As discussed in the section on the causes of hair loss in women, women’s hair loss can be classified into diffuse hair loss, localized hair loss, or patterned hair loss. It can also be divided into scarring and non-scarring types. Since the diffuse, non-scarring female hair loss caused by hereditary is so common, it has its own special classification that is based upon the degree of thinning called the Ludwig classification.
The Ludwig Classification uses three stages to describe female pattern genetic hair loss:
- Type I (mild)
- Type II (moderate)
- Type III (extensive)
In all three Ludwig stages, there is hair loss on the front and top of the scalp with relative preservation of the frontal hairline. The back and sides may or may not be involved. Regardless of the extent of hair loss, only women with stable hair on the back and sides of the scalp are candidates for hair transplant surgery.
It is important for all women experiencing hair loss that an accurate diagnosis is made. This is particularly true when the hair loss is diffuse, as underlying medical conditions may be a contributing factor. Please refer to the diagnosis of hair loss in women page to learn about how the various types of female hair loss are evaluated. Also watch Dr. Bernstein on the Early Show with a female hair loss patient who was treated at Bernstein Medical.
By: Dr. Robert M. Bernstein
Updated: 2016-01-20 | Published: 2009-07-28