Hair Loss and Hair Transplant Glossary

Overwhelmed by the amount of information on hair loss or hair transplant surgery? Can’t tell the difference between FUE and FUT? And all the types of alopecia? Well, we got you. Here is a brief but informative glossary on the most commonly used terminology in hair loss/hair transplantation circles:

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The clinical term for hair loss that can result from illness, functional disorder, or a hereditary predisposition.

Alopecia Areata

A condition in which hair loss occurs in some or all areas of the body. Also known as spot baldness. Widely believed to be an autoimmune disease.

Alopecia Totalis

Loss of complete hair on the scalp is known as alopecia totalis. It is an advanced form of alopecia areata.

Alopecia Universalis

The complete loss of hair from the scalp and body is called alopecia universalis. It is an autoimmune condition in which a person’s own immune system attacks hair follicles. An itching and burning sensation are two common signs of alopecia universalis.


The growth phase of a hair follicle lasting between 2-6 years.

Anagen Effluvium

The shedding or loss of hairs in the growing phase. This type of loss is often seen after radiation or chemotherapy.

Androgenetic Alopecia

The most prevalent type of hair loss. In men and women, androgenetic alopecia is referred to as male-pattern baldness and female-pattern baldness, respectively.


An absence of hair.

Beard Transplant

A beard transplant is an outpatient surgical procedure that can restore or add new hair follicles to facial areas where hair is missing, patchy, or thin.


This is the second stage in a hair’s life cycle.The catagen phase occurs once the active growth of the hair has ceased. It is here that the hair bulb detaches from the blood supply and moves up towards the scalp. This stage lasts for a few weeks.

Chrome Dome

A bald person. Other terms - Cue ball, Follicly challenged.

Chronic Telogen Effluvium

Presents as increased shedding of hairs entering the resting phase beyond the typical daily hair shedding, possibly coming out it clumps. Differs from telogen effluvium because it tends to persist and fluctuate for a period of years.

Crown Area

It is the area on the top of the head where first sign of hair loss is often seen and has a distinct spiral pattern. Also known as the vertex.


The number of hairs in a specific area. Measured in grafts/hairs per cm².

Discoid Lupus Erythematosus

Autoimmune disease that causes inflammation in the connective tissues because the immune system mistakenly attacks healthy tissue.

Donor Area

The area on your head/face/body where hair is harvested for transplantation. This can be, for example, the back of your head, under the chin, arms or chest.

Donor Dominance

The theory that transplanted hair follicles retain their original characteristics.

Dihydrotestosterone (DHT)

Dihydrotestosterone is a male sex hormone and is thought to play a role in hair loss.

Direct Hair Implantation (DHI)

In the DHI hair transplantation technique, hair follicles are extracted individually using a specific tool and are then directly implanted into the recipient area using an implanter device known as a Choi Implanter Pen. With DHI, no holes or slits are created before the implantation.

Female Pattern Baldness

In female pattern baldness, the hair loss pattern is different than in males. The hair loss is more diffuse across the top of the head. A receding hairline and complete baldness is rare.


Medication used to prevent hair loss, it works by blocking the DHT hormone.

Follicular Unit

A naturally occurring group of 1- 4 hairs.

Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE)

Also known as Follicular Unit Excision. It is a hair transplantation technique, where hair follicular units are harvested directly from the scalp using a special tool, placed in a solution to maintain their vitality and then implanted into the recipient area. FUE results in very small scars in the form of dots that are located near the graft area which fade gradually over time.

Follicular Unit Transplant (FUT)

In this hair transplantation technique, a linear incision is made to remove a strip of skin containing the donor hair. Hair is then harvested from this strip and the skin above and below the incision is stitched together leaving behind a scar. This scar is also only visible if you wear your hair very short or cropped close to your skull. FUT allows for maximum hair harvesting and can also be performed on people with extensive hair loss.


A graft is a single follicular unit implanted in the recipient area during a hair transplant procedure.

Hair Follicle

Located in the dermal layer of the skin, a hair follicle is the ‘shaft’ from where your hair grows.

Hair Technician

A hair technician is a licensed individual who is involved with hair care and may include hair stylists and cosmetologists.

Ludwig Classification

The Ludwig classification is used for scoring female pattern hair loss. The rating is on a scale of 1 to 3 where, type 1 is mild, type 2 is moderate and type 3 is extensive.

Male Pattern Baldness

Male pattern baldness has a distinct hair fall pattern. The hair starts thinning from the front hairline and temples, and later starts thinning at the crown.


Minoxidil is another hair loss medication. It works by promoting an ideal hair growth environment by inducing an early anagen phase.

Needleless Anaesthesia

This type of anaesthesia is administered using a pressure technique with a needle-free injector.

Norwood Classification

First published in 1975, the Norwood classification is widely used for characterizing male baldness.There are seven stages in the scale, from I, which represents a young, not balding hairline to VII which represents extensive hair loss.

Recipient Area

The area on your head which receives the harvested hair during the transplant procedure.

Shock Loss

This condition describes the hair shedding that may occur in the weeks to months following your hair transplant procedure due to the trauma of the procedure.

Systemic Lupus Erythematosus

An autoimmune disease that presents with inflamed, red, scaly circular patches on the scalp, ears, or cheeks. It is on the lupus erythematosus spectrum of illnesses.


The ‘resting’ period of your hair’s life cycle. In this phase, the hair is matured (a club hair is formed) which does not grow further and will only be shed when a new anagen hair starts growing. The telogen period lasts approximately 3 months.

Traction Alopecia

This type of gradual hair loss is caused by the hair being worn in tight hairstyles such as dreadlocks, cornrows or braids.


A hair and scalp specialist.


This describes unintentionally cutting of the hair during harvesting.


The information in this guide is for educational purposes only and does not replace medical advice. Always consult your doctor before starting any treatments.

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