It’s not uncommon to feel overwhelmed by the vast amount of information available out there on hair transplant surgery. Whether you’re unsure about the different techniques and methods used, or confused about all the types of alopecia, we’ve got you covered! Below, we’ve put together a brief but informative glossary on the most commonly used terminology in the hair transplantation industry.

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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.

Alopecia Totalis

Complete hair loss on the head is known as alopecia totalis. It is an advanced form of alopecia areata.

Alopecia Universalis

The complete loss of hair from the head 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’s 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 used include cue ball and follicly challenged.

Chronic Telogen Effluvium

This 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

This is the area on the top of the head where the first signs of hair loss are often seen. The hair here often has a distinct spiral pattern 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.

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Donor Dominance

The theory that transplanted hair follicles retain their original characteristics.

Dihydrotestosterone (DHT)

Dihydrotestosterone is a male sex hormone and is thought to be the hormone responsible for hair loss.

Direct Hair Implantation (DHI)

DHI is a common hair transplantation technique. It involves extracting hair follicles individually and then directly implanting them into the recipient area. The implantation tool is carried out using a specialist implanter device known as a Choi Implanter Pen. With the DHI method, no holes or slits are created before the implantation.

Female Pattern Baldness

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


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)

Follicular unit extraction is a hair transplantation technique in which follicular units are harvested directly from the head, placed into a special solution to maintain their vitality, and then implanted into the recipient area. FUE leves minimal scarring, with only a few dot scars left near the graft area. However, these tend to fade gradually over time.

Follicular Unit Transplant (FUT)

During FUT, 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. However, this scar is only visible if your hair is 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 1-3, with type one being mild, type two moderate, and type three extensive.

Male Pattern Baldness

Male pattern baldness follows a distinct hair loss 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 Scale 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.

Shedding Phase

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. This is a very common occurrence and the lost hair grows back stronger in the following months.

Shock Loss

Shock loss refers to the temporary loss of healthy hair following a hair transplant. This can occur in both the donor area and the transplanted area and, in most cases, is only temporary. Shock loss is extremely rare however, only occurring in around 4% of hair transplant cases.

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 and will only be shed when a new anagen hair starts growing. The telogen period lasts approximately three 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 the unintentional cutting of the hair during harvesting.


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

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