Hair Transplant Glossary

Numerous Specialized Procedures & Terms

Used In Hair Restoration Surgery Encompasses

The medical term for baldness.

The most typical pattern of balding whereby the balding pattern is controlled by hormones and passed along via heredity.

(also known as spot baldness) An autoimmune disease in which hair is lost from some or all areas of the body, usually from the scalp, due to the body’s failure to recognize its own body cells and subsequent destruction of its own tissue as if it were an invader. Often it causes bald spots on the scalp, especially in the first stages.

A procedure that involves the removal of a strip of balding upper scalp in the crown and vertex areas. The natural flexibility of the scalp is used to stretch the surrounding hairy scalp into place. It can be repeated in certain cases. See also “scalp reduction”.

The area in the top/back portion of the head that contains a swirl or spiral pattern of hair growth. Also called the “vertex”, it may be the first area where male pattern baldness is noticed.

The fringe above the ears and around the back of the head where hair follicles are genetically programmed to remain intact and grow throughout life.

The concept that hair follicles transplanted from the donor area will continue to grow in the recipient area.

A hereditary pattern of baldness found in women typically characterized by a diffuse thinning of hair and/or hair loss at the front portion of the scalp behind the frontal hairline. It may or may not include a slight recession or thinning at the temples and only very rarely ends in complete baldness at the top of the scalp. Also called “female hereditary hair thinning”.

A follicular unit is a naturally-occurring grouping of one, two, or three (and rarely, four) hair follicles found in the skin. The average follicular unit contains about 2.4 hairs.

A method of extracting single follicular units, one at a time, from the donor site by using a tiny punch excision. A punch used to extract single follicular units is typically 1mm in diameter or less.

A graft consisting of a single follicular unit. In appropriate patients, artistic planning – in addition to the correct angulation, orientation, and positioning of follicular unit grafts – can yield an exceptionally “natural” appearance of the transplanted hair.

A method by which large numbers of follicular units are harvested from the donor site (usually in a long strip or ellipse) and then microscopically dissected into grafts containing single follicular units.

A variety of procedures where hair-bearing skin is removed from the lower scalp at the back of the head (the “donor area”) and transferred to thinning or balding areas. The most popular varieties are micrografting (1-2 hairs) and minigrafting (3-8 hairs). A few surgeons selectively use round grafts, which have 10-20 hairs each.

A theory that states that only a limited or decreasing supply of hair exists, but that the demand for hair increases as balding patterns develop.

Techniques to rotate large portions of hair from the sides and back of the scalp to the front and central areas of the head. Most effective when used with a tissue expander. See also “scalp rotation flaps”.

A strand of hair and its root which are extracted from the donor area and transplanted to the recipient area during hair restoration surgery.

Hair follicles that have been harvested from the donor area and are ready for transplantation into the recipient area of the scalp. The number of hair follicles per graft vary widely, depending on the transplantation technique used. A graft may contain a single hair follicle, a single follicular unit, multiple follicular units, or even 20 or more follicles (as in a large round graft).

A slang term typically used to describe the large round grafts that were used more commonly years ago.

A surgical technique that transfers hair follicles from the donor area to the recipient area.

(also known as “Hairline Correction”) The use of a variety of newer, more delicate grafting techniques to alter, camouflage, or soften the “pluggy”-looking results of older hair transplant techniques.

An inherited condition in men that is triggered by the hormone Dihydrotestosterone, which causes the gradual miniaturization (and eventual loss) of hair follicles. Starting anytime after puberty with a recession of the hairline and thinning of the crown areas, it can eventually lead to complete baldness at the top of the scalp. The areas around the sides and back of the scalp are not typically affected by male pattern baldness.

A graft containing 1 or 2 hairs, obtained from the donor area with a micropunch or sliced off from a round graft (see below). A micrograft is typically placed into holes made in the scalp with a microneedle or punch.

A graft containing 3 or 4 hairs (small minigraft) or 5 or 6 hairs (large minigraft). There are many variations of minigrafts derived from round grafts.

Grafts that contain two or more follicular units in a single graft. This term replaces the older “minigraft”. In practice today, MUGs contain 2-6 follicular units per graft.

Hair transplantation using multi-unit grafts. In practice, these grafts may be placed into small round holes, slots, or slits. This would always be in combination with the use of FUE in the same procedure.

The progression of male pattern baldness is generally classified on the Hamilton–Norwood scale, which ranges from stages I to VII

The area where hair loss has occurred and hair follicles will be implanted during a hair transplant procedure.

As the first type of graft used in hair transplantation, a round graft has many variations. Harvested with punches of various sizes, a large round graft may contain many hairs (20 or more). The round graft is obtained from the donor site by surgical removal and may be used “as is” or may be sliced into smaller sections for micro-, mini- or slit grafts.

A procedure that removes bald scalp and brings the edges of hair-bearing scalp closer together. Scalp reduction is most often used in patients with crown baldness. See also “alopecia reduction”.

A type of procedure that involves the lifting and rotation of a strip of hairy scalp, which is placed into an area of simultaneously-removed balding skin.

Hair obtained from a donor site directly or sectioned from a larger round graft is inserted into a slit made in the scalp by the tip of a scalpel blade.

When some stress causes hair roots to be pushed prematurely into the resting state, it can be acute or chronic. If there is some “shock to the system”, as many as 70% of the scalp hairs are then shed in large numbers about 2 months after the “shock”.

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.

The two triangular-shaped areas of hair located in the lower outer corners of the forehead, where the temporal hairline meets the sideburns.

A reconstructive balloon-like device that can be used to enlarge hair-bearing scalp on the sides of the head, providing a larger supply of hair with which to replace the bald areas. Often used in hair flap techniques and scalp reductions.

The area in the top/back portion of the head that contains a swirl or spiral pattern of hair growth. Also called the “crown”, it may be the first area where male pattern baldness is noticed.

A device used to stretch scalp. Often used to speed up the process of scalp reductions by stretching the sides of the scalp that contain hair to achieve rapid elimination of bald areas. The tissue extender is temporarily inserted below the scalp and remains in place for a 3-week period.

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