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: SLeone vice president in Ebola quarantine asks country to pray

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Reaching across the sea for the sake of water

Jan 09, 2015

The Arava desert, a salty wasteland dotted with tufts of scrub, gets only about an inch of rain each year. And yet cows lazily low at dairy farms that collectively produce nearly 8 million gallons of milk annually. Orange ...

Current Biology reviews the biology of fun

Jan 05, 2015

Current Biology celebrates its 25th birthday with a special issue on January 5, 2015 on the biology of fun (and the fun of biology). In a collection of essays and review articles, the journal presents what w ...

Activating hair growth with a little help from the skin

Dec 23, 2014

Restoring hair loss is a task undertaken not only by beauty practitioners. Previous studies have identified signals from the skin that help prompt new phases of hair growth. However, how different types of ...

Digging up the 'Spanish Vikings'

Dec 19, 2014

The fearsome reputation of the Vikings has made them the subject of countless exhibitions, books and films - however, surprisingly little is known about their more southerly exploits in Spain.

Recommended for you

Cholera epidemic kills 41 in Mozambique

1 hour ago

The death toll from a cholera epidemic in Mozambique that broke out after widespread flooding has risen by almost 50 percent in two weeks to 41, health officials said Monday.

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.