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baldness, 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.

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Loss or absence of hair.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.


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]
Allusions—Cultural, Literary, Biblical, and Historical: A Thematic Dictionary. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
The group's latest show, How To Be A Megastar, has already played to more than two million people in the US and mixes music, percussive dance and surreal comedy with bald people painted bright blue and wrapped in latex.
It's not often you see bald people running about a pitch' I thought he must be dead confident as he was doing a job that so many people watched and all their eyes would be on him.
"When you look at Tunick's photographs, you see big people, short people, fat people, bald people ( we're all human beings.
Even bald people have hairs on their scalp, but those hairs are unusually fine and short.
A report suggests that bald people are not being made welcome enough in Church.
You don't want two bald people with no teeth in the house!'
In the film, Dundee is turned into a nightmarish sci-fi world run by bald people who make the Dundonians pick berries.