Classification of Hair Loss in Women
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Women’s hair loss can be typically categorized into 3 forms –
- Patterned hair loss
- diffuse hair loss
- Localized hair loss.
The hair loss conditions in women can also be further classified into scarring and non-scarring types. Since the non-scarring, diffuse female hair loss pattern is caused by genetic disposition and is so prevalent, it has its own unique classification that is based upon the rate of miniaturizing known as the “Ludwig classification”.
It is essential for all women struggling with extreme hair loss that an appropriate diagnosis is done for them. This is specifically needed when the hair loss is diffuse, as undisclosed medical conditions may be a contributing factor. It is highly advised to refer to diagnosis of hair loss in females to gain an in-depth valuable insight of different causes that may play a key role in female hair loss other than genetics.
The Ludwig Scale
The Ludwig Scale uses 3 distinct classifications (type), to identify the severity of female hair loss.
Type I (Mild Stage)
In this stage, hair loss is counted as minimal. Most females may have failed to notice that hair loss has taken place, as the hairline remains comparatively unaffected. Hair loss mostly occurs on front and top of the scalp, and gradually increases while making more and more scalp visible over time.
Type II (Moderate Stage
In this stage, females may observe each of the following:
- Decrease in hair density, volume
- More than normal hair shedding
- Mid-part of scalp that continues to broaden over time.
Type III (Extreme Stage)
In this final and extensive classification of female hair loss, hair is so thin that it has complexity camouflaging the scalp, making it visible to the naked eye.
In all the 3 Ludwig stages of hair loss in women, there is significant hair loss on the top of the scalp and in front with relative conservation of the frontal hairline. The sides and back may or may not be involved. Despite of the severity of hair loss, only females with stable hair on the sides and back of the head are good or say only candidates for hair transplant surgery.
Using Ludwig Classification to Diagnose and Treat Female Hair Loss
The Ludwig Classification divides the female pattern hair loss (androgenetic alopecia) into 1 of 3 special stages, called as the Ludwig Scale. By categorizing hair loss according to extremity, the Ludwig Scale aids both doctors and patients to better understand 3 crucial elements in the diagnosis and treatment of female pattern baldness. The factors are as follows:-
- The extent to which the hair has already been shed or gone
- The capacity for further hair loss
- The most suitable course of treatment.