Norwood Scale In Hair Transplants: Let’s Find Your Stage


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You are well aware of your hair loss and feel like it is time to change how you look. After surfing online for a bit, something keeps coming up, a “Norwood Scale.” But, what is this Norwood Scale? It is a universal way of telling your hair loss stage. When someone tells you, “I am Norwood 3” what that actually means is,  he has receding hairline from sides.


We have prepared you this guide for you to find your Norwood Scale level and learn about details of your hair loss stage.


Let’s begin!

Norwood Scale 1



This is the initial stage of Norwood Scale. This type of hair loss is very small in scope. The patient can see receding hairline from sides, however only slightly.


It doesn’t change the appearance much but it is the first sign that your hair is getting thinner. Ultimately, that thinning hair falls and never regrows.


Therefore we recommend patients to start working hair loss prevention at this stage for the best outcome. The sooner you identify the problem, the better you can respond to it.


Finasteride or Minoxidil use can start at this stage and would be the most effective.


The reason is, if the problem is with your DHT levels, Finasteride can protect you from its adverse effects. Or, if it is due to stress or lifestyle, you can change things and monitor the changes in hair loss.


If you can stop hair loss with any of these, you will have more hair rescued and eventually, you will stay in Norwood 1 Stage for a longer time.


Despite your actions, if your hair loss persists, it might be genetic and although precautions still can help, hair loss will progress.


Norwood Scale 2


Norwood Scale 2 hair transplants


You were not aware of your hair loss, or nothing seems to be stopping it. As a result, your hair loss progressed and now the “M” shape starts to appear in the front of your head. Then, your stage is Norwood 2.


Norwood 2 is a warning stage because now hair restoration methods such as FUE and FUT are options. Most of the surgeons still recommend using alternative methods like Finasteride and monitor your hair loss progress.


If it continues, there is no point in conducting a hair transplant surgery.


If hair loss can be stopped at this stage, delaying a hair transplant procedure makes more sense. Because if you get the operation and then keep losing hair, you will need a new hair transplant procedure to fill the newly bald area.


In the end, that would be too much trouble.


However, if your hair loss stops or, you want to get the procedure anyways, then you would be needing 1,500-2,000 grafts for the operation.


We also think it is crucial to remember you have around 6,000 grafts of donor hair and using an aggressive initial amount causes donor hair shortage in the future when your hair loss progresses.


As a result, when you need to get a procedure to fill the back, you won’t have any hair to transplant. Therefore, it is wise to plan ahead and don’t rush in early stages.


This surgery would require only one session.


Norwood Scale 3


Norwood Scale 3 hair transplants


If the M shape is very obvious to see, then your hair loss progressed to Norwood 3. Norwood Scale 3 is the first stage where hair loss starts to affect the crown. The top of the M touches your crown and hair loss cause the hair on your crown to fall.


Norwood 3 is the vital stage in your hair loss story. We have earlier discussed the importance of building an effective strategy while getting a hairline fix surgery. It is very popular these days and a lot of people get their hairline fixed.


The problem is, you need 2,200-2,700 grafts for the procedure, which is more than one-third of your hair donor supply. 


Before After Pictures Kayihan Sahinoglu Hair TransplantsBefore After Pictures Kayihan Sahinoglu Hair Transplants


Many doctors concentrate on creating a dense look and use as many grafts as possible to fulfill so. As a result, you lose almost half of your hair supply in one area.


In the future when your hair loss progresses, your hair on your crown and back falls. Then, you need at least 4,500 grafts for the next procedure.


Because the first surgery used too much, you end up not supplying enough grafts. Eventually, you have a bad look.


Therefore, it is extremely important to plan ahead and use your hair supply accordingly. An aggressive hairline fix surgery is only a temporary solution and will cause more problems in the future. 


This surgery would require only one session.


You can read the Receding Hairline Fix Surgery here.


Norwood Scale 3 Vertex


Norwood Scale 3 vertex hair transplants


It is the same with Norwood 3. The only difference is, you start losing hair from your crown as well. An “O” shape starts to appear on the top-back of your head. The difference of Vertex stage is, it requires a little more grafts.


You would need around 2,800-3,200 grafts to fill both the front and crown.


If you decide to get a hair transplant procedure, it might be useful to remember the donor hair supply. After the surgery, you should still have enough donor hair left for future operations.


Using too many grafts cause problems in the future and your hair might look unnatural.


This surgery would require in most cases one session.


Norwood Scale 4


Norwood Scale 4 hair transplants


With hair loss progressing from both the front and crown, your hair loss pattern becomes Norwood 4. Now, the M shape is disappearing as your hair on the front is gone and the O shape is getting wider.


If you consider a hair transplant procedure at this stage, you would need around 4,000 grafts. At this point, your surgeon needs to carefully assess your case and build an effective strategy.


If he concentrates only on the hairline fix, your crown won’t look good.


Before After Pictures Kayihan Sahinoglu Hair Transplants


Uneven distribution of grafts is not easy to spot at first. When you look at your new hair, it seems very natural and dense. However, after a short while, with hair loss progress your crown starts to seem thin again.


Because at this stage, hair loss progresses in a wide pattern. On both the front and top of your head, a wide area loses hair simultaneously and as a result, you find yourself looking for new solutions.


Therefore, it is essential to make sure you have a solid plan before getting hair transplants.


This surgery would require two sessions in two days. Pushing it into a single day would cause too much trauma and is not recommended.


Norwood Scale 5


Norwood Scale 5 hair transplants


Norwood 5 is the first time you will have advanced hair loss. Your M is almost gone, and O is even bigger. Now you need somewhere around 3,500-4,000 grafts. A hairline fix is still an option but your surgeon should prioritize your crown and back. 


If you decide to have your transplants at this stage, it might be a good idea. Norwood 5-6 naturally includes Norwood 2-3-4 operations.


Therefore, everything you do, you would be doing only once if you wait until this stage. On the other hand, it will be very advanced by now.


Before After Pictures Kayihan Sahinoglu Hair Transplants


Having the operation at Norwood 5 and then using Finasteride and Minoxidil might be effective. After using almost two-thirds of your donor hair, you might want to monitor hair loss and get the last surgery when you absolutely need it.


That would be the most cost-effective way in mathematical ways.


However, each case is unique and we would advise you to build a plan with your surgeon before making any decisions.


This surgery would require two sessions in two days. Pushing it into a single day would cause too much trauma and is not recommended.


Norwood Scale 6


Norwood Scale 6 hair transplants


Your hair loss has fallen most of your hair on the front and crown. Furthermore, M and O shapes have united. The O shape progresses towards the back of your head. The bald area is very large and requires around 5,000 grafts. 


If you have waited until this stage and get the implants, you will probably be okay for the next few years.


There is one more possible stage and in general, your surgeon will also work on that area in this operation to make it denser so you won’t have to do the last procedure. 


Before After Pictures Kayihan Sahinoglu Hair TransplantsBefore After Pictures Kayihan Sahinoglu Hair Transplants


Norwood 6 hair transplants are for some reason notorious. People persist that a surgery at this level is not effective. In our article “Norwood 6 Hair Transplants: Excellent Results Impossible, Or Myth?” we have given all the critical tips on how to find a surgeon who can do this surgery very well. 


With a skillful and experienced surgeon, you can have excellent results and get the most out of your surgery at Norwood 6 stage.


This surgery would require two sessions in two days. Pushing it into a single day would cause too much trauma and is not recommended.


Norwood Scale 7


Norwood Scale 7 hair transplants


Finally, your hair loss is over and you have lost more than 80% of your hair. But if your donor hair supply is there, you can still get excellent results.


You would have two sessions in two days and procedures would be length however with a crafty surgeon, you can still get the results you want.


Your graft need is between 5,500-6,000. This point is where your strategy pays off. If you get an aggressive hairline fix surgery, you have used too many grafts in the beginning.


So, you don’t have last 1,000 grafts to finish the back. And unfortunately, it can be spotted easily.


If everything went well and according to the plan, probably you are laughing at your results now. If not, we recommend the use of Finasteride and Minoxidil to prevent further hair loss.


Further hair loss can cause a gap in between and your hair would look very unnatural.


This surgery would require two sessions in two days. Pushing it into a single day would cause too much trauma and is not recommended.


Finding your hair transplant surgeon you can trust

Surgeon Choice


As you can see, at every stage there are different requirements. Session days differ with the number of grafts used in the surgery. There are risks at every step.


The easiest way to overcome all is, to find a surgeon you can trust. It can be painfully hard when you are looking options abroad, nevertheless, you still have to research well.


A lot of people let their feeling interfere and end up making the wrong decision. That is because they rush and book a clinic without enough information. They like the price, pictures, and reviews. Then they commit themselves into a terrible mistake.


Hair restoration journey is long and not easy. You have to be always careful while interpreting what you see online. Without a systematic work, your chances of failure increase exponentially.


How To Choose Your Surgeon


Choose your hair transplant surgeon


The reason why we built the online library is for you to learn the tricks and make your decision based on facts, not feelings. We only tell you the story from our side and wish that you can form your own strategy by looking at ours. 


How To Choose Your Hair Transplant Surgeon: The 6-Step Guide” contains a guide for our guests to read and see one approach. You are free to use it as it is or partially. That article can be an excellent blueprint while you construct your strategy.


At any time, please don’t hesitate to contact the team and ask your questions. With every question, we learn something new and create a value that returns to you eventually.


If you are in the early stages of your research, it might be useful to concentrate on what you want and if it can be delivered more than how much it costs or where it is.


In the end, if you do things the right way, it will be worth it. Even when you make a mistake don’t worry about it, you can still change your strategy and make it right.


Good Luck!