• ALOPECIA: The medical term for hair loss or baldness.
  • ANDROGENIC ALOPECIA: Balding caused by sensitivity to male hormones (androgens).  AA is the most common form of balding for both men and women. The specific genetic code causing androgenic alopecia has not been fully sequenced. We do know that the genes leading to androgenic alopecia are carried on the maternal X chromosome. Consequently men who possess only a single X chromosome are much more likely to go bald than women who require AA genes on both X chromosomes.
  • ALOPECIA REDUCTION: Synonymous with scalp reduction. This is a surgery that removes a bald area on the scalp and brings together hair bearing edges. This surgery is effective for patchy or small areas of baldness.
  • CROWN AREA: The area in the back portion of the head. Hair grows in a swirling pattern with cowlicks and directional variability.  Hair transplant to the crown area requires more grafts for coverage due to the swirling pattern.
  • DONOR AREA: Hair follicles in the donor area do not have the DHT receptor and are genetically programmed to be unaffected by androgenic alopecia.
  • DONOR DOMINANCE: When donor hair follicles are placed in bald areas of the scalp they do not fall out when exposed to androgens.
  • FEMALE PATTERN BALDNESS: The most common cause of female pattern baldness is androgenic alopecia. The distribution and pattern of female pattern baldness is different than in men as is the hereditary pathway.
  • FOLLICULAR UNIT: A hair graft is comprised of multiple components described as a follicular unit (FU).  Each FU contains a hair follicle, 1-4 hair shafts and surrounding connective tissue.  The average number of hair shafts per follicle is 2.4.
  • FOLLICULAR UNIT EXTRACTION (FUE): A giant leap forward in hair transplant surgery.  FUE removes hair grafts and  follicular units one-at-a-time from the back of the scalp.  The newest forms of FUE are robotic and automated using sophisticated machinery like the Artas or Neograft.  The extraction sites range from 0.8 mm to 1 mm in size.  FUE does not result in the large strip scars in the back of the head.
  • FOLLICULAR UNIT TRANSPLANT (FUT): A surgery in which a large strip of hair (2″ by 10″) is removed from the back of the scalp.  The strip is sectioned into individual grafts using microscopic dissection.  This leaves a long curvilinear scar in the posterior scalp.
  • GRAFTING: The process of removing healthy hairs from the back of the scalp and transferring them to areas without hair.  Historically hairs were grafted in groups or “hair plugs” of 10-20 hairs per insertion site.  This unnatural appearance evolved into minigrafting  in which 3-8 hairs were placed per insertion site.   The state-of-the-art micrografting places 1-2 hairs per insertion point.
  • HAIR FLAPS: Prior to the advancement of grafting large sections of scalp were surgically rotated to areas of baldness.  Lamont’s double temporoparietal flap, the occipital flap and the Juri flap represent historical attempts to cover areas of baldness using hair bearing scalp.  Hair flaps created a very unnatural hairline and have little value when compared to state-of-the-art micrografting techniques.
  • HAIR FOLLICLE: The follicle is located in the subcuticular tissue and generates the visible hair shaft.  The hair follicle is the most important part of the follicular unit graft.
  • HAIR GRAFTS: Synonymous with follicular unit graft.  A hair graft is comprised of multiple components described as a follicular unit (FU).  Each FU contains a hair follicle, 1-4 hair shafts and surrounding connective tissue.  The average number of hair shafts per follicle is 2.4
  • HAIR PLUGS: Decades ago hairs were placed into the scalps in groups of 12-20 hairs per insertion point.  These unnatural hair groupings were termed plugs. This form of hair transplant has no role in contemporary hair restoration.
  • MALE PATTERN BALDNESS: Androgenic alopecia (AA) is the most common cause of baldness in both men. Androgens are male hormones and the androgen most associated with male pattern baldness dihydrotestosterone (DHT).  Hair follicles possessing specialized receptors for DHT are genetically programmed to regress and die when exposed to this circulating hormone.
  • MICROGRAFT: A graft containing 1 or 2 hairs. Micrografts are the most natural way of restoring a hairline and represent the most advance hair transplant technique.
  • MINIGRAFT: A graft containing 3 or 4 hairs.  Minigrafts evolved from the hair plugs and are no longer currently used in the best hair transplant surgery centers.
  • MULTI-UNIT GRAFTS (MUG): Synonymous with minigraft.
  • RECIPIENT AREA: Traditionally recipient areas were used to describe areas of baldness on the scalp.  With advancements in technology and understanding of hair transplantation recipient areas are no longer confined to the scalp.  Eyebrow transplantation is a common procedure at our San Diego Hair Transplant Center.  In Asia and certain parts of the world it is common to transplant scalp hairs to the chest or other areas on the body.
  • ROUND GRAFT: Synonymous with hair plugs.  Round grafts (10-20 hairs per insertion site) evolved into mingrafts (3-5 hairs per insertion site) and current hair trasnplant techniques use micrografts (1-2 hairs per insertion site)
  • SCALP REDUCTION: Synonymous with alopecia reduction.  This is a surgery that removes a bald area on the scalp and brings together hair bearing edges.  This surgery is effective for patchy or small areas of baldness.
  • SCALP ROTATION FLAPS: Lamont’s double temporoparietal flap, the occipital flap and the Juri flap represent historical attempts to cover areas of baldness using hair bearing scalp.  Hair flaps created a very unnatural hairline and have little value when compared to state-of-the-art micrografting techniques.
  • TEMPLES/TEMPORAL AREA: The two upper outer corners where the forehead meets the hairline. This is usually the first area where male pattern baldness is observed, causing the hairline to recede.
  • TEMPORAL POINT: Most adult men will experience thinning in the temporal hairline. If the temporal recession is minimal many experts believe that it does not represent androgenic alopecia. Small session hair transplants of 800 – 1,200 grafts are very successful in restoring temporal hair loss.
  • TISSUE EXPANDER: An inflatable device placed under the skin.  Air or water is inflated into the expander  over weeks to months.  Tissue expanders are used in association with scalp rotation flaps.
  • VERTEX AREA: The area in the back portion of the head.  Hair grows in a swirling pattern with cowlicks and directional variability.   Hair transplant to the crown area requires more grafts for coverage due to the swirling pattern.

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