Ludwig Classification: Diagnosing Female Hair Loss
Hair loss may have a profoundly negative impact on all aspects of life. Individuals who experience hair loss may find it difficult to feel confident, positive, and secure in both professional and personal environments. According to statistics gathered by a variety of national and international health institutions, women are particularly susceptible to hair loss, as well as the negative social and professional side effects that may develop as consequence.
It is estimated by the National Institute of Health (NIH) that fewer than 45% of women go through life without experiencing some degree of hair loss (i). The NIH also reports that women who suffer with hair loss may experience mild to extreme psychological distress, as well as generally impaired social functioning (ii). To aid in the diagnosis and treatment of hair loss among women, hair transplant surgeons and specialists use the Ludwig Classification.
Using the Ludwig Classification to Diagnose & Treat Female Hair Loss
The Ludwig Classification separates female pattern baldness (androgenetic alopecia) into 1 of 3 unique stages, referred to as the Ludwig Scale. By classifying hair loss according to severity, the Ludwig Scale helps both patients and physicians to better understand three major factors in the diagnosis and treatment of female hair loss:
- The degree to which hair has already been lost.
- The potential for additional hair loss in the future.
- The best course of treatment.
The Ludwig Scale
The Ludwig Scale uses 3 different classifications, or Types, to diagnose the severity of female hair loss. From left to right in the image below, these Types include Type I, Type II, and Type III:
Type I. In this stage, hair loss is considered to be mild. Most women may have difficulty noticing that hair loss has occurred, as the frontal hairline remains relatively unaffected. Hair loss may occur on the top and front of the scalp, however. Such hair loss may be noticeable when the hair is parted down the center of the scalp, as more and more scalp will become visible over time.
Type II. Type II hair loss is considered moderate. In this stage, women may notice each of the following: Thinning, shedding, general decrease in volume, and a center part that continues to widen over time. Depending on the severity, a hair transplant procedure may be a viable option for women who exhibit a Type II classification.
Type III. Type III is the final and most extreme classification of female hair loss. In this stage, hair is so thin that it has difficulty camouflaging the scalp, rendering it visible to the naked eye. This may be worsened by a number of factors, including hair miniaturization, progressive thinning, and extensive loss.
Learn More About Identifying Female Hair Loss
To learn more about identifying female hair loss, readers may visit the following guide on the Miami Hair Blog:
Women and Hair Loss: Top 4 Signs
Schedule a Hair Loss Evaluation
Early detection, diagnosis, and treatment provide the best chance of restoring hair to its naturally full, resilient, and beautiful state. To move forward with a hair loss evaluation, schedule an appointment with the Hair Transplant Institute of Miami. Our team represents South Florida’s finest surgeons, registered nurses, and technicians, each of whom hold your pursuit of a fuller head of hair in the highest regard.
Readers may also call our Institute at 305.925.0222 to speak directly with a member of our team.
References for this health report include:
(i) Female Pattern Hair Loss: Current Treatment Concepts. National Institute of Health. Accessed February 10th, 2013.
(ii) See above.