Hair Loss & Hair Restoration Glossary

Aldactone: A drug prescribed to treat women’s hair loss. Also known as Spirolactone, is actually a prescription high blood pressure medication, which works in some cases of hair loss particularly if the cause of hair loss is hormonal imbalance. It can also reduce body hair.

Alopecia:  The general medical term for hair loss. It can be hereditary, or can be caused by hormonal changes, and other disorders. There are different types of alopecia, and they each have different names. Alopecia can be partial or complete.

Alopecia Areata: A common disease causing hair loss. The immune system mistakenly attacks hair follicles. It is usually hereditary, and rarely causes total loss of hair on the scalp. Usually, small patches of hair fall out in the case of Alopecia Areata.

Alopecia Totalis: Total loss of the hair. The entire reason is still unknown. The body attacks the hair follicles, and this can happen slowly or all of a sudden. The loss covers the entire scalp.

Alopecia Universalis: Total loss of the hair follicles on the scalp, and the whole body, including the eyebrows and the eyelashes. It is an autoimmune disorder, and is considered to be an advanced form of Alopecia Areata. The causes are yet unknown.

Amino Acids: Play a significant role in building blocks of protein, and are key to hair growth and healthy hair. They are organic compounds.

Amortization: The conversion of one an excess enzyme to another, such as Testosterone to Dihydrotestosterone.

Anagen: The active growing phase of a hair follicle. The scalp hair can stay in this phase for up to seven years.

Anagen Effluvium: A sudden hair loss condition that affects the hair that is supposed to be in the growing phase. It can be seen in people who take anti-cancer drugs. The hair follicles are not destroyed in Anagen Effluvium.

Androgen: Any male hormone such as testosterone. Androgen is a general term, and exists in women too. The androgen hormones are responsible for the male features.

Androgenetic Alopecia: Common hair loss in both men and women, caused by genetics. Known as male-pattern baldness. The main symptom is progressive hair loss.

Anterior: Front, frontal.

Antiandrogen: A drug that prevents the effects of androgens. They counteract the effects of male sex hormones (androgens).

Aromatase: An enzyme or complex of enzymes that are responsible for the aromatization of androgens into estrogens.

Autograft: A graft taken from one’s own body, transplanted from one part of the body to another.

Azelaic Acid: A naturally occurring acid. It is effective in treating acne. It is used for treating androgenetic alopecia.

Benign Prostate Hyperplasia (BPH): A noncancerous enlargement of the prostate. It happens to many men as they age. It is not cancer, and the actual cause is still unknown.

Biopsy: An examination of a sample of tissue or the piece of tissue cut out for testing. It is a medical surgery.

Bonding: A method of gluing a hair onto the scalp. The weaves are bonded to the skin.

Catagen: The end of active hair growth. A transition stage between the growing (anagen) and resting (telogen) stages of hair growth.

Chemotherapy: Usually referred to as chemo. It is the use of medicines to treat cancer. Can cause temporary hair loss all over the body.

Club Hair: A hair in resting state. They are telogen hairs, and have club-shaped roots.

Cobblestoning: A scarring that can occur when transplanting hair grafts into the recipient area. Having a cobblestone appearance.

Cortex: The thickest hair layer, and is filled with keratin fibers.

Crown: The top of the head. The highest part of the scalp.

Cuticle: The outermost part of the hair. It gives hair shine.

Dermal Papillae: Small elevations in the dermis (a thick layer of tissue) They stimulate hair growth.

Dermis: The thick layer of skin. It contains vessels and capillaries.

Diazoxide: A drug that dilates blood and promotes hair growth. Primarily used in treating hypoglycaemia

Dihydrotestosterone (DHT): is a hormone that is linked with male baldness. It is an androgen hormone.

Donor Site: Area where pieces of hair-bearing skin (hair grafts) are harvested from during a hair transplant.

Double Blind Study: A medical study where neither the subjects nor the researchers know who specifically is receiving the drug of treatment, to prevent bias.

Dutasteride: A drug that treats enlarged prostate and inhibits conversion of testosterone to dihydrotestosteron

Epidermis: One of the outer layers of the skin that has no blood supply.

Estrogen:  A hormone that is important for mainly women. They promote maintenance of female characteristics of the body.

Female Pattern Baldness (FPB): A hair loss type that happens mainly in women. It is very common, and happens more with age.

5-Alpha-Reductase: Enzyme produced in many tissues in both men and women such as testes and ovaries.

5-Alpha-Reductase Inhibitors: Block the action of 5-Alpha-Reductase. Are used in the treatment of benign prostatic hyperplasia.

Finasteride:  A medication used for treating benign prostatic hyperplasia, and hair loss.  It is an androgen inhibitor.

Flap: A hair restoration surgery where the tissue is lifted from a donor site, and moved to another site.

Follicle: A sac which produces hair. There are hair follicles all over the body.

Follicular Unit: Groupings/units of hair follicles that naturally grow together.
Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE): The extraction of follicular units from the donor area. The units are individually harvested, and then transplanted to the recipient area.

Follicular Unit Transplantation: An old method in hair transplantation.

Free Flap: A type of hair surgery in which a wide strip from the back of the scalp is removed, and then transplanted to the balding areas of the scalp.

Frontal Alopecia:  Receding hairline or hair loss and scarring at the frontal scalp.

Gene Therapy: Is a treatment done to correct genes which are defective.

Genetic: Hereditary. Relating to genes.

Grafting: The hair bearing scalp is removed from the donor site (the back of the head) and transplanted to a recipient site in this procedure.

Grafts: Transplanted tissue bearing hair follicles. It is a common term in hair transplant surgeries.

Gynecomastia: Excessive enlargement of a man’s breasts. It can be caused by hormonal imbalance.

Hairlift®: A type of hair surgery type that balding areas of the scalp by lifting them.

Hair Cloning: A currently unavailable treatment for hair loss. It is being actively researched.

Hair Integration: It is a surgical attachment. Those who still have their own hair can benefit from it. In hair integration, your existing hair is blended with real hair that is attached to a custom-made unit. Also known as hair intensification and hair weaving.

Hair Intensification: The same as hair integration and hair weaving.

Hair Matrix: Makes the hair shaft. The tissue from which your hair develops.

Hair Multiplication: Same as hair cloning, not available. It is being actively researched.

Hair Shaft:  Hair that sticks out of the skin. It is the visible part of our hair.

Hair Weaving: It is a surgical attachment. Those who still have their own hair can benefit from it. In hair integration, your existing hair is blended with real hair that is attached to a custom-made unit. Also known as hair intensification and hair weaving.

Hamilton Scale: Norwood Hamilton Scale; measures the extent of baldness in male pattern baldness cases.

Hirsutism: Abnormal hair growth on a female body or face.

Hormonal: Relating to hormones. Containing hormones.

Hypertrichosis: Excessive hair growth. It can develop all over the body.

Hypothyroid: A disorder of the endocrine system where the thyroid gland does not produce enough thyroid. Also known as underactive thyroid and low thyroid.

Inflammatory: About inflammation. Causing inflammation.

Infundibulum: The upper segment of the hair follicle.

Inhibitory Protein: Protein that slows or stops the proliferation of cells. Also known are inhibitor protein or protein synthesis inhibitor.

Intermediate Hairs: Hair that are between vellus and terminal. They are with some pigmentation.

Isthmus: The middle and shortened segment of the hair follicle.

Juri Flap: A hair procedure devised by Dr. Jos Juri. Relocates large areas of dense growing hair. It is the procedure of transferring flaps to the balding areas of the scalp.

Keratin: A strong and natural protein forming hair and finger nails. It protects the hair from damage or stress.

Ketoconazole: An antifungal drug for treating certain fungal infections.

Lanugo Hair: Soft hair on the body of the fetus and newborn baby. It is shed before birth.

Linear Graft: A linear harvest that is transplanted onto bald regions.

Male Pattern Baldness (MPB): Baldness that is hereditary or hormone related. The first symptom is usually a receding hairline. The hair gradually becomes thinner.

Medulla: The innermost layer of thick hairs. Medulla is not present in all hairs, but rather only in thick hairs.

Melanin: Pigment that gives the hair its color. The more melanin your hair has, the darker it is.

Melanocyte: A cell that produces and stores pigment in hair.

Menopause: The time when menstrual periods stop permanently.

Merck & Co., Inc.: An international pharmaceutical company that produces several drugs.

Micrograft: A graft small in size that contains hair. Using of micrografts in hair transplants create more natural end results.

Midline: The middle region of the scalp.

Miniaturization: A process in which strands of hair become thinner and weak.

Minigraft: A very small hair graft.

Minoxidil: A medication antihypertensive vasodilator medication used for treating high blood pressure and stimulates hair growth in some cases.

Nonscarring Alopecia: The loss of hair where no scarring happens.

Norwood Scale: A scale for the measuring the level of hair loss. It is a set of images that depict male pattern hair loss.

Papilla: The small root of hair which is made up mainly of collective tissue and capillary loop.

Placebo: A substance that actually has no medical effect. It is given to the patient to cause perceived improvement in their condition.

Polysorbate 80: is a liquid stabiliser. It is used as a cleanser, and for promoting hair growth.

Postauricular Flap: Hair treatment procedure in which a strip of hair bearing scalp is extracted from the area behind the ear and is rotated 90 degrees to the front which then forms a hairline.

Posterior Scalp: The anterior/back of the head.

Preauricular Flap: Hair treatment procedure where a hair bearing tissue is taken from the temple area and is rotated 90 degrees to the front to form a hairline.

Progesterone: A progestogen sex hormone very important in pregnancy.

Propecia: Brand name for a drug that contains finasteride.

Proscar: Another brand name for finasteride.

Prosthetic: An artificial device that replaces a missing body part.

Punch Graft: A cluster of about ten to twenty hairs in a circular graft.

Recipient Site: The area of the body or scalp which hair grafts are transplanted.

Rejection: The situation where the tissue which has been transplanted is not accepted by the body.

Retin-A: A brand name of an acne medication, and a form of vitamin A efficient in helping the skin renew itself. Retin-A has been used in the treatment of hair loss because it increases the absorption of other medicines into your scalp in some cases. However, it is not officially approved for the use in hair loss.

Retroauricular Area: Area behind the ear; auricle is the structure on the side of the head constituting with the external ear.

Rogaine: Also known as Minoxidil. It is a medication used for growth of hair on the scalp. It does not cause permanent regrowth of scalp hair. The way it works is yet unknown. There are particular Rogaine types for men and women. It has been approved as a hair growth product.

Rotational Flap: A surgical procedure for treating baldness. It involves the moving of a flap from one part to the recipient side. They use adjacent tissue. The tissue is rotated to cover a defect.

Saw Palmetto: A natural herb that boosts testosterone levels.

Scalp Reduction: A surgical hair procedure in which the balding parts of the scalp are removed. The healthier parts of the scalp are then repositioned. This procedure makes the balding area smaller.

Scarring Alopecia: Also known as cicatricial alopecia. The type of hair loss where the hair follicles are destroyed and replaced with scar tissue. It can cause permanent hair loss.

Scleroderma: Also known as systemic sclerosis. An autoimmune disease of the skin. It can lead to hard and tight skin, and hair loss.

Sebaceous Glands: Microscopic glands in the skin that secrete an oily matter. They are often attached to the hair follicles. They play a role in keeping the skin moist.

Seborrheic Dermatitis: A form of eczema which affects the face and the scalp. The exact causes are unknown. It is a chronic inflammatory skin condition characterized by flaky, red, and sometimes itchy patches.

Sebum: An oily secretion produced by sebaceous glands. They keep the hair smooth and glossy, and prevent it from breaking. If excess, one has fatty hair.

Senescent Alopecia: Also known as senile alopecia. It is the type of alopecia that usually happens with age, and where the hair follicles shrink. The exact cause is yet unknown.

Shock Fallout: A shedding after a hair transplant. Also referred to as shock fall out and shock loss. In some cases, after a hair transplant, some loss might happen due to trauma and swelling, and yet, this is temporary. The hair that fell out starts to regrow.

Slit Graft: A graft of three to four hairs inserted into a slit. The slits are made in the recipient are to transplant the hair.

SOD: The abbreviation for Super Oxide Dismutase, alternatively written as Superoxide Dismutase. SODs are enzymes which destroy superoxide free radicals. Because they are effective in treating inflammation and the degenerative disorders, they are also used for hair loss. They are believed to stimulate hair growth.

Spironolactone: A drug used to treat fluid build-up, heart failure, and blood pressure. Marketed under the brand name Aldactone. It can slow down hair loss. It is widely used for treating female pattern hair loss, and hirsutism. It acts as an antiandrogen.

Stretch Back: The stitched areas of the scalp begin to lose their elasticity, due to the nature of the hair. In some cases, the skin stretches back over time, and causes an enlargement in the balding skin. The area returns toward pre-operation conditions  .

Suture: Stitch. They hold together the edges of a surgical incision.

Suture Implants: A hair procedure in which a hairpiece is stitched to the scalp.  The sutures are placed under the scalp in the balding areas, and then real hair are stitched to the implanted sutures.

Systemic Side Effects: Side effects produced throughout the body after taking certain medications. While treating the symptoms of a condition, they might cause some side effects.

Telogen: The resting phase of the hair cycle when the hair is released and falls out and which usually lasts approximately three months.

Telogen Effluvium: Some hair loss conditions go by the name effluvium. Appears as a thinning/shedding of the telogen hairs on the top of the scalp, and sometimes on other parts of it. Not much is known about the causes of Telogen Effluvium, though it is very common. Can be acute or chronic. No scarring occurs. Telogen Effluvium occurs in both women and men.

Telogen Loss: Loss of hair during the telogen/resting pahes of the hair cycle. Also known as natural loss.

Temporal Recession: Hairline recession/hair loss in the temple region.

Terminal Hair: Dark, thick, and long hair. They can be found under the arms, on the scalp, on the face, and in the pubic region. They appear during puberty.

Testosterone: A natural male sex hormone produced by the body. Women also produce it. Lower or higher levels can cause some health problems. Lower levels can cause hair loss, whereas higher levels can cause an increase in body hair.

Theory of Donor Dominance: Assumes that the physical traits of hair follicles from the donor site are dominant over the physical traits of the recipient tissue. The theory also suggests that the hair from the back and sides of male scalp are resistant to balding.

Tinea Capitis: Also known as the ringworm of the scalp. It is a contagious fungal infection of the scalp. It usually appears as itchy patches on the scalp. As hair falls out, they leave bald spots on the scalp.

Tissue Expansion: In this procedure, a portion of the scalp is stretched out to enhance the results of hair transplant. A balloon tissue expander is inserted under the scalp. The expander stretches over time and grows the scalp.

Topically: Directly applied on the surface/the skin.

Traction Alopecia: Acquired and gradual hair loss. It results from repetitive tension on the scalp. Regularly wearing tight chignon buns can cause traction alopecia.

Tretinoin: Retinoic acid. Retin A. Can stimulate hair growth in some people.

Trichotillomania loss: A type hair loss caused by Trichotillomania, an impulse control disorder when one constantly pulls out their hair. The hair loss can be temporary or permanent depending on the severity of the habit, Trichotillomania.

Tunnel Graft: Small skin graft, thin strips of skin implanted into tunnels. It is then used as a loop fastener to attach a hairpiece to the scalp.

Vasodilator: A medication that widens and dilates the blood vessels.

Vellus Hair: Barely noticeable soft hair on the body. Non-pigmented, and fine hair that never grows to become long.

Vertex: The upper surface/the top of the head. Contains a swirl pattern of hair growth.