Is there a name for this natural pattern of baldness, other than "bald" of course? A native speaker (UK) mentioned it once but it didn't stick in my head, and I could not find it online.

Gargamel in The Smurfs, 2011

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    My first thought is "Friar Tuck", but that's more often portrayed with a band of hair across the front as well as on the sides and back.
    – Hot Licks
    Commented Jan 9, 2017 at 20:00
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    As HotLicks comment suggests, "Friar Tuck" is the first thing most people think of, and this is confirmed by the wikipedia article : en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Friar_Tuck
    – epsilon
    Commented Jan 9, 2017 at 20:01
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    Does he have hair in the back, or is he bald everywhere except at the sides? Commented Jan 9, 2017 at 20:09
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    @Clare , nope no hair in the back Commented Jan 9, 2017 at 20:11
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    What type of word are you looking for? A slang term (possibly regional), a hairstyle name (e.g., mohawk, buzzcut), or a medical term?
    – AlannaRose
    Commented Jan 13, 2021 at 1:56

4 Answers 4


It appears to me that there is no popular term for that particular stage before reaching complete baldness (see: Male Pattern Baldness). Like jxh said in a comment:

The patterns are typically numbered. E.g., Type IV or Type V, depending on who is writing the chart. The charts are typically laid out from when balding starts to when balding is near complete.

Meanwhile the internet users may call that stage as "M-shape" or "U-shape". But probably more common is "horseshoe hairline". For example, see this one from Google Books / A.D.A.M. Illustrated Family Health Guide:

In male pattern baldness, hair recedes in an "m" shape. The crown bald patch eventually meets the top points to form a horseshoe shape.


In the hairloss circles it'd often be called a "Norwood 6" or a "Norwood 7" which means it's way past the point of no return.

7 stages of progressive hair loss; 6 & 7 are bald from the forehead to the back of the head

What Is the Norwood Scale? What are the 7 stages of hair loss?


Male pattern baldness or male pattern hair loss occurs when

The hairline gradually moves backward (recedes) and forms an "M" shape. Eventually the hair becomes finer, shorter, and thinner, and creates a U-shaped (or horseshoe) pattern of hair around the sides of the head.

(NLM MedlinePlus)

You'll find this term, for example, in advertisements for hair loss drugs, because it is important to distinguish between natural balding, which is usually a factor of genetics and age, and other kinds of hair loss caused by illness, malnutrition, alopecia, chemotherapy, and so forth.


The word is Semi-bald.

Male pattern baldness is when the hair-line heads north and never looks back. In this case, according to the genes of the Mother's Father, the hair-line finds a comfortable place just over the horizon. The hair will remain perfectly healthy and strong at that latitude but no further up, meaning they are no longer going bald but remain Semi-bald.

Despite the fortunate casting decision this is not a Friar Tuck hair style. The good friar shaved his head that way as all good friars do.

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