Comparative evaluation of scalp hair by phototrichogram and unit area trichogram analysis within the same subjects.
Rushton DH, de Brouwer B, de Coster W, van Neste DJ.
Quantitative evaluation of scalp hair requires techniques that are reproducible. The unit area trichogram is such a method but is unsuitable for large-scale clinical trials. An alternative may be the phototrichogram--a non-plucking, non-invasive method. Hair variables were evaluated in 12 Caucasian subjects employing both methods. The mean value for total hair density was significantly underestimated by the phototrichogram (181 versus 237 hairs/cm2); however, no significant difference was found between this phototrichogram value and the number of non-vellus hairs/cm2. Estimates for the percentage of anagen hairs were similar with both methods. Hair diameters from the phototrichogram were too unreliable to be of any practical use. Analysis of the individual hair data revealed that light hair was much more difficult to evaluate than dark hair. Consequently, Caucasian subjects with light hair or dark skin subjects with dark hair should be excluded from studies employing phototrichograms.