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


Placebo: A pill, topical cream, or injection made to appear exactly like a test medication, but without any of its active ingredients.

Polysorbate 80: An emulsifying agent that has been marketed extensively by "private" companies as a hair growth promoting agent.

Postauricular Flap: Surgical procedure that takes hair-bearing scalp from the area behind the ear and rotates it 90 degrees to the front, forming a hairline.

Posterior Scalp: Back of the head.

Preauricular Flap: Surgical procedure that takes hair-bearing scalp from the temple area and rotates it about 90 degrees to the front, forming a hairline.

Progesterone: Female sex hormone that induces secretory changes in the lining of the uterus essential for successful implantation of a fertilized egg. Synthetic compounds with progesterone-like activity have been developed that, often along with estrogen, are used in oral contraceptives.

Propecia: The brand name for 1mg dose of finasteride, approved for the prevention and treatment of male pattern baldness.

Prosthetic: An artificial replacement.

Punch Graft: A group of ten to twenty hairs in a circular graft.

Recipient Site: Bald area where hair grafts are transplanted.

Rejection: Tissue not accepted by the body and which, therefore, dies.

Retin-A: A brand name for a prescription acne medication. Has in some cases shown to be effective against hair loss, particularly when combined with minoxidil. It can cause extreme scalp irritation that can make hair loss worse.

Retroauricular Area: Area behind the ear.

Rogaine: The brand name for minoxidil topical hair growth solution, available over the counter in 2% solution and in a 5% extra strength solution.

Rotational Flap: A surgical procedure that lifts a three-sided area of hair-bearing scalp and pivots it 90 to 180 degrees into the balding area.

Scalp Reduction: Surgical procedure in which an ellipse of bald scalp is removed from a small midline bald spot and the hair-bearing scalp between the ears is pulled together and sutured closed. This reduces the bald area.

Scarring Alopecia: Patchy hair loss with obvious sign of scalp inflammation.

Scleroderma: A disease of the skin and connective tissue that can cause hair loss over the affected areas.

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