Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Font Size

Hair Loss: Glossary

Aldactone: Brand name for spironolactone, a prescription high blood pressure medication that is also prescribed to treat women's hair loss.

Alopecia: Loss of hair as a result of illness, functional disorder, or hereditary disposition. The medical term for hair loss.

Recommended Related to Hair Loss

Natural Ways to Strengthen Hair

If you search online for "natural hair loss treatments," a long list of tonics, creams, and supplements appears. But do they work? Paradi Mirmirani, MD, a dermatologist for Permanente Medical Group in Vallejo, Calif., spends a lot of time steering patients away from products recommended by their friends and family members. Most of those products are costly and have little to no benefit. "Most natural hair treatments are bunk," Mirmirani says. Though few natural treatments have been well-studied...

Read the Natural Ways to Strengthen Hair article > >

Alopecia Areata: A disease that causes sudden smooth, circular patches of hair loss. It is thought that it is caused by the body forming antibodies against some hair follicles. It can result from such factors as stress and genetics.

Alopecia Totalis: A condition that results in no hair on the scalp. It may begin as Alopecia areata or some other cause.

Alopecia Universalis: A condition that results in no hair on any part of the body; this includes eyelashes, eyebrows, and scalp hair. It may develop as alopecia areata or result from another cause.

Amino Acids: The building blocks of protein. A deficiency of amino acids may adversely affect hair growth.

Amortization: The process of converting one enzyme to another, such as testosterone to dihydrotestosterone.

Anagen: The growing phase of hair, usually lasting between two and six years.

Anagen Effluvium: Loss of hair that is supposed to be in the anagen or growing phase. This is the type of hair loss that is associated with chemotherapy or radiation treatment.

Androgen: general term referring to any male hormone. The major androgen is testosterone.

Androgenetic Alopecia: Hair loss resulting from a genetic predisposition to effects of dihydrotestosterone (DHT) on the hair follicles. Also termed female pattern baldness and male pattern baldness, hereditary alopecia, and common baldness.

Anterior: Front

Antiandrogen: An agent that blocks the action of androgens by preventing their attachment to receptor cells, interfering with their metabolism, or decreasing their production in the body.

Aromatase: An enzyme (actually an enzyme complex) involved in the production of estrogen that acts by catalyzing the conversion of testosterone (an androgen) to estradiol (an estrogen). Aromatase is located in estrogen-producing cells in the adrenal glands, ovaries, placenta, testicles, adipose (fat) tissue, and brain.

Autograft: A graft taken from your own body. Azelaic Acid: Azelaic acid (like Retin-A) is more commonly used in the treatment of acne and other skin conditions. It inhibits the activity of the enzyme 5 alpha-reductase, involved in the conversion of testosterone to DHT.

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8

Today on WebMD

hair in hairbrush
Ways to go about it naturally.
Young woman with thick curly hair
Causes and solutions.
man with thinning hair
How to keep the hair you have.
Closeup of Hairbrush with Hair Loss
Understand the basics.
Mens Hair Loss When To Start Treatment
A Dermatologist Talks About Hair Loss
Rogaine And Propecia For Hair Loss
Woman looking at thinning hair in hand mirror
Balding man in mirror
Close up of comb in woman's hair
Young woman with thick curly hair
hair problems