Hair Glossary

Alopecia: : It’s the medical term for hair loss. Hair loss may occur due to illness, functional disorder or heredity.

Alopecia Areata: : A disease that results into sudden hair loss in circular patches. It may be caused due to stress, genetics or antibodies that are formed against some hair follicles.

Anagen:The stage when hair is known to grow, which may last in-between 2-6 years

Androgen: Name of any male hormone present within the human body. The most prominent androgen present is called testosterone.

Amino Acids: They are the building blocks of protein. Their deficiency is known to adversely affect hair growth.

Biopsy: : A cut out piece of a tissue used for microscopic examination.

Bonding:Gluing of a hair onto the scalp.

Catagen: The stage in-between anagen( growing stage) and telogen (resting stage).

Club Hair: : A hair whose growth has stopped and is just attached to the skin with its ‘club like’ root. It’s a hair that is on the brink of being pushed out of its root.

Cortex: : The layer surrounding the medulla which is filled with keratin fibres. It’s the main structural part of hair fibre that provides size and strength to the hair strand.

Crown: The apex part of the head.

Cuticle: Outer surface of hair that’s colourless in nature and made of keratins. Its known to provide lustre, shine and strength to the hair.

Dermal Papilla: Located at the base of the hair follicle it contains the nerves and blood vessels that transport essential nutrients to the hair. Its structure is such that provides an impetus to hair growth and contains receptors of androgens and hair promoting agents.

Dermis: Cells that constitute the deeper layer of the skin.

Diazoxide:Drug known to dilate blood vessels and promote hair growth.

Dihydrotestosterone (DHT): Male hormone that is considered to be the root cause of hair loss and miniaturization of hair follicle. It comes into existence when the male hormone testosterone infuses with enzyme 5 alpha reductase.

Donor Site: Pieces of skin that contain the hair from where the hair will be taken during the hair plant

Epidermis:The outermost layer of the skin.

Estrogen:Female hormone that’s mainly secreted by the ovaries.

Female Pattern Baldness (FPB): Thinning of female hair caused due to changes in genes, age and hormones. It develops at a slower pace than male pattern baldness.

5 Alpha Reductase: Enzyme that transforms testosterone to dihydrotestosterone.

Finasteride: Also known as Propecia is used as a treatment for hair loss. It limits 5 alpha reductase enzyme from transforming testosterone to dihydrotestosterone.

Flap:: A surgery in which a piece of hair-bearing part of the scalp is cut from three to four sides and then transplanted onto the bald areas.

Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE):Surgery in which follicular units are removed individually from the donor area.

Follicular Unit Transplantation: A surgery in which a surgeon grafts follicular units to balding sections of the scalp.

Gene Therapy:A way of treating a patient’s disease by manipulating the defective gene which is causing the disease.

Genetic: Related to genes. It’s the smallest physical entity of heredity. It determines what characteristics we pass onto our offsprings.

Grafting:Procedures that deal with removing of hair-bearing scalp areas to boost hair growth in balding areas. Types of grafting methods are slit grafts, micrografting and minigrafting.

Gynecomastia: Breast enlargement in males.

Hair Lift: : A surgical method to eradicate larger bald areas by lifting and advancing the hair-bearing scalp in a upward and forward direction.

Hair Shaft: Visible hair above the epidermis.

Hamilton Scale: A way to measure hair loss.

Hypertrichosis: Lots of growth of hair all over the body.

Hypothyroid: Deficiency of thyroid hormone within the body. Its deficiency is known to cause hair loss.

Inflammatory:Related to inflammation.

Infundibulum: The highest portion of the hair follicle.

Isthmus: Region which is considered the middle portion of the hair follicle and contains the sebaceous gland.

Juri-Flap:A surgical procedure in which hair are taken from the side of the scalp and rotated 180 degrees to the front to form a hairline.

Keratin:An insoluble protein that is tough and fibrous in nature and that forms hair and finger nails

Ketaconazole:Antifugal agent present in shampoos like Nizoral. It contains anti-androgenetic properties.

Lanugo Hair:Hair present on the body of the fetus or newborn baby which are soft and unpigmented.

Linear Graft: A surgical procedure in which a row of hair and skin is transplanted onto the bald areas of the scalp.

Male Pattern Baldness: Most common type of hair loss occurring in men caused due to hormonal changes, genetics or age factor. It gradually advances over time and affects primarily the central and frontal area of the scalp.

Medulla: Core of the hair present only in thick and large hairs.

Melanin: Granules that are pigmented in nature and present within keratin fibres that determine hair colour. They decline with age and results in grey and white hair.

Melanocyte: A special cell that contains the pigment melanin which determines hair color.

Miniaturization: Process in which hair follicles shrink as a result of dihydrotestosterone (DHT).

Minoxidil: A medication used topically to limit hair loss and facilitate hair growth. Another name for Rogaine.

Nonscarring Alopecia: One of the categories of hair lossin which the hair follicle remains intact and there are chances to reverse the process of hair loss.

Norwood Scale: A unit of measurement used for classification of hair loss.

Papilla: The root area present at the base of the hair that receives all the essential nutrients required for hair growth.

Placebo: medicine that’s given to the patient in order to solve his psychological problem/disease but doesn’t contain any active ingredients that would really cure him/her of the disease.

Polysorbate 80: A hair growth promoting agent that’s marketed by private companies.

Posterior Scalp: Back portion of the head

Propecia: Medication approved for treatment of male pattern baldness also known as finasteride.

Recipient Site: The bald area of the scalp onto which the hair grafts are transplanted.

Retin-A: A medication that is known to be effective against hair loss specially when combined with minoxidil. In some cases it may cause extreme scalp irritation and worse hair loss.

Retroauricular Area: Region behind the ears.

Rogaine: Brand name of minoxidil that’s available in the form of solution for facilitating hair growth.

Rotational Flap: A surgery in which a three-sided area of hair-bearing scalp is lifted in-between 90-180 degrees and transplanted within the bald area of the scalp.

Scarring Alopecia:Hair loss that’s patchy in nature and causes scalp inflammation.

Scleroderma:A skin disease related with the connective tissue known to cause hair loss in affected areas.

Seborrheic Dermatitis: A condition that causes oily, scaly patched skin. It’s also known to cause spots on skin and occurs mainly on face and scalp.

Sebum: Manufactured by sabaceous glands, it’s an oily secretion that keeps the hair lubricated and shiny.

Spironolactone: Also known as Aldactone it’s a medication prescribed by doctors to cure female pattern baldness and hirsutism.

Telogen:Resting period of the hair that lasts around 3-4 months.

Telogen Loss: Loss of hair that occurs during the resting period of the hairs.

Temporal Recession: Loss of hair that occurs within the temple region.

Trichotillomania:Hair loss that is caused due to constant pulling and twirling of hair in a specific area. It may improve if the habit is stopped but in other cases it may become permanent.

Tunnel Graft: A surgical method in which a hair strand is attached to the scalp with skin grafts obtained from the temple regions. Hairpiece clips may be used to keep them in place.

Vasodilator: Medicine used to dilate blood vessels.

Vellus Hair: Fine hair that are present on the human body barely visible to the human eye. They don’t contain a medulla which a characteristic feature of thick hairs.

Vertex: Crown region of the scalp.