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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 ?
Both male- and female-pattern baldness can be disguised with spray thickeners and shading powders: there are no magic hair potions.
Many men who suffer from baldness tried a lot of solutions such as hair transplants, hair tonics, drugs, and other therapies.
Men with this problem usually resort to hair transplant to avoid total baldness.
If you have inherited the genes responsible for male-pattern or female-pattern baldness there's little you can do to prevent it from happening.
Three studies assessed the degree of baldness using a validated scale (Hamilton scale).
In men, baldness is a condition that develops gradually," he explains, adding that the hair dyes, shampoos and oils of dubious provenance, advertised on satellite channels, also contribute to the problem.
Different patterns of baldness were also related to different grades of cancer, Charnita Zeigler-Johnson, Ph.
The severity of baldness influenced the degree of risk, but again, only if the balding was at the crown, or vertex.
Moderate crown baldness carries a 36 per cent of heart disease and mild hair loss 18 per cent, the report claims.
Severe baldness on the top or crown of the head, also known as the vertex, was associated with a 48% increased risk while moderate vertex baldness and mild vertex baldness were linked to a 36% and 18% risk respectively.
The researchers 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.
Her team studied almost 11,000 men and women aged 40 years and older noting four key signs of ageing - receding hairline, crown top baldness, earlobe creases, and yellow fatty deposits around the eyes.