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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 ?
Washington DC [USA], Nov 30 ( ANI ): Male-pattern baldness and premature greying of hair is linked to more than five-fold risk of heart disease before the age of 40 years than obesity, warns a recent study.
Aside from being deemed more desirable, baldness was even revealed to have made men appear taller than they truly are.
The most common cause of hair loss is a hereditary condition called male-pattern baldness or female-pattern baldness.
Researchers found the risk for death from prostate cancer was 56% higher in men with any baldness than in those with no baldness.
Most common in men, male pattern baldness also affects some women and is usually more noticeable after a woman has been through the menopause.
Once male or female pattern baldness kicks in, the tufts lose hairs and the scalp develops bald spots.
The researchers found that men who reported having baldness at the front of their head and moderate baldness on the crown of their head at age 45 were 40 percent more likely than men who had no baldness to develop aggressive prostate cancer.
It is believed that the technique could help to expand the use of hair transplantation to women with hair loss, who tend to have insufficient donor hair, as well as to men in early stages of baldness.
The researchers from University of Tokyo trawled the Medline and the Cochrane Library databases for research published on male pattern baldness and coronary heart disease, and came up with 850 possible studies, published between 1950 and 2012.
Summary: Some men consider baldness to be a sign of manhood and as making them look handsome.
Baldness seems to confer a significantly increased risk of prostate cancer upon black men--particularly if they lose their hair before age 60 years.
Researchers from the University of Tokyo's Department of Diabetes and Metabolic Diseases analysed six studies on male pattern baldness and coronary heart disease conducted between 1993 and 2008 with nearly 40,000 participants in the United States and Europe.