What are the Stages of Balding for Men & Women?


men balding

Updated: February 29, 2024

Have you noticed your hairline receding, hair thinning, or hair loss? There’s no need to panic. Balding is natural for men and women and can occur to anyone at different stages — not just to middle-aged men.

Although not a life-threatening condition, balding can affect your confidence and self-esteem. If you’ve noted changes in your hair pattern, how to know if you’re balding is essential. This article explores the different stages of balding in men and women.

Signs of Baldness in Men

Individuals experience balding phases at different stages. While some men notice signs of hair loss in their early 20s, others have a full head of hair into their 60s. While most men notice a change in their hairline, others might notice hair loss beginning at the top of their heads. This implies that not everyone experiences similar signs of balding.

However, hair thinning stages in men often start on the front hairline and top of the scalp. A receding hairline is a crucial sign on how to know if you’re balding. Still, this hair loss occurs gradually and may take time before you know what’s happening.

Additionally, hair loss in men may present as thinning, where hair becomes thinner gradually due to shrinking hair follicles.

Signs of Baldness in Women

Unlike men, women rarely go bald and will not experience receding hairlines. Hair loss in women involves hair thinning, especially at the crown. Since women generally have longer hair than men, noticing hair loss is even harder.

The best sign to check is the hairs on your hairbrush. In women, alopecia stages often occur at the age of 40 and beyond.

The Norwood-Hamilton Scale

The Norwood scale is a graduation system widely used to measure the extent and types of male baldness. The Ludwig scale is used to measure female pattern baldness.

The Hamilton-Norwood scale has seven stages, each portraying the extent of baldness.

Stage 1: No Hair Loss

This stage is also known as the control stage. At this stage, you have a full head of hair.

with no noticeable signs of thinning, hair loss, or receding hairline.

Stage 2: Slight Recession

For men at this stage, there is a slight sign of receding hairline at the temples.

Stage 3: Thinning on Top of the Head

The hair loss becomes noticeable at this stage as the hairline pulls back from the


  •  Stage 3 vertex: This is a variation where you experience hair loss at the top of the scalp. However, the hairline remains at the former stage.

Stage 4: Severe Hairline Recession

This stage presents profound signs of how to know if you’re balding. You’ll experience severe hairline recession, and the vertex portrays noticeable hair loss or complete baldness on top of the scalp.

Stage 5: Larger Areas Hair Loss

The parts of the scalp experiencing hair loss expand, while the hair strips between areas of hair loss narrow. As a result, the hair thinning stages are more profound, forming a distinct horseshoe form.

Stage 6: Joining

In the second last phase of the alopecia stages, the balding areas at the vertex join with the receding hairline at the temple, creating a more prominent horseshoe pattern.

Stage 7: Complete Hair Loss in Balding Areas

This is the most severe point of hair thinning stages. You only remain with a band of hair going around the sides of the scalp. The balding areas at the top and sides of the scalp merge, completing the male pattern hair loss stages.

Learn More About The Stages of Balding for Men and Women

Experiencing hair loss can cause you a lot of stress and anxiety. When you first notice the initial hair thinning stages, you must understand how the balding will progress.

Fortunately, experienced dermatologists at Lisa Om Studio in Dallas, Miami, and LA use the Norwood and Ludwig scales to assess alopecia stages and determine the best solution.

LISA OM will assess your problem and help you take control of your hair journey.

Contact us today to learn more.

Image Source:  ESB Professional / Getty Images

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