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Measuring Baldness in Hair Transplant Surgery


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For men, the extent of baldness is often measured according to the Hamilton-Norwood, or just Norwood, Scale with 1 being no thinning and 7 being completely bald at the top and front of the head. Women have a different system of measurement called the Ludwig Scale. With the Ludwig Scale, I-1 represents no baldness and the top of the range is III which is total baldness at the crown of the scalp.

When the surgeon is measuring your hair’s density and degree, he or she is likely to utilise a hair densitometer. This will help determine whether or not the surgery is applicable to your hair’s conditions by measuring your hair’s density as well as the likely balding pattern it will take in the future.  If you are a good candidate according to the Norwood/Ludwig Scale and the densitometer, then this device can also help the doctor calculate how many grafts you may need. It does so by evaluating your follicular units: how many hairs each one has, the ratio of mature to thin hairs in each unit, and the diameter of each hair so that you can get the maximum amount of scalp-coverage with the least amount of follicular units transplanted. 

After measuring your hair, the surgeon should set out a surgical plan with you so that you have a say in how to design your hairline realistically. This plan will be brought up again before the surgery, and the doctor may choose to map out where the follicles will be placed with a marker before making the actual incisions in your scalp.


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