Ludwig Women’s Hair Loss Scale (1977)


Just as there are scales to identify the level of hair loss men, there are scales to classify women’s hair loss. Ludwig Classification or Ludwig Scale is one of them.

Shocked young woman holding comb while looking at hair loss

Dr. Erich Ludwig created the Ludwig’s Scale in 1977. Dr. Ludwig observed 468 cases of female pattern hair loss. He suggested that hair loss in women was common, and the pattern was different to male hair loss. Dr. Ludwig used grades/types in his hair loss scale for women’s hair loss. His scale has been very effective in diagnosing women’s hair loss, and has made it easier. It allowed the future researchers with much information and guidance.

Ludwig’s scale types are as follows:

Type/Grade I: Mild hair loss. Loss on the crown. Some hair loss on the sides or the back of the head. Not suitable for hair transplant surgery at this stage.

Type/Grade II: Noticeable hair loss. The hair is becoming thinner. More hair loss in the middle and the crown. Some women are suitable for hair transplant surgery.

Type/Grade III: The entire crown is bald, and the remaining hair is very thin. It is not possible to disguise this with styling or combing.

Dr. Ludwig’s scale only classifies female pattern hair loss, and not male pattern hair loss that also affects some women. Dr. Olsen included the frontovertical alopecia to Dr. Ludwig’s scale later, which did not incorporate such situations.

There is also the infamous Savin Scale which classifies female hair loss.

These scales (Olsen, Ludwig, Savin, Ebling-Rock) are important in describing and diagnosing female pattern hair loss, and are an important step in the treatment. They are effective in classifying hair loss in types and patterns, and help the research in the field advance. Also, different treatments can be possible and suitable for different patterns, and the Norwood Scale for male hair loss, Ludwig and Savin Scales for female hair loss are important.


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