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Hairloss Forum - Hairloss info
Category: Health and Medicine > Hairloss
Date & country: 26/02/2011, US
Words: 157


Alopecia
The general scientific term for hair loss. There are many subtypes of Alopecia including Androgenetic Alopecia, Alopecia Areata, Traction Alopecia, Alopecia Universalis.

Alopecia Areata
An autoimmune disease that causes the body to form antibodies against some hair follicles. Alopecia Areata causes sudden smooth, circular patches of hair loss. There are no known cures and in many cases the hair grows back on is own.

Alopecia Totalis
An autoimmune disease similar to Alopecia Areata but that results in the loss of all hair on the scalp. It may begin as Alopecia Areata and progress into Alopecia Totalis.

Alopecia Universalis
An autoimmune disease that results in the complete loss of all hair over the entire body, including eyelashes and eyebrows.

Amino Acids
The building blocks of protein. A deficiency of amino acids may adversely affect hair growth. There are twenty common amino acids alanine, arginine, aspargine, aspartic acid, cysteine, glutamic acid, glutamine, glycine, histidine, isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, proline, serine, threonine, tryptophan, tyrosine, and valine.

Anagen
The active growing phase of the hair cycle. It lasts approximately for 3 years with a range of 2-6 years.

Anagen Effluvium
Loss of hair that is in the anagen or growing phase. This is the type of hair loss that is associated with chemotherapy or radiation treatment.

Androgen
General term for any male hormone. The major androgen is testosterone.

Androgenetic Alopecia
Hair loss that results from a genetic predisposition that makes follicles sensitive to the effects of DHT. This is the most common form of hair loss and can also affect women. Other terms for this condition include

Anterior
Frontal part of the scalp.

Antiandrogen
A substance which interferes with the function of an androgen, or male sex hormone, by taking over the androgen's receptors preventing their attachment to receptor cells, interfering with their metabolism, or decreasing their production in the body.

Apoptosis
The programmed death of a cell. This type of cell death occurs by fragmentation of membranes that are then eliminated.

Aromatase
An enzyme that converts androgens (testosterone) into estrogens. This enzyme complex is located in estrogen-producing cells found in ovaries, placenta, testicles, fat cells, and brain tissues.

Atopic Dermatitis
An allergic response in the skin that causes itching and flaking (also see eczema).

Atrophy
The wasting away or a diminution in the size of a follicle so that is cannot produce terminal hair anymore.

Autoimmune disorder
A disease resulting from a disordered immune reaction in which antibodies from the immune system attack one's own tissue.

Azelaic Acid
A naturally occurring dicarboxylic acid found in whole grain cereals. It is FDA approved as a topical preparation to treat acne vulgaris. It is also used by dermatologists to lighten pigmented skin. It has antimicrobial activity and normalizes keratinization and is also believed to inhibit DHT which is why it is used in some hair loss products.

Benign Prostate Hyperplasia
Also known as BPH, is condition usually found in older men when the prostate gland swells restricting urine flow. This prevents the bladder from emptying completely, causing frequent and difficult urination. The most common treatment for this is Proscar, which shrinks the size of the prostate by inhibiting DHT production.

Beta Catenin
A protein that is associated with cells that are destined to become hair follicle cells.

Biotin
One of the essential water-soluble vitamins manufactured in the gut by bacteria. Symptoms of biotin deficiency include lack of appetite, nausea, vomiting, and depression. The recommended daily allowance of biotin is 300mg.

Bonding
A method of attaching a hairpiece to the scalp using a layer of adhesive. A horseshoe-like track of existing hair about 1/4 inch wide is shaved to about 1/8 of an inch long. The bonding glue is then applied to the hairpiece, which is then attached to the hair. Bonding lasts approximately 6 weeks, as the hair grows the hairpiece slips around and must be retightened.

Braiding
Braiding is another attachment method used to attach additional hair to your own. With braiding the existing hair is braided in long rows and hair extensions are sewn to the rows. This method pulls on the already fragile hair and can causes it to come out even faster.

Catagen
The end of the active growing phase of the life cycle of the hair. It is a transitional stage between the growing phase (anagen) and the resting stage (telogen). In catagen all growth ceases and the "club" hairs are formed.

Chemotherapy
A chemical treatment, usually of cancers, using drugs that have high levels of toxicity, frequently causing temporary hair loss.

Cimetidine
Known under the brand Tagamet, this anti-histamine is primarily used to inhibit gastric secretions in people with ulcers. Cimitedine also has some weak anti-androgenic and has been used with mixed success for treating Androgenetic Alopecia.

Clinical trials
Clinical trials are the way of testing drug safety, efficacy, and pharmacology. Usually clinical trials are done for the purpose of obtaining approval from the FDA to sell the product as a medication.

Club Hair
A hair that has stopped growing and is in the categen or telogen phase. It is attached to the skin with a "club-like" root, but will eventually be pushed out and replaced by a new growing hair.

Cobble stoning
Cobble stoning occurs in almost all hair transplant procedures where "plugs" are used. It is caused when the plugs that are inserted do not heal flush with the skin leaving the scalp lumpy.

Compression
Occurs sometimes when grafts are put into slits when the existing tissue 'compresses' the follicle. This can cause poor growth and/or improper direction of the hair.

Contact dermatitis
A type of immune-mediated inflammatory skin rash that results from an allergy to a particular substance (example metal, poison ivy, lanolin, etc)

Copper
A trace element, which is essential in nutrition and is a component of various proteins. Deficiency, which is rare, may result in a loss of hair color and malformed kinky hair.

Cortex
The main structural part of the hair shaft that accounts for most of its size and strength. The cortex surrounds the medulla and is filled with keratin fibers.

Corticosteroid
A drug (steroid) used clinically to suppress inflammation of the tissues and to suppress the immune response.

Couvre
Couvre is a colored cream used as a cosmetic to fill in the bald spots on the scalp. It blends in with the hair color and temporarily gives the appearance of more hair.

Crown
The top or highest part of the head.

Cuticle
The outer surface of hair composed of overlapping scales made of colorless keratin protein. It gives hair luster and shine and also provides some of its strength.

Cyclosporin
An immunosuppressive agent derived from fermentation of a soil fungi

dehydroepiandrosterone
DHEA or dehydroepiandrosterone is a powerful steroid that may be the precursor for androgen and estrogen in peripheral tissues. DHEA is used for reversing aging and has been said to promote a sense of well being, improve sexual function and grow hair.

Demodex Follicularum
The mite that causes mange in animals has also been reported to be present in the hair follicles of humans. These mites burrow down in the hair follicle and live on sebum, the oily material that the scalp secretes. The mites are universally present in all humans after adolescence and have been implicated in hair loss but this has not been proven.

Dermal papilla
A group of specialized cells at the base of the hair follicle that give rise to the hair follicle at birth and supplies the materials necessary for hair growth during the life of the person.

Dermal retention
Exposed as a scam perpetrated by United Micro Systems of Vorhees NJ, Dermal Retention is a fancy way of describing the attachment of hairpiece to the scalp by means of surgical adhesive. The scam involved conning consumers into believing it was a permanent cure for their hair loss.

Dermatoscope
A hand held lighted magnifier/microscope used by some dermatologists in looking for exclamation hairs, shaft diameter to diagnose Androgenetic Alopecia, to evaluate scarring, etc.

Dermis
The skin is comprised of two layers, the outer layer which is the epidermis, and the inner layer which is the dermis.

DHT
Testosterone, a male hormone, is converted into DHT or Dihydrotestosterone in various tissues of the body and the skin. The enzyme 5 alpha reductase converts testosterone into its more potent form DHT. DHT is responsible for causing hair loss known as Androgenetic Alopecia and for stimulating the growth of body hair.

Diazoxide
A drug that works in a similar way to Minoxidil that is used for treating high blood pressure but also promotes hair growth.

DMSO
Dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) is a solvent made from wood pulp. Its therapeutic uses are based on its ability to penetrate the skin. Its use remains controversial but it is very effective at carrying substances though the skin.

Donor site
The region of the scalp where hairs are harvested from for transplantation into balding areas of the scalp. The donor area usually at the back or side of the head contains hairs that are unaffected by DHT.

Double blind study
A scientific study where neither the subjects nor the researchers know who is receiving the drug or the placebo. This is done to ensure that the results are totally objective.

Eczema
A group of conditions characterized by an itching inflammation of the skin. In less severe cases the person has a reddening or inflammation of the skin. In more severe cases there is a thickening and change in the pigmentation of the skin. Common trigger factors can include heat, contact with detergents, stress and certain foodstuffs.

Epidermis
The tough outer protective layer of the skin.

Essential Fatty Acids
Fatty acids that can't be synthesized by the body and therefore are required in the diet are called Essential Fatty Acids. Some examples include linoleic acid, arachidonic acid, and linolenic acid. A deficiency of essential fatty acids results in dry skin, eczematous changes, poor wound healing, and sparse hair growth with lightening of hair color.

Estrogen
Estrogen is a term describing the three most important estrogens made in the body. Estrone is produced by the ovaries, and also in body fat/muscles/skin. Estradiol is produced by the ovaries. Estradiol is biologically the weakest estrogen and is a by-product of Estrone metabolism. Estrogen is an indirect antiandrogen

Fibroblasts
Fibroblasts are the connective tissue cells of the body. They produce long strands of proteins that act as fibers in tissues. In the skin they produce collagen, reticulin and other elastic fibers. At the base of the hair follicle fibroblasts may help to preserve the 3-dimensional conformation of the dermal papilla.

Finasteride
The active ingredient in Propecia and Proscar, Finasteride inhibits the enzyme 5-alpha reductase type 2 that converts testosterone into DHT. This lowering of DHT in the body leads to a halting of hair loss and causes regrowth of hair in people suffering from Androgenetic Alopecia. Finasteride is also useful in reducing excessive body hair in women which is known as Hirsutism.

Flap
A type of hair replacement surgery in which a flap of hair bearing scalp is taken from the side of the head and transferred to bald areas of the scalp. The flap is usually still attached to the scalp on one side to maintain the blood supply to the flap. There are several techniques including the Fleming-Meyer flap, rotational flap, Preauricular flap and the Juri flap.

Flutamide
A chemical that acts as a pure antiandrogen and works by binding to androgen receptors. Flutamide has been used in women but causes feminizing side effects in men.

Follicle
A tubular sheath below the surface of the skin that contains the mechanism that creates the hair.

Follicular Unit
Natural groupings of hair that grow together in the scalp and share the same blood supply and sebaceous gland. Follicular Unit Transplantation involves keeping this natural group of hairs intact when transplanting them from one part of the scalp to another.

Gene therapy
A treatment method that involves the manipulation of an individual's genetic makeup. Gene therapy makes changes to an individuals DNA to correct a genetic condition.

Grafts
Transplanted hairs that are removed from one part of the scalp and are grafted, or transplanted, into the balding area of the scalp. Some commonly used grafting techniques are slit grafts, micro grafting and mini grafting.

Gynecomastia
Excessive development of the male breasts. Usually occurs as a result of excessive estrogen production.

Hair cloning
Cloning hairs involves extracting hair follicle cells and culturing them in a laboratory until they multiply several times and then reimplanting them into the scalp where they form new follicles and being producing new hairs.

Hair integration
See hair weaving.

Hair lift
Surgical procedure used to eliminate large areas of bald scalp by lifting and moving the entire hair-bearing scalp in an upward and forward direction.

Hair matrix
Region where hair and the structures that compose it (cortex, cuticle and medulla) are made.

Hair Multiplication
See hair cloning

Hair pieces
A base that is covered with human or synthetic hair that is attached to the scalp to give the illusion of natural hair. Also know as a toupee, wig or hair system.

Hair pluck test
The hair pluck test is used as a diagnostic test for Alopecia and is helpful in determining whether or not a telogen effluvium is the cause of hair loss. A group of 20-30 hairs is plucked and then examined by the doctor.

Hair shaft
The term given to the part of the hair that is above the skin.

Hair weaving
A process by which a hairpiece is attached to existing hair on scalp through braiding or another interweaving process.

Hamilton scale
A scale designed to classify the severity of hair loss in men created by Dr Hamilton.

Hirsutism
The excessive growth of facial and/or body hair in women. It is usually characterized by the growth of coarse terminal hairs on androgen-dependent areas of the body such as the chin, chest, abdomen, and anterior thighs. Principal causes include abnormal regulation of androgen production by the pituitary gland, elevated androgen production by the adrenal glands or ovaries related to the presence of...

Hormones
Hormones are chemical messengers that are usually carried by the bloodstream. They exert their effects on specific target organs by attaching to receptor sites causing some type of reaction in the organ.

Hyperthyroidism
Excessive functional activity of the thyroid gland which causes an increased metabolic rate, enlargement of the thyroid gland, rapid heart rate, high blood pressure and various secondary symptoms.

Hypertrichosis
Excessive growth of terminal hair in areas not normally hairy. It is usually associated with the use of certain drugs like corticosteroids, diazoxide, minoxidil.

Hypothyroidism
Under active thyroid, which can result in several symptoms like hair loss, drooping/swollen eyes, yellow-orange skin, yellow bumps on eyelids, fatigue.

Inflammation
Inflammation is the reaction of living tissues to injury, infection or irritation. Inflamed tissues are characterized by pain, swelling, redness and heat. Anything that stimulates the inflammatory response is said to be inflammatory.

Intermediate hairs
Hairs that are between vellus and terminal hairs. They contain a small amount of pigment but are smaller and thinner than terminal hairs.

Keratin
A tough protein that is the primary constituent of hair, nails and skin.

Keratinocyte
A skin cell from the uppermost layer of the epidermis.

Keratosis pilaris
A slow progressive disorder where pinkish-to-tan bumps form on the skin and become darker over time and commonly fuse, forming wart like growths. The bumps may form on the buttocks, back of arms or even the back and are associated with eczema.

Ketokonazole
An antifungal agent that also has antiandrogenic properties. This is the active ingredient in the shampoo Nizoral.

Lanugo
Fine long unpigmented hairs covering the fetus that usually disappears one month after birth.

Linear graft
A method of hair transplantation where transplanted hairs are removed using a linear (elliptical) punch, also called slot grafts.

Ludwig Scale
Scale that measures the severity of female pattern hair loss.

Male pattern baldness
Also known as MPB or Androgenetic Alopecia. This is the most common type of hair loss that is caused by hormones, and affects the central and frontal area of the scalp and often results in a pronounced horseshoe pattern.

Medulla
T he innermost layer of hair that reflects light giving hair the various color tones it has. Vellus hairs lack a medulla.

Megasession
A transplant procedure in which a large number of grafts usually 1500-3000 are performed in a single operation. This is no longer done as it results in a low yield of successful grafts due to the inadequate blood supply.

Melanin
The pigments that give color to the skin and hair. The greater the amount of melanin the darker the hair. They usually decrease with age, resulting in gray or white hair.

Menopause
The permanent cessation of menstruation and estrogen secretion from a woman's ovaries occurring usually around the age of 50.

Micrograft
A small hair graft consisting of one or two hairs.

Miniaturization
The gradual shrinking of the hair follicle in size which results in eventual baldness as the follicle produces thinner and thinner hair until its no longer able to produce terminal hair and can only produce fine vellus hair.

Minoxidil
A pharmaceutical compound that was originally used as an anti-hypertensive medication. Approved for use to treat hair loss under the name Rogaine, Minoxidil is believed to stimulate hair growth by opening the potassium channels in the follicle.

Nioxin
A herbal based hair product sold in salons to treat thinning hair and hair loss.

Non scarring Alopecia
A broad category of hair loss types like Androgenetic Alopecia where the hair follicle remains functional and offers the likelihood that hair loss can be reversed.

Norwood Scale
A scale that measures the severity of male pattern hair loss that is based on the Hamilton Scale.

Omega 3 fatty acids
Omega-three fatty acid is a polyunsaturated fat found in seafood, particularly fish that is fatty. Omega 3 fatty acids have an anti-inflammatory effect and have been show to have a beneficial effect in people suffering from lupus, rheumatoid arthritis and ulcerative colitis. Healthy skin and hair are maintained by fat and fat helps in the absorption, and transport through the bloodstream of the fa...

Pantothenic acid
People who are deficient in this essential vitamin in can get graying of dark hair followed by Alopecia. Other symptoms of pantothenic acid deficiency include fatigue, headaches, diarrhea and vomiting. Supplementation of diet with pantothenic acid, however, does not prevent the natural graying of human hair with ageing.

Placebo
A pill, topical, or injection made to appear exactly like a medication, but without any of its active ingredients. Often used in double-blinded clinical trials so that researchers can eliminate the so-called placebo effect from the true effects of the drug being tested.

Polysorbate 80
An emulsifying agent often used in food that has been marketed as a hair growth product. The research that initially showed Polysorbate 80 to cause hair growth has been debunked as being unscientific.