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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.
"The other children were calling him names and when he pushed past me I just called him a 'slaphead'.
We'd have Shir Sean claiming his blue badge and Bruce Willis failing to save the world in Die Hard 90 because baddies called him a slaphead. But perhaps I could have claimed disability for having nae chin.
I didn't like the Child Catcher because he was ugly and he was a slaphead."
And two, that when you're a slaphead, you don't do a ridiculous comb over but, like Michael, you wear your baldie head with pride.
Hmm, we have to wonder if the world's biggest supermodel has ever looked in a good mirror and noticed the size of her enormous slaphead...
There's a not-so-nasty Nigel (Nigel Hall - imagine a camper, less talented Jeremy Spake), a sawn-off Hayley Cropper look-alike, and a dull slaphead who couldn't spot a star with Curly Watts's telescope.
POOR Coleen McLoughlin has been under scrutiny after appearing at London restaurant Nobu with a bald patch to rival that wee slaphead bloke from Benny Hill.
But Dubliner Colin said the action left him convinced 30-year-old Affleck is no slaphead.
Frankie described him as: "The lechy slaphead in the bad shirt," so she wasn't all bad.
But instead of the auburn thatch he sported on Fame Academy, he appeared with a shiny slaphead.