Gender-Neutral System Classifies Pattern Baldness

New method replaces separate hair loss classification methods for men and women

WEDNESDAY, July 11 (HealthDay News) -- A new way of classifying pattern hair loss could replace separate systems for men and women with an accurate, gender-neutral universal classification system, researchers report in the July issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology.

Won-Soo Lee, M.D., Ph.D., of Yonsei University Wonju College of Medicine, in Wonju, South Korea, and colleagues developed a new pattern hair loss classification system to replace the existing Hamilton-Norwood system used for men and the Ludwig grade system for women. The new system was tested on 1,768 Korean men and 445 women from November 2004 to June 2005.

The BASP classification system (BAsic and SPecific) combines observations about four basic types of hair loss based on anterior hairline shape with two specific types of hair density in separate frontal and vertex areas.

In the study, 65.1 percent of the men and 56.6 percent of women were in their 30s or 40s. Older and younger men more often had slightly receding front hairlines and evenly spread upper-scalp thinning; women had common female pattern hair loss.

"We expect that the BASP classification may prove particularly useful in communicating the exact amount and distribution of hair loss in those with pattern hair loss," the authors write.

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