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Lab Tests

Scalp biopsy-The biopsy to reach the subcutaneous tissue & the punch to be directed in the direction of the growth of hair. Horizontal sectioning offers more information about follicles by allowing examination of many more follicles for determining the phase of their cycles & their diameters. But the technique is tedious & needs skills in preparing & interpreting the sections.


Specialized investigations- Polariscopy, X-ray diffraction studies

Trichometry- Measurement of hair diameter as an objective way of assessing patients with hirsutism, hypertrichosis, androgenetic alopecia is termed as trichometry.


Urine examination-  Argininosuccinic acid( argininosuccinic aciduria)

 Citrulline( Citrullinemia).


Blood investigation-  CBC, ESR, Serum Fe ,Total iron binding capacity, Serum Ferritin levels , Serum proteins, Serum VDRL,

Serum Testosterone, ANA titres, DHEAS, Cuceruloplasmin (Menkes disease)


Hair Investigations in Systemic diseases-

  • Hair bulb incubation(Albinism),Zinc Estimation(Zinc deficiency),
  • Hair bulb production of alpha galactosidase-A (detection of carrier         
  • females in Fabry’s disease)Arsenic estimation (Arsenic poisoning)   

Hair Clipping & Hair Collection:

Information about shaft defects, approx. shaft thickness, hair ends & hair bulb can be obtained from a mount of hair clippings/ one day’s hair collection.


Measurement Of Hair Growth Rate:

It is performed by specialized techniques like calibrated capillary tube, macrophotography, autoradiography using a radioactive tracer.


Mean force required for epilation can be measured by a trichtillometer. Easy pluckability of hair is observed in malnutrition & loose anagen hair syndrome.


Hair Growth Window:

It is done to assess the rate of growth of hair. A small area of scalp is marked, shaved & covered, leaving an open window, thru which hair can grow. The length of these hairs is measured.



Hair leaves the skin at an angle consequent to the angle of the follicle with the skin surface. The study of hair slope patterns is termed as trichoglyphics. Generally there is a single parietal clockwise whorl & the rest of the hairs slope away from it. Abnormalities of scalp hair slope patterns are associated with defects in cerebal developments like microcephaly, dicephaly, turrencephaly, Down syndrome, Cornelia de Lange syndrome, Prader willi syndrome, Rubinstein-Taybi syndrome.  

Whorls may occur at other body sites like the axillae, umbilicus, anus, thighs or back.


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