Wednesday, 27 January 2010

Phil Spector

It difficult to pinpoint just exactly when flawed genius Phil Spector's wig wearing began. This photo of him aged 18 years shows no sign of balding.

A few years later in the mid 60s, and some signs of recession are appearing, or is this an early hairpiece?

Due to the wig like nature of many 1960s hairstyles it can be difficult at times to spot what is real and what is not. By the mid to late 60's however, it is highly likely he was a regular toupee wearer.

According to biographer Dave Thompson however, Spector started wearing hairpieces in the 70s after a serious car crash in which his head injuries needed 700 stitches.

His recent murder trial showcased some spectacular wigs. He was eventually found guilty of second degree murder and sentenced to at least 19 years in prison.

But due to California State prison policy he is forced to serve his sentence bare-headed.

Norwood Rating : 6

Ryan Giggs

Another Manchester United player who has slowly been balding. As a young man he was famed for his thick black wavy hair.

Baldness seemed to catch up with him in his late 20s, starting with slight recession at the temples.

Soon after
, the dreaded bald patch on the crown started to appear. Photos are fairly hard to come by, but the patch was unmissable when watching him play on television.

However, in recent times the bald patch seems to have made a retreat. It is certainly less noticeable than 3 years ago, when it was at it's worst. A concealer seems unlikely, given the rain and sweat a professional sportsman has to cope with, so maybe he is on some sort of medication.

Anyway, from the front at least, his hair looks pretty good for a 36 year old.

Norwood Rating : 2-3v

Monday, 25 January 2010

About the Hamilton-Norwood scale

The Hamilton-Norwood scale is a way of measuring male pattern baldness. It was introduced by Dr. James Hamilton in the 1950s and later revised and updated by Dr. O'Tar Norwood in the 1970s.

There are 2 main types of balding, anterior (front) and vertex (back), as this alternate view of the Norwood scale shows a bit more clearly.

Stages on the scale are often abbreviated to nw1, nw2, nw3a etc. Another slight variation on the scale is shown below.

Baldness in women takes a different pattern, and is measured on the Ludwig Scale.

I intend to give each of my postings a rating on the Norwood scale, but remember that this is only personal opinion and sometimes I may get it wrong. The Norwood scale is a less than perfect way of measuring baldness, but it is the best and most widely recognised way we have.
An alternative look at the Norwood Scale can be found at

Jeremy Piven

I have never heard of this man, but his name often crops up when talking about balding celebrities. Here he is a few years ago.

As you can see, he was severely balding.

Here he is now, with a lot more hair.

TMZ recently showed a picture of a painful looking scar on the back of his head. It is identical to one you would find after a hair transplant done using the 'strip' procedure, although he claims otherwise.

Also balding on the crown as the picture below shows, you have to wonder how he covers this all up.

A hairpiece seems highly likely.

Norwood Rating : 5

Tuesday, 19 January 2010


The former Smiths frontman has seemingly been receding since the 80s. In spite of this, he has always managed to sport an astounding quiff.

By the time of Your Arsenal in 1992 the receding was getting more obvious.

It continued at a slow but steady pace throughout the next few years, as you'd expect. Looking suave for Southpaw Grammar in 1995.

The Maladjusted era appeared to signal the death of the quiff.

Below, a still from the Alma Matters video, 1997.

And a photo shoot from around the same time.

The next few years saw Morrissey withdraw from the public eye. When he returned in 2004, he brought an old friend with him. Against all odds, the quiff had returned.

Looking fuller than it had done a decade previously, we have to wonder what Morrissey did to restore it's glory. Here he is in 2009, aged 50.

Whether it's a transplant, wig, medications or merely clever styling, only Morrissey himself knows for sure.

Maybe his balding simply stopped in 1997?

Norwood Rating : 3

Wayne Rooney

The 24 year old Manchester United player has been noticeably balding since his teens.

According to tabloid reports, some of his team mates started calling him Bobby Charlton, the footballing legend famed for his combover.

Finasteride is no longer a banned substance under the World Anti-doping Agency and Rooney is believed to have started using it.

While it won't bring back his childhood head of hair, it should stabilise his hair loss enough to stop the Bobby Charlton jibes.
Incidentally Rooney has scored a lot of goals from headers this season, and recently said "I’m still working on my heading. But probably the goals are all coming off my bald patch! That’s helping me to score."

Norwood Rating : 3a

Monday, 18 January 2010

The Cribs

The Cribs are an indie band from Wakefield in England, made up of 2 twins, Gary and Ryan Jarman and their younger brother, Ross. Johnny Marr formerly of the Smiths joined them in 2008.

Ryan in particular has always been known for his unacceptable hairstyles.

It looks to us as though he is trying to cover his receding and generally unruly hair with a variety of distraction techniques, including hair straightening and hair dye.

As Gary and Ryan are identical twins, it will be interesting to see whether their baldness progresses at the same rate.

Ironically the oldest member of the group, 46 year old Johnny Marr, has the best hair - assuming it is real of course.

Norwood Ratings : 2

Saturday, 16 January 2010

Chris Martin from Coldplay

Back in 2004 Martin was complaining that he was going bald. As the pic below shows , he was quite right to worry.

During the next few years his hair seemed to get a new lease of life, and he took to growing it out in a longer style.

His hair, while still showing minor signs of balding, certainly didn't get any worse. Some suspect a hair transplant.

Our guess is that he discovered finasteride which stabilised his hairloss, and gave him the confidence to mess around with his hair again.

Now his hair is shorter again, you be the judge.

Norwood Rating : 2-3

Friday, 15 January 2010

David Beckham

The LA Galaxy and AC Milan soccer star has always been known for his varied and trend setting hairstyles.

Since the photos below were taken in 2007 there has been talk of him balding.

While it may look that way, other factors often play a part. Hair length, condition (dirty, dry, wet etc) and of course lighting can conspire to paint a vulgar picture.

Here he is a year later, with no signs of hairloss.

And again another bad picture from 2008.

Back to now, he is seen with a ridiculously thick head of hair in 2009.

Our view is that he may have had slightly thinning hair, but has taken steps to prevent it getting worse and is taking a finasteride substance like Propecia. Maybe he could lend some to his skeletal wife?

(disclaimer:do not take Propecia if you are a woman! It will not work and can harm your baby if pregnant)

Norwood Rating : 1-2 diffuse

Thursday, 14 January 2010

Michael Chiklis

The star of The Shield is one of those few white men who arguably look better with a completely shaven head.

He claims to have lost his hair at the age of 20, due to an acting role. He was playing a 65 year old, and so shaved the top of his head to depict male pattern baldness.

“Instead of being smart and using powder on my head I used greasepaint like I did on my face and didn’t remove it properly,” Chiklis recalls. “It essentially killed the follicles on my head."

However, this is highly unlikely and a more plausible explanation is that he was merely suffering the early onset of male pattern baldness himself. When it strikes someone at such a young age, it is only natural to be in denial and look for other reasons for the hairloss.

He eventually came to terms with it, saying “I have no regrets because it shaped my career.”

Norwood Rating : 7