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Norwood Stage 1: Photos, Treatments, Results

Norwood 1 is the earliest stage on the Norwood Scale. It doesn’t present noticeable hair loss. Norwood 1 is categorised as an adolescent hairline, meaning most teenagers and men will have this hairline as they mature.

There is usually no need for hair restoration methods at this point, as there is no significant or noticeable hair loss.

In this article we will discuss:

  • Whether this stage of hair loss is classed as balding
  • What a Norwood 1 hairline looks like
  • How to tell if you’re Norwood 1 or 2
  • How to treat early stage hair loss
Table of Contents

Does Norwood 1 mean you’re going bald?

A Norwood 1 hairline doesn’t indicate baldness. It’s the earliest stage on the scale, so there is no noticeable hair loss present to identify any hair loss condition(s) [1].

This type of hairline is common among men as they mature and is sometimes classified as an adolescent hairline, as it is present in the transition from a teenager to an adult.

Some men will notice their hairline moving back slightly as they age, while others may not notice at all due to slow progression, and this is normal. If you never see any recession across your hairline, you could remain at Norwood 1 for your whole life.

What does a Norwood 1 hairline look like?

At this stage, you will not see any balding forming on the hairline or scalp. There are no signs of receding at this stage. Norwood himself describes this stage as ‘minimal or no recession of the hairline’ [1].

It’s important to remember that some hairlines are different shapes. At Norwood 1, your hairline may appear to be further back than another person who at the same stage. For example, you can have a widow’s peak and still be at Norwood stage 1.

Actor Donald Glover and footballer Harry Maguire both have Norwood 1 hairlines.

donald glover norwood 1
harry maguire norwood 1

Hair transplant to Norwood 1

Footballer Rob Holding had a hair transplant at the Wimpole Clinic, restoring his hairline to a healthy Norwood stage 1. He has no evidence of temple hair loss, and his hairline is no longer receding.

As a hair transplant is permanent, he should remain at this stage with due care and maintenance of his hair.

Norwood Stage 1: Photos, Treatments, Results, Wimpole Clinic

How to tell if you’re Norwood 1 or Norwood 2

The difference between Norwood 1 and 2 lies in the level of hair loss and genetic disposition. Hair loss at Norwood 2 usually presents as light thinning around the temples and slight hairline recession, while Norwood 1 does not have any visible hair loss.

This illustration shows the key difference between these stages:

Norwood Stage 1: Photos, Treatments, Results, Wimpole Clinic

As you can see, the hairline in the second illustration is receding back toward the vertex, with temple hair loss present.

Norwood 2 isn’t always considered to be balding, although many trichologists do consider this to be the earliest stage of hair loss.

How to treat hair loss at Norwood stage 1

Norwood 1 doesn’t usually call for any hair restoration or treatments as it is unlikely that there is any hair loss. If you are experiencing shedding or thinning around the temples or hairline you should consult a doctor before trying any treatments.

Any hair loss or thinning across the scalp is unlikely to be due to androgenetic alopecia (pattern baldness). It could be a sign of diffuse thinning or telogen effluvium, a temporary stress-based hair loss condition.

There are a few options for hair loss at this stage. A hair transplant at Norwood 1 isn’t usually recommended, as invasive intervention at this stage could damage healthy hair follicles in the surrounding areas. In fact, a hair transplant performed too early is one of the most common hair transplant regrets.

At this early stage, you may benefit from alternative hair loss treatments which promote blood flow to the scalp.


A common medication used at the early stages of the Norwood scale is Minoxidil. Minoxidil works as a vasodilator, meaning that it encourages blood flow to the scalp [2].

It’s common to use Minoxidil for a receding hairline. It’s available in oral, topical, and shampoo forms.

One study, conducted over 4 months, measured the success of using a 2% or 3% Minoxidil solution over 4 months on 126 men with early male pattern baldness. At the end of the 4-month trial, there was a significant increase in hair regrowth among the subjects [3].

Follicle stimulation

Two alternative solutions to help at Norwood 1 are micro-needling and scalp massage, which are both focused on stimulating blood flow. Trying these methods at an earlier stage may prove more effective at stimulating hair growth than at later stages of hair loss.

Micro-needling penetrates the scalp with tiny needles, stimulating blood flow while encouraging healing and hair growth. Research suggests that this solution pairs well with Minoxidil use in early male pattern baldness [4].

Scalp massage also promotes blood flow to the follicles. Research shows that stimulation of the scalp using the fingertips can alter the expression of hair growth genes [5].

Treat early stage hair loss at the Wimpole Clinic

If you have any questions or concerns about your hair, our trichology team is on hand to help.

We have over 45 years’ experience in restoring hairlines and offering alternative hair loss treatments. Book your free consultation today and receive a no-obligation hair loss assessment.

The Wimpole Clinic offers FUE Hair, Beard & Eyebrow Transplants & Trichology.
Talk to a specialist ☎ 020 7935 1861.

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