Women's Hair Loss: The Savin Scale

The Savin Scale was developed in 1996 by Dr. Savin and Dr. Tranick from Yale University, who wanted to study women's hair loss. They developed this scale to help women who suffer from hair loss classify the severity of their hair loss. The scale has 9 pictures of the balding scalp and rates the severity of the balding. The first picture being the least severe and the last being the most severe. These pictures make it very simple to compare and categorize the hair loss of the patient.

The 9 Images

  1. Image 1: Image 1 is the picture of a woman with the hair parted down the middle of the head. This is a woman without any hair loss.
  2. Image 2: Image 2 is the picture of the same woman and same part down the middle of the head. This picture shows the hair beginning to thin down the middle.
  3. Image 3: Image 3 is the same, but shows the hair thinning even more than in image 2.
  4. Image 4: Image 4 is still the same just showing even more thinning.
  5. Image 5: This image shows much more hair loss with small areas where the hair may still be growing.
  6. Image 6: Image 6 shows more hair loss, still down the middle of the head.
  7. Image 7: Image 7 shows the most severe hair loss down the middle. There is very little hair in the front of the head, and an oval shape with complete hair loss.
  8. Image 8: Image 8 shows that there is very little hair left in the front of the head, and what is left is very thin. It is rare for women to suffer from this degree of hair loss.
  9. Image 9: Image 9 is different than the other 8 images. This picture shows the woman who is suffering from hair loss in the front of the head. The hair loss does go down the middle, but it is less severe.

The Savin Scale does not describe any reason why women suffer from hair loss. There are many reasons women may suffer from hair loss.

Hormonal Imbalance

Many women will experience some hair loss due to hormonal imbalances. This most commonly happens when women begin to go through menopause. When menopause starts, the estrogen levels can vary. Many women will need to begin taking hormones at this time of their life.


Many women have a family history of thinning hair. This can happen as you get older and is nearly impossible to prevent. Usually you will have had a mother or grandmother who experienced thinning hair or hair loss.


Many women have their hair colored or permed. These types of chemicals can damage the roots of the hair causing the hair to fall out. It is common for some hair to fall out during one of these procedures, but not too much. It is best to wait at least 6 weeks to 3 months between any chemical treatment to try to avoid loosing too much hair.

There are many reasons for hair loss. If you are experiencing a significant amount of hair loss, talk to your doctor to determine an exact cause.

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