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Norwood Stage 2: Photos, Treatments, Results

Norwood 2 is one of the earliest stages on the Norwood scale in which hair loss becomes visible. At this stage, any hair loss may be difficult to spot, though it can lead to a receding hairline.

As Norwood 2 is very early on the Norwood-Hamilton scale, many non-invasive hair loss treatments are available for this stage as well as ways to disguise the slight loss of hair.

Illustrated example of Norwood 2 stage of hair loss

In this article we will discuss:

  • Whether Norwood 2 is classed as balding
  • How long Norwood 2 lasts
  • How to treat hair loss from Norwood 2
  • How many grafts are needed for a Norwood 2 hair transplant surgery
  • Norwood 2 hair transplant results.
Table of Contents
The Hamilton-Norwood scale should the different stages of male pattern hair loss
Norwood Scale

Is Norwood 2 balding?

Some research suggests Norwood 2 is not technically considered to be affected by male pattern baldness [1]. According to Norwood himself, Norwood 3 is the minimal extent of hair loss needed to be considered balding [1].

Nonetheless, many trichologists (and hair loss patients) do regard Norwood 2 as a receding hairline, or sometimes a mature hairline [2]. Hairline recession commonly happens as a result of male pattern hair loss (also known as androgenetic alopecia), while a mature hairline does not always indicate hair loss, as this is the natural progression of the hairline as we age.

A doctor can help you tell the difference between a receding hairline and a mature hairline. However, you can also consider your age and whether you have a genetic predisposition to baldness [3].

For those with a genetic disposition for male pattern baldness, a Norwood 2 receding hairline can often be the first sign of the condition. However, this doesn’t always mean you’ll progress all the way along to significant hair loss in the seven stages of the Norwood scale.

Hair loss progression depends on your genetic predisposition to baldness and the levels of DHT, the hormone responsible for male hair loss, in your body [4].

What does a Norwood 2 hairline look like?

By Norwood 2, the hairline is beginning to recede to the temples. However, at this stage, there is usually no visible vertex or crown thinning. The receding hairline shape is most often triangular and symmetrical. Some men experience hair loss on one side of the head at this stage [1, 5].


Norwood 2 stage of hair loss where the hairline recedes due to pattern hair loss


The pictures above show a Norwood 2 hairline in two Wimpole patients. In the picture on the left, you can see that the hairline has started to thin out, and is receding slightly. The picture on the right shows the hairline more visibly receding towards the temples.

Some celebrities are also affected by hair loss:

Celebrity examples of Norwood stage 2 hairline


Former footballer Gary Lineker and actor Tobey Maguire both have slight hair loss at the temples, but no substantial thinning across the mid-scalp or crown which causes the scalp to be visible through thinning hair.

The M-shaped hairline often starts to develop at Norwood stage 2.

How long does Norwood 2 last?

It can be difficult to pinpoint precisely how long Norwood 2 lasts, as this stage is different for each individual.

While some men stay at Norwood 2 for many years or never progress to future stages of extensive hair loss, some men find their hair loss progresses very quickly. This all depends on your genetic predisposition to patterned hair loss and your DHT levels. One Australian study found a receding frontal hairline (Norwood 2) was present in 25% of men aged 40-55 and 31% of men aged 65-69 [6].

One way to tell if you are losing hair and progressing to Norwood 3 is hair shedding. If you lose hair (or shed hair follicles) more significantly when in the shower, see hair strands on your pillow, or when you brush your hair, this could be an indicator that you are progressing to Norwood 3.

If you experience hair shedding of more than 50-100 hairs a day, consult a trichologist. They can help determine whether you are progressing to Norwood 3 through specific tests.

How to treat hair loss at Norwood stage 2

At Norwood 2, you are in the early stages of androgenetic alopecia. At this stage, your hair can easily be styled to hide your hair loss. You also have several options for hair restoration.

Before considering surgical or medical intervention, you may want to try alternative treatments such as laser therapy for hair loss.


A common medication for the early stages of hair loss is Minoxidil. This hair loss medication is applied twice daily, directly to the scalp, and stimulates hair growth through vasodilation [7]. Minoxidil is available in a topical liquid, an oral tablet, or a shampoo form.

Research shows that using a topical liquid is more effective than shampoo, due to the increased exposure time [8]. How Minoxidil is applied depends on the brand and form it comes in. However, for Norwood 2 it is likely to be prescribed in a topical liquid form.

Another medication that may be used is Finasteride. Finasteride works by reducing the DHT hormone and thus slowing hair loss. It’s most effective if used at this early stage, as it can prevent future hair loss and encourage early regrowth.

Hair follicle stimulation

Two alternative methods to lower your hairline are micro-needling and scalp massage. However, their success depends on how long you have been in Norwood 2 and your genetic predisposition to hair loss. When you progress to the latter Norwood scale stages, these techniques are less likely to work.

Micro-needling works by stimulating and penetrating the scalp with tiny needles, which induces healing and promotes the growth of new skin and hair. Research shows this method has also been successfully paired with Minoxidil use [9].

Scalp massage involves the stimulation of scalp tissue by rubbing it with your fingertips. Research shows that manual stimulation of the scalp can alter the expression of genes that regulate hair growth [10].

Hair transplantation

Some Norwood 2 patients opt for a hair transplant. However, other methods are usually tried first. If you opt for a hairline transplant, you will usually need to use other methods (like Minoxidil or Finasteride) alongside it to prevent further hair loss.

How many grafts are needed for Norwood 2 hair loss?

A Norwood 2 patient usually needs between 500 hair grafts and 1,000 hair grafts. Hair tends to be lost just from zones 1 and 2:

Grafts Required to restore lost hair

Performing a hair transplant for Norwood 2 is straightforward for any skilled surgeon. Find out how many hair grafts you’ll need for your hair loss.

Norwood 2 hair transplant results

These Wimpole patients were at Norwood stage 2 when they came into the clinic for treatment. These before and after hair transplant photos show the difference our surgeons have made in their hair transplants, from lowering the hairline to filling in temple hair loss.

Before and after 500 graft FUE hair transplant

500 grafts
FUE hair transplant procedure

Learn more about 500 grafts hair transplants.

before and after 1000 graft FUE hair transplant

1000 grafts
FUE procedure

Learn more about 1000 grafts hair transplants

before and after 1000 graft FUE hair transplant to correct Norwood 2 hair loss

1000 grafts
FUE procedure

Get help for Norwood 2 at the Wimpole Clinic

If you’re worried that your hairline is at Norwood 2 or are worried about more severe hair loss, our trichology team is on hand to help.

As you can see above, we have plenty of experience in restoring Norwood 2 hairlines, with fantastic results.

If you want to restore your hairline, book your free consultation with our team and receive a no-obligation hair loss assessment and graft quote for your hair transplant.

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

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