The Ludwig Scale: Identifying Female Pattern Hair Loss

The Ludwig classification system is a system for determining the extent of female pattern baldness. There are three stages of the Ludwig classification system: Type 1 indicates initial signs of balding and Type 3 is the most severe. This scale is widely used to identify the degree of hair loss as well as to determine the best treatment. The Savin scale is a very similar classification system that also measures overall thinning. You can use the following to help identify signs of female pattern hair loss in yourself; however, it is best to get a professional consultation to accurately determine the severity of hair loss and best treatment plan.

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The Grades of Hair Loss in the Ludwig Scale

Type 1

Thinning begins at the top of the head or there is a thinning crown. This type is mild and not as noticeable. Some women may be able to spot the first signs of thinning in this stage by observing their part, as it will begin to widen slightly.

This can also be difficult to notice because most women do not lose the hair at the front of their head.

Type 2

There is noticeably more scalp starting to show, with significant hair loss on the top of the head or crown. This type is moderate and more noticeable. Not only will the hair start to feel or look thinner, but there may be an increase in shedding as well. Another sign of moderate hair loss is your hair doesn’t style the way it used to. From a loss in volume to a wider part, you may notice that your hair just isn’t looking like it used to and is harder to style.

Type 3

Hair is significantly reduced on the top of the head and crown. It’s the most severe type of hair loss. The scalp is very noticeable as the hair that is left is so thin that it does not conceal the scalp anymore.

This progression is one of the most common types of female pattern hair loss. However, female hair loss is not as prevalent and more women will experience hair thinning over total hair loss.

Noticing the first signs of balding is the best way to prevent further hair loss. If you begin to notice any of the early signs of female hair loss, then seek help sooner rather than later. Common signs of balding in women include:

- Overall thinning

- Bald spots that are either circular or patchy

- Widening of hair part

- Increase in hair coming out when you sleep, shower and brush your hair

Some women may also lose their hair due to physical or emotional trauma. You may notice hair comes out easily and in handfuls as you wash or brush your hair. Consulting with a dermatologist will help to determine the cause of your hair loss and the best treatment moving forward.

Women's haircut, hairdresser, beauty salon by Basyn

Receding Hairline in Women

While not as common, a receding hairline in women, known as bitemporal recession, can happen. You may notice more sparseness around the hairline. While this can occur naturally (thanks, genetics) or because of an underlying condition, treatment can help restore and bring back a full hairline.

Another cause of a receding hairline in women is called traction alopecia. This type of hair loss is caused by repeated stress on the scalp. Tight hairstyles or harsh styling techniques can cause stress and damage the hair follicles and lead to traction alopecia. Be gentle with your hair, consider changing your hair routine or style and speak with a hair loss specialist for the best course of action.