What is the Ludwig Scale?
Hair loss in women is a lot more common than many think. Over half of women experience some form of hair loss by the age of 40, and that figure rises to around 65%, by the age of 50.
There are many contributing factors to hair loss, which often makes it difficult to measure its type and stage. And that’s where the Ludwig scale comes into play…
The Ludwig scale is a chart used to measure the most common pattern of female baldness, and it is also used to determine the varying degrees of hair thinning, as well. This Ludwig scale is the female equivalent to the Norwood Hamilton scale, which is used to measure male pattern baldness.
Female hair loss can also be measured using the Savin scale, which is very similar to the Ludwig scale. Both scales measure hair loss in three areas of the scalp, which are:
Frontal Loss – the Ludwig scale measures the stage of recession around the frontal hairline and temples. Hairline recession which is typically more prevalent with men, but still happens to women too.
Midscalp – this scale measures hair loss that occurs at the middle of the scalp. Hair loss in this region starts as a widening part that eventually becomes a circular area of loss. This is a much more common pattern of thinning in women, than it is in men.
Crown – Thinning at the crown area of the scalp is far more prevalent with male pattern baldness, but does tend to happen in women, too, though usually to a lesser extent. Crown hair loss refers to thinning at the top of the head, towards the back.
The diagram below is a typical example of the Ludwig scale.
The Ludwig scale stages of hair loss in women
The Ludwig scale is the most effective way to accurately measure the rate and stage of female pattern baldness (androgenic alopecia), without seeing a doctor or specialist.
The Ludwig scale ranges from stages I to III. Stage I begins with thinning on the top of the head. In stage II the scalp starts to show. All of the hair at the crown of the head may be lost when the hair loss progresses to stage III. It should be noted that the scale is used merely for general categorisation. Some women do not actually fit into the Ludwig stages.
Once you have measured what stage of hair loss you are at, you can then begin to look into treating it. Early stages of female hair loss (Ludwig I-1, I-2, I-3) can be treated much easier then if you are suffering from ore advanced stages of baldness (II-1+).
Early stages of hair loss can be treated with a range of products that include; multivitamin hair supplements like HR23+ and Viviscal, topical serums, micro needling, and even medical drugs like minoxidil, although, where drugs are concerned, caution is advised.
For a full list of treatment options, please see; Most Recommended Hair Loss Treatments