Healthy Hair Loss

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 (DHT).

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 reductase.


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 eyebrows.

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 vessels.

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 susceptible individuals.


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 the skin.

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†


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 hair.


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) are made.

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 alopecia.

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 alcohol consumption.24†


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 health.1,27†


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 (COX).1†

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 of menopause.1†


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.
3. BioPerine. Available at: Accessed December 14, 2006.
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. 2003;89:277-283.
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. 2005;68:29-38.
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. 1969;15:1067-76.
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.
21. Jojoba Monograph. Available at:
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. 2006;44:57-63.
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. 2000.
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 Phytotherapy; 1997.
28. Tormentil Monograph. Available at:
29. Larsson B, Jonasson A, Fianu S. Prophylactic effect of UVA-E in women with recurrent cystitis: a preliminary report. Curr Ther Res. 1993;53:441-443.
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 owners.

NuHair Hair Loss Glossary female
†These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
Home |  Where to Buy |  About Us |  Customer Service |  Privacy Policy |  Accessibility Statement | |  Natrol International