Glossary of Hair Restoration Terms (taken from the International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery). Unless written in italics, all content was taken from the ISHRS website. To see a list of previous terms, visit this blog post.
Grafting: A variety of procedures where hair-bearing skin is removed from the lower scalp at the back of the head-the “donor area”-and transferred to thinning or balding areas.
Hair Economics: A theory that states only a limited or decreasing supply of hair exists, but the demand for hair increases as balding patterns develop.
Hair Flaps: Techniques to rotate large portions of hair from the sides and back of the scalp to the front and central areas of the head. Most effective when used with a tissue expander. See also “Scalp Rotation Flaps.”
Hair Follicle: A strand of hair and its root which is extracted from the donor area and transplanted to the recipient area during hair restoration surgery.
Hair Grafts: Hair follicles that have been harvested from the donor area and are ready for transplantation into the recipient area of the scalp. The numbers of hair follicles per graft vary widely depending upon the transplantation technique used. A graft may contain a single hair follicle, a single follicular unit, multiple follicular units, or even 20 or more follicles (as in a large round graft).
Hair “plugs”: A slang term typically used to describe the large round grafts that were used more commonly years ago.
Hair Transplant: A surgical technique that transfers hair follicles from the donor area to the recipient area.
Hairline Refinement: or “Hairline Correction” refers to the use of a variety of newer, more delicate grafting techniques to alter, camouflage or soften the “pluggy” looking results of older hair transplant techniques.
Male Pattern Baldness: An inherited condition in men which is triggered by the hormone Dihydrotestosterone which causes gradual miniaturization (and eventual loss) of hair follicles. Starting anytime after puberty with a recession of the hairline and thinning of the crown areas, it can eventually lead to complete baldness at the top of the scalp. The areas around the sides and back of the scalp are not typically affected by male pattern baldness.
Micrograft: A graft containing 1 or 2 hairs, obtained from the donor area with a micropunch or sliced off from a round graft (see below). A micrograft is typically placed into holes made in the scalp with a microneedle or punch.
Minigraft: A graft containing 3 or 4 hairs (small minigraft) or 5 or 6 hairs (large minigraft). There are many variations of minigrafts derived from round grafts.
Multi-unit grafts (MUG): Grafts that contain two or more follicular units in a single graft. This term replaces the older “minigraft”. In practice today, MUGs contain 2-6 follicular units per graft.
Multi-unit grafting: Hair transplantation using multi-unit grafts. In practice, these grafts may be placed into small round holes, slots, or slits. This would always be in combination with the use of FUT in the same procedure.