Study examines normal hair loss in men without evidence of baldness

Jun 16, 2008

Performing a standardized 60-second hair count appears to be a reliable method for the assessment of hair shedding, according to a report in the June issue of Archives of Dermatology.

"Currently, there is no widely accepted or standard method for assessing the number of hairs shed daily," according to background information in the article. The widely held belief that it is normal to shed 100 hairs per day is based on the assumption that the average scalp contains 100,000 hairs, 10 percent of which are in the telogen (resting) phase. Although this idea is prevalent, it has not been scientifically validated and does not indicate whether shedding remains constant with age or if it is similar between men and women.

Carina A. Wasko, M.D., of Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, and colleagues studied hair loss in 60 healthy men (half age 20 to 40 and half age 41 to 60) without evidence of alopecia (baldness). All participants were given identical combs and instructions to wash hair with the same brand of shampoo for three consecutive mornings. On the fourth day, they were asked to comb hair forward for 60 seconds over a towel or pillowcase of contrasting color before shampooing. The men combed their hair this way and then counted hairs shed for three consecutive days. This procedure was repeated in eligible participants six months later.

Participants age 20 through 40 shed 0 to 78 hairs, with an average loss of 10.2 hairs per 60-second test. Men age 41 to 60 shed 0 to 43 hairs, with an average loss of 10.3 hairs per 60-second test. Results were consistent on consecutive days for all participants. "When repeated six months later in both age groups, the hair counts did not change much. The hair counts were repeated and verified by a trained investigator, with results similar to those of subject hair counts," the authors write.

"In summary, the 60-second hair count is a simple, practical and objective tool for monitoring conditions associated with hair shedding," the authors conclude. "Low intrapatient variability demonstrates that dependable results over an extended period of time are obtainable. The similarity between investigator and subject hair counts indicates that patients can reliably count hairs.

Source: JAMA and Archives Journals

Explore further: Nigeria on red alert after first Ebola death

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Workplace age discrimination starts as early as 45

Jul 15, 2014

When Barbara (real name has been withheld for privacy reasons) took voluntary redundancy from a large telecommunications group in 2001 she was confident of finding work in her chosen field. At 51, she had an impressive CV ...

Fossils of tiny, unknown hedgehog identified

Jul 08, 2014

Meet perhaps the tiniest hedgehog species ever: Silvacola acares. Its roughly 52-million-year-old fossil remains were recently identified by a University of Colorado Boulder-led team working in British Columb ...

Decontamination system to up research on space station

Jun 13, 2014

Just like eating, drinking and even trying to wash your hair aboard the International Space Station, conducting science experiments in space is not a simple task for astronauts. There are so many more factors ...

Recommended for you

Nigeria on red alert after first Ebola death

4 hours ago

Nigeria was on alert against the possible spread of Ebola on Saturday, a day after the first confirmed death from the virus in Lagos, Africa's biggest city and the country's financial capital.

User comments : 0