What do Charles Darwin, Michael Jordan, and Yoda have in common? They, like many other historical and fictive individuals, are bald. Scientists have long pondered, why do some people lose their hair, and how can we bring it back? Sarthak Sinha explores the basics of baldness.











  • dome – a shape like one-half of a ball
  • thicket – a dense growth of small trees, shrubs, and similar plants
  • to sprout – to grow, to spring up
  • to shed – to fall off (of leaves), to drop off (of hair)
  • wispy – (of hair) growing thickly on one’s head


Use the words in bold below to fill in the gaps in the extracts of the video:

thin                       shrink                   patchy                                  sparse

shed                     scalps                                   fraction               recedes                               cells


The full-headed among us have about 100,000 to 150,000 hairs on our 1. ……  (…) The sprouting hair we see is mostly made up of keratin, the protein leftover from dead 2. …..that are forced upwards as new ones grow beneath them. (…)  

After this productive period, signals within the skin instruct some follicles to enter a new phase known as catagen, or the regressing stage, causing hair follicles to 3. …….. to a 4. ……. of their original length.  Catagen lasts for about two to three weeks and cuts blood supply to the follicle, creating a club hair, meaning it’s ready to be 5. …… . (…)

But not all heads are hairy, and, in fact, some of them grow increasingly 6. ……… over time in response to bodily changes. (…)

First, hair 7. ……… along the temples, then hair on the crown begins to 8. …….. in a circular pattern. At the highest rating on the scale (the Norwood Scale), these balding areas meet and expand dramatically, eventually leaving only a ring of 9. ……… hair around the templates and the back of the head.


 ANSWERS: 1. scalps; 2. cells; 3. shrink; 4. fraction; 5. shed; 6. patchy; 7. recedes; 8. thin; 9. sparse

Practice Makes Perfect

WORD FORMATION. Change the word in CAPITALS to fill in the blanks in the sentences below:


1. More than 40 percent of men in the U.S. will show signs of male-pattern (BALD) …….  sometime between the ages of 18 and 49.

2. Studies looking at the genomes of this group of men have failed to turn up a genetic cause, which makes a true cure seem an ……..  (LIKE)

3. Progress may seem slow, but new treatments for hair loss are (UNDER) ….. .

4. There is a glimmer of hope for the hair-……… among us. (CHALLENGE)

5. Scientists at the University of Pennsylvania report that new hair follicles formed on the backs of mice that had suffered open skin wounds. The …………. could pave the way for use in regenerating human hair. (FIND)

6. Researchers originally set out to determine how hair follicle stem cells react when the epidermis (outer layer of the skin) is punctured. Their results show that during the healing process, the …………. skin behaves like developing embryonic skin. (INJURY)


Source: https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/hair-follicles-regenerate



 ANSWERS: 1.baldness; 2. unlikely; 3. underway; 4. (hair-)challenged; 5. finding; 6. injured



  • Will there ever be a cure for baldness?
  • How does baldness affect people?
  • Do you consider it a good idea for a bald person to wear a wig?
  • Would you consider a hair transplant if you were going bald?
  • How much time and money do you spend on your hair?




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