Use this reference guide for hairloss terminology and to find
out more about the natural ingredients in our products.
The enzyme in the body responsible for converting testosterone into dihydrotestosterone
A compound that interferes with the enzymatic conversion of testosterone to dihydrotestosterone
(DHT) in the prostate, liver and/or skin by blocking the action of the enzyme 5-alpha
The medical term for hair loss that can be a result of multiple causes.
Sudden patchy hair loss in people with no obvious skin disorder or systemic disease.
Hair loss that occurs over the entire scalp. It may begin as Alopecia Areata or
some other cause.
Hair loss that affects most or all of the body, including scalp, eyelashes, and
The building blocks of protein. A deficiency of amino acids or protein may adversely
affect hair growth.
The process of conversion, such as converting testosterone to dihydrotestosterone.
The growth phase of the hair cycle during which new hair is formed, which lasts
from two to six years in a healthy person. Some people have difficulty growing their
hair beyond a certain length because they have a short anagen phase of growth, whereas
people that easily grow long hair have a long anagen phase of growth.
Male or female pattern baldness, which depends on the genetic predisposition of
the hair follicles and the levels of DHT in the body. This is the most common form
of hair loss.
General term referring to any male hormone. The predominant androgen is testosterone.
A compound (usually a synthetic pharmaceutical) that blocks or interferes with the
normal action of androgens at cellular receptor sites.
BLACK COHOSH (Cimicifuga racemosa) - A perennial herb
native to eastern North America with a long history of traditional use to support
overall well being of women during menopause and menstruation.1 Preliminary
laboratory research suggests black cohosh may interact with cell receptors associated
with mood, body temperature regulation, and sex hormone levels. 2†
BIOPERINE® (Piper nigrum, Piper longum) - A proprietary
ingredient consisting of the fruit extract of black or long pepper standardized
to 95% piperine.3 It has been clinically shown to increase the bioavailability
of nutritional supplements such as vitamins, minerals, and herbs, thus helping to
make them more effective. † BioPerine® is a registered trademark
of Sabinsa Corporation.
BURDOCK (Arctium lappa) - Burdock grows in North America,
Europe, and northern Asia.4 Preliminary laboratory research indicates
that burdock root provides antioxidant, immune-supporting and other health benefits.
5,6 Topically, it is used to promote skin health.4†
This is the transitional stage between the growing (anagen) and resting (telogen)
phases of the hair's growth cycle, lasting about one to three weeks. During this
phase, hair growth stops and the outer layer, or sheath, of the hair follicle shrinks
and attaches to the root of the hair. This is the formation of what is known as
a club hair, which will eventually be pushed out and replaced with new hair.
CAYENNE (Capsicum frutescens) - A perennial shrub native
to tropical America. It is also known as chili or hot pepper. Topically, capsaicin
isolated from cayenne pepper, has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration
as an over-the-counter analgesic.1 It has also been used as a deterrent
to thumb sucking and nail biting. Capsaicin has also been shown to enhance blood
flow to the skin by promoting vasodilation.1†
CHAMOMILE (Matricaria recutita) - An annual herbaceous
plant native to areas of Europe and Asia. Also known as German chamomile. The German
Commission E and other therapeutic monographs approve the oral use of chamomile
to support gastrointestinal health and topical use to support skin health.1
In one controlled clinical study, the therapeutic efficacy of a chamomile extract
on skin healing was investigated on 14 adults after receiving tattoos. The authors
report that after topical application of chamomile to the weeping area after dermabrasion
from tattoos, chamomile resulted in a significant decrease of the weeping area as
well as a drying tendency.8†
CHAMOMILE (Anthemis nobilis) - Also known as Roman chamomile.
Topically, it is used in ointments, gels, and creams to support the health of the
skin and mucous membranes. Orally used to support gastrointestinal health.4†
A hair that has stopped growing, but is still anchored to the skin with its "club-like"
root. Club hair will eventually be pushed out and replaced by a new growing hair.
The layer of the hair shaft that is the main structural part of the hair fiber that
accounts for most of its size and strength.
The top or highest part of the head.
The outer layer of the hair that is composed of overlapping scales made of keratin
protein. It gives hair luster, shine, and provides strength.
A group of specialized cells at the base of the hair follicle that give rise to
the hair follicle at birth and supplies the materials necessary for hair growth
during the life of the person.
The innermost layer of the skin located below the epidermis, containing the sensitive
connective tissue, nerve endings, sweat and sebaceous glands, and blood and lymph
Dihydrotestosterone is a hormone derivative or by-product of testosterone. Testosterone
converts to DHT with the aid of the enzyme 5-alpha-reductase. DHT is commonly recognized
as the main cause of shrinking hair follicles and ultimately hair loss in genetically
The outermost, protective layer of the skin. The epidermis does not contain blood
vessels, so it is nourished by diffusion from the dermis, or innermost layer of
A group of hormones, secreted mainly by the ovaries, that influence the female reproductive
system in many ways. The three major naturally occurring estrogens in women are
estradiol, estriol, and estrone. Estrogen production declines during menopause.
EUCALYPTUS (Eucalyptus globulus) - A tall evergreen tree
native to Australia and Tasmania. Preliminary laboratory research suggests leaf
extracts or constituents of eucalyptus help support the integrity of skin. 9,10†
FEMALE PATTERN BALDNESS (FPB)
Progressive thinning of hair in women similar to male pattern baldness that is caused
by a combination of genetics, age and hormones. Female pattern baldness typically
begins later in life and is usually less severe than male pattern baldness.
A small infolding just below the surface of the scalp containing the root of the
GINKGO (Ginkgo biloba) - Ginkgo is the world's most ancient
living tree.1 Ginkgo leaf provides antioxidant properties.11,12 Ginkgo
leaf products may benefit the central nervous system (CNS) and vascular conditions
by promoting circulation. Ginkgo leaf seems to promote blood flow to capillaries
throughout the body including the CNS, extremities, eyes, ears, and other tissues.
Ginkgo leaf likely supports circulation by decreasing blood viscosity and by affecting
vascular smooth muscles.1†
GOLDEN SEAL (Hydrastis canadensis) - Goldenseal is among
the top selling herbs in the American health products market.1 Topically
used to promote skin health. Orally used to support digestive health.4
Goldenseal contains a group of compounds called alkaloids. One alkaloid, berberine,
is thought to be responsible for many of goldenseal's health benefits.13,14†
Region where hair and the structures that compose it (cortex, cuticle and medulla)
The hair shaft is made of a hard protein called keratin and is made of three layers
(the inner medulla, middle cortex and outer cuticle).
A surgical procedure that involves transplanting bald resistant hair follicles from
the back and sides of the head to a person's bald or thinning areas. The transplanted
hair follicles will typically grow hair for a lifetime because they are genetically
resistant to going bald.
HENNA (Lawsonia inermis) - In manufacturing, henna is
used in cosmetics, hair care products and hair dyes. Henna leaf is thought to possess
astringent and diuretic properties. Topically, henna is reported to be used to promote
a healthy scalp and other health benefits as well as for decorative henna "tattoos."
Orally, it is reported to be used to support gastrointestinal health.4†
HE SHOU WU (Polygonum multiflorum) - Also known as fo-ti.
This herb is used as an ingredient in hair and skin care products. It is used in
Traditional Chinese Medicine to help restore black hair and other signs of youth.
15 Components isolated from He Shou Wu have been shown to possess antioxidant
properties. In one animal study, topical application of a He Shou Wu extract was
protective against free radical damage induced by ultraviolet B (UVB) irradiation.16
It may have an anti-photo aging effect against UVB irradiation.†
Excessive growth of facial or body hair in women that can be a result of an inherited
tendency, over-production of male hormones (androgens), medication, or disease.
Pertaining to hormones. Hormones are chemical messengers that are produced in the
body by endocrine glands, and are transported by the blood to other organs to stimulate
their function. Adrenaline, estrogen, insulin, and testosterone are all hormones.
HORSE CHESTNUT (Aesculus hippocastanum) - A deciduous
tree that is native to the central Balkan peninsula.1 Horse chestnut
extract is used to support vein health. It contains a compound called escin (aescin)
that has been shown to decrease the permeability of venous capillaries.1†
HORSETAIL (Equisetum arvense) - Horsetail is a perennial
plant that is common in the temperate northern hemisphere of North America, Europe,
and Asia.1 Preliminary research suggests that horsetail has antioxidant,
vasorelaxant, and other health benefits.17,18,19 Contains flavonoids
and a significant amount of silicon. The German Commission E and other therapeutic
monographs approve the topical use of horsetail extract to support healthy skin.
Orally, it is used to support healthy bladder function.1,20†
A medical term referring to a rare condition of excessive hair growth on one or
more parts of the body. The condition occurs on average for 1 in 340 million people.
Deficiency of thyroid hormone made by the thyroid gland. Untreated hypothyroidism
can result in sparse, coarse, and dry hair and hair loss.
The upper portion of the hair follicle above the entry of the sebaceous duct. Surface
epidermis lines the infundibulum.
Protein found in healthy scalps (without hair loss) that appear to inhibit the binding
of dihydrotestosterone to its receptor. This protein appears to be absent in androgenetic
An intermediate hair is in transition between being either a terminal or vellus
hair. Intermediate hairs are usually fine and may be shorter than terminal hairs.
Pigmentation of intermediate hairs is variable; they may be normal to light in color.
The shortened segment or middle region of the hair follicle that extends into the
entrance of the sebaceous gland duct.
JOJOBA (Simmondsia chinensis) - In manufacturing, jojoba
is used as a component in shampoos, makeup, lotions, and in cleansing aids. It has
a long history of traditional use to promote healthy skin.4 Jojoba penetrates
skin and skin oils easily, unclogging hair follicles and preventing sebum build-up,
which could lead to hair loss.21
The fibrous protein that is the chief structural constituent of hair and nails.
KUDZU (Pueraria lobata) - Contains isoflavones such as
daidzin, daidzein, genistin, and genistein. 22 Preliminary research suggests
that kudzu or its constituents decrease platelet aggregation and have vasorelaxant,
antioxidant, and other health benefits.23 Animal studies and one preliminary
human study found that extracts of kudzu containing a variety of isoflavones reduce
MALE PATTERN BALDNESS (MPB)
Also known as androgenetic alopecia, MPB is the most common type of progressive
hair loss and is caused by hormones, genes and age. Hair loss occurs in the central
and frontal area of the scalp and often results in a horseshoe shape configuration.
The pigment produced by melanocytes that gives color to hair and skin.
The medulla is the central axis, or innermost layer of a hair.
A specialized cell located in the epidermis of the skin that forms the pigment melanin,
which determines hair color.
Region towards the middle of the scalp.
The destructive process by which DHT shrinks hair follicles, and is a key marker
of hair loss.
NETTLES (Urtica dioica) - Stinging nettle is a perennial
herb. In manufacturing, stinging nettle extract is used as an ingredient in hair
and skin products. Leaves contain several nutrients and active ingredients such
as carotenes, vitamins C and K, potassium and calcium, beta-sitosterol, and flavonoids.
It has a long history of traditional use primarily as a diuretic and laxative. Orally,
nettle root is used to support prostate health.1 Topically, it is used
to promote a healthy scalp and hair growth.†
A useful reference tool created to classify the different ways in which baldness
typically progresses in men.
The small area at the base of the hair that contains capillaries through which a
hair receives its nourishment necessary for growth.
Sex hormone produced by the corpus luteum of the ovary to prepare the womb for the
fertilized ovum, and later by the placenta to maintain pregnancy. Progesterone is
also produced in the testis and adrenals and has a key role as an intermediate in
the biosynthesis of other sex hormones such as testosterone and estrogen.
Back of the head.
PUMPKIN (Cucurbita moschata) - Pumpkin is an annual vine
native to America. Pumpkin seeds are rich in vitamin E and carotenoids such as beta-carotene
and lutein.1 Pumpkin seed appears to inhibit 5-alpha-reductase - the
enzyme that converts testosterone to dihydrotestosterone.25 The German
Commission E and other therapeutic monographs approve pumpkin seed for the health
of the prostate and normal urination.1,26†
ROSEMARY (Rosemarinus officinalis) - Rosemary is a bushy
evergreen shrub.1 Topically, rosemary stimulates an increase in blood
supply. The German Commission E and other therapeutic monographs approve the oral
use of rosemary leaf for relief of digestive upset and topical use to support circulatory
SAW PALMETTO (Serenoa repens) - Saw palmetto is a small,
low-growing palm tree, native to southeastern North America. The saw palmetto berry
supports normal prostate health and urine flow. It appears to inhibit the enzyme
that converts testosterone to dihydrotestosterone (DHT). Laboratory evidence suggests
that saw palmetto also inhibits the activity of two enzymes, lipoxygenase and cyclooxygenase
Sebum is the natural oil produced by the sebaceous glands attached to the hair follicles.
Sebum is a natural hair conditioner that decreases in production as women age.
Fatty glands found in hair follicles throughout the body that secrete sebum into
the hair and surrounding skin.
The type of hair loss that naturally occurs with age. During the process of aging,
both the duration of hair growth and the diameter of the hair follicle decrease.
SOAP BARK (Quillaja saponaria) - Also known as quillaia.
Found in shampoos and hair tonic preparations. Soapbark contains tannins that have
strong astringent properties to help support the health of skin and mucous membranes.†
SOY (Glycine max) - Soy has been part of the Asian diet
for several thousand years. It contains compounds similar to estrogen called isoflavones
(genistein, daidzein). Orally, soy is used to promote heart health and relieve symptoms
The resting phase of the hair growth cycle that lasts about 3 months. The hair does
not grow in the telogen phase. While hair mostly stays attached to the follicle
during this stage, natural shedding does occur.
The second most common form of hair loss. A condition that causes an increased number
of hairs to enter the telogen, or resting phase. The additional shedding usually
occurs in response to various stresses such as emotional trauma, post-pregnancy
and illness, major surgery, or certain medications. Telogen effluvium can be acute
(short-lasting) or chronic (long-lasting).
Loss of hair during the telogen or resting phase. About 50 to 100 telogen hairs
are shed normally each day.
Hair loss in the temple region.
A large, fully pigmented hair fiber. Terminal hairs are found all over the body
and are easily visible (e.g. scalp hair, eyebrows, beards, etc.).
A predominantly male hormone that is responsible for the development of the male
reproductive system and male sexual characteristics such as voice depth and facial
hair. Women also produce testosterone, but in much smaller quantities than men.
Directly applied on the skin.
TORMENTIL (Potentilla erecta) - Also known as bloodroot.
The astringent effects of the tannins found in tormentil help soothe mucous membranes.28
Topically, it is used to support the health of skin and mucous membranes.†
TOMATO (Lycopersicon esculentum) - A rich source of lycopene,
a phytonutrient associated with heart and prostate health.4†
A form of gradual hair loss, caused primarily by pulling force being applied to
the hair. This commonly results from wearing hair in a particularly tight ponytail,
pigtails, or braids.
A type of impulse-control disorder that causes people to pull out the hair from
their scalp, eyelashes, eyebrows or other parts of the body. It is estimated to
affect 1-2% of the population.
UVA URSI (Arctostaphylos uva-ursi) - An evergreen perennial
shrub that is native to the temperate regions of the northern hemisphere.1
Preliminary evidence suggests that the oral intake of uva ursi in combination with
dandelion supports bladder health in women.29 It also appears to provide
astringent effects. The German Commission E and other therapeutic monographs approve
the use of uva ursi leaf for urinary tract health.1,20,30†
Vellus hair is short, fine, soft and usually unpigmented hair. It is commonly found
in places such as the cheeks and nose. They lack a central medulla, which is present
in thick terminal hairs.
Another name for the crown or highest area of the scalp.
1. Blumenthal M. ed. Herbal Medicine Expanded
Commission E Monographs. Newton, MA: Integrative Medicine Communications. 2000.
2. Rhyu MR, Lu J, Webster DE, Fabricant DS, Farnsworth
NR, Wang ZJ. Black cohosh (Actaea racemosa, Cimicifuga racemosa) behaves
as a mixed competitive ligand and partial agonist at the human mu opiate receptor.
J Agric Food Chem. 2006;54:9852-9857.
4. Gruenwald J, Brendler T, Jaenicke C, eds. PDR for
Herbal Medicines. 3rd ed. Montvale, NJ: Thomson PDR; 2004.
5. Lin CC, Lu JM, Yang JJ, et al. Anti-inflammatory
and radical scavenge effects of Arctium lappa. Am J Chin Med. 1996;24:127-137.
6. Kardosova A, Ebringerova A, Alfoldi J, et al. A
biologically active fructan from the roots of Arctium lappa L., var. Herkules.
Int J Biol Macromol. 2003:33;135-140.
7. Leung AY, Foster S. Encyclopedia of Common
Natural Ingredients. 2nd ed. New York, NY: John Wiley & Sons Inc. 1996:115-117.
8. Glowania HJ, Raulin C, Swoboda M. Effect of chamomile
on wound healing: a clinical double-blind study [in German; English abstract]. Z
Hautkr. 1987;62:1262, 1267-1271.
9. Takahashi T, Kokubo R, Sakaino M. Antimicrobial
activities of eucalyptus leaf extracts and flavonoids from Eucalyptus maculata.
Lett Appl Microbiol. 2004;39:60-64.
10. Silva J, Abebe W, Sousa SM, et al. Analgesic and
anti-inflammatory effects of essential oils of Eucalyptus. J Ethnopharmacol.
11. Kudolo GB, Delaney D, Blodgett J. Short-term oral
ingestion of Ginkgo biloba extract (EGb 761) reduces malondialdehyde levels
in washed platelets of type 2 diabetic subjects. Diabetes Res Clin Pract.
12. Logani S, Chen MC, Tran T, et al. Actions of
Ginkgo biloba related to potential utility for the treatment of conditions
involving cerebral hypoxia. Life Sci. 2000;67:1389-1396.
13. Amin AH, Subbaiah TV, Abbasi KM. Berberine sulfate:
antimicrobial activity, bioassay, and mode of action. Can J Microbiol.
14. Sun D, Courtney HS, Beachey EH. Berberine sulfate
blocks adherence of Streptococcus pyogenes to epithelial cells, fibronectin, and
hexadecane. Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 1988;32:1370-1374.
15. Bratman S, Kroll D. Natural Health Bible.
2nd ed. Prima Publishing. 2000.
16. Hwang IK, Yoo KY, Kim DW, et al. An extract of
Polygonum multiflorum protects against free radical damage induced by ultraviolet
B irradiation of the skin. Braz J Med Res. 2000;39:1181-1188.
17. Correia H, Gonzalez-Paramas A, Amaral MT, et al.
Characterisation of polyphenols by HPLC-PAD-ESI/MS and antioxidant activity in Equisetum
telmateia. Phytochem Anal. 2005;16:380-387.
18. Do Monte FH, dos Santos JG Jr, Russi M, et al.
Antinociceptive and anti-inflammatory properties of the hydroalcoholic extract of
stems from Equisetum arvense L. in mice. Pharmacol Res. 2004;49:239-243.
19. Sakurai N, Iizuka T, Nakayama S, et al. Vasorelaxant
activity of caffeic acid derivatives from Cichorium intybus and Equisetum
arvense [in Japanese; English abstract]. Yakugaku Zasshi. 2003;123:593-598.
20. Bradley PR, ed.. British Herbal Compendium,
Vol 1. Bournemouth: British Herbal Medicine Assoc., 1992.
22. Fang C, Wan X, Tan H, Jiang C. Identification
of isoflavonoids in several kudzu samples by high-performance liquid chromatography
coupled with electrospray ionization tandem mass spectrometry. J Chromatogr Sci.
23 Yu Z, Zhang G, Zhao H. Effects of Puerariae isoflavone
on blood viscosity, thrombosis and platelet function [in Chinese; English abstract].
Zhong Yao Cai. 1997;20:468-469.
24. Lukas SE, Penetar D, Berko J, et al. An extract
of the Chinese herbal root kudzu reduces alcohol drinking by heavy drinkers in a
naturalistic setting. Alcohol Clin Exp Res. 2005;29:756-762.
25. Bombardelli E, Morazzoni P. Curcubita pep
L. Fitoterpia. 1997;68(4). In: Blumenthal M, ed. Herbal Medicine Expanded
Commission E Monographs. Newton, MA: Integrative Medicine Communications.
26. British Herbal Pharmacopoeia.
Exeter, UK: British Herbal Medicine Association; 1996.
27. ESCOP Monograph on the Medicinal Uses of Plant
Drugs: Rosmarini folium. Exeter, UK: European Scientific Cooperative on
29. Larsson B, Jonasson A, Fianu S. Prophylactic effect
of UVA-E in women with recurrent cystitis: a preliminary report. Curr Ther Res.
30. Budavari S, ed. The Merck Index: An Encyclopedia
of Chemicals, Drugs, and Biologicals. 12th ed. Whitehouse Station, NJ: Merck
& Co, Inc.; 1996.
All trademarks and registered trademarks are the property of their respective