Women’s hair loss can be of various types, and there is a scale that can help categorize female alopecia. The scale is known as the Ludwig scale, and it is the female equivalent for the Hamilton Norwood scale, which is used in male patients with alopecia. The Ludwig scale has 4 stages.
The Ludwig Scale
Women tend to lose hair in different patterns than men. For this reason, there is need for a scale that will help in diagnosing the stage of hair loss in women, a scale that is similar to the Norwood scale for men.
The Ludwig scale can diagnose the alopecia in women. The scale is divided in 4 stages, stage 1 being the mildest form of alopecia. The scale is well known to doctors, and they can visually establish the type of hair loss in each patient.
Scale 1 Hair Loss
Scale 1 hair loss is the mildest form of alopecia in women. The symptoms of this stage are vague, but the patient may notice that the hair starts thinning. The thinning may be present all over the scalp or only on the top of the head, in the area of the parting.
The patient may also notice that she is losing more hair than usual. Up to 100 hairs per day can be a normal amount of hair to lose, but if the amount suddenly increases, this means that the patient is suffering from hair loss. Blood tests can be performed to detect the possible problem and the patient can take hormones or vitamins to prevent the advancement of the condition.
Scale 2 Hair Loss
The scale 2 hair loss may be more visible than the first stage of alopecia. At this stage, the patient will have close to half of her original hair, and the parting of the hair will be more extended. Treatment is necessary at this stage, and patients may get monoxidil 2% to prevent the hair thinning.
Scale 3 Hair Loss
Scale 3 hair loss designates a condition where the hair is very thin and the skin of the scalp is visible. There may be areas that have more hair, but typically, the hair loss will be evenly distributed on the entire head. Over 60% of the total hair will be lost at this stage.
At this point, medication may no longer be an option, and the doctors may recommend hair transplant or other alternative solutions.
Scale 4 Hair Loss
The scale 4 hair loss in women is the most advanced stage of alopecia. At this point, the baldness is visible and it may require some cover up.
Depending on the cause of the hair loss, medication may be prescribed, but this may not always be effective and the hair loss may be permanent. Wigs, hair transplant or other alternative remedies will be possible solutions to improve the appearance of the patient.