Hi, Dr. Rassman. Thanks for answering all of our questions.
My question is, How likely is it for someone to “settle in” to a level of hair loss (Norwood 3A, for example) and not see any more rapid loss for a period of time (years, for example)? Do some people get to a certain level of hair loss beyond a mature hairline and stay that way without medication? Or is your fate essentially sealed after you reach a certain level?
Let me clarify what I see as your misunderstanding. The Norwood chart is not to be seen as a progression of hair loss chart, but rather the final patterns seen in a large male population.
Some people do seem to go from a Norwood class 3 to a 4 and then to a 5 pattern, but you may just “settle in” to your Norwood 3A state, as an example. There is really no 100% certainty, but a good doctor with a good miniaturization study and examination can give you a better assessment of what hair may go with time. Here’s the Norwood chart so we’re all on the same page:
Your “fate” was sealed in your genetic code when you were conceived many, many years ago. Very few patients become a Norwood class 7 pattern, and even the balding patients who start as a class 5 may not go much further, even at the age of 100 or so. So for example, there’s no “point of no return” that says if you reach class 4 by this certain age, you’re guaranteed to be a class 7 later in life.