Glossary

Glossary

A description of the medical terms used in this hair transplants guide.

A

Anagen stage

The growing stage in the hair growth cycle: hair grows at around 1 cm every 28 days or so.

Androgenetic alopecia

This is the medical term for male pattern baldness. It is caused by over-production of the hormone DHT (dihydrotestosterone), a derivative of testosterone which causes the hair follicles to shrink. This shrinkage leads to hair loss from the front and top of the scalp.

B

Bulb

See follicle.

C

Catagen stage

This is the transitional period between the anagen and telogen stages. The catagen stage is the end of hair growth during this stage and lasts for 3 weeks.

D

Dissection

This is the technique in which donor hair grafts are reduced in size, under a microscope, into individual follicular units. These units are then ready for transplantation into the recipient areas.

Donor site

This is the name given to the areas of the scalp which contain balding resistant hair. This applies to the back and sides of the scalp.

E

None at present.

F

Finasteride

Also known as Propecia: a drug used to treat hair loss in men only.

Follicle

A structure within the scalp which produces hair: this consists of the bulb, root sheath, hair fibre and sebaceous gland. Hair is produced via the hair growth cycle anagen, catagen and telogen phases.

Follicular unit

A small group of hair follicles which grow together and are usually found in bunches of 1 to 4 hairs.

Follicular unit extraction

A process used in hair transplantation in which single follicular units are taken from the donor areas of the scalp and placed into recipient areas.

Follicular unit transplantation

A hair transplant procedure whereby a strip or strips of donor hairs are is/are removed and then dissected into individual graft units. They are then inserted into recipient areas of the scalp.

G

Graft

This is the name given to a strip or follicular unit of hair which acts as a replacement for missing hair.

H

Hair shaft

This is a strand of hair which extends from the surface of the skin, e.g. scalp. It is comprised of keratin (protein).

I

None at present.

J

None at present.

K

Keratin

This is a group of proteins which bind together to provide a solid structure and shape of a hair shaft.

L

Lateral slit technique

A type of incision used in hair transplant surgery which is viewed as giving better coverage than other incisions. This incision is made parallel to the hairline.

Ludwig scale

A classification system for measuring hair loss in women.

M

Micro graft

A small, 2 hair graft used in hair transplantation. It is sometimes but not always, used as a follicular unit.

Mini graft

Larger than a micro graft: a graft which contains up to 10 hairs.

Minoxidil

Also known as Rogaine: a hair loss drug which is used for male and female hair loss. It is often given as part of preparation for a hair transplant.

N

Norwood scale

A system of classification which measures hair loss in men.

O

Outer root sheath

The name given to the thin external layer around the bottom part of a hair shaft.

P

Propecia

See Finasteride.

Q

None at present.

R

Recipient area

This is a medical term for bald areas of the scalp which are used for transplantation. Donor hairs are removed from the back of the scalp and inserted into this area.

Rogaine

See Minoxidil.

S

Stereo-microscope

A precision instrument used to dissect hair strips into follicular units for transplantation.

T

Telogen stage

The name given to the resting stage in the hair growth cycle: hair is lost or shed during this stage which lasts for 3 months.

U

Undermining

A technique used in hair transplant surgery, for example a scalp lift. The surgeon separates the scalp from the underlying structure, e.g. tissues, nerves and blood vessels.

V

Vertical slit

A type of incision used in hair transplant surgery which is made at a right angle to the hairline.

Vertex

This is a medical term for the top of the scalp or crown.

W

None at present.

X

None at present.

Y

None at present.

Z

None at present.