The Norwood Scale is a chart used to measure male pattern baldness. Trichologists and other medical hair specialists can use it to assess your hair loss and suggest the best possible treatment.
Norwood 3 is one of the earliest stages on the hair loss scale that characterises true balding. Unlike stages 1 and 2, men at Norwood 3 will see a real change in their hairline, and possibly their crown:
In this article, you’ll learn:
- What a Norwood 3 hairline looks like
- How your hair loss could progress
- How to treat this stage of hair loss.
What does a Norwood 3 hairline look like?
Norwood 3 hairlines are very common. Even A-list male celebrities have this level of hair loss, including Harry Kane, Daniel Craig, and Tom Hanks:
A Norwood 3 hairline is characterised by a moderately receding hairline. As you can see, this type of hairline can develop at any age. Before his possible hair transplant, Harry Kane was just 25 when his hairline receded to this stage. Daniel Craig is 54, and Tom Hanks is 66.
There’s also a variation on Norwood 3 hair loss known as Norwood 3A or 3 vertex. This is when you’ll first start to notice signs of thinning on your crown, sometimes (but not always) alongside temple hair loss.
These two Wimpole Clinic patients have Norwood 3A balding:
How long does it take to progress from Norwood 2 to Norwood 3?
There’s no set time limit as to how long it takes to progress from Norwood 2 to Norwood 3. Some men will never progress to this stage, even if they’ve had Norwood 2 hair since they were a teenager. Others may not see any hair loss in their twenties, only to develop fast and significant thinning in their thirties and forties.
Take note of any hair shedding. If you notice a lot of hair loss in the shower, this could be a sign that your hair loss is progressing.
The best way to diagnose your hair loss is to see a trichologist. They can perform specific tests to ascertain the extent of your hair loss, and whether it’s likely to progress to Norwood 4, Norwood 5, and further stages.
How to treat hair loss at Norwood stage 3
There are several options for treating pattern baldness at this relatively early stage of androgenetic alopecia. Here are some of the most popular and successful treatments.
Minoxidil is a topical solution that’s easy to apply and has minimal side effects . One study found that applying a 5% Minoxidil solution resulted in 45% more hair regrowth than the 2% solution in men, so it’s generally recommended that men at Norwood stage 3 use the 5% solution .
Finasteride is the most popular non-surgical hair loss solution recommended by hair transplant surgeons . Results show that it can reduce hair loss in :
- 70% of men with temple hair loss
- 83% of men with crown hair loss.
Crown hair loss is particularly receptive to Finasteride use, so it’s a good solution if you’re a Norwood 3A patient. Finasteride is also often recommended alongside a hair transplant to prevent further hair loss.
A hair transplant is a very effective way to treat this stage of balding. Your hair loss hasn’t yet progressed to a stage where it’s difficult to achieve good hair density, and there are plenty of healthy hair grafts available in your donor area.
Norwood 3 is a good stage to opt for hair transplant surgery. As well as getting great results, your hair transplant may be cheaper — you won’t need as many grafts as if you wait for your hair loss to progress.
How many grafts are needed for Norwood 3 hair loss?
On average, a Norwood stage 3/3A patient needs:
- 1,000 to 1,500 hair grafts on their temple or hairline
- 500 to 1,000 hair grafts on their crown.
These hair graft volumes are relatively low, and will be straightforward to transplant for any skilled, experienced surgeon. Find out how many hair grafts you’ll need for your hair loss.
Norwood 3: hair transplant results
These 3 patients were at Norwood stage 3 prior to having a hair transplant with the Wimpole Clinic. As you can see in these before and after hair transplant photos, our surgeons have achieved significant regrowth and hair density, filling in the crown and lowering the hairline:
Get a Norwood 3 hair transplant at the Wimpole Clinic
At the Wimpole Clinic in London, we have a fantastic track record of restoring stage 3 hairlines. To transform your look, book a free consultation with our team to get a free, no-obligation hair loss assessment and graft quote for your hair transplant.
- Minoxidil and its use in hair disorders: a review
- A randomized clinical trial of 5% topical minoxidil versus 2% topical minoxidil and placebo in the treatment of androgenetic alopecia in men
- International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery: 2022 Practice Census Results
- Use of Finasteride in the Treatment of Men With Androgenetic Alopecia (Male Pattern Hair Loss)
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