Hair Transplant Glossary

Alopecia – The medical term for baldness. It is also the absence, full or partial, of hair from parts of the body where it normally grows.

Alopecia Areata (AA) – The most common form of hair loss in males and is hereditary.  It is caused by the immune system of the body attacking the hair follicles resulting in sudden hair loss.

Alopecia Reduction – A procedure performed by a surgeon removing a strip of the upper balding scalp in the vertex and crown areas. The scalp’s natural flexibility is utilized to stretch the surrounding scalp with hair into place.

Anagen Phase (Growth Phase) – The part of the hair growth cycle when hair growth is the most active.

Anagen Effluvium Hair loss characterized by sudden shedding during the growth phase usually secondary to some treatments like radiation or chemotherapy. The hair loss usually reverses once the treatment has ended.

Androgenic Alopceia AKA Male Patterned Baldness (MPB) The most typical balding pattern. The pattern of balding is controlled by genetic and hormones.  This can be seen in both men and women.

Body Hair Transplant (BHT) A transplant method that uses hair follicles from different parts of the body for patients with little to no donor hair or hair quality that is unfavorable for a hair transplant surgery.

Club Hair (Telogen hair) –Telogen hairs that are in a resting phase. These hairs have short and club-shaped roots when they fall out.

Crown Of Scalp – The crown area of the head is located at the upper back of the skull. It begins where the top of the head starts to curve downward towards the back of the head.

Dermal Papilla –A cell group that forms the structure that is located directly underneath the hair follicle.

Dihydrotestosterone (DHT) – A by-product of testosterone. DHT shrinks hair follicles that are prone to patterned hair loss which, in turn, shorten the hair follicle length and lifespan. The hair follicles affected by DHT will eventually stop producing healthy hair follicles. The medications known as DHT blockers like finasteride or dutasteride can decrease this conversion and lower the DHT levels which protect against males patterned hair loss.

Donor Area – Where hair is removed from when a surgeon is performing a hair transplant procedure.  The donor area was traditionally applied to the back and sides of the scalp but it can also be the beard, chest, back, arms, legs and public area.

Donor Dominance – A theory that says the fact that the transplanted hair follicles from the scalp are producing healthy hair in an area that no longer produced hair shows that the traits of the hair from the donor zone have dominance over the traits of the balding scalp.

Face to Scalp Hair Transplant (FSHT) A hair transplant to the scalp using facial hair from the patient’s beard and mustache. Some authorities include this in body hair transplant and some place it in a different category since facial hair is usually the closest to scalp hair.

Female Pattern Baldness One of the most common types of hair loss in women. It is mainly seen as a progressive loss of the scalp hair highlighted by diffuse thinning on the entire scalp. It is usually accompanied with thinning of hair on the donor area such as the back and sides of scalp.

Finasteride A medication that is used to treat male pattern baldness.  It is sold under a variety of brand names including Propecia and Proscar.

Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) Individual follicular units are taken from the donor area one at a time and transplanted onto other parts of the skin.

Follicular Unit Graft – The units of hair/hair follicles moved from one part of the body to another in a hair transplant.

Minigraft – An outdated hair transplant procedure that used a few follicular units or a larger number of follicles at a time (usually 3-6 hairs).  The results were usually pluggy.  Despites its success of moving hair from donor to recipient area, the final results could resemble a dull head pattern.

Micrograft – The transplanting of a small number of hair follicles. The number of hair follicles transplanted can be as little as 1-3 follicles. Micrografts were more refined than minigrafts but not as refined as a Follicular Unit Transplant (FUT).

Follicular Unit – Groups of 1 to 4 hair follicles on the human body that occur naturally. Each follicular unit also includes sebaceous (oil) glands, small blood vessels, nerves, a microscopic muscle and occasionally fine vellus hair.

Hair Density – The number of individual hair strands that exist per square inch. Hair density can change in different ethnic groups.  It is usually about 2-hair per square millimeter in Caucasians in the scalp donor area.

Hair Economics – The theory that says there is a limited supply of hair even though the demand for hair grows as balding evolves on the patient. Considering the hair economics helps a hair transplant surgeon determine how to distribute transplanted hair and how aggressive to design the hairline.

Hair Flaps – The technique that rotates a strip of hair bearing scalp from the back and sides of the scalp to the front of the head.  This method used to be one of the methods of hair restoration for treatment of male patterned baldness.

Hair Follicle – A skin organ that forms hair in human and animals. A hair follicle has two main stem cells that create hairs by interacting with each other. Hair follicles determines the size, shape and texture of a person’s hair.

Hair Grafts – The hair follicles that are harvested from the donor area. They will then be transplanted into the recipient area.

Hair Miniaturization The progressive thinning of hair. With each successive hair growth cycle, the hair becomes thinner and more brittle to the point that they are not visible to the naked eye which leads to progressive hair loss.

Hair Plugs – Large round grafts of hair that were typically used in hair transplant procedures of the past. The doctor used to use a punch to harvest pieces of skin containing hair for hair transplantation.

Hair Shaft – The part of the hair that doesn’t grow and sticks out from the skin.

Hair Transection – A dissection of the hair follicle throughout its length during harvesting or processing of hair grafts in hair transplantation. Transection can be complete when all follicles are cut or partial when only some follicles are dissected.

Hair Transplant The name of the surgical technique that involves transferring hair follicles from the donor area to the recipient area of the scalp.

Hairline – Generally said to be the lower edge of the hair especially along the area of the upper forehead. It can also applied to the entire edge of the hair as it frames the face.

Hairline Refinement – The use of newer hair transplant techniques to improve the “pluggy” look on patients with older hair transplants.

Laxometer A device used to measure the laxity and looseness of the skin when using the strip technique or for other procedures that involve removal of skin.  This device increases the safety of the procedure and minimizes the donor complications. The Laxometer was invented by Dr. Parsa Mohebi

Ludwig Classification – A classification system that separates female hair loss into three different stages.

Male Pattern Hair Loss (Androgenetic Alopecia) A genetic hair loss condition that usually begins during early adulthood and is also known as male pattern hair loss. The hair loss and recession normally starts on the frontal corners and on the crown of the head. However, it can also present itself as an overall thinning of scalp hair on the front, top and crown areas.

Minoxidil A topical solution applied to the scalp to help stimulate hair growth in men and women. Also known by the brand name Rogaine.

Multi-Unit Grafts – Grafts that are made up of two or more follicular units. They normally contain 2-6 follicular units.

Multi-Unit Grafting – A hair transplant procedure that utilizes grafts made up of multiple units.

Norwood-Hamilton Classification – A classification system used to measure the various stages of male baldness.

Punch Graft – A circular graft removed from the donor area to transplant skin that contains hair follicles to a balding area of the scalp.

Propecia (See Finasteride)

Rogaine (See Minoxidil)

Recipient Site – The area of the scalp or other parts of body where the transplanted follicular units are placed.

Senile Alopecia – A phrase that refers to generalized hair thinning and is a result of normal aging that is normally seen in more advanced years of age.

Serial Extraction-Placement Technique An FUE transplant technique that minimizes the total amount of time the grafts are out of the body thanks to breaking the procedure up into smaller sections.

Scalp – The skin where the hair grows on the top of the head.

Scalp Laxity – The mobility or elasticity of the scalp before a strip transplant.

Scalp Reduction – A surgical procedure where balding scalp is removed and the edges of the scalp that bears hair is brought closer together. Often used in patients suffering from crown baldness.

Scalp Rotation Flaps – A procedure where a strip of scalp containing hair is lifted and rotated and then placed into another area of the scalp where balding is present.

Shock Loss (TE after Hair Transplant) When the hair that hasn’t been transplanted falls out due to “shock” after a surgery. Whether the hair loss is permanent or not depends on if the shocked hair are genetically susceptible to hair loss.

Stereo-Microscope – A high-magnification microscope that allows for more precise strip work thanks to its high resolution and continuous lighting of the area being transplanted.

Strip Harvesting A strip of skin containing hair follicles that is removed from an area of good hair growth on the body and moved to an area where there is hair loss on a patient.

Telogen Effluvium (TE) Hair loss caused by sudden stress in a person’s life. The causes of stress can include childbirth, illness, surgery, trauma and psychological stress.

Temples – The part of the scalp that is located above the ears on both sides behind the frontal corners and temporal points.  Hair reduction in temples help a surgeon create a better balance of hair during a hair restoration procedure when the density of the area is too high.

Temporal Point – Two areas of hair shaped like triangles that are in the lower outer corners of the forehead.  Temporal points usually recede in more advanced stages of hair loss and could be successfully restored with a hair transplant.

Tissue Expander – A reconstructive device that is balloon-like and is used to enlarge the scalp that bears hair on different donor areas of the head. This provides a larger size of hair bearing scalp that can replace balding areas.

Vellus Hairs – Short and light-colored fine hair that develops on the body and during childhood. Vellus hair is structurally different than a normal terminal hair and can never grow to become as long as a regular hair.

Vertex – The upper surface of the human head. Hair loss on this area of the head is known as vertex balding.