseshoe around the full stretch of baldness in the middle of the scalp. Hair loss on the sides of the head also accelerates at this stage. When a man reaches Stage VI male pattern baldness, he has lost a very large portion of his hair. This is evident from your hairline, which has receded to the top of your head. If there is still some on the crown it is thin and barely covers the scalp.

Stage VII:

Male Pattern Baldness – Stage VII

By the time you reach Stage VII, there is just a band of hair going around the back and the sides of the head. Even this hair may not be dense. Stage VII is considered to be the last phase of full-scale baldness, Now, the hairline has changed from s horseshoe to a veritable cul-de-sac, which has left the top of the head and temples completely bald. If a man who has reached this stage has not already begun treatment, his chances of hair recovery are extremely slim or none.

There is a variation to the above in the Hamilton-Norwood A classification. It describes a different and less common pattern of baldness. In this pattern, the hairline recedes uniformly from the temples and the front. The crown does not lose hair; the hairline recedes directly from the front to back, both temples included.

A lot of times male pattern baldness goes unchecked because men do not recognize symptoms until it is too late. If you are in the early stages (Stage I or Stage II), you must consider taking action immediately. Your odds are better if you recognize male pattern baldness at an early and consult a hair specialist immediately than trying to grow them back after your hair has already recessed significantly.

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