norwood hair loss scale

Navigating how many hair grafts you would need for a hair transplant is challenging. It is most likely that you have a pretty good idea about the end goal of your hair transplant but knowing what can get you there is another thing. To have a good idea about the number of hair grafts you would need, you first need to understand at what stage of hair loss you are on and what exactly is a hair graft.

The progress of hair loss is as important as the quality of hair grafts. This is because the thinned or balding area that needs covering will determine the number of required hair follicles to create the desired hair density. As a rule of thumb, the wider the transplant area, the more hair grafts you will need. The progress of hair loss can easily be determined by using the Norwood hair loss classification.

Norwood hair loss classification

The Norwood hair loss classification system is a useful source that guides clinicians and patients through the stages of male pattern baldness. Because people who are suffering from male pattern baldness go through similar stages of hair loss, you can easily pinpoint at which stage you are and what possibly awaits you in the future. Our medical team can make an accurate diagnosis and create a suitable treatment pathway using this classification system.

How many grafts do I need for a full head of hair?

The size of the thinned or balding area is different at each of the 7 stages in the Norwood scale. Hence, these stages can indicate how many hair grafts you will need to achieve a full head of hair.

type 1 norwood hair loss scale

The Norwood stage 1 indicates the first signs of male pattern hair loss. The hairline slightly recesses but has no major effect on the overall appearance of the hair. At this stage, a hair transplant surgery is generally not recommended because further progress of hair loss should be observed before making any decisions.

However; if hair loss is stabilised and there are no signs of further hair loss, up to 1000 hair grafts should be enough to restore the hairline.

type 2 norwod scale hair loss

At Norwood type 2 minor signs of male pattern baldness can be observed. The earlier form of M, V, or U shape hair loss starts to shape at this stage.

It is important to remember that hair loss can still progress and a hair transplant can lead to an undesired look in the future.

If you want to get a hair transplant anyway and there are no signs of further hair loss, up to 2000 hair grafts are usually enough to cover the balding areas.

type 3 norwood hair loss scale

The typical U, V, or M shape of the male pattern baldness usually forms at type 3 of the Norwood scale. At this point, the effect of androgenetic hair loss is quite noticeable.

A hair transplant operation can be beneficial to restore the frontal appearance of the hair. At this stage, around 3000 hair grafts are usually transplanted to achieve a dense natural hairline.

type 3 vertex norwood hair loss scale

At the Norwood type 3-vertex, the frontal hairline is similar to Norwood stage 3, but there is also significant hair loss at the top of the head; this area is also known as the vertex or crown area.

To achieve a full head of hair a total of 2500 – 3500 grafts can be sufficient depending on the hair loss of the crown area.

type 4 norwood hair loss scale

At Norwood type 4, hair loss at the vertex and along the hairline progresses and leaves a thinner band of hair in between.

Usually, around 4000 hair grafts need to be transplanted to obtain a dense and natural look.

type 5 norwood hair loss scale

Norwood type 5 indicates a much thinner hair in between the vertex and frontal hairline.

To achieve a full head of hair, 4000 to 5000 hair grafts should be transplanted. If the donor area is healthy enough, 5000 hair grafts can also be transplanted for higher density.

type 6 norwood hair loss scale

At Norwood type 6, the bald areas at the vertex and the front merges and create a large bald area.

5000 to 6000 hair grafts are usually required to cover such a large area. You should be aware that at this stage it might be challenging to create a dense full head of hair.

type 7 norwood hair loss scale

The Norwood type 7 is the most intense version of male pattern baldness. Only the sides and back of the head are covered while the top is completely bald.

A minimum of 7000 hair grafts is needed divided into two hair transplant sessions to restore a natural hairline. However, keep in mind that this operation requires a healthy donor area and high clinical expertise.

hair transplant graft collection step

How many grafts do I need for the crown?

Some men might be more bothered by the thinned or balding hair at the crown area as opposed to hair loss around the frontal hairline. In this case, the number of hair grafts needed for the crown can vary between 500 and 2500 depending on the size of the area.

How many grafts do I need for the hairline?

Recovering from a receding hairline can make a great impact on your overall appearance. Similar to the vertex area, the number of required grafts for the hairline can change between 1000 to 3000 hair grafts.

How much hair is in 1 graft?

The number of hair follicles in a hair graft determines the graft quality and hair density. Usually, 1 graft contains 2 to 5 hairs. The number of hair follicles in a hair graft determined the hair quality and density. This is why the condition of the hair grafts is crucial for a hair transplant operation.

What are the treatment options other than hair transplant?

Alternative treatment options for hair loss can be benficil, especially at the early stages of hair loss. The most popular treatment options among these alternatives are the hair loss medications and platelet-rich plasma (PRP) treatment.

Hair Loss Medications

Some medications such as minoxidil and finasteride can help improve hair growth and reduce hair loss.

Minoxidil works by shortening the resting phase of your hair growth cycle and moving your hairs into the active growth phase by improving the blood flow to the hair follicles.

Finasteride inhibits the conversion of testosterone to dihydrotestosterone (DHT) which is the hormone that can cause male pattern baldness.

If you are hesitant about hair transplant surgery you can opt for these medications or other alternatives.

PRP Hair Treatment

The PRP hair treatment uses a person’s own blood plasma to stimulate hair growth. The plasma is a great agent to nourish the hair follicles and improve hair quality.

Because PRP treatment is an effective non-surgical option, many people prefer this option before and after getting a hair transplant.

PRP is not a one-time treatment if you are willing to slow down your hair loss. That’s why the sessions needs to be done on an ongoing basis to achieve significant results.