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thinning or loss of hair as a result of illness, functional disorder, or hereditary disposition; also known as alopecia. Male pattern baldness, a genetic trait, is the most common cause of baldness among white males. It is carried by females, but they are rarely susceptible inasmuch as it develops under the influence of testosterone, a male sex hormone; women, however, may experience an overall thinning of the hair. Hair loss begins at the forehead and crown and is slowly progressive. Male pattern baldness may be cosmetically disguised by hair-follicle transplants. Drug treatments with minoxidil (Rogaine) or finasteride (Propecia) have been used with limited effectiveness.

Diseases characterized by high fever (e.g., scarlet and typhoid fevers), malnutrition, chemotherapy, and glandular disorders can all cause balding. Treatment of the disease or dysfunction will usually halt the loss of hair, and if the scalp and hair follicles are not severely damaged, hair will usually regrow spontaneously. Scalp infection, oiliness or dirtiness of the scalp and hair, and excessive teasing and lacquering of hair are also conducive to baldness. Alopecia areata is a disease of unknown origin characterized by noninflamed bald patches in the scalp hair and beard. It is recurrent but is usually of short duration.


Loss or absence of hair.


mistaking his bald head for a rock, an eagle dropped a tortoise on it, thus killing him. [Gk. Legend: Brewer Dictionary, 13]
(the Frog) name given infant by wolves for hairlessness. [Children’s Lit.: The Jungle Book]
bald eagle
U.S. national bird whose white head looks bald. [Am. Hist.: EB, I: 753]
References in periodicals archive ?
We slapheads should just content ourselves with the knowledge that we've got just as much hair as those loathsome geezers who are forever preening themselves in front of pub toilet mirrors - it is just that no-one knows about our flowing locks.
Hills quote 10-1 for the eccentric slaphead to resign during the World Cup.
Now as a fellow slaphead this is not my area of expertise, but don't John Freida make posh shampoo and other hair products?
The Russian slaphead has enjoyed cult status on football's fringes for years, casually insulting Barcelona and Manchester City and being photographed in white romper suits, looking like George Dawes (above), the giant baby from Shooting Stars.
And if you didn't like William the way he was, as the archetypal slaphead snotty swot, then you should have thought of that long before you climbed into that big white dress and promised to love, honour - and unless, I am very much mistaken - obey him.
The Essex boy - dubbed Britain's sexiest slaphead - earns more than pounds 120,000 a year as the soap's Grant Mitchell and got his lucky break in a three- month stint on Emmerdale.
The Dutch slaphead has obliterated everything in his path en route to a showdown with surprise finalist Peter Wright.
A bald policeman who hit a 12-year-old boy for calling him a slaphead can keep his job.
45pm) IT'S the turn of the glamorous Nancy Dell'Olio to be subjected to the Piers Morgan probe - and the surely obvious question: "So, what do you see in the cheating old slaphead Sven-Goran Eriksson?
Her old man is slaphead actor Bruce Willis - and yesterday she was getting all lovey- dovey with fashion king Domenico Dolce.