Hair Transplant Terms & Definitions
Hair Transplant Terms & Definitions A-C
All terms and definitions are in alphabetical order. Click at the bottom of each page to continue to the next set of terms and definitions.
5 Alpha Reductase – Also referred to as 5αR, it is the name of two enzymes in the body, separated by Type I and Type II. They are commonly associated with benign prostate hyperplasia (BPH) and male pattern hair loss (MPH).
Alopecia Universalis – A condition that results in areas that normally have hair to be completely devoid of hair. Areas affected may be eyebrows, the scalp, pubic regions, or the entire body in general.
Anagen – This is the active state of hair growth. It is the anagen phase that requires you to get a hair cut. The anagen phase of hair growth lasts between three to five years (depending on the dermatologist you are speaking with) before the short catagen phase that signals the end of hair growth before telogen begins.
Anagen Effluvium – The name of the condition that causes hair that should normally be in the active growing state (anagen) but is no longer growing and has fallen out due to any number of reasons.
Androgen - This is a general term referring to male hormones in general with testosterone being the dominant androgen in the body.
Anterior scalp – This is the front of the scalp including the temples, hairline and the regions immediately behind the hairline.
ARTAS - is the first robotic hair transplant system in the world. It was developed by Restoration Robotics with the first clinical trials in 2006 and ended in 2011. FDA clearance (510K) was granted in 2011. Restoration Robotics has made huge gains into the hair transplant industry with, at the time of this writing, just over 100 units shipped to hair transplant clinics in the United States, Canada, the UK and the EU. In the early years of its use the ARTAS robot was using punches that were considered to be too large by experienced FUE surgeons but with time and research Restoration Robotics has managed to scale down the size of the punches used and increased the survival rates of grafts extracted. While more refinement is necessary for more widespread use the company is using feedback from each procedure performed to update the software used by the ARTAS robot and to refine the punch sizes that can successfully be used.
Balloon Expansion - Sometimes referred to as "tissue expansion", the technique is performed by inserting a deflated balloon underneath the non-balding scalp with a inflation tube accessible through a small hole. This tube is used to slowly inflate the balloon over the course of several weeks or months with the goal of creating new skin by stretching it to it's physiological limit which triggers mechanotransduction pathways to create more skin. The skin is not just stretched but new skin is actually formed as a result of the slow and steady increase in tension.
Once enough skin has been created it is surgically removed and placed into an area of the scalp in need of hair. Balloon expansion therapy is also used to treat burn victims needing skin scalps as well as other ailments that require new skin formation.
Beard transplant - This has two meanings.
- Hair Transplant using beard hair to the scalp as an alternative source of donor hair via FUE tools. It is not used by many clinics and is considered to be a fringe procedure. It is useful for adding density and for placing into scar tissue for camouflage. It is generally considered by those that use it to be more robust and likely to survive the transplant process when compared to body hair (chest, leg, back, etc.). Challenges that can arise from the use of beard hair transplanted to the scalp are the potential differences in hair caliber and color causing a visual discrepancy in the final result. For instance, some men have beard hair that is far more coarse than their head hair. Some men have beard hair color that is also very different than their scalp hair color.
Reconstructing a new beard or enhancing and thickening an existing beard. Scalp hair is usually used for such procedures where the patient has no or little ability to grow a beard. This can be due to genetics or injury, i.e. burn scars.
Bimatoprost – Marketed as Latisse and Lumigan, it is primarily used for the treatment of glaucoma. Topically applied as eyedrops it has also been shown to increase the length and fullness of eyelashes. Trials are currently underway for the treatment of hair loss due to male pattern baldness.
Blades – This refers to one of the tools used to make incisions in the recipient scalp. The use of blades allows the practitioner to customize the incision size as blades can be cut (width) into any size that is necessary for graft placement. Blades create very minimal disruption the recipient scalp as they are much thinner than the alternative hypodermic needle used in implanter pens and as a direct incision making apparatus. Typical blades are .23 mm thick whereas needles, being round in nature, have one constant thickness due to their diameter. A blade may vary in width (.6mm to 1.2mm) but it will always be as thin as .23 mm whereas a hypodermic needle will have the same thickness as width.
Body hair transplant - Otherwise known as "BHT", a body hair transplant is usually performed to transplant hair from the chest, back, legs or other sources of hair to the balding scalp with FUE tools. Some clinics use this as a supplement to scalp hair transplantation to add density while other clinics will completely avoid performing BHT as they believe the yield to be poor. BHT is generally considered to be necessary as a last result for repair procedures or for those that have no further donor hair from the safe donor zone of the scalp.
BPH – Benign Prostate Hyperplasia is a condition in which the male prostate is enlarged due to dihydrotestosterone (DHT).
Catagen – The short period of time at the end of the anagen (active) stage of hair growth and before the subsequent telogen (rest/shed) phase of hair growth. The hair bulb detaches from the blood supply and derma papillae breaks away.
Hair Cloning – The process of artificially influencing replication of cells at will through chemical processes. With regards to hair restoration it is considered to be the “Holy Grail” of treatments, as it will provide a potentially unlimited source of donor hair through replication of a patient’s existing hair. Currently the technology is still unavailable.
Cobblestoning – This is a type of scarring associated with placement of hair grafts into the recipient area. It is commonly caused by using larger tools to make incisions and/or by “stuffing” larger grafts into smaller incisions thereby causing scars to form that are raised at the base of each hair graft that has been placed.
Coronal – Sometimes referred to as the coronal plane, is any vertical separation between the dorsal and ventral (back and front) sections of the body. Coronal incisions in the recipient area appear as slits pointing to the left and to the right of the scalp perpendicular to Langer’s Lines. Coronal angle grafting is commonly, but mistakenly, referred to as lateral slits.
Crown – Typically the back of the scalp that has the distinctive “whorl” pattern of circular hair growth direction. This is the area of baldness seen in those classified as having NW5, NW6 and NW7 hair loss patterns.